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Daily Archive : Wednesday December 18, 2013

News

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    Chicago radio personality Larry Lujack in 1982.

    'Animal Stories' radio legend Larry 'Uncle Lar' Lujack dies

    Radio legend Larry Lujack died Wednesday of esophageal cancer. Lujack, who previously lived in Palatine, died in New Mexico. Long before WLS 890-AM became a conservative talk show station, Lujack ruled the airwaves at the Big 89, the Rock of Chicago, along with Tommy Edwards and their Animal Stories.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars stole $100,000 worth of items from a foreclosed home in Des Plaines, including a washing machine, dryer, laundry room wash tub, bathroom tub, dishwasher, refrigerator, island stove top, oven, a microwave, all cabinetry, sinks and water fixtures.

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    Michael Divincenzo

    Ex-player: Maine West soccer coach told team to ‘stop the horseplay’

    A former Maine West High School soccer player testified Wednesday that his varsity teammates openly talked in front of then-coach Michael Divincenzo about hazing younger players, and his own hazing experience brought him “closer to the family.” How closely Divincenzo was paying attention to those conversations is a key disagreement.

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    Two people are dead and three people are injured, including one seriously, after a Wednesday morning house fire on the 1200 block of Field Court in Naperville.

    Naperville neighbors mourn couple killed in house fire

    Residents of a Naperville neighborhood are mourning the deaths of two neighbors who died Wednesday morning when fire swept through a house on the 1200 block of Field Court. Three others were injured in the blaze. “To be honest, I never knew them until Tom got sick,” one neighbor said about one of the victims. “What a shame, but he was living his life.”

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    New Schaumburg Police Chief James Lamkin was sworn into office this week by Village Clerk Marilyn Karr as his family looked on. Lamkin, who comes to Schaumburg after a decade as St. Charles’ police chief, officially assumes his duties Dec. 30.

    Lamkin sworn in as new Schaumburg police chief

    New Schaumburg Police Chief James Lamkin was sworn into office this week, along with five veteran officers recently promoted to higher ranks. Lamkin, who joins Schaumburg after serving the past 10 years as police chief in St. Charles, officially assumes his duties Dec. 30, replacing Interim Chief Ken Bouche.

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    Illinois officials say anyone who believes they were referred to Medicaid by mistake should start again at the Get Covered Illinois online screening tool.

    Thousands told to start over on health insurance

    Illinois officials are emailing and calling thousands of people, advising them to start over on their health insurance applications if they believe the federal government mistakenly referred them to Medicaid.

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    The health insurance industry says consumers will get an extra 10 days to pay their first month’s premium under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.

    Insurers allow more time to pay under health law
    The nation’s health insurance industry decided Wednesday to extend the deadline until Jan. 10 for Americans to pay for coverage that starts on New Year’s Day, as enrollment through the new federal and state insurance marketplaces appears to be surging.

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    A presidential advisory panel has recommended dozens of changes to the government’s surveillance programs, including stripping the NSA of its ability to store Americans’ telephone records and requiring a court to sign off on the individual searches of phone and Internet data.

    White House task force urges limit on NSA snooping

    A presidential advisory panel has recommended sweeping changes to government surveillance programs, including limiting the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records by stripping the National Security Agency of its ability to store that data in its own facilities. Court orders would be required before the information could be searched.

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    Actor Tom Hiddleston stars as Coriolanus in William Shakespeare’s play, being performed at The Donmar warehouse in London.

    Hiddleston wows critics in London ‘Coriolanus’

    The Independent newspaper praised Tom Hiddleston’s “blazing stellar power,” while the Daily Telegraph found the 32-year-old actor “compelling and persuasive” as “a lean, mean killing machine.”

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    A walker in Episode 16, “Welcome to the Tombs,” from Season 3 of the TV series,

    ’Walking Dead’ creator sues AMC over profits

    The lawsuit alleges that AMC decided to produce the series in-house and paid itself a deliberately low license fee to air it, engaging in what the suit labels “the improper and abusive practice of ‘self-dealing.”’

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    Owner Young Soolee, left, is congratulated by regular customer Dawn Palmerat her small Alliance Center office bulding newsstand on Wednesday in Atlanta after lottery officials said one of two winning Mega Millions lottery tickets were purchased from her store in Tuesday’s $636 million drawing. The store owner said she sold 1,300 lottery tickets on Tuesday rather than the normal sales of about 100 tickets.

    Ga. woman has 1 of 2 winning lottery tickets

    A Georgia woman who bought just one ticket and used family birthdays and lucky No. 7 to choose her numbers was one of two winners of the $636 million Mega Millions jackpot, the second-largest in U.S. history.

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    Once-stolen Stradivarius sells for $2.3 million

    LONDON — An antique Stradivarius violin that was stolen from its owner at a London railway station in 2010 has fetched almost $2.3 million at auction.The instrument was snatched outside Euston Station in November 2010 while South Korean musician Min-Jin Kym was getting a snack.

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    Man sentenced for crash that led to Huntley woman’s death

    A semitrailer truck driver who plowed into the car in front of him on Route 53 and seriously injured a Huntley woman, who later died from her injuries, pleaded guilty Wednesday to aggravated driving under the influence of cannabis resulting in a death.

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    David Regner

    Former state lawmaker David Regner dies

    Former Republican state lawmaker and Palatine Township supervisor David Regner died Tuesday. Regner was 82 and battling a rare form of skin cancer. After losing two wives to cancer, Regner in 2011 donated more than $100,000 to Northwest Community Hospital to help pay for renovations to make waiting rooms more welcoming.

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    Leanne Redden

    RTA names interim chief in wake of allegations

    Regional Transportation Authority leaders say it's a new day with the appointment of senior planner Leanne Redden as acting executive director Wednesday but questions are swirling about the recent past following a troubling report on improprieties.

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    Grayslake market finale:

    Grayslake Farmers Market will wrap up its 37-week season Saturday. It’ll run from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Center Streer in downtown Grayslake.

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    IDOT website helps drivers:

    The Illinois Department of Transportation’s Getting Around Illinois website provides the latest on winter driving conditions, ongoing road construction, traffic volumes on state routes and the status of future projects.

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    Carmel car raffle:

    Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein will host its first new car raffle as part of its annual Street Scenes fundraiser on Feb. 14 and 15.

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    Two people were injured Wednesday in a fire that destroyed this house on the 900 block of Garfield Avenue in Aurora.

    18-year-old helps save two from Aurora house fire

    Two people were taken to hospitals after a Wednesday morning fire destroyed a house on the 900 block of Garfield Avenue in Aurora. Authorities said a 51-year-old man and a 50-year-old woman were rescued from an upper porch at the rear of the home by three Aurora police officers and an 18-year-old neighbor who used a ladder found in the rear yard.

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    Woodland Elementary West third-grader Gitane Napier reads a story she wrote to Sunrise Assisted Living resident Juliette McCann. Gitane presented McCann with the story and a hand-painted portrait.

    Woodland students give portraits, smiles to Sunrise residents

    Woodland Elementary West third-grade students drew plenty of smiles after presenting their hand-painted portraits to residents of Sunrise Assisted Living in Gurnee Wednesday morning.

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    Arthur Manning

    Ex-carnival worker again found guilty of killing St. Charles man

    A Kane County jury convicted a former carnival worker Wednesday in the September 2008 fatal stabbing of a 28-year-old St. Charles man. Arthur Manning, 62, was convicted and sentenced to 29 years in prison for killing Naromi Mannery, but an appellate court overturned the verdict because the jury was instructed not to consider self defense in their deliberations. Three other men, including...

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    Lake Park pool plan to appear on March ballot

    Another attempt will be made to sell voters on the idea of building an indoor swimming pool at Lake Park High School. It’s an effort that dates back to at least 1997, and will be the second time in a year voters have been asked to chip in for a pool, estimated to cost $8.5 million to build and #380,000 a year to operate it.

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    Skokie man gets 6 years for Schaumburg robberies

    A Skokie man charged in several Schaumburg hold-ups last summer involving cell phones pleaded guilty Wednesday, court records show. Jay V. Dixon, 26, pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and was sentenced to six years in prison with credit for 689 days he has spent in custody.

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    Prison official with 24 arrests put on leave

    An Illinois prison official who’s been arrested as many as two dozen times and was alleged to have been affiliated with a gang has been suspended from his $111,400-a-year job, an official said Wednesday.

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    Robert Friedberg

    Glen Ellyn village trustee resigns

    Glen Ellyn Village Trustee Robert Friedberg has announced his resignation from the board, effective immediately. Friedberg has accepted a JOB out of state.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn has championed term limits in the past.

    Governor shies away from committing to a term limit

    Gov. Pat Quinn says the best way to implement term limits is for lawmakers to first pass a law that would create an “even playing field.”

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    Quinn wants higher minimum wage by Christmas 2014

    Gov. Pat Quinn says he wants to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to at least $10 by Christmas of next year, up from $8.25. The Chicago Democrat who’s seeking re-election campaigned on the issue in 2010 and mentioned it during his annual address this year.

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    Rosco poses with his family, getting a hug from Madison Pritchard, 10, in their Mellott, Ind., home on Wednesday. He had been lost during a recent tornado.

    Family reunites with dog a month after tornado

    Members of an Indiana family were reunited Wednesday with their dog a month after he vanished in the aftermath of a tornado and was adopted by another family.

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    Probation for Palatine granddaughter who stole from grandmother

    A 44-year-old Palatine woman pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing money from her 98-year-old grandmother. Jennifer Curtis was sentenced to 30 months probation and ordered to pay $617 fines.

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    The International Space Station

    Illini grad to go for a walk in space

    A University of Illinois graduate who is an astronaut on the International Space Station is scheduled to walk in space to make repairs to a pump with a bad valve.

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    This rendering depicts the proposed Centegra Hospital-Huntley that would house 128 beds, a women’s center and an emergency department. The $233 million, 360,000-square-foot facility would go up on Haligus Road, between Algonquin and Reed roads.

    Huntley board to review final plans for hospital Thursday

    The Huntley village board is expected to review final plans Thursday night for Centegra Health System’s proposed $233 million hospital. The 360,000-square-foot facility would house 128 beds, a women’s center and an emergency department at the northeast corner of Algonquin and Haligus roads, near Reed Road. Centegra currently operates an outpatient health center and a fitness center there.

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    City ordered to rehire domestic violence victim

    The city of Chicago has been ordered to rehire a budget analyst fired for violating the city’s residency requirement after an abusive boyfriend forced her from her Chicago home.

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    Gas station owners protest Mount Prospect motor fuel tax hike

    Gas station owners appeared before the Mount Prospect village board Tuesday protesting trustees’ decision to double the village’s motor fuel tax next year to raise money for road maintenance. The owners said the hike — increasing the tax from 2 cents to 4 cents a gallon as of Jan. 1 — would be a burden to their businesses and make them less competitive with stations in neighboring suburbs.

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    Aurora police search for home invasion suspects

    Three men held a 13-year-old boy in an Aurora home Wednesday morning, stealing jewelry in a home invasion and armed robbery, police said.

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    Cancer genetics pioneer dies at 88

    Dr. Janet Rowley, a pioneer in cancer genetics research, has died at age 88. Rowley spent most of her career at the University of Chicago, where she also obtained her medical degree.

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    The Mount Prospect Park District is back to the drawing board with a key part of its $6 million plan to renovate the Mount Prospect Golf Club. Village officials Tuesday night failed to approve the district’s request for a zoning variance that would allow it to install a 75-foot-tall net as part of a new driving range.

    Mount Prospect Golf Club 75-foot driving range net rejected

    The Mount Prospect Park District failed to win village board support Tuesday for a proposed 75-foot-tall net for its future driving range at the Mount Prospect Golf Club, forcing officials there to decide whether to pursue scheduled renovations without it. Although three of six village trustees, along with Village President Arlene Juracek, voted in favor of the netting, the measure failed to win...

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    These construction work barricades, seen looking west Wednesday on Golf Road at New Wilke Road in Rolling Meadows, should be gone in the next few days, to the joy of area motorists.

    Reopening of Golf/New Wilke intersection just days away

    The reopening of all lanes of traffic at the intersection of Golf and New Wilke roads in Rolling Meadows could come any day now. City officials say that some striping work is all that remains to be done there, and that it will be completed as soon as the weather permits. “It was a big pain,” Rolling Meadows Public Works Director Fred Vogt said.

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    Members of the Lombard Fire Department recently delivered donations to Washington, Ill., to help those who were affected by a November tornado. The donations were gathered for more than two weeks by the village and the International Village apartments.

    Lombard donations help tornado-ravaged area

    For more than two weeks, the Lombard fire department and the International Village apartments in Lombard worked together to collect items to help a central Illinois community impacted by a tornado in November. Last Thursday, the donations were finally delivered to a Washington respite center, where they will be distributed to people in need.

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    Jim Conrey

    Stevenson High School may borrow $25 million for projects

    Stevenson High school officials are pursuing a $25 million loan to fund renovations and other projects at the Lincolnshire campus over the next three years.

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    Crystal Lake South High School installed bleachers this summer without the city’s approval. Residents who live on Amberwood Drive see the stands loom over their backyards.

    Judge: Crystal Lake South High School bleacher expansion broke law

    A McHenry County judge Wednesday ruled that Community Unit School District 155 officials broke the law this summer during a $1.2 million bleacher expansion at Crystal Lake South High School. Residents, including McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi, sued the district, arguing it failed to receive permission from the city before building.

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    A boom lift is lowered onto its wheels Wednesday after it fell from a truck at the intersection of Route 20 and the Jane Addams Tollway entrance ramp in Hampshire. Traffic access to the tollway was limited to vehicles coming from the west while the accident was cleared.

    Dumped boom lift snarls traffic in Hampshire

    A boom lift falls from a flatbed truck at the intersection of Route 20 and the Jane Addams Tollway entrance ramp Wednesday causing traffic headaches for an hour, but no injuries.

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    Brad is a 4-year-old domestic shorthair gray and white male. He is a little shy at first until he gets to know you.

    Decorating for the holidays can be tricky with felines

    Do you have a feline in residence, and are you dreading putting up the Christmas tree and the rest of the traditional Christmas decorations? If so, here are a few tips to help you - and your tree - survive the holidays.

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    Despite the snowy weather, customers make use of a temporary post office that popped up last Saturday in the parking lot at Rolling Meadows City Hall. The city lost its post office in May 2012.

    Pop-up post office open Saturday in Rolling Meadows

    Rolling Meadows lost its post office in May 2012, but had the benefit of a temporary post office last Saturday, set up to help deal with the holiday rush. The post office will return from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 21.

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    (No heading)
    Tri/Fox photo contest winners of the year

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    New year right time for new start at college

    While starting college in the fall makes sense for many students coming directly from high school, there are distinct advantages to beginning in the spring semester.

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    Dundee Township officials move to new offices

    For Christmas, Dundee Township employees received new offices, new furniture, a new address for their jobs; and residents may receive a break on the property taxes they pay for the open space district.

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    Warren High FBLA members attend leadership conference

    The Warren Township High School chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) participated at the National Fall Leadership Conference held in Cleveland, Ohio, Nov. 15-16.

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    Take steps toward a Christmas miracle

    It’s Christmas time again— a time for dreams, wishes and miracles, says columnist Annettee Budzban.

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    Only half of people who responded to a Pew Research Center poll said they considered Christmas a religious holiday, even though nearly three-quarters said they believed Jesus was born to a virgin. One-third said they viewed Christmas as a cultural celebration.

    Christmas is more cultural than religious for many

    For a significant number of Americans, Christmas has largely lost its religious meaning, becoming an occasion focused instead on visiting family and friends and exchanging gifts, according to a new survey released Wednesday. Only half of people who responded to a Pew Research Center poll said they considered Christmas a religious holiday.

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    A truck drives through a tunnel on Center Street as snow falls on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Phillipsburg, N.J.

    New England digs out after more snow

    Crews worked through the night to clear roads in time for the morning commute Wednesday and school was canceled or starting late for some children across New England after several inches of snow fell.

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    Federal judge to hear Ohio gay marriage fight

    Both sides of a fight over whether gay marriage should be recognized on Ohio death certificates despite a statewide constitutional ban were set to argue their cases in front of a federal judge in Cincinnati.

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    A new study by the Rand Corp. suggests the market for marijuana in Washington state could be more than twice what state officials estimated last year, before voters approved Initiative 502 to set up a regulated system of recreational marijuana sales to adults.

    Study looks at marijuana demand in Washington state

    Figuring out how much marijuana people use has been one of the trickiest, and most important, questions facing the bureaucrats who are setting up Washington state’s new legal pot system. Now, researchers working with the state’s official pot consultant think they have their best look yet at cannabis consumption — aided by a novel survey aimed at figuring out how much the heaviest users of...

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    Wisconsin man accused of killing sister’s kitten

    A Wood County man is accused of breaking into his sister’s home and killing her kitten.A WSAW-TV report says 25-year-old Brian Sentkowski of Nekoosa is charged with mistreating an animal. He’s due in court next month.

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    Downtown Naperville will continue to be home to two mobile food carts, and future vendors will have to apply for permits every two years. Permits for current vendors, Joe Hornbaker of Joey's Red Hot, above, and John Singleton of John's Rib House, will be extended until the end of 2014.

    New downtown Naperville food cart program 'cuts the mustard'

    Naperville City Council members came up with a plan for continuing the city's often-discussed downtown mobile food cart program Monday night, and it's a plan almost all of them agree “cuts the mustard.” Two carts instead of four will be allowed to set up shop in the downtown — one outside the central parking facility on Chicago Avenue and another along the Riverwalk —...

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    Children lay on a worn mattress placed on the floor of the U.S.-based Church of Bible Understanding orphanage in Kenscoff, Haiti. The orphanage is run by a Christian missionary group funded by the Olde Good Things antique store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.

    Haiti censures orphanage run by well-off U.S. church

    The Christian missionary owners of the Olde Good Things antique store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side offer their well-heeled customers a heartwarming story: Part of the proceeds pay for an orphanage in Haiti. What they don’t say is that even though they claim to be spending around $2.5 million annually, the home for boys and girls was so dirty and overcrowded during recent inspections that the...

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    Passengers spell out the word “HELP” aboard the disabled Carnival Lines cruise ship Triumph as it is towed to harbor off Mobile Bay, Ala. Carnival Cruise Lines knew about the risk of leaks from engine fuel hoses and recommended taking precautions on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph, which caught on fire at sea, according to documents filed in recent days.

    Suit: Fire risk known before Carnival ship sailed

    Carnival Cruise Lines knew about the risk of leaks from engine fuel hoses and recommended taking precautions on the ill-fated Carnival Triumph that later caught on fire at sea, according to a lawsuit filed against Carnival Cruise Lines and its parent Carnival Corporation on behalf of dozens of the Triumph’s passengers.

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    Activists shout slogans after burning an effigy of the U.S. to protest against the alleged mistreatment of New York based Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, in Hyderabad, India, Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013.

    India diplomat says she faced cavity search in NYC

    An Indian diplomat said U.S. authorities subjected her to a strip search, cavity search and DNA swabbing following her arrest on visa charges in New York City, despite her “incessant assertions of immunity.” The case has sparked widespread outrage in India and infuriated the government, which revoked privileges for U.S. diplomats to protest her treatment.

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    Egypt’s top prosecutor referred toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to trial Wednesday for conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and others to carry out a campaign of violence in the Sinai Peninsula and beyond to destabilize the country following his ouster.

    Ousted Egypt president to be tried for conspiracy

    Egypt’s top prosecutor referred toppled Islamist President Mohammed Morsi to trial Wednesday for conspiring with the Palestinian group Hamas, Lebanon’s Hezbollah and others to carry out a campaign of violence in the Sinai Peninsula and beyond to destabilize the country following his ouster.

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    Wisconsin wildlife officials say bird watchers are logging another influx of snowy owls from Canada.

    Wisconsin sees influx of snowy owls

    Wisconsin wildlife officials say bird watchers are logging another influx of snowy owls from Canada. Department of Natural Resources officials say about 55 snowy owls have been reported in Wisconsin through Dec. 8. That compares with 30 to 35 owls by same date last year. DNR researchers say the state is on the western edge of a massive irruption of snowy owls from the Great Lakes east to the...

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    Several children injured in Wisconsin fire

    Several children have been taken to the hospital following a house fire in the Milwaukee suburb of Cudahy. WISN-TV reports the children were treated for smoke inhalation at St. Luke’s Hospital and are expected to be OK.

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    Dixon man builds B-17 bomber

    Inside a hangar made of old telephone poles, with a wood-burning stove for heat, Jack Bally has been working on his “obsession.” That obsession, nearly 13 years in the making, is a one-third-scale version of a B-17 G, which Bally hopes will be flyable in 2 years.

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    Man shot on CTA platform

    Chicago Police are investigating the shooting of a man at a Chicago Transit Authority Red Line station in the city’s Uptown neighborhood. Police say that a 20-year-old man was on the platform of the station early Wednesday morning when someone approached him and fired a gun while shouting gang slogans.

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    Uncle Joe's grocery will not open in Rolling Meadows

    Uncle Joe's Tuscan Fresh Market will not be opening in Rolling Meadows in the all but abandoned shopping center that once housed a Dominick's, a chagrined Mayor Tom Rooney announced Tuesday.

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    Joe Costello

    Report: Complaints of racial, sexist comments at RTA 'credible'

    An independent attorney's report details a “toxic” environment at the Regional Transportation Authority where off-color comments and salty language by two top administrators along with fears of political interference are hurting morale. The 2012 report cites confidential testimony from employees about racially offensive language by departing Executive Director Joe Costello and Chief...

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    Dawn Patrol: Puppies removed from apartment; Lynch an all-american

    Mega Millions numbers drawn; Puppies removed from North Chicago apartment; Maine West hazing trial starts; NIU’s Lynch named all-American

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    Special meeting for proposed tax hike in Newport Township

    Registered voters in Newport Township in northeastern Lake County will have a say Wednesday on a proposal to increase taxes for the township road district. The meeting of electors will be held at 6 p.m. at the Wadsworth village hall, 14155 W. Wadsworth Road.

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    Dist. 203 already moving toward Future Focus goals

    Naperville school officials are moving quickly to implement some of the 27 suggestions they received this week from participants in the Future Focus community engagement process. Superintendent Dan Bridges said several initiatives to improve Naperville Unit District 203 already are in the works. “We’re a little impatient,” Bridges said.

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    David Comperda offers his testimony as the plaintiff as students at Geneva High School conduct a mock trial Tuesday for a car crash lawsuit that might have involved alcohol. Local attorney and former Kane County prosecutor, Kim Klein, right, acted as judge.

    Geneva High School students gain praise, pointers at mock trial

    Geneva High School students earned pointers and praise Tuesday after holding a mock lawsuit trial involving a crash between two teenage classmates who may have been drinking. Since 2008, Jennifer Dunlap has made the trial part of her Business Law Class curriculum, with the project amounting to 50 percent of each student’s final grade.

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    Barrington H.S. finals moved before winter break

    Barrington High School students will take final exams three times in 2014, due to the school board’s 4-2 vote Tuesday to move the end of first semester from January to before winter break next school year. Barrington Unit District 220’s final decision to follow the recommendation of a 35-member advisory panel and make the change was no more smooth and unanimous at the end than it was at any other...

Sports

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    Bulls game day
    Bulls vs. Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena, 7 p.m. ThursdayTV/Radio: TNT / ESPN 1000-AMUpdate: The Thunder (20-4) is rolling, with 15 wins in its last 16 games. Kevin Durant leads the league at 28.6 points per game. Russell Westbrook, after getting meniscus cartilage repaired in his knee, is at 21 points and 6.7 assists. James Harden and Kevin Martin are gone, so C Serge Ibaka (14.6 ppg), PG Reggie Jackson (12.0) and SG Jeremy Lamb (9.8) are the supporting scorers. The Bulls have dropped their last three in OKC, losing by 30 points last season.Next: Cleveland Cavaliers at the United Center, 7 p.m. Saturday — Mike McGraw

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    Clippers beat Pelicans 108-95 for 3rd win in a row

    Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan each had a double-double, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 108-95 Wednesday night to give coach Doc Rivers a victory over his son’s team.

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    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau yells to his players during the first half of Wednesday night’s loss to the Rockets.

    Bulls’ struggles continue in loss to Rockets

    With D.J. Augustin getting his first start at point guard, the Bulls struggled on both ends of the court in a 109-94 loss at Houston on Wednesday. Jimmy Butler scored a team-high 20 points after shooting poorly in Monday's loss to Orlando.

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    Thames leads No. 24 SDSU over S. Utah, 76-39

    Xavier Thames scored 16 points and Josh Davis had 13 points and 14 rebounds to lead No. 24 San Diego State to a 76-39 laugher over Southern Utah on Wednesday night.

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    In this Feb. 19, 2013 file photo, Southern Illinois head coach Barry Hinson yells during the second half og an NCAA college basketball game against Creighton, in Omaha, Neb. Hinson lambasted his players after a loss at Murray State, calling them “uncoachable,” a “bunch of mama’s boys” and comparing disciplining his young team to housebreaking a puppy. Hinson was not made available for comment Wednesday morning.

    S. Illinois coach: Players ‘bunch of mama’s boys’

    Southern Illinois coach Barry Hinson regrets singling out one of his players in a postgame diatribe that has gone viral. And that’s about it. After the Salukis’ 73-65 loss at Murray State on Tuesday night, Hinson called his players “uncoachable,” “a bunch of mama’s boys” and compared the disciplining of his young team to housebreaking a puppy. Hinson also called starting point guard Marcus Fillyaw “absolutely awful.”

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    Warren football coach Dave Mohapp has stepped down after 17 seasons and 109 wins, the most in program history.

    Mohapp opts out at Warren

    Dave Mohapp told his Warren football players Monday that he was stepping down. In his 17th season this year, the Blue Devils went 7-4, qualifying for the state playoffs for the second year in a row and 13th time overall. Mohapp wraps up his Warren record with 109 victories and 66 defeats.

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    West Aurora faces another strong field at Pontiac

    During West Aurora’s annual extended stay for the Pontiac Holiday Tournament, West Aurora coach Gordie Kerkman has noticed Simeon’s players are probably the quietest group in the hotel. The three-time defending tournament champions wisely saved their energies for the court.

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

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

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

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

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    No. 12 Baylor beats Northwestern State 91-84 in OT

    Kenny Chery scored 10 of his 20 points in overtime and No. 12 Baylor returned from an extended break with a 91-84 victory over Northwestern State on Wednesday night.

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    Standout effort from Boudreaux, Lake Forest

    Green machine: Lake Forest defeats host Mundelein, 70-59; and it was kind of about the shoes.

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    Lake Zurich's Mike Travlos, middle, drives on Libertyville's, from left, Brian Scanlan, Johnny Vernasco and Matt Reed on Wednesday night at Lake Zurich High School.

    Travlos finds winning trajectory for Lake Zurich

    Mike Travlos was a long way from descending into Hack-a-Shaq territory with his free-throw shooting. But his solid 75-percent accuracy this season was still a slight dip from a year ago. So, the Lake Zurich junior decided to do something about it before Wednesday night's North Suburban Lake boys basketball game with visiting Libertyville. The results were perfect for Travlos as he made all 12 of his free-throw attempts — with 8 in the final 1:23 — en route to a game-high 27 points as the Bears pulled away to a 69-57 victory.

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    No. 10 UConn upset by Stanford 53-51 at home

    Chasson Randle scored 22 points and Stanford handed No. 10 UConn its first loss of the season, 53-51 on Wednesday night. Josh Huestis added 13 points and Dwight Powell had 10 points and 15 rebounds for Stanford (8-2), which overcame a 10-point halftime deficit in earning their first signature win of the season.

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    Grayslake North’s Detweiler nets No. 1,000

    Kendall Detweiler scored the 1,000th point of her career, and Grayslake North’s girls basketball team snapped a three-game losing streak Wednesday night. Detweiler netted 20 points, including a pair of 3-pointers, to lead the Knights to a 45-36 win over visiting Crystal Lake Central in a Fox Valley Fox Division game. The senior guard entered the game 18 points shy of 1,000 for her four-year varsity career.

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    Ginobili, Spurs snap Suns’ 5-game winning streak

    Manu Ginobili scored 11 of his 24 points in the final four-plus minutes, and the San Antonio Spurs pulled away for a 108-101 victory over Phoenix on Wednesday night, snapping the Suns’ five-game winning streak.

  •  
    Pittsburgh Penguins left wing Chris Kunitz (14) scores against New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist (30) through Rangers defensemen Dan Girardi (5) and Michael Del Zotto (4) during the second period of their NHL hockey game on Wednesday in New York.

    Sutter scores lone SO goal, Penguins top Rangers

    Brandon Sutter scored in the third period and then rescued the Penguins with the only goal of the shootout to lift Pittsburgh to a 4-3 victory over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night.

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    Knicks outlast Bucks 107-101 in double OT

    Tyson Chandler returned from injury and J.R. Smith hit a go-ahead jumper in the second overtime and the New York Knicks beat the Milwaukee Bucks 107-101 on Wednesday night.

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    Batavia’s Mackenzie Foster shoots over Marian Catholic’s Kaitlyn Sedor in the first quarter on Wednesday, December 18.

    Defending champs down Batavia

    Batavia knew it was in for a challenge unlike it has seen so far Wednesday night at the Oswego Hoops for Troops Tournament, and Marian Catholic delivered that and then some. The defending Class 4A state champions shot 59 percent from the field while harassing Batavia on the other end to earn a 64-45 victory and a spot in Saturday’s championship game against Neuqua Valley.

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    Nowitzki leads Mavs past depleted Grizzlies 105-88

    Dirk Nowitzki scored 20 points in his return to the lineup and the Dallas Mavericks defeated the short-handed Memphis Grizzlies 105-88 on Wednesday night.

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    Fremd’s Carly DeFilippo competes on the uneven parallel bars during Wednesday’s gymnastics meet at Fremd.

    The arrow’s pointing up for Jensen, Fremd

    Fremd senior Christine Jensen was in total control on Wednesday night. The Vikings senior was sharp from start to finish in leading Fremd’s girls gymnastics team to a key Mid-Suburban West triangular victory with a season-best score of 147.75 in Palatine. Barrington wasn’t too far off pace in securing second place with 143.45 points, followed by Palatine (128.65 points). Jensen sizzled for the host Vikings, winning the all-around (38.05 points) in a complete performance. She took first on balance beam (9.7), tied for first on floor exercise (9.6), added a second place finish on parallel bars (9.35) and also threw in a third-place finish on vault (9.40).

  •  

    Newark nips Aurora Christian by 1

    Newark edged Aurora Christian 47-46 on Wednesday, dropping the Eagles to 7-4.

  •  
    Sofia Colantuono of Glenbard North on the vault during the St. Charles co-op at Glenbard North girls gymnastics meet Wednesday.

    St. Charles co-op defeats Glenbard North

    Rachel Dugan didn’t have to alter her routines and skills to be successful this season. She finished tied for 26th in the all-around as a freshman during last winter’s state finals while helping St. Charles co-op advance to the finals as a team. Rather than be satisfied with her moves and skills from a season ago though, Dugan has added plenty to all four events and she put them on display during St. Charles co-op’s 142.6 to 134.75 victory over Glenbard North on Wednesday in Carol Stream.

  •  

    DePaul defeats Houston Baptist 78-58

    Cleveland Melvin scored a season-high 28 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead DePaul to a 78-58 win Wednesday night over Houston Baptist on the 100th anniversary of the birth of legendary coach Ray Meyer.

  •  

    Love outplays Aldridge to lead Wolves past Blazers

    Kevin Love made an emphatic case for the title of the NBA’s best power forward. Love had 29 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists to outshine LaMarcus Aldridge in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 120-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.

  •  

    N. Illinois rallies; beats Loyola of Chicago 55-49

    Travon Baker scored 14 points as Northern Illinois overcame a 28-14 halftime deficit to beat Loyola of Chicago 55-49 Wednesday night. Darrell Bowie added 13 points and nine rebounds while Dontel Highsmith scored 10. Aaron Armstead chipped in 12 points off the bench.

  •  

    No. 18 Purdue holds off Green Bay 49-45

    KK Houser hit three of four free throws in the final 11 seconds and scored 17 points as No. 18 Purdue escaped with a 49-45 win a Green Bay Wednesday night.

  •  

    Jagr scores No. 693 in Devils’ 5-2 win over Ottawa

    Jaromir Jagr scored his 693rd career goal, Reid Boucher netted his first in the NHL and the New Jersey Devils beat the Ottawa Senators 5-2 Wednesday night.

  •  

    Wall scores 21, Wizards beat Nets 113-107

    John Wall scored 21 points and made two big defensive plays against Deron Williams down the stretch to lead the Washington Wizards to a 113-107 victory over the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night. Nene added 17 points in his return from injury for the Wizards, who completed a New York sweep after a victory over the Knicks on Monday following a four-game losing streak.

  •  
    Batavia's Hannah Frazier attempts to pass around Marian Catholic's Dajhae Mullins in the first quarter.

    Images: Batavia vs. Marian Catholic girls basketball
    Batavia met up with Marian Catholic in a girls basketball matchup in Oswego Wednesday.

  •  
    Huntley girls basketball coach Steve Raethz will lead his team against Geneva on Monday in the first round of the Montini Christmas tournament. I

    Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown strong as ever

    Teri Rodgers calls it “a litmus test.” The New Trier girls basketball coach also says being the No. 1 seed at the Dundee-Crown Charger Classic Christmas Tournament really means little. “Calling someone a No. 1 seed is kind of silly,” Rodgers says. “There's 16 great teams. It's a great test because you know you're going to go out and play really good teams. It's a litmus test. You come away from Dundee-Crown knowing your strengths and weaknesses and you can work on the weaknesses for the rest of the year. You can only have that true test when you're playing quality teams, which is what you get at Dundee-Crown.” New Trier is one of the last originals of the Charger Classic, now in its 31st year. And while others — most recently Montini — have put together good tournaments, Dundee-Crown has stood the test of time of being one of the top holiday tournaments year in and year out.

  •  

    Jennings carries Pistons past Celtics 107-106

    Brandon Jennings scored 28 points, making a key 3-pointer with 46.7 seconds left, and matched his season high with 14 assists Wednesday night and the Detroit Pistons held on for a 107-106 win over the Boston Celtics.

  •  

    Korver’s 3s lead Atlanta past Sacramento

    Kyle Korver made seven consecutive 3-point attempts on his way to a season-high 28 points, leading the Atlanta Hawks to a 124-107 victory over the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday night.

  •  
    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com Elgin senior Isaiah Butler puts up a shot against Burlington Central.

    Elgin hoping to cool off Larkin

    Elgin High dominated the city’s cross-town boys basketball rivalry for six years beginning in January 2006, but nemesis Larkin put an emphatic halt to that last season. Larkin snapped Elgin’s streak of 8 consecutive series victories and 14 of 15 by sweeping all 4 meetings against the Maroons in 2012-13, including a 9-point victory in the Elgin Holiday Tournament title game and a 22-point regional semifinal win. Elgin (3-6, 1-1), which still leads the all-time series 79-44, aims to end Larkin’s budding streak and reclaim bragging rights when the teams square off in an Upstate Eight River clash at Chesbrough Field House on Thursday at 7:15 p.m.

  •  
    Images from the Lake Zurich vs. Libertyville boys basketball game on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

    Images: Lake Zurich vs. Libertyville boys basketball
    The Lake Zurich Bears hosted the Libertyville Wildcats for boys basketball action on Wednesday, Dec. 18.

  •  

    Walker hits OT winner, Bobcats top Raptors 104-102

    Kemba Walker hit a buzzer-beating jump shot in overtime and the Charlotte Bobcats beat the Raptors 104-102 on Wednesday night, snapping a three-game losing streak in Toronto.

  •  
    Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade (3) dunks over Indiana Pacers’ Ian Mahinmi, left, and Paul George (24) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday in Miami. The Heat defeated the Pacers 97-94.

    Late run lifts Heat past Pacers 97-94 in showdown

    Dwyane Wade scored 32 points, Ray Allen hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with just under a minute left and the Miami Heat erased a 15-point deficit in the second half to beat the Indiana Pacers 97-94 on Wednesday night.

  •  

    Texas upends No. 14 North Carolina 86-83

    Demarcus Holland scored on a stickback of his own free throw with 4.1 seconds left to help Texas hold on and beat No. 14 North Carolina 86-83 on Wednesday night.

  •  

    No. 20 Oklahoma women beat Fairfield 79-51

    Aaryn Ellenberg scored 23 points and No. 20 Oklahoma beat Fairfield 79-51 on Wednesday night. The start of the game was delayed 45 minutes as Oklahoma was stuck in traffic coming up from New York City. It took the Sooners three hours to get to the game from their Times Square hotel 60 miles away.

  •  

    Mavunga leads No. 14 North Carolina to 74-66 win

    Freshman Stephanie Mavunga had 20 points and 12 rebounds to lead No. 14 North Carolina to a 74-66 victory over No. 10 South Carolina on Wednesday night, ending the Gamecocks perfect start.

  •  

    Ross’ 19 help No. 3 Ohio State top Delaware, 76-64

    LaQuinton Ross scored 19 points, including eight in a decisive 15-0 run, to lead No. 3 Ohio State past Delaware 76-64 on Wednesday night. Lenzelle Smith Jr. added 14 points, Aaron Craft had 12, Amir Williams had 11 points and 12 rebounds and Amedeo Della Valle added 10 points for the Buckeyes (11-0), who have won every game by double figures.

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    Sims, No. 9 Baylor women beat Mississippi 87-80

    Odyssey Sims scored 39 points, including six the final minute, and No. 9 Baylor held off Mississippi 87-80 on Wednesday night to extend its home winning streak to 66 games.

  •  

    No. 22 UMass beats Ohio 83-71

    Maxie Esho had 16 points and 10 rebounds, Chaz Williams had 11 points and 11 assists and No. 22 Massachusetts remained undefeated with an 83-71 victory over Ohio on Wednesday night.

  •  
    Orlando Magic’s Victor Oladipo (5) blocks a shot by Utah Jazz’s Trey Burke (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday in Orlando, Fla.

    Trey Burke’s 30 leads Jazz past Magic, 86-82
    Trey Burke had a career-high 30 points and eight assists, Gordon Hayward added 15 points and the Utah Jazz held off the Orlando Magic 86-82 on Wednesday night.

  •  
    Behind workhorse LeSean McCoy, the Eagles’ ground game leads the NFL with an average 152.9 yards per game.

    Bears’ mission: Keep Eagles from soaring

    Between the explosiveness of the Eagles' offense and their up-tempo style of rapid-fire plays, the Bears' defense will face one of its toughest tests of the season Sunday night in Philadelphia.

  •  
    Lance Briggs lines up New York Giants running back Brandon Jacobs earlier this season.

    Briggs figures to be limited ... if he can play

    Bears linebacker Lance Briggs was limited at Wednesday's practice, but coach Marc Trestman is "optimistic," that he'll be healthy enough to return to the field in some capacity on Sunday, even if he cannot play an entire game. Briggs has been sidelined for two months with a fractured shoulder.

  •  
    Antti Raanta is 7-1-1 with a 2.26 goals-against average and has helped keep the Blackhawks on top of the NHL.

    Tough schedule no sweat for hot Blackhawks

    The busiest stretch of the season for the Blackhawks — six games in nine nights coming off their seven-game, 14-day circus road trip — is over, leaving the team still first overall in the NHL with 55 points, 2 ahead of Anaheim. Head coach Joel Quenneville says he couldn’t be more pleased with how the Hawks have battled through the tough schedule, citing the team’s depth as the primary reason why.

  •  
    Alabama defensive backs Bradley Sylve (16) and Cyrus Jones (5) practice for the NCAA college football team’s practice in preparation for the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl against Oklahoma on Tuesday in Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    Running down the 35 bowl games

    This is it, the final go-round for the BCS. As finales go, it’s hard to argue too much about the final title-game participants. Florida State was the only major-conference team to finish undefeated and Auburn had the best resume of the one-loss teams. That’s the big one, but of course there are 34 other bowls, starting with four on Saturday, that will feature plenty of other good teams, star players and interesting match-ups. To get you ready, we’ve got a rundown of what to look for.

  •  
    The IHSA announced Monday it will not start a boys and girls lacrosse state series this spring.

    More disappointment for lacrosse backers

    Let’s recap. On Monday the Illinois High School Association Board of Directors announced it will not support a state series for lacrosse this spring.

  •  
    This Nov. 2 file photo shows Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on the sideline during the second half of an NCAA football game against Tennessee Tech at O’Brien Field in Charleston, Ill. Garoppolo, an Arlington Heights native, has been selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America team.

    Garoppolo, West, Daly lead AP FCS All-America team

    Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and fellow Walter Payton Award finalist Terrance West of Towson were selected to The Associated Press FCS All-America team released Wednesday. Garoppolo, of Arlington Heights, passed for 5,050 yards and 53 touchdowns and won the Payton award as the top player in FCS.

  •  
    Auburn football quarterback Nick Marshall (14) talks to tmembers of the media on Wednesday in Auburn, Ala.

    No. 2 Auburn aiming to defy odds 1 more time

    The Auburn Tigers were slim favorites over Georgia and double-digit underdogs against Alabama. Then, a common assumption was that a hangover from that dramatic Iron Bowl victory would surely linger into the Southeastern Conference championship game against Missouri. Now, No. 1 Florida State is an 8 1/2-point favorite to beat the second-ranked Tigers and claim the BCS title on Jan. 6 in Pasadena, Calif.

  •  
    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning (18) passes against the San Diego Chargers in the second quarter of an NFL football game Dec. 12 in Denver.

    Manning overcomes many hurdles in season for ages

    With Peyton Manning on the verge of breaking Tom Brady’s single-season touchdown record, Houston interim coach Wade Phillips calls this “just the best year ever of any quarterback.” The Denver Broncos have needed every one of Manning’s many exploits to make up for a host of problems.

  •  
    Snow and slush left from Tuesday’s snowfall is seen outside MetLife stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Later Wednesday, at MetLife, officials demonstrated snow removal and melting machinery and outlined emergency weather scenarios and contingency plans for the Super Bowl in February.

    Officials ready up for winter-weather Super Bowl

    Standing amid giant piles of snow in the shadow of MetLife Stadium, Super Bowl organizers said Wednesday that they’re prepared to deploy thousands of trucks and tons of salt to prevent snowy weather from interfering with the biggest football game of the year. “As you can imagine, Mother Nature and her storms come in many different varieties,” the stadium’s CEO, Brad Mayne, said. “And so we have to be flexible in how we address each and every storm.”

  •  
    Ben Stone

    Dundee-Crown’s Stone chooses Eastern

    Eastern Illinois University has been at the top of Ben Stone’s list of desired colleges for over a year. The Dundee-Crown senior made it official last week when he verbally committed to accept a scholarship offer to play men’s soccer for the Panthers.

  •  
    Radio host Mike North is moving from weekends nights on Fox Sports Radio to a new morning shift from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on the national sports network.

    Fox Sports Radio adds North to morning show

    As it attempts to revamp its efforts to take on sports media giant ESPN, Fox Sports Radio has overhauled its lineup and added Chicagoan Mike North to its regular weekday morning lineup and ousted media veteran Pat O’Brien from his afternoon show.

  •  
    Brent Regner of the Chicago Wolves closes in on Hamilton goalie Dustin Tokarski in Monday's game at Allstate Arena. The Wolves, before a huge school-day crowd, prevailed with a 5-2 win, and Regner had 2 assists on the day.

    Wolves take Hamilton to school in 5-2 win

    Rookie Ty Rattie scored twice in the first period to help the Chicago Wolves earn a 5-2 victory over Hamilton Wednesday afternoon before a school-day crowd of 8,712 at Allstate Arena.

  •  

    Game video: Mundelein vs. Lake Forest
    Mundelein takes on Lake Forest in boys basketball action Wednesday. Follow the action here with video from High School Sube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

  •  

    Game video: Rosary vs. Oswego
    Rosary takes on Oswego in girls basketball action Wednesday. Follow the action here with video from High School Sube, then come back later for the replay and highlights.

  •  
    After helping Illinois quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase become the leading passer in the Big Ten, offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has agreed to a pay raise and contract extension that runs through the 2015 season.

    Illini to extend Cubit’s contract through 2015

    Credited with jump-starting a once anemic Illini offense, Illinois offensive coordinator Bill Cubit has agreed to a pay raise and a one-year contract extension through the 2015 season, head coach Tim Beckman announced Wednesday.

  •  

    Fire opts to bring back forward Rolfe

    Veteran forward Chris Rolfe, who first joined the Chicago Fire in 2005, has re-signed with the club, team officials announced Wednesday. Rolfe is second on the Fire’s all-time regular season goal scoring charts and seventh on the appearance list.

  •  

    Mike North Video: NFL- plagued with stories
    Mike North reviews the  storylines in the NFL  from   the Dallas Cowboys's Dez Bryant to the Washington Redskins's Mike Shanahan  to the Cincinnati Bengals's Marv Lewis

Business

  •  
    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. takes questions on the unfinished work of the Senate, following a Democratic policy luncheon, Tuesday on Capitol Hill in Washington.

    Bipartisan budget agreement clears Congress
    Congress declared a holiday truce in the budget wars Wednesday, sending President Barack Obama a blueprint for funding the government through 2015. But the next skirmish was already on the horizon: an election-year fight over the national debt.

  •  

    ComEd wins rate hike, consumers to pay more for delivery of power

    ComEd has won a $314 million rate hike, so consumers can expect to see a jump of about $5.50 a month in the cost to deliver power to their homes starting in January.

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

    Quinn says ADM decision good news for Ill. economy

    Gov. Pat Quinn says he stressed Illinois’ workforce and transportation when pitching the state to be headquarters of Archer Daniels Midland Company.

  •  
    The Illinois State Police expect 400,000 applications for concealed carry permits.

    State will allow paper applications for concealed carry

    Just days after saying Illinois would accept only online applications for concealed carry permits, Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration has announced it will accept paper applications, but not until six months after the process begins.

  •  
    A television screen at a trading post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, when the central bank said it would reduce its stimulus for the U.S. economy because the job market has shown steady improvement.

    Stocks soar as Fed cuts stimulus, citing jobs

    The stock market had a swift and clear reaction to the Federal Reserve’s decision to trim its stimulus efforts: That wasn’t so bad after all. Stocks surged Wednesday, lifting the Dow Jones industrial average nearly 300 points to another record, after the Fed decided the economy was strong enough for it to begin a modest reduction of its bond purchases.

  •  
    Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the Senate Banking Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. The Fed announced Wednesday it will trim its $85 billion a month in bond purchases by $10 billion starting in January.

    Improving US economy leads Fed to ease stimulus

    The Federal Reserve has sent its strongest signal of confidence in the U.S. economy since the Great Recession struck six years ago: It’s decided the economy is finally strong enough to withstand a slight pullback in the Fed’s stimulus.

  •  
    IFly is building an indoor sky-diving center in Naperville and hopes to open by April. The city council on Tuesday agreed to defer payment of electric infrastructure availability fees due from iFly and other developers seeking building permits until the fees can be reviewed.

    Naperville electric fee shouldn't delay indoor sky diving

    The indoor sky-diving facility coming to Naperville wants to be open in April, and a large electric infrastructure fee due to the city should not stand in the way. The city council on Tuesday night voted to suspend collection of the electric infrastructure availability charge for the indoor sky-diving center and all other pending building permits until the end of April 2014.

  •  
    Spring Hill Mall will soon house a Nestlé Toll House Café. It will serve gourmet coffee, fresh baked cookies, pastries and premium sandwiches and paninis from the mall’s center court. The center court already offers free tablets, like the one shown here. The café is expected to open in January.

    Nestlé Café plans January opening at mall

    Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee will be home to one of the first Nestlé Toll House Cafés in the country, West Dundee Village President Chris Nelson said Tuesday. The café, now under construction, will feature gourmet coffee, fresh baked cookies, pastries and premium sandwiches and paninis, according to a news release.

  •  
    Delta Air Lines CEO Richard Anderson told workers in a memo that the airline will not allow cell calls or internet-based voice communications on mainline or Delta Connection flights, which are operated by other airlines under contract for Delta.

    Delta: No voice calls on our planes

    Delta Air Lines won’t allow passengers to make voice calls from its planes. Right now, federal rules prohibit voice calls on planes. But the government is indicating that it might loosen those rules. If that happens, it could be up to airlines to set their own policies.

  •  
    Northfield-based Kraft Foods Group Inc., with brands including Maxwell House coffee and Velveeta cheese, authorized a $3 billion stock repurchase program.

    Kraft foods group authorizes $3 billion stock buyback program

    Northfield-based Kraft Foods Group Inc., with brands including Maxwell House coffee and Velveeta cheese, authorized a $3 billion stock repurchase program. The buyback plan Kraft Foods’ first since it became an independent company in October 2012. Under the program, which has no expiration date,

  •  
    Kurt Mix, second left, was convicted Wednesday of deleting text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal investigation of the company’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He was found guilty on one charge and acquitted of a second charge.

    Ex-BP engineer convicted on 1 obstruction charge

    A former BP drilling engineer was convicted Wednesday of deleting text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal investigation of the company’s massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. He was found guilty on one charge and acquitted of a second charge.

  •  
    Doug and Amy Thompson of Batavia get advice on the federal health care law from navigator Nyla Whitehead at Unitarian Universalist Society of Geneva.

    Suburban health insurance navigators gear up

    An army of health insurance navigators has had a busy week helping to enroll people around the suburbs in health care plans ahead of a federal deadline Monday for people to sign up for coverage that begin Jan. 1. Although some people vent about the new federal health care law, “I’ve been shocked by how sweet and patient and grateful people have been," one navigator said.

  •  
    Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said his request to gain access to a state criminal history data base will help him prevent potentially dangerous people from obtaining permits to carry concealed weapons has been turned down by the Illinois State Police.

    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. State Police Director Hiram Grau says he can't legally share a statewide database with local law enforcement, even though Sheriff Tom Dart says he needs it to ensure gang members and people arrested for domestic violence or gun possession don't obtain permits to carry concealed weapons.

  •  

    Employer groups oppose pension fees in budget deal

    Employers that still offer workers traditional pension plans are in line for hefty insurance premium increases under the budget agreement struck in Congress, the second time in two years that lawmakers have turned to them to help finance spending deals.

  •  
    Mechanical and software engineer Julian Fong works on a development to the Copenhagen Wheel, the red disk, a human/electric hybrid bicycle engine, at Superpedestrian in Cambridge, Mass.

    Mass. high-tech startup hopes to change biking

    A Massachusetts startup is launching a new device that transforms almost any bicycle into an electric-hybrid vehicle using an app on a smartphone. The device, called the Copenhagen Wheel, is installed as part of a rear hub of a bike wheel and is packed with a proprietary computer, batteries and sensors that monitor how hard a rider is peddling and activate an onboard motor whenever support is needed.

  •  
    Illinois has joined more than 20 states making a pitch to woo the aircraft manufacturer is to move production of its 777x airliners out of Washington state.

    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.

  •  

    Concealed carry applications open for instructors

    Certified firearms instructors in Illinois can now apply for concealed carry licenses. The Illinois State Police say they opened to application process on Wednesday so instructors can apply in advance of the Jan. 5 deadline.

  •  

    Hospital coalition gets $7M grant for data network

    An Illinois health care coalition has been awarded a $7 million federal grant to set up a clinical data research network. The coalition includes 20 health and hospital organizations that will pool data from more than 1 million patients. That way researchers can collaborate to figure out how to improve cooperation and health outcomes for health problems such as asthma and diabetes.

  •  
    A new American Airlines Airbus A319 aircraft sits in a hanger at Dallas-Forth Worth International Airport, in Grapevine, Texas. Even as they try desperately to hang on to Boeing Co., Washington state officials are quietly courting the company’s main competitor.

    Washington state courts Airbus amid Boeing tension

    Even as they try desperately to hang on to Boeing Co., officials in Washington state have been courting the main competitor of the aerospace giant. During the past several months, state officials have traveled to the U.S. headquarters of Airbus SAS in Virginia, moved to connect Airbus with Washington state suppliers, and signed a five-year confidentiality agreement with the company to allow further exploration of business opportunities.

  •  

    Boeing exec: Selection process narrowing for 777X

    A Boeing executive says the company is moving to narrow its search for a place to build its 777X passenger plane. Boeing Commercial Airplanes CEO Ray Conner also told employees in a message Tuesday that the rejection of a new contract proposal by the machinists union was disappointing.

Life & Entertainment

  •  

    Reader advises notifying doctor with health concerns about loved ones

    I often wish advice columnists would counsel neighbors, family and friends who are concerned about someone to send a letter to the patient’s doctor, one reader says.

  •  

    How to keep someone who is seriously ill in your thoughts

    Readers offer their advice on what to say and do when someone is seriously ill, how to encourage good behavior in kids, and what to do about interfering relatives when you're planning a wedding.

  •  
    In this Red Currant and Chocolate Cheesecake chopped chocolate is a distinct, toothsome confetti strewn throughout the cake.

    Chocolate makes indulgent cheesecake a Christmas treat

    Cheesecake by definition is rich and decadent. So we knew that if we were going to make a special cheesecake just for Christmas, it would need to be even richer and even more decadent. So we started with an amazingly indulgent cheesecake base then spiked it not only with vanilla bean, but also chopped bittersweet chocolate.

  •  
    Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel.

    Higher blood pressure threshold OK in older adults

    Many older adults with high blood pressure can be treated less aggressively, which could mean taking fewer pills to get it under control, according to new treatment guidelines from an expert panel. The guidelines released Wednesday recommend prescribing medicine only when blood pressure levels reach 150 over 90 or higher for adults 60 and older. But not all experts are on board with the advice.

  •  
    For a twist on traditional tacos, try Cauliflower Tacos With Chipotle Slaw.

    Cauliflower Tacos With Chipotle Slaw
    Cauliflower Tacos with Chipotle Slaw

  •  
    OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder, who produced Beyonce’s single “XO, said he learned about her surprise release not long before it went public.

    Tedder: Didn’t really know release for ‘Beyonce’

    Beyonce’s new album was so secret, one of its producers only knew of its release 90 minutes before it dropped. OneRepublic frontman Ryan Tedder produced the single “XO.”

  •  
    Tyler Perry says he’s glad he made time for a role in director David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” movie adaptation. Based on the best-selling novel by Chicago’s Gillian Flynn, “Gone Girl” is about a man who comes under suspicion after his wife goes missing. It stars Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike. Perry plays Affleck’s character’s attorney.

    Tyler Perry says Fincher is ‘amazing’ director

    Tyler Perry writes, directs, stars in and produces his own movies and TV shows, so he doesn’t have much time for outside projects. One he’s glad he made work is a role in director David Fincher’s upcoming film, “Gone Girl.”

  •  
    Satsumas and other oranges in the mandarin family contain higher amounts of some phytochemicals than are found in other orange varieties.

    Ask the nutritionist: Are all oranges created equal?

    Like other oranges, mandarin oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C, although not as high in this valuable nutrient as navel oranges, even comparing equal portions. However, mandarins provide greater amounts of two antioxidant phytochemicals: beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin.

  •  
    For a twist on traditional tacos, try Cauliflower Tacos With Chipotle Slaw.

    Veggie tacos that break with tradition

    In Mexico City, some of my favorite tacos, even before I was vegetarian, were those stuffed with cactus paddles, mushrooms or squash blossoms. But at restaurants closer to home, what passes for vegetables often leaves much to be desired. At one spot recently, I had tacos in which the “veggies” were nothing more than grilled onions and peppers: the boring backdrop to fajitas. Thankfully, exceptions abound.

  •  

    Cream of tartar: What’s it for?

    Cream of tartar, a byproduct of wine and grape juice processing, is an acidic salt that acts as a stabilizer in recipes that require whipped egg whites, such as meringue, angel food cake and souffle.

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    Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine kisses Tessanne Chin on the cheek after Chin was announced the season five winner of “The Voice” on Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013, in Los Angeles.

    Aguilera, Gaga duet as ‘The Voice’ crowns a champ

    No one is more surprised by the results of Tuesday’s “The Voice” finale than season five winner, Jamaican powerhouse Tessanne Chin. “It is out of body,” Chin said, holding her trophy backstage after the NBC singing competition. “I feel like, is this really happening, you know? This can’t be real. Like unbelievable. Unbelievable.” The 28-year-old Kingston native had nearly given up on her dreams before landing a spot on the NBC singing competition.

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    Dry or sweet? It's just one of the decisions you make when selecting a Champagne.

    Raise a glass to understanding all that Champagne has to offer

    Champagne. Bubbles. Holidays, New Year's Eve, weddings, birthdays and other miscellaneous celebrations.About sums it up, doesn't it? Well, no. Like any other region, Champagne turns out wines that are varied in style and nuance, and to typecast its signature creation as a celebration toast does not do it justice.

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    “Spiced round,” a Christmastime beef specially, is sliced at the Porter Road Butcher in Nashville, Tenn. The specialty meat, reminiscent of corned beef, has all but disappeared in recent decades amid changing tastes and the steady decline of local butchers to prepare it.

    Spiced round revival: Nashville holiday specialty poised for comeback

    Fueled by heavy doses of nostalgia and local lore, a largely forgotten Christmastime beef specialty called “the spiced round” is poised for a comeback in Nashville. The cured top round — traditionally laced with strands of lard mixed with a variety of spices including cinnamon, allspice and clove — was popularized by the city’s German and English meatpackers after the Civil War.

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    Picking a bourbon isn't the one-two-three choice it used to be. There's been a boom in brands and styles like Maker's 46, from left, Angels Envy and Jefferson's Reserve.

    Bourbon mixes it up: New styles, flavors, brands

    Picking a bourbon isn't the one-two-three choice it used to be. There's been a boom in brands, especially from small, premium producers, not to mention a flood of new styles. Will you go for a barrel-aged version? Honey flavored? How about a bourbon that's been aged at sea? No doubt about it, bourbon is branching out.

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    “Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention” by Manning Marable is just one of many suggested books to buy for yourself or others for the holiday.

    Authors have a few tips for holiday books

    With more than 100,000 books published each year, it’s hard to know what works best for a holiday gift. A few “experts,” from a prize-winning historian to some best-selling children’s authors, have suggestions.

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    Kenny Rogers is set to bring his “Christmas & Hits Through The Years” holiday show to North Central College in Naperville.

    Weekend picks: It’s a Kenny kind of Christmas in Naperville

    Country star Kenny Rogers will perform his Christmas & Hits Through The Years tour with special guest Linda Davis Saturday at North Central College’s Pfeiffer Hall in Naperville. The public is invited to join Santa on the ice at the free Skating with Santa event at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates. Comic and character actor Dean Edwards returns for another standup engagement at The Improv Comedy Showcase in Schaumburg.

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    Greek yogurt and low-fat cream cheese help slim down spinach and artichoke dip.

    Slimmed down spinach and artichoke dip

    Spinach and artichoke dip sounds like it should be a virtuous treat. After all, it’s loaded with vegetables. Trouble is, it’s usually more mayonnaise and cheese than spinach and artichoke. So we decided to see if we could come up with a version that isn’t so out of sync with healthy eating.

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    Greek yogurt and low-fat cream cheese help slim down spinach and artichoke dip.

    Spinach And Artichoke Dip
    Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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    A harvest of gift-worthy wine books.

    For novices or aficionados, a trove of gift-worthy books

    Yawn — not another wine primer. That's what Dave McIntyre thought when he first picked up Katherine Cole’s “Complete Wine Selector” (Firefly; $25). Yet he was immediately bowled over by how Cole, wine columnist for the Oregonian newspaper has figured out a new way to present a familiar topic. And it's why her book is on Dave's list of books for vinophiles.

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    New Zealand singer Lorde has shot to music stardom with her hit song “Royals” and four Grammy nominations.

    Pop star Lorde mature beyond her 17 years

    Lorde may never be a royal, but these days, she’s living like one. The 17-year-old singer has been anointed to the lofty position of pop’s newest princess thanks to her astute hit song, “Royals.” And in just a few months, she’s gone from being a New Zealand teen with an EP and an impressive following on SoundCloud to a four-time Grammy nominee (including nominations for top categories record and song of the year) with commercial success and plenty of critical raves.

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    A women’s ThermoBall full zip jacket now comes in borealis blue. Bright is the new black when it comes to colors and styles for snow bunnies to look their best on the slopes.

    Ski fashion: Rainbow of color headed down slopes

    Bright is the new black when it comes to colors and styles for snow bunnies to look their best on the slopes. The move to color in winter-sport outerwear follows a trend seen in clothing for other active pursuits, such as running, rock climbing and cycling. Part of the color revolution is driven by safety since it’s easier to spot a bright color in dim winter light, and there’s a fashion factor, too, but there’s also a little flamboyance and fun at play, say experts. “On the ski slopes, there’s a chance to be a little wild and crazy,” said Nancy Taylor, Athleta’s senior director of design.

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    Don’t knock ‘em till you’ve tried ‘em, says Penny Kazmier of these cheesy stuffed mushrooms. The treasured recipe is a must-have on her holiday appetizer buffet.

    Culinary adventures: Stuffed mushrooms star of appetizer tray

    When I was featured as Cook of the Week I shared that one of my family’s favorite things to do is to have “snacks” or appetizers for dinner instead of traditional meat-potato-vegetables on the plate. More than 10 years later that dinner mash-up remains a special treat and a holiday tradition.

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    John McCauley used the Rhode Island-based Deer Tick’s latest album, “Negativity,” to unleash some of the frustrations and struggles he’s had over the past couple of years into a polished and refined sound that mixes country, roots and rock.

    Deer Tick singer finds positivity in new record

    Singer John McCauley of the rock band Deer Tick figured out how to turn his pain into something positive. McCauley used the Rhode Island-based band’s latest album, “Negativity,” to unleash some of the frustrations and struggles he has had over the past couple of years into a polished and refined sound that mixes country, folk and rock.

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    Dining events: Free munchie for a song at Nick’s
    Join in the 12 days of caroling at Nick’s Pizza and Pub in Elgin and get some free grub as a reward. Through Christmas Eve, sing the song posted daily on the website while visiting the restaurant and get a free munchie — choice of a blossoming onion, beer nuggets or mozzarella sticks. Earn a chance to win a $25 gift card by posting a video of your carol to Facebook or Instagram.

Discuss

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    Editorial: Groups should act to avoid risks of scandal

    With each new case of a school, civic or sports organization discovering missing or stolen funds because adequate safeguards aren’t in place, you have to wonder why this still happens.

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    The traffic jam that may tie-up Chris Christie

    Columnist Richard Cohen: The toll for the George Washington Bridge during peak hours for passenger cars is $11 (with an E-ZPass), but certain types of large trucks can pay as much as $84. That’s high, but it’s nothing compared to the toll Christie may pay for the lane closings.

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    Raising minimum wage has a ripple effect
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: Now if you raise the minimum wage $1 per hour, then what do you do with the employees making $10 per hour? You have to give them a raise. Then what do you do with the supervisor who makes $12 per hour? You have to give him or her a raise. What do you do with a manager who makes $20 per hour? Give him or her a raise.

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    STEM curriculum is not complete
    A Crystal Lake letter to the editor: I read with great interest the recent article about Wheeling High School’s curriculum focus on STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. Regardless of the demographics, a focus on STEM is incomplete.

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    What really corrupts politicians is power
    An Elgin letter to the editor: When a normal, likable, honest person becomes a government employee at any level and they become aware that they will not be held accountable for anything they do, something happens. They realize that they have power.

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