Daily Archive : Tuesday December 17, 2013


    Joseph C. Wozniak

    DuPage County candidate's phone mistaken for weapon

    DuPage County Forest Preserve Commission candidate Joseph C. Wozniak knew his fight to stay on the primary election ballot would be stressful. The Naperville Republican just never expected it would include being handcuffed. During the meeting, someone in the room mistook the cellphone Wozniak wears on his belt for a concealed weapon. When Wozniak left, officials called campus security.

    Testimony began Tuesday in the trial of former Maine West High School soccer coach Michael Divincenzo, who faces misdemeanor charges alleging he allowed hazing among players in his program. Divincenzo opted to waive a jury trial and instead is allowing a judge to decide the case.

    Prosecutor: Maine West hazing culture 'rampant'

    Former Maine West High School soccer coach Michael Divincenzo perpetuated a culture of hazing in his program by doing nothing to stop initiation practices by his players, a Cook County prosecutor said as the former coach and teacher went on trial on multiple misdemeanor charges. Defense attorney Todd Pugh said holding Divincenzo criminally liable for actions of third parties is “morally and...

    Police say about 30 puppes were discovered Friday afternoon in a North Chicago woman's one-bedroom apartment. The dogs were found in “varying degrees of dehydration and malnutrition,” according to a statement from authorities. Charges are pending against the North Chicago woman.

    30 puppies removed from North Chicago apartment

    Charges are pending against a 42-year-old North Chicago woman who police say was hoarding about 30 puppies in her one-bedroom apartment. “The majority of the dogs were in varying degrees of dehydration and malnutrition,” said Dana Duestch, Animal Warden in a news release. Most of the dogs were under a year old and living in an apartment that police said also had an “extreme...

    The Mega Millions estimated jackpot has soared to $636 million, making it the second largest jackpot in U.S. history.

    2 winners in $636 million Mega Millions drawing

    The two winning Mega Millions tickets were sold in California and Georgia, lottery officials said Wednesday. The $636 million jackpot was the second-largest lottery prize in U.S. history. One ticket was sold in San Jose, Calif., California Lottery spokesman Alex Traverso said. The other was sold in Georgia, but Mega Millions' lead director Paula Otto said early Wednesday morning that she didn't...


    Probation for man who unlawfully videotaped Wheeling woman

    A 37-year-old Glenview man pleaded guilty this week to videotaping a woman in her Wheeling home without her consent, court records show. Shuujin Vanchig was sentenced to 18 months probation and fined $689.

    Arthur Manning

    Ex-carnival worker says murdered St. Charles man threw first punch

    A former carnival worker accused of stabbing to death a 28-year-old St. Charles man in 2008 told police he fought back after being punched and called a racial slur. Arthur Manning, 62, is on trial in Kane County for murdering Naromi Mannery, a painter who was hanging out with one of Manning's friends drinking but refused to leave. This is Manning's second trial; an appellate court overturned a...

    Ed Dolik, and his mother, Mildred Dolik, at the Lutheran Home on Tuesday.

    Award-winning burger chef says thank you with food

    Ed Dolik is the kind of guy you want volunteering for your organization. Dolik, whose creative burger recently won a contest, served the award-winner to the staff of the Lutheran Home in Arlington Heights. Tuesday, to say "thank you" for the care they are giving his mother. “I look at it as pay back to the home for taking such good care of my mother,” Dolik said.

    Batavia resident of 32 years, Duke Wahl, holds his head in his hands as the public comment section addressing the Batavia school board about the tax levy continues with multiple speakers. Wahl is not in favor of the levy. Living on a fixed income and getting by on only what he needs (not wants, he stressed), he says he could use the tax break.

    Batavia school board OKs levying all the tax possible, despite residents’ protests

    The Batavia school board unanimously decided Tuesday to ask for 13 percent more in property taxes for operations, hoping to get all it legally can from the addition of property value from the Aurora outlet mall and some nearby industrial properties this year.


    Officials: 6 Americans killed in Afghanistan crash

    NATO says six service members have died in an aircraft crash in southern Afghanistan, in an area where there was no fighting reported at the time.

    SWAT team members are trucked from near the Renown helicopter pad to the Renown Medical Center where a lone gunman killed one person and critically wounding two others before killing himself at the sprawling medical campus Tuesday in Reno, Nev.

    Gunman kills himself, 1 other at Reno hospital

    A suicidal gunman opened fire at a Reno hospital campus Tuesday, killing one person, critically wounding two others and sending police on a door-to-door search within the facility amid the chaos. The wounded victims were in surgery and one of them is a doctor, the Nevada Department of Public Safety said.

    Doug Maxeiner

    Special tax district created in Wauconda to spur development

    Wauconda trustees on Tuesday agreed to create a special taxing district as a way to raise revenue for public projects.


    Minor injuries in Mundelein car versus pedestrian crash

    A woman suffered minor injuries after being hit by a car Tuesday night near the intersection of Route 45 and Route 60 in Mundelein, police said.

    Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, right, accompanied by Sen. Kelly Ayotte, a New Hampshire Republican, urge their Senate colleagues to change the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for current and future military retirees prior to Tuesday’s preliminary vote.

    Budget deal splits GOP leaders in House, Senate

    Senate Republican leaders are criticizing a bipartisan budget deal, parting ways with their House counterparts who shepherded the measure through that chamber last week. The split makes it harder for the Republican Party to present a united front as it approaches the midterm election year.

    President Barack Obama meets with technology executives at the White House on Tuesday. From left are, Zynga founder Mark Pincus and Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

    Obama meets with tech CEOs amid NSA concerns

    President Barack Obama on Tuesday discussed the troubled federal health care website, government surveillance and other issues with executives from Google, Twitter, Apple and several other leading technology companies.

    National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wrote in “an open letter to the Brazilian people” published Tuesday that he would be willing to help Brazil’s government investigate U.S. spying on its soil, but that he could do so only if granted political asylum.

    Snowden: NSA’s indiscriminate spying ‘collapsing’

    National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden wrote in a lengthy “open letter to the people of Brazil” that he’s been inspired by the global debate ignited by his release of thousands of National Security Agency documents, and that the NSA’s culture of indiscriminate global espionage “is collapsing.”

    The case of a Baltimore purse-snatcher who got nabbed after crank-calling his victim in 1976 laid the legal groundwork for today’s worldwide government surveillance of telephone records in the name of protecting the U.S. from terrorists.

    Is 1976 robbery legally relevant to NSA spying?

    The small-time case of a Baltimore purse-snatcher who got nabbed after crank-calling his victim in 1976 laid the legal groundwork for today’s worldwide government surveillance of telephone records in the name of protecting the U.S. from terrorists.

    U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon declared the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is likely unconstitutional.

    Judge who issued NSA ruling often bucks executive

    Richard Leon, the judge who declared that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is likely unconstitutional, has a long record of taking on executive branch actions.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych chat during a news conference after their talks in Moscow on Tuesday.

    Putin: Russia to buy $15 billion in Ukraine bonds

    Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday opened his wallet in the battle with the European Union over Ukraine’s future, saying Moscow will buy $15 billion worth of Ukrainian government bonds and sharply cut the price of natural gas for its economically struggling neighbor.

    Indian police remove barricades that had been erected as a safety measure outside the main entrance of U.S Embassy, reportedly in retaliation to the alleged mistreatment of New York-based Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, in New Delhi, India, Tuesday.

    Indian official: Diplomat’s arrest in NYC barbaric

    The arrest and strip search of an Indian diplomat in New York City escalated into a major diplomatic furor Tuesday as India’s national security adviser called the woman’s treatment “despicable and barbaric.” Devyani Khobragade, India’s deputy consul general in New York, is accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper.

    Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has made no secret of his concerns about the bill state lawmakers passed earlier this year that made Illinois the last state to make it legal for residents to carry concealed weapons.

    ISP denies sheriff’s request on concealed carry

    The director of the Illinois State Police has turned down a request from the Cook County Sheriff’s office for help in vetting applicants for concealed carry permits under the state’s new firearms law.

    Chicago may be the corporate home for Boeing, but its bid to lure Boeing’s production of the 777x airliner out of Washington state is a long shot. Experts say the state doesn’t have what the company needs for supporting this product.

    Experts: Boeing plant move unlikely for Illinois

    Illinois has joined more than 20 other states trying to lure Boeing’s production of the 777x airliner out of Washington state, but the company’s long list of requirements could prove expensive. But beyond expense, aircraft industry analysts say Illinois — home to Boeing’s headquarters but very little of its production — doesn’t have what the company needs.

    Former South African President Nelson Mandela, who died earlier this month, occupied the top spot on Google’s search list for the year.

    Google’s top searches peer into society’s mindset

    Death, devices and celebrity drove the quest for more information on Google’s search engine this year. Three of the world’s four fastest-rising search requests on Google were triggered by the deaths of famous men.

    The Rev. Michael McPherson

    Church commnunity mourns longtime Long Grove pastor
    This year’s Interfaith Thanksgiving Service in Buffalo Grove was one of the largest in its 23 years, but one of its founding members, the Rev. Michael McPherson, was missing. McPherson passed away three weeks later, on Dec. 14. “He was incredibly inspirational and interfaith-oriented,” said Richard Rosen, president of the Northwest Suburban Interfaith Council.

    Katherine Moss sings to callers as part of the hall’s annual Dial-A-Carol program in Champaign. The student-run project is a hotline of sorts for people who prefer their holiday carols sung live by amateurs.

    Dial-a-Carol a holiday tradition at U of Illinois

    The phones are jingling off the hook at Dial-a-Carol, a student-run project on the University of Illinois’ Champaign campus. It’s a hotline of sorts for people who prefer hearing holiday music sung by a choir of amateurs who’ve been up all night studying.

    Garritt Cooper, 25, of Idaho takes a water break while clearing a fire break near a friend’s home as firefighters battle a fire across the ridge in Big Sur, Calif., Tuesday.

    Unusual late fall fire still burning in Big Sur

    An unusual late fall wildfire fueled by drought conditions destroyed 15 homes and forced about 100 people to flee the forested mountains of the scenic Big Sur region overlooking the Pacific.

    Andy Henrikson

    Lake Forest educator chosen to lead Mundelein District 75

    Andy Henrikson, assistant superintendent for human resources for Lake Forest Elementary District 67 and Lake Forest High School District 115, has been hired to replace Mundelein District 75 Superintendent Cynthia Heidorn, who is retiring at the end of the school year.


    Toy drive in Island Lake:

    A gift drive benefiting people affected by the recent tornadoes in downstate Illinois concludes Friday in Island Lake.


    Island Lake group to talk medical pot:

    Island Lake’s zoning commission will meet Thursday to discuss medical marijuana dispensaries, which will be legal in Illinois starting next month.


    Open mic nights at MCC:

    Test your musical talent at McHenry County College’s Music Open Mic Night Wednesday (and every third Wednesday of the month) in the MCC cafeteria, Building B.


    Register your snowmobile:

    The Illinois Association of Snowmobile Clubs says the Illinois Department of Natural Resources will no longer send out snowmobile registration renewal notices.

    Allan Shelton of the South Elgin Lions Club unpacks boxes of donations and sorts food Tuesday that will be distributed to around 200 needy families in the area this week. They also have coats and toys for those in need.

    South Elgin Lions help 200 families

    The South Elgin Lions Club expects to distribute between six and seven tons of food this year to 200 families that were suggested for help by Elgin Area School District U-46. The club is also passing out donated coats and toys. Leo Snyder, the Lions Club member in charge of the program, says it continues to grow. “Every year it gets bigger.”


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tyler R. Palmer, 20, of Sycamore, was charged with attempting to defraud a drug screening test, a felony, at 3:31 p.m. Dec. 11 at the Kane County Judicial Center, 37W777 Route 38, St. Charles, according to a sheriff’s report. Palmer admitted to bringing some of his older “clean” urine in a condom to the test after an administrator noticed the sample he provided was too cold.

    Elgin Area School District U-46’s Transformation Task Force spent 18 months coming up with recommendations for allowing increased time during a school day for student intervention and enrichment by teachers, and providing opportunities for more teacher collaboration. The task force’s final report was recently presented to the school board, which is expected to adopt it in January.

    U-46 board could vote on recommendations next month

    Elgin Area School District U-46’s Transformation Task Force recently presented its final report with recommendations to the school board about allowing increased time during a school day for student intervention and enrichment by teachers, and providing opportunities for more teacher collaboration. The school board has accepted the recommendations in the report, and an official vote to adopt is...

    Grayslake residents Sarah Decker and her 2-year-old daughter, Nora, pretend to be bubbling soup during the reading of “Stone Soup” by Ann McGovern during the Color My World program Tuesday at the Lake Villa District Library with storyteller Paddy Lynn. Fifty people watched and joined in the fun as three wintertime stories were performed.

    Storyteller entertains children with winter tales

    Paddy Lynn captivated children with her storyacting program Color My World on Tuesday at the Lake Villa District Library.


    Four charged with stealing bread trays from Bartlett restaurant

    Bartlett police arrested four men Dec. 11 on misdemeanor charges alleging they stole about 30 plastic bread trays from a local restaurant, authorities say. Xiao Ping Xu, 48; Xiao Bing Xu, 44; Yuan Huang, 24; and Haujie Huang, 19, all of the 1700 block of McCormick Lane in Hanover Park, each face one count of theft stemming from their arrests last week.

    Buffalo Grove residents will get two more opportunities next month to weigh in on a $100 million plan to improve traffic flow near Lake Cook and Weiland roads. the plan has met with some resistance from nearby residents, particularly those opposed to plans for a new connector road in the area.

    Public has two more chances to weigh in on Buffalo Grove road plan

    Buffalo Grove residents impacted by the upcoming Weiland Road/Lake-Cook Road improvements will get two more chances to air their views before the village board votes to move forward with the project.The village board will hold two related meetings next month — one to review the financial impact of the alternatives presented, and another for the board to decide whether to direct the village...


    Italian physicians visit Lutheran General

    Two physicians and a health-care administrator from Tuscany, Italy, visited Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge Monday and Tuesday to watch surgery and understand how American health care processes are organized. “They want to learn how we assess the quality of our patient outcomes,” said Dr. John White, chairman of surgery.


    Blood donation Friday at Buffalo Grove Fire Department

    The Buffalo Grove Fire Department is holding a blood drive from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 20, at Station 26, 1051 Highland Grove Drive. For an appointment, visit www.lifesource.org using code 041D or contact the fire department at (847) 537-0995.

    Breyden Velna, 1½, pans for gold during the 2013 Bartlett National Night Out at Bartlett Park.

    Bartlett National Night Out ranks 3rd in country

    The National Association of Town Watch recently announced the Village of Bartlett received 3rd place in its population category of 15,000 to 49,999 residents in this year’s National Night Out celebration. The village was one of two Illinois communities to place in the top five in any of the National Night Out population categories.

    Robert J. Phillips

    Villa Park man faces child porn charges

    A Villa Park man was charged with six felony counts of child pornography following an extensive undercover Internet investigation, Wheaton police said Tuesday.

    Kristy Framke, assistant event coordinator for Cooper’s Hawk of Wheeling, pours Dennis Degelmann of Arlington Heights a drink. Kelly Bulmash, also of Cooper’s Hawk, looks on.

    Restaurant tasting event draws hundreds to Wheeling

    Taste of the Town, featuring sample sizes of dishes from Restaurant Row in Wheeling and other restaurants nearby, drew hundreds of people to the Westin North Shore one night last week. “We really want our residents and visitors to experience first hand what the village has to offer,” John Melaniphy, director of economic development for the village, said.

    Actress Cameron Diaz will be in Naperville next month to promote her new book.

    Cameron Diaz to promote book in Naperville

    Actress Cameron Diaz will meet with fans next month in Naperville to promote ”The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength, and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body.” Diaz is scheduled to meet with readers and fans at 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Wentz Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., on the downtown campus of North Central College.


    Dist. 203 to levy for 83 percent of its revenue

    Naperville Unit District 203 will be gathering 83 percent of its total revenue for next year through a $221,102,000 tax levy approved Monday night. The levy increases a total of 2.7 percent from the $215,282,213 collected last year.“The levy ... supports District 203’s high quality educational programs while remaining consistent with that history of fiscal responsibility.”

    Natalya Kalinovskaya, head of the village of Psou, became an activist when she realized that Olympic construction was going to go ahead without any discussion with residents.

    Sochi Olympic critics get terrorist treatment

    They are fearless, stubborn and increasingly under siege. Environmentalists, activists and journalists in Sochi have spent years exposing the dark side of Vladimir Putin’s showcase Winter Games — and now they’re paying the price. With the Olympics less than two months away, authorities are stepping up the pressure as these men and women refuse to back down.


    Arlington Hts. first family sought shelter in Deer Grove

    Arlington Heights’ first family didn’t spend its first Christmas on the new homestead they had chosen when they came into this area in March 1836. According to village historian Daisy Daniels, the Dunton family found their claim on the prairie too exposed to the elements their first winter.


    Burke not reconfirmed to Congregation for Bishops
    Wisconsin native Cardinal Raymond Burke is losing his influential role in the appointment of bishops in the United States. The former La Crosse bishop was not reconfirmed to the Congregation for Bishops by Pope Francis. The former St. Louis archbishop had been a member for several years.


    Palatine man charged after drug raid

    Palatine police seized 72 grams of marijuana, prescription drugs and more than $1,200 cash while executing a search warrant Friday night as part of an ongoing drug investigation, authorities said. The raid ended in the arrest of Christopher Huberty, 20, on felony charges of unlawful delivery of cannabis unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, and unlawful possession of cannabis.

    Barrington’s new police chief, David Dorn, is pinned with his new rank by his wife Jennifer as their children and the Barrington village board looks on Monday night. Dorn, a 15-year department veteran, replaces former chief Jerry Libit, who retired in May.

    Veteran police officer Dorn sworn in as Barrington’s new chief

    David Dorn was sworn in as Barrington’s police chief Monday after six months of carrying the acting chief tag and several months before that as assistant chief. Though no other candidate was sought during Dorn’s time as acting chief, Barrington Village Manager Jeff Lawler said six months generally is the right time frame in which to determine whether an employee and a new position...


    Three charged in suburban mortgage fraud scheme

    Three far West suburban residents are facing federal fraud charges stemming from a mortgage “rescue” scheme, according to prosecutors. Carlos Rayas, 39, of Aurora, as well as Melvin T. Bell, 37, and Monica Hernandez, 43, both of Oswego, were indicted recently for operating an unlicensed mortgage company that prosecutors claim “swindled” $220,000 from at least 54 homeowners.

    Jeremy A. Betancourt

    Trial for Antioch Township man in illegal street race delayed

    The trial of an Antioch Township man facing charges in the death of a high school student during an illegal street race has been delayed until March. Jeremy Betancourt, 18, was charged with multiple counts of driving under the influence of drugs after the Gurnee crash that killed Cynthia Perez in June.

    Jim Penick, left, with sons Tep and Jeff in 1985.

    The best Christmas present? All those memories

    Our Stephanie Penick says the best Christmas present of all usually turns out to be all the wonderful memories.

    Catherine Pawlik of Naperville took first place in the Cantigny in Focus amateur photo contest for capturing this image of early morning dew on an evergreen tree.

    Cantigny announces photo contest winners

    Cantigny Park visitors voted and the results are in for the top three prize winners of the 2012 Cantigny in Focus amateur photo contest.


    First enrollment deadline for health insurance nears

    Monday, Dec. 23, is the deadline for those who want to receive health insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act on Jan. 1, 2014. Enroll Lake County has about 88 specially trained counselors available at 27 sites throughout Lake County to assist, answer questions and work with residents to enroll for free.


    Joy of the Game offers winter break programming

    Joy of the Game, 158 S. Waukegan Road, Deerfield, is thrilled to be hosting a large range of winter programming at the newly remodeled facility.

    The Holiday Hoedown runs Dec. 21-29 at the Lake County Fairgrounds. The event is closed Dec. 24 and 25.

    Holiday Hoedown coming to Lake County Fairgrounds

    Straight from the North Pole, Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus and Santa’s brother, Cletus, relocate the family ranch to the Lake County Fairgrounds this month for the Holiday Hoedown.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A burglar entered an unlocked back door at a home on the 700 block of South Beverly Lane in Arlington Heights and stole two women’s gold designer watches, two men’s gold designer watches, a diamond ring, diamond engagement ring, diamond tennis bracelet, gold and diamond pendant necklace, and 600 euros out of the master bedroom. Value was estimated at $23,300.

    U.S. Fire Service firefighter Andrew Way puts a sign up at the Big Sur Station indicating the area as a water point for other firefighters as they battle a wildland fire in the Pfeiffer Ridge area in Big Sur, Calif. on Monday Dec. 16, 2013.

    Big Sur fire destroys 15 homes, forces 100 to flee

    A wildfire burning Monday in the Big Sur area of California destroyed at least 15 homes and forced about 100 people to evacuate as it chewed through dry vegetation on its way toward the ocean. No injuries were reported.


    Boston gangster Bulger transferred to Okla.

    Former Boston crime boss James “Whitey” Bulger was moved to a federal prison in Oklahoma on Monday, although it was not immediately clear why. The 84-year-old Bulger was being held at FTC Oklahoma City, which acts a transfer point to house inmates as they are moved between prisons.


    Indiana family trying to get back dog lost in tornado

    An Indiana woman whose dog vanished when a tornado struck her family’s home last month says a person who adopted the dog from an animal shelter six days later refuses to return him.

    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 Superintendent Brian Harris invites district residents to join in Engage200 to learn about student achievement, technology, facilities, finances, communications and more.

    District 200 launching community engagement process

    Through a series of workshops begining in January, Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 residents will have an opportunity to learn about all aspects of the district, including student achievement, technology, facilities, finances, communications and other topics.


    Urbana hotel cuts rates for students during finals

    Can you put a price tag on silence? The Illini Union Hotel at the University of Illinois is banking on it. The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports the 74-room hotel in Urbana is offering a special deal during final exams. The $45-per-night deal is aimed at stressed out students who are trying to get away from their roommates and end-of-semester dormitory noise.

    Amanda Knox declared her innocence in her roommate’s 2007 murder in a highly unusual email Tuesday to the Italian court hearing the case against her. The former U.S. exchange student also said she was staying away from the trial out of fear of being wrongly convicted.

    Knox in email: ‘I didn’t kill Meredith’

    Amanda Knox declared her innocence in her roommate’s 2007 murder in a highly unusual email Tuesday to the Italian court hearing the case against her. The former U.S. exchange student also said she was staying away from the trial out of fear of being wrongly convicted. “I didn’t kill. I didn’t rape. I didn’t rob. I didn’t plot. I didn’t instigate. I didn’t kill Meredith,” Knox wrote.

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, his wife, Ri Sol Ju, and high ranking officials walk as they visit the Kumsusan Palace of the Sun on the second anniversary of the death of his father, former leader Kim Jong Il.

    N. Korea tries to project unity on death anniversary

    North Korea vowed to unite behind leader Kim Jong Un during carefully staged events Tuesday to mark the second anniversary of his father’s death, in an attempt to show it has returned to business as usual after the purge and execution of his once-powerful uncle last week.

    A federal judge made headlines Monday by declaring that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is likely unconstitutional. But even he realized his won’t be the last word on the issue.

    Judge’s word on NSA program won’t be the last

    A federal judge made headlines Monday by declaring that the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of millions of Americans’ telephone records is likely unconstitutional. But even he realized his won’t be the last word on the issue. “This is the opening salvo in a very long story, but it’s important symbolically in dispelling the invincibility of the metadata program,” said Stephen Vladeck, a...


    Excerpts from ruling on NSA use of phone records

    In a ruling Monday questioning the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records, U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon bluntly came down on the side of privacy. Here are some excerpts.

    Great gray owls normally stay well north of our region. When this one turned up in Middleton, Wis., many birders declared an emergency road trip.

    Words on Birds: A look back at a phenomenal year

    Jeff Reiter looks back on the year in birding -- and baseball -- and shares some of his amazing discoveries.


    2 Chicagoans charged in cellphone store robbery

    Two Chicago men are accused of participating in a spate of cellphone-store robberies. The FBI on Monday identified the suspects as 39-year-old Eric Rogers of Hazel Crest, and 29-year-old Eric Curtis of Park Forest. Each faces one count of Hobbs Act Robbery for their alleged roles in the robbery of a Norridge AT&T store.


    Class status sought for alleged torture victims

    Lawyers want a judge to grant class status to prisoners who may have been tortured into giving false confessions by Chicago police. The Chicago Sun-Times reports attorney Locke Bowman estimates that about 40 people are falsely imprisoned in Illinois after being tortured by police under the watch of former Chicago Police Cmdr. Jon Burge.


    Authorities rescue 3 women in 2 separate accidents

    Rescue crews pulled three people from frigid Chicago area waters after two separate accidents, including one woman who later died. In Chicago, authorities say a woman fell into the Chicago River near the Michigan Avenue shopping district early Tuesday morning.


    Dawn Patrol: Des Plaines cop doesn’t have to be rehired; car goes into pond

    Fired Des Plaines cop doesn’t have to be rehired: judge. Two women hospitalized after car goes into pond. Stalled train closes Elgin bridges. East Dundee helping business to expand. Celebrity stylist hails from Naperville. Bargain hunters clearing out Dominick’s stores. Trestman’s off season plan credited with team unity.

    Mundelein officials may forcibly purchase land along Hawley Street for a road-widening project.

    Mundelein residents complain about Hawley Street plan

    A handful of Mundelein residents voiced concerns about plans to widen Hawley Street near their homes during a public hearing Monday. An 8-foot-wide bike path that would run along Hawley between Midlothian Road and Seymour Avenue was the most common target for the critics. “If you're going to put it in, no one's going to use it,” Terry Coleman said. “They'll still use the...

    Nick Fuller, a natural resource project coordinator with the DuPage County Forest Preserve District, describes how rocks have been put into the West Branch of the DuPage River at McDowell Grove Forest Preserve near Naperville.

    Improvements begin at McDowell Grove Forest Preserve near Naperville

    An effort is under way to improve McDowell Grove Forest Preserve while creating flood-control features along the West Branch of the DuPage River. Crews have started the process of selectively removing buckthorn, honeysuckle and other invasive and aggressive woody species along 33 acres of floodplains in the Naperville-area preserve.


    Dist. 203 plotting guidelines for future success

    Naperville Unit District 203 has been focusing on its future for the past nine months, and on Monday night, board members heard the findings of a series of community engagement sessions that will help plan for that future. “We’re excited as an administration and a school district to begin to address some of the issues and the recommendations that were brought forward by our community,”...

    Bernard Rinella

    Order of protection means loss of gun permit, but some say reinstatement slow

    A 2-year-old law requires people with orders of protection against them to surrender their Firearm Owners Identification cards and guns, but some lawyers say clients are having a hard time getting permits reinstated when the court action ends.

    Bloomingdale Police Officer Levi McGhee warns a driver about speeding. McGhee, like many officers, believes having better access to FOID information would make police safer during such stops.

    Police want more access to gun permit data

    The Illinois State Police list of the state's 1.6 million Firearm Owner Identification cardholders isn't shared with local police. Some suburban police officials say that's a key shortcoming of the state law. They would prefer to have that information available ahead of traffic stops and calls to quell domestic disputes.


    Jacobs’ Chris Orange drives and looks for a teammate between Prairie Ridge’s Michael Bradshaw and Kody Peterson Tuesday in Crystal Lake.

    Orange to the rescue for Jacobs

    When it came time for someone on the Jacobs boys basketball team to make a play, junior point guard Chris Orange knew it was on him to rise to the occasion. Orange thought the charge he took in overtime in the Golden Eagles’ come-from-behind 56-54 Fox Valley Conference Valley overtime win over Prairie Ridge Tuesday night in Crystal Lake was much more important than his game-tying 3-point play with 52.2 seconds remaining in regulation.


    North Central, Wheaton coaches advance to new jobs

    With success comes a doubled-edged sword for college programs. The more a team wins the more valuable and sought after their coaches become.

    Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman watches from the sidelines in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns, Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/David Richard)

    Bears’ Trestman remains steadfast in his decisions

    Bears coach Marc Trestman is quick to spread the credit for the team's successes to everyone on the staff and the roster, but he's not afraid to make the hard decisions by himself or to stay true to his word.


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


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


    Prospect, Barrington add to victory totals

    Prospect’s girls basketball team bounced back from it s only loss with a 57-40 victory at the St. Viator Cahill Gymnasium on Tuesday night in Arlington Heights, and Barrington got win No. 10 this season with a 67-56 win over Jacobs.


    Gavin, Palatine pick up a win at Prospect

    Nolan Gavin scored a season-best 13 points, and visiting Palatine didn’t allow any Prospect player to score in double figures as the visiting Pirates won 53-41 on Tuesday in a Mid-Suburban League boys basketball crossover. Chris Macahon scored a game-high 16 points, including a pair of 3’s, for Palatine, and Michael Williams had 12.

    Jonathan Toews celebrates a goal by Blackhawks teammate Patrick Kane against Predators goalie Carter Hutton in the first period Tuesday night.

    Kane scores another ‘wow’ goal for Blackhawks

    Patrick Kane and the wow factor are going hand in hand a lot these days. Kane did it again Tuesday night, scoring a highlight-reel goal in the Blackhawks’ 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators at Bridgestone Arena.


    Rolling Meadows pulls away from Wheaton North

    In Tuesday’s game at Wheaton North, the Falcons battled and showed plenty of heart. But in the end the loaded visitors from Rolling Meadows prevailed 89-68, using a 31-point third quarter powered by Jackie Kemph to show just how good they can play at times.

    Brittany Collins became Maine West’s all-time leading scorer with 1,653 — and counting — after scoring 15 in the Warriors’ victory Tuesday at Maine South.

    Collins nets Maine West career scoring record

    Maine West senior Brittany Collins had a hard time describing her feelings after the Warriors defeated Maine South 43-39 for the first time in her four-year career. But it couldn’t have been as hard it has been for opponents trying to stop the 6-foot forward from scoring points the last four seasons. Her 15 points in Tuesday night’s Central Suburban League crossover in Park Ridge placed Collins in the No. 1 spot in school history for career points. She now has 1,653, breaking the mark of 1,648 set by Megan Edwards in 2005.


    St. Charles North snaps Crystal Lake South's 6-game streak

    Strong second-half starts have been a rarity during the first month of the girls’ basketball season for St. Charles North. That definitely changed Tuesday night. Trailing 31-30 at halftime, the North Stars (5-6) came out with a purpose in the third quarter and reeled off 9 straight points to take control on the way to a 68-60 nonconference victory over Crystal Lake South (9-5) in St. Charles.

    Benet's Emily Eshoo battles for a loose ball against Fenwick during girls basketball action in Lisle.

    Turnovers cost Benet

    The Benet girls basketball team controlled the boards with more than 30 rebounds against Fenwick on Tuesday night in Lisle. When the Friars shot well, the Redwings shot well. When Fenwick cooled off shooting so did Benet.

    Vernon Hills’ Lem Turner, right, goes up to block the shot of North Chicago’s JayQuan McCloud on Tuesday night at Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills can’t match North Chicago

    By the time Lem Turner and his Vernon Hills basketball teammates adjusted to North Chicago’s size and athleticism, it was too late in the North Suburban Prairie Division showdown. Turner blocked 3 shots in the fourth quarter, but North Chicago won 80-68 on the road Tuesday night. Kurt Hall had 28 points and 20 rebounds for North Chicago (6-1, 3-0).

    Images from the North Chicago vs. Vernon Hills boys basketball game on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

    Images: Vernon Hills vs. North Chicago boys basketball
    The Vernon Hills Cougars hosted the North Chicago Warhawks for boys basketball action on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

    Antioch senior guard Paige Gallimore is scoring nearly 24 points per game for the 9-3 Sequoits.

    Lake County scores soar; get ready for more

    Regardless of the stricter enforcement of hand-checking by IHSA basketball officials, you have to hand it to those players who have taken advantage at the offensive end. Points aren’t free, after all. Not even free throws. The girls game, in particular, has been long overdue for a boost in Lake County, and we’ve received it in the first month of the season in the form of offense. Several seniors have raised their game offensively from their junior year, and that doesn’t always happen just because a kid is a year older.


    Close but not quite for Timothy Christian

    Timothy Christian’s boys basketball team knows it let a huge opportunity slip away Tuesday night. That being said, it’s tough for the Trojans not to feel pretty good about their effort. Perennial Metro Suburban Conference power Riverside-Brookfield held off a fierce Timothy Christian rally to pull out a 65-62 road win in Elmhurst.


    Crystal Lake South pulls away from Dundee-Crown

    Host Dundee-Crown stayed within 8 points of the undefeated Crystal Lake South boys basketball team for a half, but the unselfish Gators shared their way to a 70-48 victory with a big third quarter. CL South opened the second half on a 14-2 run that fattened its lead to 20 points and the Gators were never threatened again in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division opener for both short-handed teams.


    Wauconda surprises Vernon Hills

    Lauren Nee scored 15 points and hustled for 6 rebounds, as Wauconda’s girls basketball team stunned visiting Vernon Hills 50-47 in North Suburban Prairie Division action Tuesday night. Anna Wisniewski added 10 points for the Bulldogs (5-4, 2-1), who won their third in a row after winning a pair of games Saturday in the Northern Illinois Holiday Classic at Woodstock.


    Newark upends Aurora Christian

    Johnathan Harrell paced Aurora Christian with 16 points Tuesday in a 60-57 loss to Newark.


    West Aurora scores season-high 84

    West Aurora scored a season-high in an 84-26 win over East Aurora on Tuesday that improved the Blackhawks to 9-1.


    Kaneland blitzes Hinckley-BR with big 3rd quarter

    Whatever frustration Kaneland took to the locker room trailing Hinckley-Big Rock by a point Tuesday night in Hinckley, the Knights let their play do the talking in the third quarter. Kaneland scored the first 20 points of the second half on its way to outscoring the Royals 31-2 in the third quarter. Two minutes into the fourth quarter Knights coach Brian Johnson had his third string on the court to finish up a 63-38 victory.


    Guarino, Fenton blitz Ridgewood in third period

    Fenton took advantage of 13 turnovers in the third quarter by the Ridgewood Rebels to pull away in the game for a win 63-46 in a Metro Suburban Conference girls basketball game on Tuesday in Bensenville.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Westminster Christian 72, Walther Christian 46: The Warriors (11-1) defeated Walther during nonconference action Tuesday. McKaila Hays finished with 19 points and 3 steals, while Maddie Versluys had 14 points and 12 rebounds to lead Westminster. Claire Speweik (16 points) was 6-for-6 from the field and 3-for-4 from the free throw line for Westminster Christian.Barrington 67, Jacobs 56: The Golden Eagles (2-9) were led by Alyssa Lach, who finished with 9 points, including a 5-for-6 finish from the free throw line. Carly Sidor scored 8 points and Jessica Powell added 7 points for Jacobs in the nonconference loss.Harvest Christian Academy 38, Mooseheart 29: The Lions (4-2, 2-1) were victorious during Northeastern Athletic Conference action Tuesday. Kylee Knox led the team with 20 points, 6 rebounds and 6 steals. Rachel Oostdyk had 9 points and 7 rebounds.Cary-Grove 52, Buffalo Grove 45: The Trojans (9-4) defeated Buffalo Grove in nonconference action as Katie Barker led the way, finishing with 22 points and 5 steals. Sarah Kendeigh added 10 points, 4 assists and 3 steals. “It was a good contest for us. They had us down at half but we were able to fight back,” said Cary-Grove coach Rod Saffert.


    Source: Cubs, Jose Veras near $4M contract

    A person familiar with the situation says the Cubs and reliever Jose Veras were closing in on a $4 million, one-year contract.The person spoke Tuesday on the condition of anonymity because the deal with the 33-year-old right-hander was pending a physical.

    Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Nick Leddy (8) celebrates with Brandon Saad after Leddy scored against the Nashville Predators in the second period of an NHL hockey game Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    Blackhawks sink Predators 3-1

    Duncan Keith scored a goal and added an assist to lead the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-1 win over the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night. Patrick Kane and Nick Leddy also scored for the Hawks, who have won five of six.


    Schaumburg gets defensive, win at Wheeling

    When opponents get ready to play Schaumburg, they better be ready to face some solid, sticky man-to-man defense. The Saxons came out with one of their better defensive efforts in stopping host Wheeling 48-38 Tuesday night in a Mid-Suburban League crossover.


    Dundee-Crown nets 4th straight win

    The Dundee-Crown girls basketball team rode a quick start Tuesday night to its fourth consecutive victory. The Chargers scored the first 11 points of the game and their lead never fell under 6 as D-C defeated Larkin, 55-41, in a nonconference game in Elgin.


    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Huntley 58, Cary-Grove 25: In their first Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game of the year, the Red Raiders (5-3, 1-0) blew past Cary-Grove at home. Amanze Egekeze almost topped the Trojans (3-5, 0-1) single-handedly with 23 points, while Riley Wicks added 13 including a pair of 3-pointers for Huntley. Jason Gregoire was the main source of offense for Cary-Grove with 8 points. As a team, the Trojans shot just 50 percent from the free-throw line.Mooseheart 96, Harvest Christian Academy 53: The Lions (3-5, 0-3) were unable to overcome a 16-point halftime deficit on the road in this Northeastern Athletic Conference matchup. Brett Cramer led Harvest with a double-double, 14 points and 12 rebounds. Teammates Noah Fox and John Vislesel added 13 and 17 points respectively to the Lions’ effort in what Harvest coach Jeff Boldog called a solid offensive effort. “Offensively we did everything we wanted to do. But, our defense had trouble stopping their big guys.” Boldog said.


    South Elgin overcomes 33 from Schaumburg’s Blackwell

    The roller coaster ride South Elgin’s girls basketball team has been on all season continued Tuesday night, but for the second game in a row the Storm hung on for a win after blowing a big lead. After falling behind early, South Elgin charged back to take control, then had to hold on in the end to notch a 60-56 nonconference win over visiting Schaumburg.


    Fremd’s too tall an order for Rolling Meadows

    Ben Carlson and Fremd proved to be too much for host Rolling Meadows on Tuesday in a Mid-Suburban League boys basketball crossover. Carlson, who is 6-foot-6, led the Vikings with 18 points, scoring most of them on the inside.


    Murray State races past Southern Illinois 73-65

    MURRAY, Ky. — Cameron Payne scored 22 points and dished out seven assists to lead Murray State to a 73-65 win over Southern Illinois Tuesday night. T.J. Sapp pitched in 15 points off the bench for the Racers (5-5). Jarvis Williams grabbed 10 rebounds and had seven points. Murray State went into halftime with a 33-30 lead. The Racers used a 16-4 run early in the second half to open up a 48-36 advantage. Payne hit back-to-back 3-pointers to push the lead to 59-43 with 10:15 left. The lead stayed in double digits as Southern Illinois (2-8) struggled to get stops. Twice the Salukis got the lead to 11, but Payne hit a 3-pointer on one occasion and Sapp hit a 3 of his own on the other.Murray State hit 8 of 18 3-pointers compared to Southern Illinois 3 of 9.Desmar Jackson scored 28 points to lead the Salukis.


    UIC tops Purdue-Calumet 88-61

    Jordan Harks scored 15 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, leading five players in double-figure scoring to help Illinois-Chicago to a comfortable 88-61 win over NAIA Purdue-Calumet Tuesday night.

    Photos from the Maine West vs. Maine South girls basketball game on Tuesday, December 17th, in Park Ridge

    Images: Maine South vs. Maine West, girls basketball
    The Maine South High School girls basketball team hosted the Maine West High School girls Tuesday, December 17, in Park Ridge.


    No. 5 Michigan State routs North Florida 78-48

    EAST LANSING, Mich. — Tom Izzo’s banged up Michigan State Spartans needed a game like this.Adreian Payne scored 15 of his 19 points in the first half and fifth-ranked Michigan State rolled to a 78-48 victory over North Florida on Tuesday night. The Spartans never trailed despite playing without leading scorer Gary Harris, who has been nursing an ankle injury.Big man Matt Costello (mononucleosis) and guard Travis Trice (foot blister) also missed the game.“I actually was pleased by the way we started out — we’ve had so much adversity here,” Izzo said. “It’s been really hard on our team.”The Michigan State coach had plenty of depth he could turn to, especially against an overmatched opponent like North Florida. Branden Dawson added 12 points and Denzel Valentine scored 11 for the Spartans, who were ranked No. 1 in the country before a loss to North Carolina on Dec. 4.Michigan State (9-1) narrowly avoided an upset against Oakland last weekend before routing North Florida.Jalen Nesbitt scored 11 points for the Ospreys (5-7), an Atlantic Sun team that has also lost big to Ohio State and Indiana this season.“Obviously, we’re on the back end of our Big Ten-A Sun challenge,” North Florida coach Matthew Driscoll joked. “We’re waiting for our gifts that you guys are going to send us from Ohio State, Indiana and Michigan State.”Michigan State led the Ospreys 50-19 at halftime after shooting 71 percent and holding North Florida to 7 of 32 from the field.This was Michigan State’s first home game since the disheartening loss to North Carolina. It was played in front of a subdued crowd, although there was an understandable roar with 7:46 left in the first half when some members of the school’s Big Ten champion football team were introduced.By then, the basketball Spartans had this game under control. Michigan State beat Oakland by only four points, but Tuesday’s game was one-sided from the start.Off the opening tip, Keith Appling tossed an alley-oop pass to Dawson for an immediate 2-0 lead. Appling did not attempt a shot from the field in the first half, but the Michigan State point guard didn’t need to with Payne and Dawson both looking sharp.“Right now, we’re scrambling,” Izzo said. “I guess in general I was pleased by the performance. Disappointed in a few things, and still question-marking where we are with this incredible injury situation we’re in.”The Spartans began the game on a 21-4 run and led 40-14 after a jumper by the 6-foot-10 Payne. Dawson added another alley-oop dunk early in the second half to make it 54-21.“Coach has been telling me to bring my energy every day,” Dawson said. “When I do that, I feel a lot better about everything.”North Florida lost 99-64 to Ohio State and 89-68 to Indiana. This final score was similar to those two. The Ospreys ended up at 4 of 25 from 3-point range after going 1 of 14 in the first half.Russell Byrd added 10 points for Michigan State, which didn’t have a single player log 30 minutes. The Spartans led by as many as 37.Izzo took over the microphone with 2:01 to play so he could announce that official Ed Hightower was working his final game at Michigan State. The crowd responded with a standing ovation.The Spartans will travel to Texas to face the Longhorns on Saturday.“I haven’t watched any film of Texas, but I know they’re athletic,” Payne said. “And they’re much better than they were last year.”Izzo said Costello won’t even make the trip to Texas. The situation is less clear for Harris and Trice.“I have no clue — none,” Izzo said. “I have no clue. And you know what? I’m done worrying about it, because I’ve spent about a week now worrying about these different things that I can’t control. I’m going to go down there with whatever guys are ready that can play, and then we’re going to play.”


    Cork, Hampshire dump Crystal Lake Central

    Ryan Cork most likely slept well Tuesday night. Playing all 32 minutes, Cork filled the stat sheet with 27 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds and 3 steals in leading Hampshire to a 77-61 Fox Valley Conference Fox Division boys basketball win over host Crystal Lake Central. It was the conference opener for the Whip-Purs (3-5, 1-0).

    Images from the Jacobs vs. Prairie Ridge boys basketball game Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

    Images: Jacobs vs. Prairie Ridge boys basketball
    Prairie Ridge hosted Jacobs in a boys basketball matchup Tuesday, December 17, 2013.

    Photos from the Fenwick at Benet Academy girls basketball game on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

    Images: Fenwick vs. Benet Academy in Lisle, girls basketball
    Benet Academy in Lisle hosted Fenwick High School Tuesday, Dec. 17 for girls basketball.


    Anderson paces Grayslake Central win

    Charlie Anderson scored a season-high 20 points to lead four players in double figures, as Grayslake Central’s boys basketball team defeated visiting Johnsburg 63-49 Tuesday night.


    NIU’s Lynch named All-American

    The honors keep coming for Northern Illinois quarterback Jordan Lynch. After taking third place in the Heisman Trophy balloting Saturday evening in New York, Lynch was named Associated Press first-team All-American on Tuesday.

    Bears rookie guard Kyle Long is learning every day just how things can change in an instant in the NFL.

    Bears rookie Long getting an education

    Rookie Kyle Long thought he knew what “any given Sunday’’ meant before he played a down in the NFL, but he’s getting quite the education in what has become a minute-to-minute league.

    New White Sox third baseman Matt Davidson says he is blessed to have a team that wants him in its plans.

    Davidson eager to be part of White Sox’ young core

    New third baseman Matt Davidson is hardly a finished product, but he has a promising upside and is anxious to launch a long run of success with the White Sox.

    Tom Thibodeau, left, said that Kirk Hinrich (back) is “feeling better” but the Bulls’ guard is questionable at best for Wednesday’s game in Houston.

    Hinrich improving but status for tonight murky

    Kirk Hinrich's status for Wednesday's game remains doubtful. He's missed the last two contests with a sore back. Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau declined to name a potential replacement starter, but newcomer D.J. Augustin appears ready for an enhanced role.

    Laura Stoecker/lstoecker@dailyherald.com Images from the St. Charles East vs. Geneva boys basketball game Friday, December 13, 2013.

    St. Charles East stays in River race

    If there was a team in dire need of a good weekend, it was St. Charles East. The schedule makers didn’t do the Saints any favors this year. Not only did they open Upstate Eight Conference River Division play with three straight road games, those three were against perhaps the three toughest opponents — Larkin, St. Charles North and Geneva.

    FILE - In this Dec. 7, 2013 file photo, Ohio State head coach Urban Meyer hangs his head on the sidelines in the second half of a 32-24 loss to Michigan State in the Big Ten Conference championship NCAA college football game in Indianapolis. Meyer believes he has matured in his 12 years as a head coach. An admitted "awful loser," he doesn't beat himself up after defeats and he doesn't listen to critics or outside opinions. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy, File)

    Ohio State’s Meyer concedes he’s ‘awful loser’

    Losing has never come easy for Urban Meyer.Since he was a kid playing baseball, football and basketball back in Ashtabula, Ohio, Meyer could handle the pain, the long workouts and the criticism.But the losses lingered and hurt.Now that he’s the head football coach at Ohio State, things haven’t changed.“I’ve never, no, I’ve never handled it well. Awful loser."


    Yankees hit with $28M luxury tax

    The New York Yankees were hit with a $28 million luxury tax bill, pushing their total past the $250 million mark since the penalty began in 2003. According to Major League Baseball calculations sent to teams Tuesday, the Los Angeles Dodgers are the only other team that exceeded the tax threshold this year and must pay $11.4 million.

    When it come to scoring close to the basket (5 feet or less), the Bulls ranks last in the league in shooting percent, according to NBA stats.

    Powerful West teams await slumping Bulls

    The Bulls can't win close games against Eastern Conference competition and are the worst in the league when it comes to making layups. So a road trip to play Houston and Oklahoma City on back-to-back nights figures to be a difficult task.

    Elgin’s Desmond Sanders is fouled by Burlington-Central’s Sean Fitzgerald Tuesday in Elgin.

    Images: Daily Herald prep photos of the week
    The Daily Herald Prep Photos of the Week gallery includes the best high school sports images by our photographers featuring boys basketball, wrestling, gymnastics and girls basketball.


    Game video: Maine West vs. Glenbrook North
    Maine West takes on Glenbrook North in boys basketball action Tuesday night. Follow the game here with video from High School Cube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

    With their fans cheering in the background, Batavia players celebrate their Class 6A football championship at Huskie Stadium in DeKalb on Nov. 30

    IHSA football championships drew nearly 30,000

    Organizers of this year’s high school football state finals say the two-day event drew nearly 30,000 fans to DeKalb and Northern Illinois University’s football stadium, topping last year's numbers at the title games in Champaign.

    Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford walks off the field after Baltimore Ravens free safety Matt Elam intercepted his pass with less than a minute to play Monday night. Detroit's loss gave control of the division to the first-place Bears with two games to play.

    Bears in control of playoff destiny

    Win out and the Bears are in the playoffs. But it won't be easy with the Packers just a half-game back and the Lions still not dead despite Monday night's loss. The Bears cannot make the playoffs as a wild-card team.

    Erin Blair, 32, a Lisle native and health teacher in Carpentersville, will be heading to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi to referee women's hockey. She was selected for the Olympics based, in part, on her performances at international women's hockey tournaments.

    Bloomingdale woman to take the ice as Olympic referee

    Erin Blair, 32, has spent a large chunk of her life training for the Winter Olympics. In February, the Bloomingdale resident will take the ice in Sochi — as a referee — with the greatest women's hockey players in the world. “It's something I've been working towards for a long time and there are so many people in the system who want what I want — there were never any guarantees,” Blair said.

    Mike North says he's seen enough of Jay Cutler and believes the Bears should start Josh McCown (12) for the next two seasons and draft a young quarterback for the future next spring.

    Cutler not worth the big bucks

    With Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s average performance this season, can the Bears justify giving him a long term contract? Mike North doesn't think so.

    Keith Magnuson did his best to protect other Blackhawks players.

    Blackhawks’ Magnuson: A legend on and off the ice

    Ten years ago, the Blackhawks family was rocked by the death of Keith Magnuson. Energetic, feisty and a little bit gullible, Magnuson served as player, coach and unofficial ambassador until the day he passed. His most indelible mark may have been left on the Chicago community, whether he was showing kindness to complete strangers or helping a neighbor’s sick child.


    Agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland Company will open its new global headquarters in Chicago. That's according to two people with knowledge of the decision. They say the company plans to announce the move Wednesday. The two people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak before the official announcement is made.

    ADM to move headquarters to Chicago

    Archer Daniels Midland Company announced Wednesday it is moving its global headquarters to Chicago, but said the agribusiness giant could still set up a new technology center in another state after failing to win millions in tax breaks.

    A destitute man sleeps on the sidewalk under a holiday window at Blanc de Chine in New York. The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t bad just for individuals it’s hurting the U.S. economy says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed in December 2013 by The Associated Press.

    AP survey: U.S. income gap is holding back economy

    The growing gap between the richest Americans and everyone else isn’t bad just for individuals. It’s hurting the U.S. economy. So says a majority of more than three dozen economists surveyed last week by The Associated Press.

    “This bipartisan bill takes the first steps toward rebuilding our broken budget process. And hopefully, toward rebuilding our broken Congress,” said Budget Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., who negotiated the measure with House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

    Year-end agreement: Budget heads to final passage

    Year-end legislation to ease Congress’ chronic budget brinkmanship and soften across-the-board spending cuts moved to the cusp of final passage Tuesday, a rare display of Senate bipartisanship that masked strong Republican complaints about slicing into military retirement benefits. The measure is expected to clear the Senate and go to President Barack Obama for his signature on Wednesday.

    Stocks fell on Tuesday, following Monday’s rally for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, before Federal Reserve policy makers announce plans for their monthly bond-buying program on Wednesday.

    Stocks slip as Fed starts stimulus discussion

    Nobody wanted to stick their neck out on Tuesday. The stock market edged slightly lower as the Federal Reserve started a two-day policy meeting that may herald the beginning of the end for its economic stimulus.

    A nutrition label on a can of soda is seen here. As people pay closer attention to what they eat, companies are learning that funny-sounding chemicals and other ingredients can be a bullseye for criticism from online petitions and food bloggers. While companies stand by the safety of such ingredients, some are nevertheless removing them to stave off bad publicity.

    As food labels get closer look, ingredients vanish

    As Americans pay closer attention to what they eat, food and beverage companies are learning that unfamiliar ingredients can invite criticism from online petitions and bloggers. The risk of damaging publicity has proven serious enough that some manufacturers have reformulated top-selling products to remove mysterious, unpronounceable components that could draw suspicion.

    Facebook said Tuesday that it’s testing video advertisements that show up in its users’ news feeds, creating another potential source of advertising revenue for the social network. Under the current plan, the advertisements automatically start playing without sound when they appear.

    Facebook testing video advertisements

    Investors are giving a thumbs-up to the idea of Facebook making hundreds of millions in new revenue from video advertisements, but some users argue that the social network is already too cluttered and has become more about commercialism than communing with friends.


    Rolling Meadows Chamber moving this week

    Phones for the Rolling Meadows Chamber of commerce may be down through this week as the business group moves to a new office. As of Friday, Dec. 20, the chamber will be at 3601 Algonquin Road, Suite 322. It’s moving 2775 W. Algonquin Road.

    Illinois State Police will only accept online applications from people who want new concealed carry permits.

    Concealed carry applications to be only online

    Illinois State Police will only accept online applications from people who want new concealed carry permits. And that's concerning for one Illinois lawmaker who was the chief sponsor of the state's new gun law, according to the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers. “We want the ability to have a choice,” said state Rep. Brandon Phelps, a Harrisburg Democrat.

    Janet Humpal, right, buys Mega Millions lottery tickets from cashier Brittany Beardon at the Bi Rite market in Olmsted Township, Ohio.

    Why do lottery players think they can defy odds?

    It’s the ultimate fantasy: Walk into a store, plunk down a dollar, and with nothing but luck — really extraordinary luck — you win a giant lottery. Suddenly, you’re rich as a sultan with enough money to buy an NBA team or your own island. The odds of that happening, of course, are astronomical. But tell that to the optimists and dreamers across the country who lined up in a last-minute buying frenzy ahead of Tuesday night’s Mega Millions drawing.


    Horizon Pharma to be added to Nasdaq index

    Deerfield-baseed Horizon Pharma has been selected for addition to the Nasdaq Biotechnology Index effective Monday. The Nasdaq Biotechnology Index is designed to track the performance of a set of Nasdaq-listed securities classified according to the Industry Classification Benchmark as either Biotechnology or Pharmaceuticals.

    David E. Knopp

    Amalgamated Bank names Knopp president

    David E. Knopp has been named president of Amalgamated Bank of Chicago, replacing Robert M. Wrobel, who will continue s chairman and chief executive officer, the bank announced today.


    Lawsuit aimed at FutureGen pollution standards

    The Sierra Club has filed a federal lawsuit aimed at tightening the pollution controls planned for the FutureGen clean-coal project. The environmental group argues In the lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court in Springfield that the project needs to meet tougher standards for preventing the release of pollutants into the air.

    Menards is recalling 1,800 pre-lit artificial Christmas trees because the lights may overheat, start a fire or cause an electric shock.

    Menards recalls Christmas trees due to fire risk

    Menards is recalling 1,800 pre-lit artificial Christmas trees because the lights may overheat, start a fire or cause an electric shock. The artificial trees were sold for about $300 exclusively at Menards stores between September and November.


    Boeing boosts stock buyback plan by $10 billion

    Chicago-based Boeing Co. said Monday that its board of directors approved a $10 billion increase in its stock buyback program. The aircraft maker will also raise its quarterly dividend payment by about 50 percent. Chairman and CEO Jim McNerney said the moves reflect its operational performance, increasing cash flow and confidence in the future.

    Dawn Ultra antibacterial soap in a kitchen in Chicago. The Food and Drug Administration says there is no evidence that antibacterial chemicals used in liquid soaps and washes help prevent the spread of germs, and there is some evidence they may pose health risks.

    FDA: Anti-bacterial soaps may not curb bacteria

    After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.


    Judge: Paint companies to pay Calif. cities $1.1 billion

    Paint companies have been ordered to pay $1.1 billion to 10 California cities and counties so that lead can be safely removed from millions of older homes. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Kleinberg found that Conagra Grocery Products Co., NL Industries Inc. and the Sherwin-Williams Co. marketed paint they knew was harmful to children. Atlantic Richfield Co. and DuPont Co. were found not liable.


    Ex-budget director appointed to Illinois finance panel

    Gov. Pat Quinn has named his former budget director to the Illinois Finance Authority. David Vaught takes over the expenses-only board position from William Barclay, who resigned. The appointment expires in July.


    Obama to meet with tech CEOs amid NSA concerns

    President Barack Obama is meeting Tuesday with executives from leading technology companies, including Google, Twitter and Apple. The White House says the meeting will focus on efforts to repair the Obama administration’s HealthCare.gov website and reform government information technology.


    Fla. man gets 6 years in NY Facebook share case

    A 71-year-old Florida investment adviser and onetime Oregon gubernatorial candidate cried as he apologized Monday before being sentenced to six years in prison in a $13 million securities fraud scheme that prosecutors say capitalized on enthusiasm for shares of Facebook and other Internet companies about to go public.

    Michael Jordan’s 56,000-square foot home in Highland Park failed to sell at auction after the bidding fell short. Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy says nobody offered the reserve price of $13 million for the seven-acre estate in north of Chicago.

    Michael Jordan estate fails to sell at auction

    Michael Jordan’s 56,000-square foot home in Highland Park failed to sell at auction after the bidding fell short. Jordan spokeswoman Estee Portnoy says nobody offered the reserve price of $13 million for the seven-acre estate in north of Chicago.

    East Dundee agreed to help Bandito Barney’s Beach Club and Bordello with an expansion project that aims to extend the beer garden season, grow its building and cut down on noise from live bands. The village is contributing $300,000 toward the $1.1 million project out of money from a tax-increment finance district. The projects are scheduled for completion next year.

    E. Dundee helping Bandito Barney’s local bar expand

    East Dundee officials decided Monday night to help a long-standing business with a pair of its expansion projects, one that will more than double the facility and another that will extend its beer garden season.“That’s where our money is,” said Roger Shelton, president of Big Kahuna Corporation, which owns the bar.

Life & Entertainment

    Melissa Wieland shares her version of a Sashimi Napoleon in a cookbook she compiled for her family.

    Sashimi Napoleon
    Sashimi Napolean: Melissa Weiland

    Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) takes the graveyard shift at a 24-hour news station in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.”

    Ferrell’s back in silly ‘Anchorman 2’

    “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” the sequel to the 2004 comedy that introduced the fatuous, substance-free news reader played by Will Ferrell, possesses all of the boneheaded gags and inspired lunacy of the original, as well as swaths of dull, frankly unfunny material. But buried inside this grab bag of hits and misses is a pretty good point about the descent of television news into a miasma of 24/7 speculation, fluff and, most of all, hype.

    Mushrooms stuffed with a cheesy mixture and topped with buttered crumbs is a favorite holiday appetizer in the Kazmier house.

    BJ’s Best Ever Stuffed Mushrooms
    Best Ever Stuffed Mushrooms:Penny Kazmier

    Dave Grohl, left, poses with Nirvana bandmate Krist Novoselic at the premiere of the documentary film “Sound City,” in Los Angeles. Nirvana will be inducted into the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on April 10 at the Barclays Center in New York.

    Nirvana, Kiss, Peter Gabriel headed to Rock Hall

    Nirvana, Kiss and Peter Gabriel will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year. The Rock Hall announced Tuesday that Hall and Oates, Linda Ronstadt and Cat Stevens also will be inducted April 10 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Nirvana won a nomination in its first year of eligibility and next year the band will celebrate the 25th anniversary of its debut, “Bleach.” The induction comes 20 years after frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide at age 27.


    Leaving is the right choice in volatile situation

    Reader says he needs to leave when fighting with his girlfriend to put some space between them. She constantly blocks him from going, so he broke it off to avoid further volatile situations. Carolyn Hax says he did the right thing.

    When the weather turns cold turn to bourbon cocktails like Juicy Dreams, from left, Bourbon Orchard and Rooted and Brewed to warm you up.

    From classic to contemporary, bourbon cocktails heat up chilly nights

    Bourbon is hot. And I’m not just talking about when it’s poured into hot toddies or steamy Irish coffees. I’m talking bourbon as a spirits category. In 2012, nearly 17 million 9-liter cases of bourbon were sold in the United States, generating more than $2.2 billion in revenue for distillers, according to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States. While the strongest growth might be at the high end of the market, there’s a strong market for small-batch bourbon. “Bourbon is hot because bourbon is delicious,” says Paul Hletko, founder and master distiller at FEW in Evanston.

    Melissa Wieland often returns to her parents’ South Barrington home to cook recipes she collected for a family cookbook.

    Cook of the Week: Collecting family recipes a delicious pursuit

    Melissa Wieland loves to cook with her family, whether they’re planning a buffet of appetizers or an Italian feast. And like many cooks, Melissa turns to her favorite cookbook. What makes this cookbook special is that it features recipes shared by her family members far and wide, and she compiled it herself. “It’s great to be able to cook these recipes and just to look through them with family,” said Melissa, a Barrington High School graduate now working as a nurse and living in Chicago.


    Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting
    Chocolate Chip Brownies with Cream Cheese Frosting: Melissa Weiland


    Crown Roast of Pork with Mushroom and Broccoli Stuffing
    Crown Roast of Pork with Mushrooms and Broccoli Stuffing: Melissa Weiland

    “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kearns Goodwin is a dense but absorbing read.

    Book on Roosevelt, Taft offers lessons, wild tales

    In her beautiful new account of the lives of Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft, historian Doris Kearns Goodwin spins a tale so gripping that one questions the need for fiction when real life is so plump with drama and intrigue. “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” takes readers from cradle to grave of these men who led the nation during a pivotal time.

    Tampiquena, cilantro-marinated outer skirt steak, is one of the featured items at Mia’s Cantina restaurant in Mount Prospect. Try it with a Mia’s Mojito, left, or a Pinarita.

    Friendly service, fine fare at Mia’s Cantina in Mount Prospect

    Looking for fab fish tacos, marvelous skirt steak and kicked-up margaritas as well as outstanding service, affordable prices and a casual atmosphere? Look no further than Mia’s Cantina in Mount Prospect. While Mia’s menu isn’t groundbreaking, familiar dishes are crafted with high-quality ingredients and fresh produce (from the farmers market when in season).

    The corky ridges of the hackberry’s bark have a subtle beauty, with crisp areas of light and shadow evocative of photographs of the lunar landscape.

    Hackberry’s worth a second look

    With many trees and shrubs now bereft of leaves and flowers, more subtle aspects of the landscape come into focus. A tree that many people hardly notice captures my full attention — specifically, its bark. Hackberry bark will not stop you in your tracks, but it possesses a subtle beauty. You have to recognize the bark, then stop and really look at it. Plus, it bears a delectable fruit that tastes like a date.

    Bubbly and bourbon combine for one Bloody Good Punch. “Winter Cocktails” author Maria Del Mar Sacasa suggests using a less expensive sparkler, like cava or prosecco.

    Bloody Good Punch
    Bloody Good Punch

    Sweet pineapple plays off bacon-infused bourbon in this savory Golden Hog cocktail.

    Golden Hog
    Golden Hog

    At prasino, mixologist Todd Ekis mixes bourbon and bitters into a drink he calls Clean Break.

    Clean Break
    Clean Break


    Cherry Jam-Hattan


    Juicy Dreams
    Juicy Dreams


    Rooted and Brewed
    Rooted and Brewed


    Bourbon Orchard
    Bourbon Orchard

    This Oct. 28, 2013 photo shows an old fashioned cocktail in Concord, N.H. The drink is made with bourbon, orange bitters and Angostora bitters. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    Nick’s Old Fashioned
    Nick's Old Fashioned

    When it comes to “play,” not all parents do a happy dance, says Silvana Clark, who lives in Seattle and has written a dozen primarily family-focused books. But like it or not, the bigger question, she said, is whether parents have forgotten how to play altogether in these stressed-out, overbooked times, when dropping kids off at classes or other structured activities prevails, along with loads of time-eating homework.

    What happens when parents don’t like to play?

    Silvana Clark spent 10 years as a parks and recreation supervisor for the city of Bellingham, Wash., yet when it came time to raise children, there were certain things she just didn’t love to play. But there were countless other things Clark and her husband enjoyed, like making homemade Play-Doh or pushing the girls on a rope swing. When it comes to “play,” parents should not feel honor-bound to participate in exactly what their kids want to do, said Clark.

    Donny and Marie Osmond return with their Donnie & Marie Christmas Tour at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont.

    Best bets: Donny & Marie share Christmas cheer at Allstate

    Need a holiday pick-me-up? Then don't miss Donny and Marie Osmond's one-night-only return Friday in the Donny & Marie Christmas Tour at the Allstate Arena in Rosemont. Actress Karolyn Grimes, Zuzu in “It's a Wonderful Life,” returns to sign autographs before special screenings of the classic 1940s Frank Capra holiday film in Woodridge and Naperville this weekend. Plus, the Ruth Page Civic Ballet performs "The Nutcracker" this weekend at CLC in Grayslake.

    A ski instructor coaches Alex Faerber on technique at a skiing class for young children at California’s Mammoth Mountain. To help Alex master the basics, the then-4-year-old got professional instruction at Mammoth.

    Teaching young skiers: Keep the focus on fun

    I was determined to share my love of skiing with my son, but wondered if I was pushing it when I put him on the slopes at age 3. And since we live far from snowy mountains, I worried we wouldn’t get out often enough for it to take. But at 4, he showed mastery of the basics, and at 5, he can’t wait to go back. For other parents out there wondering how to ignite a love of skiing in little ones, here are some tips on what worked for us. First off, the kid is in charge. If he or she doesn’t want to learn, there is no amount of coaxing, bribing, pushing or fooling them into doing it.



    Editorial: Strengthen data used to make gun rules

    A Daily Herald editorial says improvements must be made in the data used as the foundation for policy decisions on guns in Illinois.


    The Central African Republic needs our help

    Columnist Michael Gerson: Americans and their representatives in Congress are often skeptical of peacekeeping operations and reluctant to fund them. But the argument in their favor is this: They promote stability, serve our interests and save innocent lives without sending in the Marines.


    Picking fights over religion

    Columnist Gene Lyons: “We have just enough religion to make us hate,” wrote Jonathan Swift, “but not enough to make us love one another.” A lifelong religious controversialist, the 18th-century Irish satirist definitely knew whereof he wrote. After all, it’s fewer than 20 years since Protestants and Catholics in Northern Ireland quit dynamiting each other’s gathering places.


    Remember the true origin of Christmas
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: For many people Christmas has become just a holiday with decorations, parties and gifts. How sad that that is their complete focus. Christmas is truly the celebration of the birth of Christ!


    Tea Party position on unemployment half-baked
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Sen. Rand Paul, a Tea Party Favorite, said he supports 26 weeks of unemployment insurance but not more because extending the benefits would be an injustice to the longtime unemployed. He points to a study that employers stated they would hire someone out of work for four weeks over someone out of work for more than 26 weeks. Forget that fact that the average unemployed worker has been out of a job for almost 38 weeks already.


    Why are judges’ pensions exempt from reform?
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Please look into this matter because the judges are also state employees. Remember, we paid into our pension plan every two weeks. Madigan and the legislature squanderd our money and skipped the yearly pension payments over the last 30 years.


    Join pope in being nonjudgmental
    An Elgin letter to the editor: So Bishop Paprocki has exorcised the devil — maybe now, without the devil around, he can join Pope Francis in not judging how people choose to love each other.


    Next step: Raise minimum wage
    A Crystal Lake letter to the editor: Finally, legislators did something about the debt in Illinois. Too bad the judges weren’t included. I guess some of them would have to go on food stamps, and HUD housing. Instead of a new Lexus or better a Ford or Chevy.


    Tell post office of holiday ‘oversight’
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Did anyone else notice what was missing on the “holiday stamps” posters displayed in the post office this year? There was a Kwanzaa stamp, a Hannukah stamp, a gingerbread house stamp and a poinsettia stamp. Even though you could get them if you asked, there was no Christmas stamp featured on the poster.


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