Daily Archive : Thursday December 19, 2013


    Jennifer Stiles, left, of Grayslake and Lori Maier of Gurnee wait as Michael Rhodes of the Cheese People wraps organic, handcrafted cheese during the Fall Farmers Market, the last of the season, Saturday in downtown Grayslake.

    Last Grayslake Farmers Market of the season

    Saturday marked the final day of the 2013 Grayslake Farmer’s Market season. The market offered ingredients for favorite holiday dishes or special gifts for loved ones and friends.


    District 214 WildStang Robotics Team captures awards

    Northwest Suburban High School District 214’s WildStang Robotics Team is part of an alliance that took first place in the FIRST Technical Challenge Competition (FTC) at the Chicago Math and Science Academy earlier this month. The team, named MiniStang, also earned the Engineering Quality Award and took third place for their Engineering Notebook and presentation.

    Marion Lutz, Des Plaines Junior High School graduating class of 1932, unveils the new historic marker in Central Park.

    Historical marker unveiled in Des Plaines’ Central Park

    In 1842, Stephen Thacker purchased 160 acres, including what is now Central Park, 1555 E. Thacker St., Des Plaines, through the U.S. Land Office. Earlier this month, Marion Lutz, part of the Des Plaines Junior High School graduating class of 1932, unveiled a marker recalling the site’s history at a dedication ceremony attended by community leaders and several graduates of Des Plaines Junior High...

    Event Co-chairwoman Meghan Norton, WINGS board Chairman Rita Canning, event Co-chairwoman Anna Bilton, WINGS Chief Executive Officer Rebecca Darr and honorary Co-chairman Jackie Tilton at the WINGS “Sweet Home Chicago” gala.

    WINGS raises $800,000 to benefit women, children who experience domestic violence

    Led by honorary Co-chairs Jackie and Glenn Tilton and event Co-chairs Anna Bilton and Meghan Norton, volunteers for WINGS (Women In Need Growing Stronger) raised a record $800,000 at the not-for-profit organization’s 10th annual “Sweet Home Chicago” fundraiser on Sunday, Dec. 8, at The Four Seasons Hotel.

    Yesdil del Garcia Hurtado

    North Chicago woman accused of animal hoarding

    Animal cruelty charges have been filed against a 42-year-old North Chicago woman after the discovery of about 30 puppies in her one-bedroom apartment. Yesdil del Garcia Hurtado is charged with animal cruelty and companion animal hoarding, ABC 7 reported Thursday.


    Senate OKs defense bill cracking down on sex assault

    WASHINGTON — Congress is sending President Barack Obama a comprehensive defense bill that would crack down on sexual assault in the military and add protections for victims.The Senate voted 84-15 Thursday night for the legislation, which capped a yearlong campaign led by the women of the Senate to address the scourge of rape and sexual assault in the ranks.


    Cops: Elgin Moose Lodge helped fugitive

    The Elgin Moose Lodge will appear before the city’s liquor commission in January to answer questions about its members helping a fellow member evade police in September.


    Lake County deputy hurt in car accident

    A Lake County sheriff's deputy was injured Thursday night after his squad car was rear-ended by another vehicle, authorities said. The accident occurred near Route 83 and Winchester Road in an unincorporated area near Mundelein, according to Lake County Sgt. Sara Balmes.

    TV host Katie Couric at the Somaly Mam Foundation Gala in New York.

    Couric’s talk show to end after this season

    Katie Couric and Disney-ABC, which produces the syndicated “Katie” show, said Thursday it will wrap after this, its second season. Shuttering the show was a joint decision, both parties said.

    Ryan O’Neal, center, followed by his son, Redmond O’Neal, as they exit court for a lunch break in Los Angeles.

    Jury finds portrait of Fawcett belongs to O’Neal

    The artwork is valuable, with experts estimating it is worth between $800,000 and $12 million. Ryan O’Neal, however, told jurors he had no intention of selling it and wanted to pass it down to his only son with Fawcett, Redmond O'Neal.

    The panel appointed to examine NSA surveillance operations produced reform recommendations that were more far-reaching than President Barack Obama and the intelligence community anticipated. The administration may now be in the uncomfortable position of having to reject some of the suggestions of its own experts.

    Justifications erode for NSA program

    From the moment the government’s massive database of citizens’ call records was exposed this year, U.S. officials have clung to two main lines of defense: The secret surveillance program was constitutional and critical to keeping the nation safe. But six months into the controversy triggered by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the viability of those claims is no longer clear.

    Picasso’s 1914 cubist drawing “L’homme au Gibus,” or “Man in the Opera Hat,” is presented at Sotheby’s auction house in Paris.

    Man wins $1 million Picasso in raffle

    The 25-year-old Jeffrey Gonano, who works for his family’s fire sprinkler business, learned Wednesday that his ticket had won the Paris raffle. Organizers say nearly 50,000 tickets were sold worldwide, for 100 euros apiece, to benefit a Lebanese charity.

    Former NBA basketball star Dennis Rodman speaks to the media in Pyongyang, North Korea, Thursday. Rodman arrived to the North Korean capital to help train the national team and renew his friendship with the North’s young leader, Kim Jong Un.

    Rodman in North Korea to prep for basketball game

    Former NBA star Dennis Rodman arrived in North Korea on Thursday to meet leader Kim Jong Un and put the finishing touches on plans to bring 12 ex-NBA players to Pyongyang for a Jan. 8 exhibition game marking the leader’s birthday. Rodman’s visit comes less than a week after North Korea announced the execution of Jang Song Thaek, an unprecedented fall from grace for one of the most powerful...


    Obama commutes Rockford man’s life sentence

    President Barack Obama has commuted the life sentence of a Rockford man sentenced 20 years ago for distributing crack and cocaine. Reynolds Wintersmith Jr. says he intends "to make President Obama proud" after his release.


    Dial-A-Carol draws 5,700+ calls at U of I

    The University of Illinois says its Dial-a-Carol program took more than 5,700 calls this year. One of the most popular songs? “Jingle Bells” with 772 requests. Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” was requested 331 times.

    A woman walks, bandaged and wearing a blanket given by emergency services, after a theater in London partially collapsed Thursday evening.

    Over 75 injured in partial London theater collapse

    Hunks of plaster and dust rained down on a packed audience when the ceiling of a London theater partially collapsed Thursday night. More than 75 people were injured — seven seriously, authorities said.


    Pension accounts don’t need to sell assets in 2013

    Stable state funding over the last two years meant key state employee pension funds didn’t have to sell assets to meet payments in 2013, according to a report released Thursday. The State Retirement Systems, covering pensions for ex-state employees, judges and lawmakers, withdrew $29.7 million in 2013, down 88 percent from $248.7 million a year earlier.

    President Vladimir Putin said Thursday he will pardon jailed oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a surprise decision that will let his top foe and Russia’s formerly richest man out of prison after more than a decade.

    Putin to pardon jailed tycoon Khodorkovsky

    In a surprise decision, President Vladimir Putin announced Thursday that jailed former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be pardoned, a move that will see his top foe and Russia’s onetime richest man freed after more than a decade in prison.

    Former Olympian Brian Boitano, two days after being named to the U.S. delegation for Sochi, announced he is gay. But the 1988 gold medalist said Thursday in a statement that “being gay is just one part of who I am. ... I hope we can remain focused on the Olympic spirit which celebrates achievement in sport by peoples of all nations.”

    Figure skating champ Boitano says he’s gay

    Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano came out Thursday, two days after he was named to the U.S. delegation for Sochi along with openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. The 1988 gold medalist had always kept his personal life private, saying in a statement that “being gay is just one part of who I am.”

    Inconsistent temperatures in the Kane County Judicial Center have prompted the county board chairman to call for a study of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system.

    Kane chairman pushes for study of court building’s ventilation

    Depending on where you are at in the Kane County Judicial Center some days, you may want a fan or a blanket. Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen wants to hire a consulting engineer to figure out why the 22-year-old building's ventilation system isn't working well, and he wants it done sooner rather than later.

    Crosses have been placed outside the Naperville home of Tom and Jan Lambert, where a fire Wednesday morning killed two and injured three others. The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

    Naperville fire victims remembered as ‘gentle’ couple

    The two people killed in a house fire Wednesday morning in Naperville are being remembered for their kind and gentle nature as fire investigators continue to probe the cause of the blaze that took their lives. “Tom was very soft-spoken ... he had a nice, soft, gentle sense of humor. And Jan was special,” said Mike Collins of Barrington Hills, who has known the Lamberts for about 15 years through...

    Kelly L. Batchelor

    Algonquin woman sentenced for writing bad checks

    An Algonquin woman has been sentenced to prison for writing bad checks on an account in which she didn’t have any money, prosecutors said. Kelly L. Batchelor, 41, of the 9400 block of North Route 31, was sentenced to six years in prison in exchange for a guilty plea to one count of burglary and one count of deceptive practice, according to the Kane County state’s attorney’s office.

    Salvation Army worker Stewart Porto loads a mini van with Christmas presents Thursday at the Salvation Army Waukegan Corps Community Center. The Angel Tree program provides gifts to more than 225 registered families, including 500 children.

    Salvation Army plays Santa for needy Lake County families

    Local families showed up to the Salvation Army Waukegan Corps Community Center on Thursday to pick up Christmas presents that were donated through the annual Angel Tree program.


    Huntley firefighters featured in locally produced movie

    Huntley firefighters will get their 15 seconds of fame when a locally produced film they were briefly featured in releases next year. The faith-based film, “The Unmiracle,” is being produced by Crystal Lake native David Wingate and written/directed by Andrew Papke, who grew up in Palatine. The story revolves around a young woman who is popular in high school and finds faith after going through...


    More gold coins found in Lake County

    A package of seven gold Swiss Francs were dropped in a Salvation Army kettle outside a Jewel Food Store in Libertyville on Wednesday, the charitable group said.

    Monchello Tucker

    Three men arrested in Lake County robberies

    Three Waukegan men are facing charges following the robberies of four women who had been shopping in the city, authorities said Thursday.


    Tax hike nixed:

    A proposed tax hike for property owners in Newport Township in northeastern Lake County was defeated Wednesday during a special session.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Aaron R. Bloyd, 31, of Maple Park, was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia at 7:20 p.m. Dec. 9 after deputies served him with an order of protection at his residence and found a glass pipe and marijuana grinder at the bottom of a gun case, according to a sheriff’s report.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Three men were charged in Schaumburg with criminal damage to property after officers found a fire extinguisher at the Homewood Suites, 815 American Lane, had been deployed Dec. 7 in a guest room, police reports said.

    Michael Divincenzo

    Maine West hazing case delayed until January

    A legal issue related to the mandatory reporting of suspected child abuse will delay until January the remainder of the trial of former Maine West High School soccer coach Michael Divincenzo, who faces misdemeanor charges of hazing, battery and failure to report abuse.


    Mount Prospect hands out holiday decorating awards

    The Mount Prospect village board this week handed out its annual Holiday House Decorating Awards. The grand prize winner was the home at 8 S. Busse Road. Other recipients and their categories were: 905 S. I Oka for best religious theme; 124 S. Lancaster for the simple but elegant award; the Randhurst Light Show for best business; 1710 Liberty for Christmas fantasy; 1909 Kiowa Lane for...


    Lincolnshire Art Festival:

    Artists may apply to participate in the Lincolnshire Art Festival, Aug. 16-17.

    Dee Sinclair, who bills himself as the real black Santa reads a story to children, in Atlanta. Fusing the icon of the long-white beard and red suit from American artist Norman Rockwell and later Coca-Cola, in recent years the new Santas incorporate their own ethnic take on the Christmastime figure with various interpretations.

    In U.S., Santa Claus has many faces, races

    Santa Claus may be popularly known as a white-bearded benefactor with Dutch-English origins, but multiethnic versions of Santa are making the rounds out there too — illustrating that in an increasingly diverse United States, Santa takes on whatever color you imagine him to be.


    Rolling Meadows man robbed in Streamwood

    A Rolling Meadows man was robbed of his wallet, cash, credit cards and a cellphone in Streamwood by two men who threatened to break his jaw with a baseball bat, Streamwood police said.

    Andre Sharkey

    Chicago man pleads not guilty in death of Waukegan infant

    A Chicago man pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges he killed a 2-month-old Waukegan child he was baby-sitting. Andre Sharkey, 32, faces eight counts of first-degree murder and a maximum sentence of life in prison if found guilty in the infant’s Nov. 16 death.

    Michael Deegan

    South Barrington police chief retires, replacement search under way

    South Barrington Police Chief Michael Deegan has retired, leaving Deputy Chief Ray Cordell as acting chief and a search for a new permanent chief under way. Deegan had already been with the South Barrington Police Department 25 years when he succeeded the retiring Charles Gruber in January 2008.


    Duckworth to host Hanover Park veterans forum

    Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth will host a veterans forum Friday afternoon in Hanover Park, officials said. The forum at village hall is an opportunity for veterans to speak with Duckworth, a Democrat from Hoffman Estates, and ask her any questions they might have, officials said.

    Lynette Zimmer

    Lake Villa Elementary District 41 names Lynette Zimmer its new superintendent

    A veteran suburban educator has been named the next superintendent for Lake Villa Elementary District 41. Lynette Zimmer, now the superintendent of HYPERLINK "http://www.dist46.org/"Prairie Grove School District 46 in Crystal Lake, was tapped for the job. She’ll succeed Superintendent John Van Pelt, who is retiring.


    Police: Woman battered outside Palatine store

    A woman loading purchases into her car in a store parking lot Wednesday night was battered and threatened by a man, Palatine police said. The 33-year-old woman was approached by a man who tried to force her into her car before fleeing when she screamed for help, according to police.


    Naperville police ask for help to find would-be armed robber

    Naperville police are looking for the public’s help to find a man suspected in an attempted armed robbery late last month on the 600 block of Porter Avenue.


    Road spending, flood mitigation big part of 2014 Mount Prospect budget

    Mount Prospect trustees this week passed a 2014 budget that focuses heavily on capital improvements while keeping the general operating budget balanced. The village will be collecting $17.3 million in property taxes next year, an increase of 5 percent, or more than $823,000. That still is a small part of the more than $108 million in revenues the budget projects, which includes additional monies...

    Serial killer John Wayne Gacy in 1978.

    Presumed Gacy victim found alive in Montana

    A man presumed dead for decades has been found alive and well in Montana. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says his investigators located Robert Hutton after his sister submitted his name as a possible victim of serial killer John Wayne Gacy.


    Barrington District 220 staff face off in student video

    If you’ve ever wondered what happens in your local high school after the students and teachers have all left for winter break, the talented teens of Barrington High School’s BHS-TV have provided a hilarious answer. In “‘Twas the Night Before Break,” Barrington Unit District 220 Superintendent Tom Leonard is joined by Barrington High School Principal Steve McWilliams and Athletic Director Mike...

    Wood Dale officials say they’re dropping a complaint against Lisa Spakowski, a rescue leader who is caring for five dogs — two more than allowed by code.

    Wood Dale lets rescue leader keep five dogs

    A Wood Dale woman who got into legal trouble for having too many dogs in her home pet rescue operation will be allowed to keep the five ailing animals that remain. Wood Dale officials say Lisa Spakowski, founder and president of Illinois Birddog Rescue, will be allowed to keep the five dogs as long as she doesn’t add more. “I’m overjoyed, grateful and relieved,” Spakowski said.

    A huge mound of petroleum coke, or petcoke, sits in a residential area on Chicago’s Southeast Side.

    Deal requires removal of Chicago ‘petcoke’ piles

    Chicago’s mayor and the Illinois attorney general announced an agreement with an Indiana company Thursday that will require it to remove huge piles of petroleum coke from the city’s Southeast Side and accept no other shipments for the time being.


    Dixon will recoup $9.2 million

    The U.S. Marshals Service says $9.2 million in restitution will soon be available to the city of Dixon in the $54 million Rita Crundwell case.


    Wisconsin governor signs school mascots bill

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill Thursday that will make it harder to force public schools to drop tribal nicknames, pushing aside opponents’ charges that the measure is racist.


    12 sickened by carbon monoxide in Skokie

    Twelve people have been hospitalized after a carbon monoxide leak at an apartment building in Skokie. Firefighters had to break into some apartments to help residents get out.


    Peoria considering WWII ship on Illinois River

    City leaders in Peoria are looking at how much it would cost to moor a World War II tank landing ship on the Illinois River.


    Mental exam ordered for accused grandmother

    A South suburban woman will undergo a psychiatric exam to find if she fit to go to trial on charges she killed her 6-month-old granddaughter with a sledgehammer and a knife.


    Fire damages house under construction in Wheaton

    Investigators are trying to determine what caused an overnight fire that damaged a house under construction in Wheaton. Wheaton fire officials said crews were dispatched about 12:30 a.m. Thursday to the structure fire on the 1300 block of South Aurora Way.

    Elizabeth Bako

    Former Frederick School PTO treasurer in Grayslake pleads guilty to theft

    A Grayslake woman pleaded guilty in Lake County court Thursday to stealing money from the Frederick Elementary School parent teacher organization while serving as its treasurer. Elizabeth Bako, 42, of the 300 block of Woodland Drive, was sentenced through a negotiated settlement to 24 months of probation and 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to one count of felony theft. She...

    Howard Richmond

    Naperville pastor sentenced to 12 years for stealing from congregation

    A Naperville pastor accused of bilking his flock out of more than $1.6 million has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for an elaborate bribery and forgery scheme. Howard Richmond, 53, pleaded guilty in August to one count of continuing a financial crimes enterprise and one count of forgery for stealing more than $­­­­­­1.6 million worth of donations and investments intended for his Aurora...

    Indian Muslims burn an effigy of President Barack Obama as they protest against the alleged mistreatment of New York based Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade, in Ajmer, India, Thursday. The case has sparked a diplomatic furor between the United States and India, which is incensed over what its officials described as degrading treatment towards India’s deputy consul general in New York.

    A mistreated maid? Or a profound insult?
    In New York, it looked like a straightforward case: an obscure young diplomat at the Indian consulate was accused of lying on visa forms so she could bring her maid to the U.S., paying her less than $3 an hour. The diplomat was arrested, processed through the legal system like anyone else and quickly freed on bail. In India, though, the hours that Devyani Khobragade spent in custody have set off...

    United Methodist Church officials defrocked The Rev. Frank Schaefer on Thursday after he officiated his son’s gay wedding in Massachusetts.

    Pennsylvania pastor defrocked after performing son’s gay wedding

    United Methodist church officials defrocked a pastor from central Pennsylvania on Thursday who officiated his son’s gay wedding in Massachusetts, a move seen as contradictory to the denomination’s beliefs. The Rev. Frank Schaefer had been told to resign from the clergy by Thursday if he could not follow the denomination’s Book of Discipline.

    Guests at First Look for Charity are treated to a variety of beverages and hors d’oeuvres.

    Auto show holds area’s biggest one-day charity event

    In what is widely considered the Chicago area’s largest single charitable evening, people will get to indulge their love of cars in an elegant evening that also supports their favorite charity. The Chicago Auto Show’s First Look for Charity benefit has raised more than $36 million for local charities. This year’s pre-opening black-tie event is 7 to 11 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7.


    Kenosha man’s conviction in wife’s poisoning vacated

    MILWAUKEE — A federal judge has overturned a Wisconsin man’s conviction for first-degree intentional homicide in the poisoning death of his wife.The Kenosha News says Chief U.S. District Judge William Griesbach ordered that Mark Jensen be released from prison within 90 days.


    Parents: ‘When I was your age’ usually doesn’t work

    Our Ken Potts has five words of caution for parents: "When I was your age..." usually doesn't work on kids.


    UK tabloid trial: Kate Middleton's phone hacked

    LONDON — Jurors at Britain's phone hacking trial have been read intercepted messages left by Prince William on Kate Middleton's phone, in which he calls her “babykins” and jokes about almost being shot during a military training exercise.

    Smoke rises from a fire at a burning plastics recycling plant on a contaminated federal Superfund site on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013, near Lyles, Tenn. Officials evacuated area homes because they were concerned about toxic fumes.

    Evacuations in effect near TN industrial fire

    Evacuation orders remained in effect Thursday for hundreds of central Tennessee residents who live near a federal Superfund site where a large industrial fire has been burning since the day before.

    Elsa Oliver has been charged with reckless endangerment of a child and accessory after the fact of assault, in regards to her missing 5-year-old son, Jeremiah Oliver.

    Mass. gov keeps rage in check on missing-boy case

    Gov. Deval Patrick said Wednesday he’s trying to “keep my own rage in check” as he presses the commissioner of his child protection agency about the case of a 5-year-old boy who has been missing for months and is feared dead.

    The European Space Agency successfully launched a satellite, named Gaia, Thursday in a bid to produce the most accurate three-dimensional map of our part of the Milky Way, and provide an insight into the evolution of the galaxy.

    Europe launches satellite to map 1 billion stars

    The European Space Agency launched its star-surveying satellite Gaia into space Thursday, hoping to produce the most accurate three-dimensional map of the Milky Way and to better understand the evolution of our galaxy.

    Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych faces massive street protests over his decision to spike a pact with the EU in favor of closer ties with Russia.

    Ukrainian leader slams West, tilts toward Russia

    Ukraine’s embattled president slammed the West on Thursday for supporting the massive street protests calling for his ouster and announced plans to partially join a Moscow-led economic union — a move that was likely to deepen Ukraine’s political crisis.

    Gamal Mubarak, son of former Egyptian leader Hosni Mubarak sits inside the defendant’s cage at a court, in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted former leader Hosni Mubarak’s two sons and his last prime minister of corruption charges, judiciary officials said.

    Egypt: Mubarak’s sons, PM acquitted of corruption

    An Egyptian court on Thursday acquitted former leader Hosni Mubarak’s two sons and his last prime minister of corruption charges, a verdict announced just hours after security forces arrested a prominent activist as part of an intensifying crackdown against icons of the nation’s 2011 uprising.

    U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power greets IDP children at the makeshift camp where over 40,000 people found refuge at the airport in Bangui, Central African Republic, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Power is on a one-day trip to the war stricken region.

    Amid spasm of violence, U.S. diplomat in C. Africa

    The American ambassador to the United Nations arrived Thursday in Central African Republic in the highest profile American effort to date to spotlight the violence in this impoverished nation, which has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced at least 10 percent of the population.


    UN finds systematic disappearances in Syria

    A U.N. panel probing war crimes in Syria reported Thursday that people around the country are systematically vanishing without a trace as part of a widespread campaign of terror against civilians.

    The Forge Club, which was a members-only refuge on Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills for most of its 40 years, is closed.

    Forge Club closes doors in Vernon Hills

    The Forge Club, which was a members-only refuge on Milwaukee Avenue in Vernon Hills for most of its 40 years, is closed. "It was a great place. It was a way to entertain very well," said Bill Pigati, who owned the club for about 18 years.

    Cecil Williams smiles Tuesday as he pets guide dog Orlando in his hospital bed following a fall onto subway tracks from the platform at 145th Street in New York. The blind 61-year-old Williams says he fainted while holding onto his black labrador who tried to save him from falling. Both escaped without serious injury.

    Blind New York man to keep aging guide dog

    Enough donations have been raised to allow a blind man to keep the aging guide dog that went onto the subway tracks with him when the man lost consciousness and fell from a station platform, officials say. “The spirit of giving, Christmas ... exists in New York,” a tearful Cecil Williams said Wednesday, calling the outpouring of money and good will a “miracle.”

    Indian Muslims burn an effigy of U.S. President Barack Obama Thursday as they protest against the alleged mistreatment of New York based Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade. The case has sparked a diplomatic furor between the United States and India, which is incensed over what its officials described as degrading treatment toward India’s deputy consul general in New York.

    India demands that US drop case against diplomat

    India’s foreign minister demanded Thursday that the United States drop the case against a diplomat who was arrested and strip-searched in New York City, saying she was the victim of a blackmail attempt by her housekeeper. Devyani Khobragade, 39, is accused of submitting false documents to obtain a work visa for her Manhattan housekeeper, an Indian national.

    President Barack Obama speaks to the media Wednesday as he and first lady Michelle Obama meet with a group of mothers in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. The president’s advisers say they’re still searching for the larger meaning in the bipartisan budget deal, if there is one at all.

    White House greets budget deal with caution, hope

    There were no champagne corks popping at the White House after Congress passed a two-year budget deal, no declarations of a new era of cooperation in President Barack Obama’s second term. The president’s advisers say they’re still searching for the larger meaning in the bipartisan budget deal, if there is one at all.


    Workers at Chicago Public Media vote to form union

    Employees at Chicago Public Media and public radio station WBEZ have voted to form a union.The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Wednesday night’s vote was 40-7 in favor of joining the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.


    Rock Valley College president says he’s resigning

    ROCKFORD — The president of Rock Valley College plans to resign six months before his contract is scheduled to expire.The Rockford Register Star reports that Jack Becherer announced Tuesday that he’ll resign on Jan. 10, but gave no explanation for his departure.The newspaper


    Ex-Madison County treasurer loses $90,000 pension

    EDWARDSVILLE — A former southern Illinois county treasurer who was convicted of rigging tax liens has lost his $90,000 state-funded pension.The Belleville News Democrat reports that ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon’s pension was halted by the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund.


    Illinois offers snowmobile safety reminders

    SPRINGFIELD — Authorities are reminding snowmobile users about the importance of safety. The Department of Natural Resources says there were 34 reported snowmobile accidents last year resulting in three deaths.


    Louisville Slugger, developers plan Peoria center

    PEORIA — A Kentucky-based company whose name is synonymous with baseball bats says it’s working with developers to construct a new youth sports center in central Illinois. Louisville Slugger announced plans for the Peoria facility on Wednesday. It says it’ll be state-of-the-art with 10 outdoor baseball and softball fields. A dome will allow year-around play.


    Illinois kicks off driving enforcement for holidays

    SPRINGFIELD — Illinois officials and local law enforcement agencies are planning roadside checks to kick off their holiday safe-driving campaign. The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and hundreds of police and sheriff’s departments announced their end-of-year effort on Wednesday.


    Wisconsin Senate to vote on Medicaid delay

    MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin state Senate plans to vote on Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to delay Medicaid coverage for some while also keeping others on the program longer than anticipated.The Senate’s scheduled vote Thursday leaves little time to notify those affected by the changes.


    University of Wisconsin president panel to hand over recommendations

    MADISON, Wis. — A committee screening University of Wisconsin System president hopefuls is set to hand over finalists’ names to a selection committee this week.The search-and-screen committee is expected to hand over the names to the selection group in a closed meeting Friday on the UW-Madison campus. System officials expect to release the finalists’ names on Jan. 2.


    Defendant accused of asking mom to help in escape

    JANESVILLE, Wis. — Court documents say a man accused of burning a woman’s body at his property in Rock County asked his mother to blow out the jail wall with explosives so he could escape.


    1 killed in double shooting at northern Indiana home

    NORTH WEBSTER, Ind. — Police in northern Indiana say one man was killed and another wounded in a shooting during a domestic dispute.The shooting happened Wednesday night at a home near the Kosciusko County town of North Webster.Sheriff’s Sgt. Chad Hill tells WANE-TV and WNDU-TV that arriving officers found a woman outside the home. She wasn’t hurt and was taken into custody.


    Nearly 300 storm damage reports in Lafayette area

    LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Authorities have compiled nearly 300 reports of damage from last month’s storms in the Lafayette area.Tippecanoe County emergency management agency staffers worked this week with state and federal representatives to check on areas with reported damage from the Nov. 17 storm wave that caused about two dozen tornadoes across the state.


    Woman killed, husband badly hurt in central Indiana fire

    SPICELAND, Ind. — Authorities say a fire in a small central Indiana town has killed a woman and badly hurt her husband.Firefighters were called about 4 a.m. Thursday to an old barn that had been converted into a home in the Henry County town of Spiceland.


    Northwestern to host Rotelli light installation

    Northwestern University’s Deering Library will be the backdrop next month for an elaborate light show by noted Italian light artist Marco Rotelli.Officials say the installation will bathe the library facade with his unique illuminations during the third week of January.

    Judson University students and faculty members helped remove debris from sites where homes were destroyed in a Nov. 17 tornado in Washington, Ill.

    Judson students, staff members help town recover from tornado

    Though his family’s home was spared from the Nov. 17 EF-4 tornado that ravaged Washington, Ill., Greg Butler knew he had to do something to help his community. The Judson University senior urged university officials to pull together a volunteer relief team to help with the cleanup. “He was delightfully persistent,” said Chris Lash, Judson’s director of university ministry.


    Dawn Patrol: Naperville fire victims mourned; Larry Lujack dies

    Naperville residents mourn fire victims. Former student defends hazing in Maine West hazing trial. Ex-carnival worker found guilty again in stabbing death. Teen helps save Aurora couple from fire. Schaumburg swears in new police chief. RTA names interim chief. Briggs' status unclear for Sunday.


    Elgin gives initial nod to senior housing

    The Elgin City Council gave its preliminary OK to a project to build more affordable housing for seniors in Elgin. The $25 million project, which consists of rehabbing Central Park Tower at 120 S. State St. and building a new six-story building just to the south, will allow seniors to live “with dignity,” Councilwoman Tish Powell said.

    Brian Dennehy, left, and Nathan Lane will reprise their roles as Larry Slade and Theodore “Hickey” Hickman when the Brooklyn Academy of Music remounts Goodman Theatre’s 2012 production of “The Iceman Cometh” in 2015 at BAM’s Harvey Theater.

    Goodman’s ‘Iceman’ opens off-Broadway in 2015

    The Brooklyn Academy of Music announced it will remount Goodman's 2012 production of Eugene O'Neill's "The Iceman Cometh" - with its original cast and design team - in February 2015.

    Nanci Radford

    Voters to decide Round Lake High School expansion, building improvement plan

    Voters will decide if Round Lake Area Unit District 116 should borrow $29 million for a high school expansion and a variety of building improvements. By a 7-0 vote, District 116 board members this week passed a resolution authorizing placement of the borrowing question on the March 18 ballot. That day’s election also will feature primaries for state and Lake County offices.


    Highland Park man gets 25 years in N.Y. Taliban case

    A Highland Park man convicted earlier this year of conspiring to provide material support to the Taliban has been sentenced in New York to 25 years in prison.


    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots over Chicago Bulls forwards Tony Snell (20) and Carlos Boozer (5) during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. Oklahoma City won 107-95.

    Another twist: Butler injured in loss to Thunder

    Joakim Noah finished with 23 points and 12 rebounds, but the shorthanded Bulls lost at Oklahoma City 107-95 on Thursday. The Bulls played without Kirk Hinrich(sore back), Luol Deng (sore left Achilles) and Jimmy Butler sat out the second half with an ankle injury.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler celebrates a touchdown by Bears running back Michael Bush in the fourth quarter of an NFL football game against the Cleveland Browns on Sunday, Dec. 15, 2013, in Cleveland. Chicago won 38-31. (AP Photo/David Richard)

    Could Trestman sit Cutler, Forte and others?

    It's possible that the outcome of the Bears-Eagles game could be meaningless by the 7:30 p.m. kickoff, but coach Marc Trestman isn't spending any time considering anything other than how to win in Philadelphia.

    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.com Lance Briggs, here lining up Giants RB Brandon Jacobs earlier this season, appears ready to return to action Sunday in Philadelphia. “We’re really hopeful that he’ll be able to play,” said coach Marc Trestman.

    Briggs back where he belongs

    Seven-time Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs is expected back Sunday after missing seven games with a fractured shoulder. His return couldn't come at a better time for a Bears defense that has struggled all year to stop the run and faces the Eagles, the NFL's No. 1 rushing offense.


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


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


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


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


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


    Waubonsie Valley stays calm, slips past E. Aurora

    It’s what the Waubonsie Valley boys basketball team didn’t do after the first quarter that was crucial to it winning 58-55 over East Aurora on Thursday night in Aurora.

    Larkin’s Kendale McCullum (10) puts up a shot between a pair of Elgin defenders, including Desmond Sanders (22), and draws a foul during Thursday’s game at Elgin.

    In another classic, Larkin survives

    Larkin coach Deryn Carter stood in darkened Chesbrough Field House 20 minutes after another agonizingly close game in the crosstown series against rival Elgin had concluded. With his tie now loosened and the tension of 32 minutes of high-pressure high school basketball finally beginning to ebb, Carter ruminated on the Royals’ hard-fought 71-67 victory and shook his head, well aware his team had just survived the kind of test only a rival can offer. “Unbelievable, man, unbelievable,” Larkin’s fifth-year coach said. “We’ll take it. It’s a tough rivalry. Like we tell our guys, you want to win in March and you want to win when you play Elgin. And we squeaked one out.”


    Neuqua Valley wins 6th straight

    Neuqua Valley’s 2013-14 boys basketball season has taken a turn for the better since a 1-2 start. The Wildcats picked up their sixth straight victory in beating Bartlett 61-44 on Thursday night, but they also concluded a stretch of five straight games against the Upstate Eight Valley, where Neuqua Valley went 5-0 against its conference foes.

    Tyler Schutte of Glenbard South looks fo an open man during the Ridgewood at Glenbard South boys basketball game Thursday.

    Glenbard South enjoys ‘wow’ game

    It’s the kind of effort you wish you could bottle up for later use. Glenbard South’s boys basketball team played to near perfection while dominating Ridgewood in an 82-48 Metro Suburban Conference victory Thursday in Glen Ellyn.


    Smith, Vernon Hills rolll

    Sydney Smith’s 19 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists led Vernon Hills’ girls basketball team to a 73-23 win over visiting Round Lake on Thursday night.

    Grayslake Central’s Carson Sparkman, left, and St. Charles North’s Sam Novak chase down a loose ball during Thursday’s game in Grayslake.

    Fortune smiles upon Grayslake C. against St. Charles N.

    Maddy Arnold made it look so smooth and easy. Her Grayslake Central basketball teammate Morgan Dahlstrom did likewise, despite playing on an achy calf that had her in tears earlier in the week. Funny, Arnold banked in a long 3-pointer to beat the first-quarter buzzer, grinning sheepishly afterward, while St. Charles North couldn’t bank on any shot dropping in its nonconference road game Thursday night. “I practice that,” joked Arnold, whose 3 stretched the Rams’ lead to four. Arnold and her teammates were still smiling at game’s end. Dahlstrom’s 25 points, 17 rebounds and 3 blocked shots led the way in Grayslake Central’s 65-49 win, which hiked the Rams’ record to 8-3.


    It’s all coming together for Carmel’s well-traveled Kirby

    Extra effort over the summer has helped Carmel's Billy Kirby have an impact on the boys basketball court this winter.


    Wheaton North finds its shooter in victory

    Wheaton North junior Emari Jones liked the big number teammate Kelly Thornton put up Thursday night in Roselle. “My shooter,” the 6-foot-1 point guard said of Thornton. “When I see she’s open, she’s getting the ball and I just know it’s going in. Our shooter.” Thornton hit three 3-pointers and scored a personal-best 20 points and the Falcons defeated host Lake Park 61-50 in the teams’ first DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball meeting since the Lancers joined the conference.


    South Elgin outscores Konchar, West Chicago

    South Elgin had the right plan of attack Thursday night at West Chicago. Storm boys basketball coach Matt Petersen told his team to run its up-tempo offense, score a boatload of points and make sure Wildcats star John Konchar couldn’t match the big offensive numbers all by himself. Things pretty much went the way the Storm planned, as South Elgin (4-5, 2-2) exploded for 84 points over the final three quarters to outslug Konchar and the Wildcats 99-88 in Upstate Eight Valley play. While Konchar was scoring a school-record 49 points — and also pulling in 27 rebounds — South Elgin guard Matthew Smith tallied a personal-high 36 points and received plenty of support as the Storm connected on 12 3-pointers and survived Konchar’s huge night.


    Williams, Sullivan paired for Hall of Fame honor

    Thinking alike about how basketball should be played was a big reason the coaching pairing of Bob Williams and Jim Sullivan was successful. So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Williams and Sullivan have like-minded views about their induction into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in late April of 2014. To the point where their responses were eerily similar in separate conversations about their appreciation of the honor.

    Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots in front of Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34) during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    Bulls battle, but fall to Thunder, 107-95

    Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Bulls 107-95 on Thursday night for their eighth straight win. Russell Westbrook had 20 points and reserve Reggie Jackson added 18 to help the Thunder improve to 13-0 at Chesapeake Arena. Oklahoma City is the only NBA team with a perfect home record.


    Genoa-Kingston upends Burlington Central

    Despite heading into the fourth quarter with a 5 point lead, the Burlington Central boys basketball team couldn’t sustain the advantage Thursday night and fell at home to Genoa-Kingston, 62-59, in a Big Northern East contest.

    Plenty of fantasy owners benefitted — and were crushed by — Justin Tucker on Monday night. The Ravens' kicker booted 5 field goals, including a 61-yarder that beat the Lions.

    Do your craziest fantasy victories match up with these?

    What are the most heart-pounding victories or most agonizing losses you've experienced playing fantasy football?


    Geneva too tall for Streamwood

    Thursday night was a matchup any 6-foot-7 player would relish. All three Geneva players listed at that height certainly took advantage of an undersized Streamwood team. The Vikings scored 22 of their 25 field goals in the paint and dominated the boards in a 66-47 Upstate Eight River Division victory in Streamwood.


    Washington sparks St. Charles East in 4th

    Kyra Washington scored 11 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter Thursday to lead St. Charles East to a 62-59 win over Metea Valley.

    Photos from the Ridgewood at Glenbard South boys basketball game Thursday, Dec. 19.

    Images: Ridgewood at Glenbard South boys basketball
    Glenbard South hosted Ridgewood High School Thursday, Dec. 19 for boys basketball.

    St. Charles East’s Isaiah Vela flips Metea Valley’s Juan Materino in their 138-pound match on Thursday. Vela won the match.

    St. Charles East swamps Metea Valley

    Austin Hrubec was the symbolic wrestler for St. Charles East Thursday night. The Saints’ 126-pounder had an early lead against his counterpart from Metea Valley, Uri Ariza. But the Mustangs’ junior literally reversed the tide late in the second period. Hrubec tied up the match with an escape and pulled off a daring maneuver to earn a stunning pin 13 seconds before the final buzzer. Metea Valley would have few answers for the Saints’ tenacity and skill as St. Charles East dominated the Upstate Eight Conference crossover dual match with 12 wins. Hrubec had one of Saints’ six maximum-point victories during their 57-10 triumph in St. Charles.

    Jacobs and senior Ben Murray will begin action in the Hinkle Holiday Classic Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against Lakes.

    New Hinkle Holiday Classic format more fan-friendly

    The schedule makers at Jacobs High School have redesigned their boys basketball tournament with the high school fan in mind. Previously, teams in the same pool played their games back to back. That system made it convenient for coaches to scout upcoming opponents, but the casual fan had to pick and choose the most attractive matchups to see over a 12-hour span. In an effort to maximize attendance this Saturday, the opening-day schedule has been adjusted to showcase four of the day’s most compelling matchups consecutively, beginning at 3 p.m.


    Harper’s Dabrowski nets All-American Honor

    After being named to the North Central Community College Conference all-academic team for a second straight season following a standout volleyball performance this fall, Harper’s Veronica Dabrowski has added to her list of honors.Already chosen all-Region and first-team all-conference, Dabrowski (Rolling Meadows) can add NJCAA first team All-American to her resume. She becomes the 13th Harper player to earn that distinction in that last 12 years.Dabrowski had 475 kills, putting her fourth in the nation in that category. She now ranks second on Harper’s all-time kills list with 828, behind only Christy Lima (860).The N4C also had three All-American representatives from Madison Area Technical College, which won the NJCAA Division III national championship.

    Larkin’s Kendale McCullum puts up a shot between a pair of Elgin defenders, including Desmond Sanders.

    Images: Elgin vs. Larkin boys basketball
    Elgin hosted Larkin in a boys basketball cross-town rivalry matchup Thursday in Elgin.

    In this Dec. 8, 2013, photo, Los Angeles Lakers' Kobe Bryant looks back during his team's loss to the Toronto Raptors during an NBA basketball game in Los Angeles. Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks with an injured left knee. The Lakers said Thursday, Dec. 19, 2013, that an MRI scan showed that Bryant has a fracture of the lateral tibial plateau of his knee. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok)

    Kobe likely to miss 6 weeks with fracture in knee

    Kobe Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks with an injured left knee, dealing the second major injury setback of the year to the Los Angeles Lakers’ superstar guard.

    Candidates for Warren’s softball team have found the spirit of the season, helping assemble and pack gift packages for those in need.

    These athletes give freely — of themselves

    Lake County high school athletes are busy - but not too busy to help others this holiday season.

    Hersey’s Connor Reynolds leaves the starting block in the 50-yard freestyle during Thursday’s meet with Wheeling at Olympic Pool in Arlington Heights.

    This one adds up as a Hersey victory

    Tuesday’s Mid-Suburban East dual meet between Wheeling and host Hersey was an interesting exercise in the importance of numbers in high school boys swimming. Wheeling has an unusual overall profile — terrific, state meet-caliber swimmers at the top of the lineup, but challenged when it comes to the total number of participants. Hersey is the other side of that coin, with excellent participation but fewer meet-tested varsity athletes. At Olympic Pool, Hersey made the aggregate edge work in their favor, earning a 105-81 victory.


    Huntley gears up for Harvard tournament

    Huntley won only three matches on the mat, but still cruised. Taking advantage of a thin Prairie Ridge squad, the Red Raiders notched 8 forfeits to roll over the Wolves, 63-12, in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division wrestling action in Huntley Thursday night.

    Algonquin resident and Palatine native Andy McElman is thrilled about his upcoming participation in Olympic Hockey in the Sochi Games as a linesman.

    It’s official: Sochi selection suits McElman just fine

    Andy McElman's participation in the upcoming Sochi Games as a hockey linesman came as a most pleasant surprise.


    White Sox bolster bullpen with veterans

    The White Sox officially signed relief pitcher Ronald Belisario to a one-year, $3 million contract on Thursday, and sources said the lefty Scott Downs had agreed to a contract and will add more veteran bullpen depth.

    Mike Johnson of Naperville North,left, and Sean O’Mara of Benet go up for a rebound. This took place during the Benet at Naperville North boys basketball game Tuesday.

    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball holiday tournaments

    With York’s 40th Annual Jack Tosh Holiday Classic expanding to 32 teams — matching Proviso West’s move to 32 last year — watching games will seem like one-stop shopping for boys basketball fans.York and Proviso West aren’t the only places to see quality action, however.

    Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville likes how his team has come together with the veteran leadership provided the right attitude and approach to every game and practice.

    Leadership at core of Hawks’ success

    Why are the Hawks so successful? Head coach Joel Quenneville points to the players, and the leadership core. “We’ve got a lot of the same characteristics that were important when we did win the Cup, and a lot of the same people," Quenneville said. "I think our core group that has had the privilege of winning both Cups, they lead the way. Their attitude and approach game to game puts us in the right place.

    FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2013 file photo, Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers stretches his arm during warm ups prior to an NFL football game against the Minnesota Vikings in Green Bay, Wis. Rodgers sure looks like he's ready to go during the brief spurts of Packers practice open to media. But whether the franchise quarterback will be cleared from a left collarbone injury in time to play Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, against the Steelers remains in question.(AP Photo/Matt Ludtke, File)

    Still no word on if Rodgers will start for Pack

    Aaron Rodgers looked fine on the practice field Thursday. It doesn’t mean he is going to play.There was no definitive word on whether Rodgers will be medically cleared to return from his left collarbone injury in time for Sunday’s game against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

    Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half of the Nov. 30 game against South Carolina in Columbia, S.C. Boyd is tied for 15th in major-college history with 102 touchdown passes.

    Ohio St. defense seeks answer to stopping Clemson

    Asked after a recent Ohio State practice if he was concerned about Clemson’s passing attack in the Orange Bowl, coach Urban Meyer all but laughed out loud. “Oh, yeah,” he said, shaking his head. “You think?” The 12th-ranked Tigers (10-2) average 502 total yards, 329 through the air, and 40.2 points per game.

    Notre Dame wide receiver DaVaris Daniels, left, pushes off Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen on his way to an 82-yard touchdown during the Sept. 14 game in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Purdue-Notre Dame rivalry to end after 2014

    Another Notre Dame rivalry game is biting the dust. Purdue announced on Thursday it has joined Pittsburgh and Michigan on the list of teams that usually play the Fighting Irish on an annual or near-annual basis but won’t be any longer.

    Reliever John Axford went a combined 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 75 appearances for the Brewers and Cardinals last season.

    Indians reach deal with Axford

    The Indians have completed a $4.5 million, one-year contract with free agent closer John Axford. He replaces two-time All-Star Chris Perez, who was released in October.

    Miami Heat's LeBron James has the No. 1 selling jersey among NBA players, with Derrick Rose of the Bulls listed at No. 3 overall.

    James No. 1 (Rose No. 3) in NBA jersey sales

    Despite playing in only 10 NBA regular-season games over the last two season, Derrick Rose’s jersey holds the No. 3 spot among the league’s top-selling jerseys.As expected, LeBron James, the league’s reigning MVP from the Miami Heat, earned the No.1 spot again.


    Mike North Video: “Grudge Match” a must-see
    Robert De Niro and Sylvester Stallone both got in shape to do the new boxing movie “Grudge Match,” and it looks like it will be worth seeing.

    Haley Gorecki

    Girls basketball: Week 3 MVP

    Fremd junior guard Haley Gorecki has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent basketball performance. Gorecki scored the go-ahead basket as the Vikings knocked off defending state champ Marian Catholic 63-62 on Saturday at Whitney Young High School in Chicago. Gorecki finished with 23 points and 4 steals for the defending Mid-Suburban League champs.

    Connor VanderBrug

    Boys basketball: Week 3 MVPs

    Timothy Christian senior Connor VanderBrug has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent basketball performances. The 6-foot-6 VanderBrug scored 29, 23 and 23 points and average more than 9 rebounds in three straight Trojans victories.


    Algonquin officials now allow gas station operators to illuminate prices in green LED lights, like this BP gas station in Elgin has done.

    Algonquin gives green light to green lights at gas stations

    The owner of the BP gas station in Algonquin now can display gas prices in green LED lights, as the village agreed to change its law that allowed only red and amber-colored lights. “They didn’t give me a hard time or anything,” gas station owner Ratilal Patel said. “I’m unbelievably happy.”

    East Dundee approved a redevelopment agreement for the old Summit School on Main Street, which is now owned by Tom Roeser, who has converted the insides into office spaces.

    Roeser buys Summit School, converts it to office space

    A school building that had been vacant for years has been revamped and had a positive ripple effect in East Dundee. Businessman Tom Roeser has bought, gutted and created several office condos within the old Summit School, a move that allowed Dundee Township officials to escape the cramped basement in the Fox River Valley Public Library that had been their office for 38 years.

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index retreated Thursday from a record, set after the Federal Reserve’s decision to cut stimulus a day earlier, as investors weighed economic data that included jobless claims and home sales.

    Stocks pause on Wall Street a day after a surge

    U.S. stock indexes ended up pretty much where they started on Thursday, a day after a powerful surge. Stocks gained the most in more than two months Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it would reduce its bond-buying program to $75 billion a month from $85 billion.


    Rosemont-based US Goods in $330K settlement

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says Rosemont-based US Foods will pay a $330,000 settlement for overcharging dozens of institutions across the state by failing to pass on cost savings from manufacturers.

    Facebook plans to offer 70 million shares of its Class A stock in a sale that includes more than 41 million shares from chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen here.

    Facebook to sell 70M shares, 41M of them from CEO

    Facebook plans to offer 70 million shares of its Class A stock in a sale that includes more than 41 million shares from chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who also will buy Class B shares that carry more voting weight.

    Facebook began showing mobile ads in 2012 and is now looking into mobile video ads.

    U.S. mobile ad spending to soar, says eMarketer

    Research firm eMarketer expects spending on mobile advertisements to hit nearly $9.6 billion in the U.S. this year, up from $4.4 billion in 2012 and from less than $1.6 billion in 2011 as Facebook and Google barrel ahead.

    Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts customers may have been affected by a data breach that occurred at its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

    Target: 40 million card accounts may be breached

    Target is grappling with security and a public relations nightmare just as the holiday shopping season is wrapping up. The nation’s second largest discounter said Thursday that data connected to about 40 million credit and debit card accounts was stolen as part of a breach that began over the Thanksgiving weekend.

    Scott Gerami, a Re/Max broker in Naperville, built this quadracopter drone to take photos and video for some listings. This drone is about 2 feet square.

    Naperville Realtor uses homemade drones to capture images for listings

    Scott Gerami, a 52-year-old managing broker for Re/Max Professionals Select in Naperville, wanted his for-sale listings to capture attention and stand above the rest. So he built his own drones, which take aerial photos and video of the home and surrounding property. He also uses the images on his YouTube channel. “Technology is the name of the game today, so this really sets things apart,” Gerami said.


    Spain fines Google $1.2 million over privacy laws
    Spain’s data protection agency says it has fined search engine giant Google $1.2 million for three serious breaches of the country’s laws.


    Gauge of economy’s health up 0.8 percent

    A measure of the U.S. economy’s health posted a solid gain in November, suggesting momentum was building at the end of the year.


    Hollande: EU banking union cure against bailouts

    French President Francois Hollande says the creation of a new institution to handle troubled banks will spare taxpayers from having to pay for further bank bailouts.

    Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages rose slightly this week but remained near historically low levels.

    Average U.S. rate on 30-year loan rises to 4.47 pct.

    Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages rose slightly this week but remained near historically low levels. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the rate on the 30-year loan increased to 4.47 percent from 4.42 percent last week. The average on the 15-year fixed loan rose to 3.51 percent from 3.43 percent.

    The number of people who bought existing U.S. homes in November declined for the third straight month. Higher mortgage rates have made home-buying more expensive, while the lingering effect of the October government shutdown might have deterred some sales.

    U.S. existing-home sales drop for 3rd straight month

    The number of people who bought existing U.S. homes in November declined for the third straight month. Higher mortgage rates have made home-buying more expensive, while the lingering effect of the October government shutdown might have deterred some sales.

    For many Americans, problems with the government’s main health care website carry a bigger risk than frequent crashes, as higher premiums could follow if technical troubles scare off young customers crucial to the overhaul’s insurance coverage expansions.

    Overhaul website problems may trigger price hikes

    Problems with the government’s main health care overhaul website carry a bigger risk than frequent crashes: Higher prices could follow for many Americans if technical troubles scare off young people. The government has touted recent improvements to HeathCare.gov, but enrollment still lags far behind projections, and that has triggered worries that legions of potential customers in their 20s and 30s might not sign up.

Life & Entertainment

    The A&E channel says “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, left, (who stars with Jase Robertson, Si Robertson and Willie Robertson) is off the show indefinitely after condemning gays as sinners in a magazine interview.

    Many 'Duck Dynasty' fans call for patriarch's return

    When the A&E network suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson for disparaging gay people, it may have followed a time-honored TV tradition of quickly silencing a star who, for better or worse, speaks his mind. But in doing so it also ruffled the feathers of possibly millions of fans of its most popular show. Fourteen hours after it was learned that Robertson had been placed on indefinite "hiatus" for telling GQ magazine, among other things, that gays are headed to hell, more than a half-million people liked an impromptu Facebook page demanding the show be boycotted until he returns.

    Chicago's cutting-edge rock radio disc jockey Larry "Superjock" Lujack at his Palatine home in 1987. He died in New Mexico Wednesday night.

    Adios, Uncle Lar, one last time

    In 1987, after an incredible 30-year broadcasting career — 20 in Chicago — cutting-edge disc jockey Larry Lujack, affectionately dubbed “Superjock,” played his signature opening from his popular “Animal Stories” feature, said goodbye, and retired. Now, it’s the fans’ turn to say goodbye to Superjock. The broadcasting icon, 73, died Wednesday in New Mexico after fighting esophageal cancer.

    Con man Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale), left, Sydney Prosser (Amy Adams) and federal agent Richie DiMaso (Bradley Cooper) set up a corruption sting in “American Hustle.”

    Coifs, twisty plot, excellent cast give 'Hustle' dramatic muscle

    The screenplay is so dense and nuanced, the characters so textured and conflicted, the plot so tight and twisty that David Russell's comic “American Hustle” achieves giddy reality. The spunky characters constantly surprise us. Their dialogue snaps, crackles and pops. The sharp camera work and crisp editing suggest what the “Ocean's 11” remake might be like had Martin Scorsese directed it.


    Sellers afraid to disclose unpermitted addition

    Q. Six years ago, we enlarged our house without a building permit. The addition was built by a qualified contractor, but we knew that didn’t make it legal. Now we are planning to list our house for sale, but we are afraid to tell the Realtors about the illegal addition. How can we do this without stirring up trouble and without costing a fortune?


    I am real estate, hear me roar

    WASHINGTON — The biggest story in American real estate in 2013 hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves, so let’s shout this out: Homeowners’ net equity holdings soared by $2.2 trillion between the third quarter of 2012 and the third quarter of this year, according to new data collected by the Federal Reserve.

    Demi Lovato said Wednesday that she is leaving ‘The X Factor’ to focus on her music.

    Demi Lovato confirms ‘X Factor’ exit

    Demi Lovato says she’s leaving “The X Factor” to focus on her music career. In an interview after Wednesday’s performance show the 21-year-old singer-actress said she wanted to return to her “roots.” Lavoto plans to devote next year to touring and working on a new album.

    Patchi (voiced by Justin Long) and his friend Alex the prehistoric bird (voiced by John Leguizamo) hang together in “Walking With Dinosaurs.”

    Superb visuals trump thoughtfulness in 'Dinosaurs'

    Weirdly enough, rottentomatoes.com classifies the 3-D animated feature film “Walking With Dinosaurs” as a documentary. The movie clumsily attempts to teach kids about paleontology by flashing dinosaur facts up on the screen. But “Sesame Street” is shrewder about teaching kids than this movie, one that doesn't stick to its own timeline rules and is enamored by flatulence/excretement jokes.

    Patrons Fernando Ramos, 44, and his son Brian, 13, eat their burgers on the back of their Mustang convertible at the parking lot of Capitol Burgers in Los Angeles.

    Go for the food: Capitol Burgers in Los Angeles

    There's this weirdly unfounded reputation that just about everyone in Los Angeles is vegan and therefore sunbaked Angelenos only feast on the likes of kale and quinoa. Such a stereotype is antithetical to the City of Angels' unhealthy obsession with the hamburger. La La Land is now home to every imaginable make and model of burger, including the must-eat classic served up at Capitol Burgers, an old-school hamburger stand. For less than $5, visitors can drive away totally satisfied.

    Benji, the lovable star of “Benji the Hunted,” will be featured at a special Dann & Raymond’s Movie Club, all about great dog movies, at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library on Jan. 9.

    Dann & Raymond salute great canines

    Join Dann Gire and film historian Raymond Benson as Dann & Raymond’s Movie Club rings in the new year at both the Schaumburg and Arlington Heights libraries next month. Plus, Dann helps a Sleepy Hollow reader out deciphering the meaning of the song title "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious."


    Night life events: Winter Tartan Ale now on tap at Rock Bottom
    Get into character with the seasonal Winter Tartan Ale at Rock Bottom Brewery locations in Lombard, Warrenville and Orland Park. Available now through Jan. 5, the traditional Scottish ale is known for its smooth, malty flavor and hint of vanilla. Plus, Hofbrauhaus offers the Christmas Festbier through the end of the month.

    Llewyn Davis (Oscar Isaac), left, and Jim (Justin Timberlake) take to the recording studio in the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

    ‘Inside’ a quest crammed with comic Coenesque quirkiness

    Oscar Isaac plays the title character in the Coens’ “Inside Llewyn Davis,” and his performance bleeds with strained empathy. There’s a strong hint of a restless young Al Pacino lurking within Issac, who emanates lulling charisma. Yet, his Llewyn Davis proves to be an enigmatic soul, a discontented musician wandering through an unfocused existence crammed with comic Coenesque quirkiness.

    Country superstar Martina McBride performs “The Joy of Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 21, at the Rosemont Theatre.

    Music notes: McBride brings cheer to Rosemont Theatre

    The season gets a little merrier Saturday when Martina McBride brings her holiday-themed show to the Rosemont Theatre. Lake County native Scott Lucas and his band the Married Men play a special holiday show in Chicago this weekend, and Durty Nellie's has a free show on tap for Christmas night!


    Bob Chwedyk/bchwedyk@dailyherald.com Police the investigate the shooting scene in Arlington Heights.

    Editorial: The essential work of 911 dispatchers

    A Daily Herald editorial says emergency dispatchers play a big role in determining the outcome of calls like the hostage situation last week in Arlington Heights.


    Outrageous fortune: Perchance to megadream

    Columnist Jim Slusher: The slogan at the checkout counter of the convenience store throbs with fat, bold type and is garnished with exclamation points. It is not to be missed. “WHEN YOU BELIEVE, ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE!!” Oh, there’s always a disclaimer, isn’t there? That nasty faith thing.


    Dreaming of a penguin Christmas

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: In case you missed the most pressing issue of the season — Santa’s race — Fox News’ Megyn Kelly reaped a whirlwind when she recently declared that not only is Santa white but so was Jesus.


    Stop protecting Wall Street ‘captains’
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Example after example of Wall Street companies, proven explicitly in courts of law for the Great Recession crash five years ago, have virtually rescued complicit “captains” and “first mates” by allowing them to board life boats before passengers and then punishing the ship building company with exceedingly low pocket change fines and inconsequential penalties.


    Stop funding programs in other nations
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: I think I must be losing my mind. We are giving billions of dollars to Egypt and they are building their space program. We are cutting back on all kinds of projects in this country so Egypt can have a space program.


    Limit, don’t ban e-cigarettes
    A letter to the editor: Millions of smokers trying to quit have used e-cigarettes, sales of which have doubled in recent years. These devices, which have proved to be effective as nicotine replacement products, have become key components in tobacco harm reduction strategies.


    You have power to help change world
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: You have the power (the magic) to help people! We all have it. It’s just a matter of realizing it, believing in it and sharing this wonderful gift. You do it sometimes without realizing it and most of the time you don’t even know what you just did.


    Protect yourself from house ‘thefts’
    A letter to the editor: The holiday season is a festive time of year when friends and family gather. But the holidays are also a prime time for fraudsters to take advantage of their unsuspecting victims’ generosity and good will.


    Indiana town proves it’s wonderful life
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: A real time dramatization of Frank Capra’s iconic Christmas story, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is playing out in the small town of Cedar Lake, Ind.


    Enough whining over modest cutbacks
    A Pingree Grove letter to the editor: As a retired federal employee with 18 years of professional experience in the private sector, I feel I am competent to discuss the differences in benefits of the two systems. While I believe public sector employees should receive good benefits for their hard work, I am real tired of all the whining over what are mostly minor changes in the public sector systems.


    Take control of block parties
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Two months ago, our daughter and a friend were driving in Glen Ellyn to visit another friend, unaware that they were approaching a group of adults who had turned their street into a block party.


Dec 2013

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