Daily Archive : Tuesday December 31, 2013


    Musician and historian Jose Sandoval of Mount Prospect shares stories and songs during The Spirit of Motown program at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire on Sunday. Sandoval played piano as he explored the story of Motown, the record label and sound that bridged the racial divide of the 60s.

    Spirit of Motown fills Lincolnshire library

    Music enthusiasts braved the snow and cold to listen to the cool sounds of the “Spirit of Motown” program Sunday at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire. Pianist Jose Sandoval of Mount Prospect used storytelling and music to explain the story of Motown, the record label and sound that bridged the racial divide of the 1960s.

    The Barrington High School Bronco Marching Band performs in the 2014 New Year’s Day Parade in London on Wednesday.

    Barrington High marching band takes to London streets

    It rained Wednesday throughout the Barrington High School Bronco Marching Band's performance in London's New Year's Day parade. But no one was complaining. "There’s so much history and culture here, you just can’t help but learn something. We’ve had a tremendous experience," said Randy Karon, band director.


    ‘Mulan Jr.” auditions in Schaumburg:

    Auditions for the Schaumburg Park District’s spring production of “Disney’s Mulan Jr.” will take place from 5:15 to 7:15 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9 at the Community Recreation Center, 505 N. Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg. Roles are available for ages 7 to 20.

    Traffic moves slowly on Kimball Street in Elgin as the incoming snowstorm begins Tuesday afternoon.

    New Year’s Snowin’ Eve: Worst snow happening now

    Snow that’s expected to carry into New Year’s Day slowed Tuesday evening’s commute with an inch to 2 inches reported throughout the area by evening. By 7 p.m., O’Hare International Airport reported an inch of snowfall, Rockford 1.7 inches, .9 inches at Midway Airport and 1.8 inches in St. Charles, according to meteorologists.


    Barbara Bush hospitalized in Houston

    Former first lady Barbara Bush has been hospitalized in Houston with a respiratory-related issue, her husband’s office said Tuesday night.The statement from the office of former President George H.W. Bush said Mrs. Bush was admitted to Houston Methodist Hospital on Monday.

    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Tuesday evening blocked implementation of portions of President Barack Obama’s health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control.

    Justice delays health law’s birth control mandate

    Only hours before the law was to take effect, a Supreme Court justice on Tuesday blocked implementation of part of President Barack Obama’s health care law that would have forced some religion-affiliated organizations to provide health insurance for employees that includes birth control.


    Train strikes car in Des Plaines

    An outbound Metra train struck a car as it approached the Des Plaines station near River Road and Miner Street this evening.

    A fireball goes up at the site of an oil train derailment Monday in Casselton, N.D. The train carrying crude oil derailed near Casselton Monday afternoon. Several explosions were reported as some cars on the mile-long train caught fire.

    Safety questions after ND oil train derailment

    Authorities urged residents to evacuate a small North Dakota town Monday night after a mile-long train carrying crude oil derailed outside of town, shaking residents with a series of explosions that sent flames and black smoke skyward.

    Though he did win and his run will continue at least one more show, Jerry Slowik of Arlington Heights, front right, takes some gentle teasing from his dad, Jerry, left, and mom, Debbie, after missing a question on his “Jeopardy!” appearance. He watched his latest appearance on the program with friends New Year’s Eve at Eddie’s Restaurant and Lounge in Arlington Heights.

    ‘Jeopardy!’ run continues for Arlington Hts. resident

    Jerry Slowik, 28, of Arlington Heights gathered with family and friends to watch his fourth “Jeopardy!” win at Eddie’s Restaurant and Lounge in Arlington Heights Tuesday afternoon. “It’s always been kind of a dream of mine,” said Slowik, a longtime fan of the show. “Going to Los Angeles, and going for ‘Jeopardy!’ of all things, was just an amazing experience. It’s been one of the highlights of my...

    Revelers cheer as they wait for midnight during the New Year’s Eve celebrations in Times Square, Tuesday.

    New Year’s in Times Square is endurance contest

    NEW YORK — Crowds jammed New York’s Times Square on Tuesday to ring in 2014, braving bone-chilling cold and ultra-tight security for the chance to see Miley Cyrus, a final countdown from a U.S. Supreme Court justice and the drop of the shimmering crystal ball.

    In a study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association on Tuesday, researchers report that vitamin E might slow the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.

    Vitamin E may slow Alzheimer’s disease progression

    Researchers say vitamin E might slow the progression of mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease — the first time any treatment has been shown to alter the course of dementia at that stage.

    Nailah Winkfield, left, mother of 13-year-old Jahi McMath, is comforted by brother Omari Sealey as she talks to the media outside Children’s Hospital Oakland, Monday in Oakland, Calif. McMath, who was declared brain dead after complications of a tonsillectomy, will now stay on a ventilator through Jan. 7.

    Q&A: Girl’s brain death ignites difficult debate

    A California hospital and family are embroiled in a harrowing legal and medical fight that has reignited the debate about when machines keeping a severely brain-damaged person alive should be turned off. Here are questions and answers to some of the issues involved.

    This undated file photo provided by the McMath family and Omari Sealey shows Jahi McMath.

    Calif. girl to remain on ventilator until Jan. 7

    A California girl declared brain dead after tonsil surgery will remain on life support for at least another week after a state judge on Monday extended a deadline. Jahi McMath’s mother, Nailah Winkfield, hailed the decision as an answer to her prayers and a sign that she has been right to keep fighting for the teen, who doctors have said will never recover.

    Bill Zelsdorf, of Carpentersville, recently received East Dundee’s inaugural community service award for his work at the Dundee Township Visitor’s Center, also known as The Depot, in East Dundee. Zelsdorf has been affiliated with The Depot for 17 years as a board member, manager and contest coordinator.

    Depot manager honored for volunteerism in E. Dundee

    Bill Zelsdorf, 64, a retired musician from Carpentersville who has been the face of the Dundee Township Visitor's Center for nearly two decades, recently received East Dundee's inaugural community service award, which recognizes outstanding volunteers. “I really hope this award goes on for many, many, many years because there so many people who are so well deserving of this award. Obviously, they...

    ASSOCIATED PRESS Russian President Vladimir Putin, toasts during a New Year dinner in Khabarovsk, Russia’s Far East, Tuesday, with a neon sign behind declaring “Happy New Year.”

    Putin triumphs in 2013 yet tough challenges loom

    Displaying the killer instincts of a chess grandmaster, Vladimir Putin rang out 2013 with an exceptional list of accomplishments. “It’s Putin’s moment. He should feel quite happy,” said Gleb Pavlovsky, a political strategist and onetime adviser to the Kremlin.

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk visits with Jackson Cunningham in his office on Aug. 8 in Washington. Kirk calls Jackson, a fellow stroke victim, a “loyal and motivating force.”

    Kirk, 11-year-old inspire fellow stroke victims

    Jackson Cunningham, 11, and Sen. Mark Kirk have warmed hearts and inspired fellow stroke patients with their odd-couple friendship, an unlikely meeting of two distinct worlds — one full of Legos and zombies, the other focused on Iran sanctions and immigration reform.

    Edward J. McArdle, owner of the Pheasant Run Resort, died Monday.

    Services for Edward McArdle Friday in St. Charles

    One of the early entrepreneurs of St. Charles, Edward McArdle, died at home Monday. McArdle is the investor who brought Pheasant Run to the city. His family still owns the resort.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Katelynn C. Glusak, 18, of Iowa City, was charged Sunday with zero tolerance and illegal consumption by a minor for drinking alcohol while being underage, according to a police report.

    Jamil Sanders

    Seven men charged after Waukegan gunfight

    A gang-related gun fight last week in Waukegan led to seven men charged with various crimes.

    Workers from Chico’s Treeland Inc. cut down trees at Vernon Hills High School in October as a result of an ash borer infestation.

    Vernon Hills considers outside help with battle against emerald ash borer

    Vernon Hills expects tree deaths from the emerald ash borer to spike the next two years and is considering hiring outside help to remove and replace ash trees."There's a term arborists use -- exponential death curve," said David Brown, village engineer and public works director. "We're in the middle of that."

    Barrington Unit District 220 board members voted Tuesday to accept an 11.25-acre donation from Barrington Hills resident and businessman Tom Wamberg. The property is across from Barrington High School on the west side of Hart Road.

    District 220 receives 11-acre site near Barrington High School

    Barrington Unit District 220 board members Tuesday morning voted to accept an 11.25-acre undeveloped site across Hart Road from Barrington High School from a private donor for a purpose yet to be decided. The donation was made by Tom Wamberg on behalf of his family, including his wife, former District 220 board member Dede Wamberg.


    Fitness center open house:

    The Fitness Center at the Libertyville Sports Complex will host an “Open House & Member Appreciation Day” from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Jan. 18.


    Wauconda photo archive created:

    The Wauconda Area Library will celebrate its 75th anniversary this year, and to kick off the festivities officials have launched an online archive of historical photographs.


    Retired teachers meeting:

    The Lake County Retired Teachers Association will meet at noon on Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Lambs Farm restaurant, at Route 176 and I-94, near Libertyville. The cost is $16 per person for the buffet luncheon and meeting. The guest speaker is Vita Verden, founder and host of Senior Issues, a T.V. program that airs on Comcast cable. The program provides information to seniors and covers topics to...


    Arrest after ‘routine’ safety check was legal, appellate court says

    A St. Charles man has lost his appeal of a 2010 conviction for operating a watercraft while intoxicated.The Illinois 2nd District Appellate Court ruled Dec. 27 the state’s interest in promoting “safety of people and property in connection with boating” outweighed the “minimal intrusion” of a routine safety check two Illinois Conservation Police officers did July 9, 2010.


    McHenry County Conservation District honored for green fleet

    The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Chicago Area Clean Cities Coalition, has recognized the McHenry County Conservation District for its “green fleet.” The district received the Illinois Green Fleet designation because 50 out of its 63 vehicles are powered with clean fuels. But it isn’t cheap.

    Dan Volk of Grayslake helps his daughter, Carly, 1, make a postcard during the Lake County Discovery Museum’s Ring in the New Year program Tuesday.

    Lake County Discovery Museum rings in new year

    The Lake County Discovery Museum continued its tradition of celebrating the new year with visitors Tuesday. The “Ring in the New Year” program saw around 100 participants for the drop-in event over the two days.


    Chicago man pleads not guilty after college lockdown

    A 20-year-old University of Mary student accused of writing Facebook posts that prompted an hour-long lockdown of the Bismarck, N.D., campus has pleaded not guilty to terrorizing. Patrick Casas of Chicago entered the plea Tuesday.


    Search goes on for former Des Plaines woman

    A third day of searching for a former Des Plaines woman swept away by the flooded White River in southwestern Indiana Sunday morning proved equally fruitless Tuesday. But this time the search for Cathryn McGill, 31, involved use of a remote operating vehicle which employs radar and sonar underneath the surface of the water, Indiana Conservation Officer Jim Schreck said.


    Audit: State pension payments up in coming year

    The amount Illinois must pay to keep pace with its pension systems should grow less than 2 percent next year but still total nearly $7 billion. A state actuary’s report that Auditor General William Holland released Tuesday says taxpayers must pay $6.86 billion in the fiscal year that begins July 1.


    Emanuel names new transportation chief

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has named a Chicago Transit Authority planning officer as the head of the city’s Department of Transportation. A news release Tuesday from the city says Rebekah Scheinfeld will take over in an interim capacity in January.

    A deputy sergeant with the Tazewell County sheriff’s office walks gingerly through debris after a tornado ravaged downstate Washington in November.

    Thousands apply for tornado recovery assistance

    More than 2,000 people in counties declared federal disaster areas after tornadoes struck Illinois in November have applied for federal assistance, state officials announced Tuesday.


    Palatine Rural teaches fire safety Jan. 7

    The Palatine Rural Fire Protection District is inviting residents to a neighborhood Fire Safety Program at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7 at the Inverness fire station, 35 Ela Road. Common fire hazards, the need for working smoke detectors and family escape plans will be discussed.

    Wheeling and Prospect Heights leaders struck a deal this month to resolve years of squabbling over money and leadership at Chicago Executive Airport. As part of the agreement, Wheeling will give Prospect Heights $475,000 in past tax revenues generated by the airport, which the communities co-own.

    New year, new start for airport as Wheeling, Prospect Hts. settle disputes

    Wheeling and Prospect Heights leaders struck a deal this month to resolve years of squabbling over money and leadership at Chicago Executive Airport. Wheeling will give Prospect Heights $475,000 in past tax revenues generated by the airport. Wheeling Village President Dean Argiris and Prospect Heights Mayor Nick Helmer hammered out the deal. “I’m really happy about it,” Argiris said. “We’ll start...


    Chemical plant unit shut down pending fire probe

    A judge says a Chicago-area chemical company can’t restart an Alsip manufacturing unit involved in an explosion and fire until it figures out what happened.


    Ride with CTA tonight for just a penny

    The CTA will offer penny rides on buses and trains starting at 10 p.m. today through 4 a.m. New Year’s Day. CTA officials say an average 150,000 bus and train rides are taken on New Year’s Eve in the city.

    The countdown to noon ended in a balloon drop during the Family New Year’s Eve Party Tuesday at Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora.

    Kids get early start at Vaughan Athletic Center

    New Year's celebration comes early for the young ones at the Vaughan Athletic Center in Aurora.


    Northwest suburban leaders look ahead

    Northwest suburban mayors look ahead to 2014, telling us what they hope their communities accomplish in the year ahead.

    Personal tablet use at two Lake County school districts has led to improved student classroom engagement and other benefits, according to teachers and administrators.

    Lake County schools in Lake Zurich, Gurnee bullish on iPads

    Personal tablet use at two Lake County school districts has led to improved student classroom engagement and other benefits, according to teachers and administrators. Lake Zurich Unit District 95 started its mobile device initiative in August when 1,300 iPads were issued to middle and high school students. Gurnee Elementary District 56 is in first full academic season with all 2,500 pupils in...

    Naperville Cmdr. Jason Arres adjusts a monitor for a new camera, seen on the right, being installed in city police cars.

    Naperville police upgrading technology for evidence, efficiency

    Naperville police will get in-car cameras in 2014 as the first step in a technology push that also will include better cellphones, new license plate scanning equipment and upgraded crash and ticket recording systems. The plan aims to bring the department up to speed in areas in which its technology was falling behind, Chief Robert Marshall said.

    Streamwood fire officials believe a gas grill was the cause of an exterior fire reported at 6:18 a.m. Tuesday in the 200 block of Butternut Lane.

    Grill causes small fire at four-unit Streamwood residence, officials say

    A fire early Tuesday did minor damage to a four-unit building in Streamwood, fire officials reported. The fire was accidental and involved a portable outdoor grill, fire officials said. Damage is estimated at $10,000.

    A sign in the window of PK Bennett Jewelry in Mundelein advertises their snow promotion. If more than 3 inches falls, customers who made purchases between Black Friday and Christmas Eve will get the items free.

    Mundelein jewelry store could be refunding customers if we get 3 inches of snow

    The owners of a Mundelein jewelry store are hoping for snow on New Year's Day. If more than 3 inches falls, customers who made purchases between Black Friday and Christmas Eve and signed up for the promotion will get the items free. “We are praying and doing our snow dance every day,” Peggy Bennett said. The Bennetts bought a special insurance policy to cover the financial cost of the...


    Des Plaines check cashing business robbed

    An armed robber at a Des Plaines check cashing business forced two employees to hide under desks while forcing a third to open three cash drawers, Des Plaines police said. The man, armed with a semi-automatic pistol, stole between $800 and $1,000 from Check Into Cash, 781 W. Golf Road, around 11:55 a.m. Dec. 24.

    Naperville Mayor George Pradel greets kids Tuesday after counting down to noon at the 12th annual Bubble Bash at the DuPage Children’s Museum.

    Families ring in the New Year at Bubble Bash

    Roughly 500 kids and parents welcomed the new year about 12 hours early Tuesday during the annual Bubble Bash celebration at the DuPage Children's Museum in Naperville.

    Jackson Cunningham, 11, works on a math project with his classmates at Oakwood Grade School in Oakwood, Ill. Cunningham suffered a stroke in 2011 after an afternoon basketball game, and much of the left side of his body became paralyzed. Resilience and determination have been source of inspiration to U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, who Cunningham reached out to when Kirk suffered a stroke of his own a year later.

    Illinois boy, Sen. Kirk inspire fellow stroke victims

    Jackson Cunningham and Illinois Republican Sen. Mark Kirk have warmed hearts and inspired fellow stroke patients with their odd-couple friendship, an unlikely meeting of two distinct worlds — one full of Legos and zombies, the other focused on Iran sanctions and immigration reform.

    An employee waters pot plants inside a grow house, later to be harvested, packaged and sold at Medicine Man marijuana dispensary, which is to open as a recreational retail outlet at the start of 2014, in Denver. Colorado is making final preparations for marijuana sales to begin Jan. 1, a day some are calling “Green Wednesday.”

    Colorado readies for ‘Green Wednesday’ pot sales

    While smoking pot has been legal in Colorado for the past year, so-called Green Wednesday represents another historic milestone for the decades-old legalization movement: the unveiling of the nation’s first legal pot industry.

    Howard Kraft looks over healthcare information in his Lincolnton, N.C. home Monday. A painful spinal problem left him unable to work as a hotel bellman. But he’s got coverage because federal law now forbids insurers from turning away people with health problems. “I am not one of these people getting a policy because I’m being made to,” Kraft said. “I need one to stay alive.”

    Obama’s tarnished health care law at a crossroads

    All things good, bad and unpredictable converge Jan. 1 for President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul as the law’s major benefits take effect, along with an unpopular insurance mandate and a risk of more nerve-wracking disruptions to coverage.


    I-65 open in northwest Indiana after being closed 8 hours

    State police say all lanes of Interstate 65 in northwestern Indiana are open again after two crashes closed them for eight hours. State police Sgt. Chad Woody tells The Times of Munster the first accident occurred at 2:36 a.m. Central time when a semi-tanker jack-knifed and struck another semi and a passenger vehicle near Gary. No one was injured.

    While experts say coyote attacks on people are rare, authorities have said coyotes are more visible now as food becomes scarcer and young coyotes leave their families.

    Coyote grabs Glenview woman's pet dog

    A Glenview woman says her pet dog was snatched by coyote. Glenview Police Sergeant David Sostak told the Chicago Sun-Times that officers responded to a woman Monday who claimed her Yorkshire terrier had been taken by a coyote. The coyote attack happened around 6:30 a.m. Monday.


    Planning makes it easier to achieve goals

    Why not start the new year off with a bang. Not by lighting a firecracker or setting off a pistol, but by taking some powerful steps to move forward, says columnist Annettee Budzban


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves took a car key between 4:30 p.m. Dec. 23 and 1 p.m. Dec. 24 from a key board at Arlington Heights Ford, 801 Dundee Road, Arlington Heights, and used the key to steal a red 2010 Chevrolet Camaro LT parked on the east side of the lot along Dundee Road. The theft was discovered when a customer arrived to look at the car and they could not find it.

    Drew Frasz

    Kane County to try again on electric aggregation, seek disability tax

    A look at the two referendum questions on the spring ballot that would directly affect the wallets of Kane County residents. The county is taking a second shot at electric aggregation. Meanwhile, advocates for the developmentally disabled have pushed a referendum that would create a new tax to fund social services for those residents. The referendum has the support of several county board members...

    Geanie Kuehnau. shown with Robert Walsh at a 2004 event during which Resources for Community Living was honored, was remembered this week as a tireless and determined volunteer for the agency that empowered disabled residents of the Northwest suburbs live independently. “She possessed a quality of perseverance and determination,” Walsh said.

    Palatine woman worked tirelessly to help the disabled live independently

    A Rolling Meadows agency that works to empower persons with disabilities to live independently has lost one of its driving forces. Geanie Kuehnau of Palatine, a former volunteer coordinator with Resources for Community Living, passed away on Christmas. She was 66.


    Tips on things to do in Lake County
    Weekend Watch, Visit Lake County’s tips on things to do…


    Lombard offering 24th Citizens Police Academy

    The Lombard Police Department will be holding its 24th Citizens Police Academy beginning March 4. The classes are free and take place from 7 to 9:30 p.m. on Tuesdays over a 10-week period.

    Photographer: Seth Gasick of Wheaton.

    A look back at some of our best Photo Finish pictures of the year

    Take a look back with us at some of our best Photo Finish contest entries of 2013 from DuPage County. No surprise: Mother Nature plays a starring role.


    Police working overtime to keep roads safe

    State and local police officials will be working overtime during the New Year's holiday to ensure motorists are sober and buckled up. The Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Police and more than 250 law enforcement agencies across the state said Monday their aim is to prevent fatal motor crashes and ring in 2014 with a safe start.


    Election officials gear up for teen vote

    Election officials say starting next year most Illinois 17-year-olds will be eligible to register and vote in the March primary election. The first day of 2014 is Wednesday. Cook County Clerk David Orr says it’s a first in Illinois history.


    108th Sustainment Brigade to ship out from Chicago

    The 108th Sustainment Brigade of the Illinois National Guard is planning a deployment ceremony before shipping out for overseas. Approximately 280 soldiers of the Chicago-based brigade will deploy to Kuwait in support of Operating Enduring Freedom.


    New director named to Illinois torture commission

    A former assistant U.S. attorney has been named executive director of an Illinois commission investigating allegations of torture by Chicago police months after the previous director resigned over criticisms the panel wasn’t properly reporting cases.


    U.S. university’s 39th list of ‘banish these’ words
    Lake Superior State University’s 39th annual list of banished words:— Selfie— Twerk/twerking— Hashtag— Twittersphere— Mr. Mom— T-Bone— On steroids — -ageddon— -pocalypse— Intellectually/morally bankrupt— Obamacare— Adversity (as a sports reference)— Fan base

    A Michigan university has issued its annual list of annoying words, and those flexible enough to take selfies of themselves twerking should take note.

    ’Selfie,’ ‘twerk’ top school’s annoying word list

    A Michigan university has issued its annual list of annoying words, and those flexible enough to take selfies of themselves twerking should take note. In addition to “selfie” and “twerking,” there was a strong sense among those who nominated words to this year’s list that the word “hashtag” and term “Mr. Mom” had both run their course.

    Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday.

    Icebound Antarctic ship awaits helicopter rescue

    Passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for a week are expected to be rescued by helicopter, after three icebreakers failed to reach the paralyzed vessel, officials said Tuesday.


    How our schools keep commitments to students, parents

    David Larson, superintendent of Glenbard High School District 87, says public schools are model examples of public service organizations that establish and keep key commitments to students, parents and taxpayers.

    “The Good Food Revolution: Growing Healthy Food, People, and Communities,” a book by Will Allen is the “One Book, One Batavia” choice.

    Batavia's 'One Book' to focus on food, poverty, race, environment

    The politics of food, agriculture and race are up for discussion in Batavia this winter, as "The Good Food Revolution" has been chosen for the 2014 "One Book, One Batavia" campaign by the Batavia Public Library and Batavia High School. The book chronicles a black farmer's attempt to serve residents of Milwaukee on sustainable practices on a farm in the city.

    Grant Community High School wrestlers Steve Herrington, left, and Anthony Mostachio warm up before a recent home meet. The annual school report card now lists sports and other activities to paint a more complete picture for parents, state education officials say.

    State school report cards now include sports, theater, band, more offerings

    Parents who want to weigh a school’s merits by the quality of its sports, band or theater programs - not just academics - now have any easy way to accomplish the task. The 2013 report card debuted a section on extracurricular programs. “This is the kind of information that parents and teachers routinely discuss and we wanted to make it available to everyone,” Illinois State...


    Dawn Patrol: Lots of snow to fall along with the apple

    Four inches of snow expected. Search fails to locate former Des Plaines woman. Island Lake considering raising boat sticker prices. North Barrington school honored for conservation. Vernon Hills considers $3.5 million police station remodel. ABC 7 to count down from Rosemont. Blackhawks beat Los Angeles. Bulls beat Grizzlies in Memphis.



    Sources: O’Brien reaches agreement with Texans

    Two people familiar with the negotiations said Tuesday night that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien has reached an agreement to coach the Houston Texans.


    Manziel, Aggies edge Duke 52-48 in Chick-fil-A

    Johnny Manziel threw four touchdown passes, and Toney Hurd Jr. returned an interception 55 yards for the go-ahead touchdown in Texas A&M’s 52-48 victory over Duke on Tuesday night in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Manziel, playing in what might be his final college game, completed 30 of 38 passes for 382 yards and ran for 73 yards and a touchdown. Hurd’s interception return gave the No. 20 Aggies (9-4) their first lead with 3:33 remaining.

    Luol Deng made a welcome return to the lineup after missing nine of the previous 12 games with a sore left Achilles and led the Bulls with 16 points.

    For Bulls, glimmer of hope ... then thud

    The return of Luol Deng gave the Bulls a boost, but they couldn't finish things off on Tuesday. Toronto opened the fourth quarter with a 21-4 run and rallied to beat the Bulls 85-79 at the United Center.

    Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson, here shooting against Libertyville earlier this season, helped the Patriots become the first Lake County team to win Proviso West’s boys basketball tournament Tuesday. Brunson finished with a game-high 23 points as Stevenson topped Morgan Park 67-55.

    Fired-up Stevenson prevails at Proviso W.

    Ejected from the championship game of the Proviso West Holiday Tournament after a late-third quarter altercation with Morgan Park’s Torry Johnson, Stevenson’s Matt Johnson watched the rest of the game with his family in the upstairs bleachers. His teammates then jacked up their play even higher than the Patriot’s perch. Immediately after the dismissal of both Johnsons, Jalen Brunson scored 5 points, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to put Stevenson up by 4, and the Patriots led the entire fourth quarter en route to a 67-55 win over the defending champs in the finale of the 53rd annual showcase in Hillside on Tuesday night.

    Mississippi State players Kivon Coman, from left, Josh Robinson and Michael Hodges celebrate with the trophy after beating Rice in the Liberty Bowl on Tuesday in Memphis, Tenn.

    Mississippi State rips Rice 44-7 in Liberty Bowl

    Dak Prescott threw three touchdown passes and ran for two more scores Tuesday as Mississippi State trounced Rice 44-7 in the most one-sided Liberty Bowl victory in the game’s 55-year history.

    Georgetown guard Markel Starks (5) goes to the basket against DePaul guard Brandon Young, back, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Washington. Georgetown won 61-54. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

    Georgetown holds off DePaul 61-54

    Markel Starks was aggressive on offense throughout the Georgetown Hoyas’ New Year’s Eve game against DePaul.When the Hoyas were sluggish in the first half, he kept them in it. When they pulled ahead to stay after intermission, he led the way.

    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau attended his first Knicks game at Madison Square Garden when he was about 5 years old.

    Thibodeau’s father instilled love of basketball from an early age

    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau didn't say much about the death of his father, Thomas Sr. at 83. A few years ago, he did talk to the Daily Herald about how his father helped create his love of basketball.

    Indiana guard Stanford Robinson is fouled by Illinois guard Joseph Bertrand during the second half of Tuesday’s game in Champaign, Ill.

    Illinois holds off Indiana in overtime, 83-80
    Illinois (12-2) made the most of 23 Indiana turnovers and held Indiana to a single field goal in overtime on the way to an 83-80 win. “We’ve got some tough dudes. We take a lot of pride in that,” Illinois coach John Groce said. “But to their credit, they do, too.”

    Iowa guard Devyn Marble drives to the basket past Nebraska forward Walter Pitchford during the second half of Tuesday’s game in Iowa City.

    No. 22 Iowa opens Big Ten play with win over Nebraska

    Devyn Marble had 15 points and eight rebounds and No. 22 Iowa opened its Big Ten season with a win for the first time since 2006 with a 67-57 victory over Nebraska on Tuesday night.

    Michigan State’s Branden Dawson blocks a shot by Penn State’s Tim Frazier during the second half of Tuesday’s game in State College, Pa.

    No. 5 Michigan State rallies past Penn State 79-63

    Branden Dawson scored 20 points, Keith Appling had 14 and No. 5 Michigan State clamped down on defense in the second half to beat Penn State 79-63 on Tuesday night.

    Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng (9) watches his shot score over Toronto Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas during the first half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Even with Deng's return, Bulls fall to Raptors

    Jonas Valanciunas scored 15 points and the Toronto Raptors mounted a fourth-quarter comeback to beat the Bulls 85-79 on Tuesday night.


    Ohio State’s fast start continues

    LaQuinton Ross had 25 points and 12 rebounds, both career bests, and Shannon Scott added a career-high 18 points to lead No. 3 Ohio State to a 78-69 victory Tuesday at Purdue in the Big Ten opener for both teams.The Buckeyes (14-0, 1-0) started the day as one of eight perfect teams. They finished it by matching the fourth-best start in school history.A.J. Hammons led Purdue (10-4, 0-1) with 18 points, 16 rebounds, 5 blocks and 4 assists in the Boilermakers’ first home loss of the season. Ronnie Jonson added 16 points for Purdue.Michigan St. 79, Penn St. 63:Branden Dawson scored 20 points and Keith Appling had 14 to help No. 5 Michigan State beat host Penn State.Gary Harris added 13 points and Travis Tice had 12 for the Spartans (12-1, 1-0) in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Dawson led a second-half charge to help the Spartans rally from a halftime deficit and win their fifth straight game.Brandon Taylor had 18 points for the Nittany Lions (9-5, 0-1).Iowa 67, Nebraska 57:Devyn Marble had 15 points and 8 rebounds and No. 22 Iowa opened its Big Ten season with a victory over visiting Nebraska.Aaron White scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for the Hawkeyes (12-2, 1-0).Terran Petteway had 20 points for Nebraska (8-5, 0-1), which shot a season-low 29.9 percent from the field as it lost its 14th straight game to a ranked opponent.Syracuse 70, Eastern Michigan 48:Jerami Grant scored 15 points in his first start of the season, Rakeem Christmas matched his career high with 15 points, and No. 2 Syracuse beat Eastern Michigan in the final nonconference game for both teams.Syracuse (13-0) raced to a 20-point lead in the first half, allowed the Eagles to slice it in half before the break, then regained control early in the second and won its 51st straight nonconference game in the Carrier Dome. The Orange are one of seven unbeaten teams in Division I and make their Atlantic Coast Conference debut against Miami on Saturday.C.J. Fair finished with 13 points and 8 rebounds, and Trevor Cooney had 10 points for the Orange. Freshman point guard Tyler Ennis, second nationally in assist to turnover ratio (4.69), matched his season high with 9 assists to go with 2 turnovers and pulled down 5 rebounds but did not score.Glenn Bryant led Eastern Michigan (7-5) with 19 points.Duke 86, Elon 48:Andre Dawkins scored 15 points to help host Duke rout Elon.Rodney Hood had 13 points and freshman Jabari Parker had 12 points and a season-high-tying 10 rebounds for the Blue Devils (11-2).Ryley Beaumont and Lucas Troutman scored 11 points each for Elon (7-7).


    Northern Illinois falls to No. 13 Iowa State 99-63

    Iowa State capped one of the saddest days in program history with a reminder of why its future looks so bright.DeAndre Kane had 16 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds and No. 13 Iowa State blew past Northern Illinois 99-63 on Tuesday night for its 12th straight win.

    Brandon Marshall celebrates his touchdown reception with offensive guard Kyle Long during the second half of the Bears’ loss to Green Bay on Sunday. Marshall and Alshon Jeffery combined for a team-record 2,716 receiving yards this season.

    Bears’ top 2 WRs will train together again in off-season

    The Bears' record-setting pass-receiving duo of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery will continue the off-season training program they started last year in South Florida. It helped them combine for a franchise-record 2,716 yards in 2013.

    Four years ago, with a major championship lineup of courses that favored Tiger Woods, golf legend Jack Nicklaus said it would be a “big year” for Woods if he was going to break Nicklaus’ record. The same might be true for 2014, but Woods’ age (38) might be as important as where the majors are played.

    At 38, Woods believes his game is trending

    Stuck on 14 majors since 2008, Tiger Woods is facing another favorable menu of major championship sites in his quest to take the record (18) from Jack Nicklaus. Woods already has won majors at Augusta, Royal Liverpool (British Open) and Valhalla (PGA Championship), and the U.S. Open is at Pinehurst No. 2, were Woods was third in 1999 and runner-up in 2005. But turning 38 on Monday may pose more of a challenge for Woods than the courses ahead.

    The Golf Hall of Fame is one the star attractions at the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Convention Center in St. Augustine, Fla. A former Libertyville resident, Jim Hahn, is general manager of the resort’s two courses, the Slammer and Squire and the King & the Bear.

    Local golf exec leads World Golf resort’s makeover

    Jim Hahn spent nearly 30 years with Northbrook-based KemperSports, leading the management efforts of all the Chicago Park District golf courses as well as suburban layouts Waters Edge, in Worth, and Rob Roy, in Prospect Heights. Now the former Libertyville resident is general manager at the two courses at World Golf Village, an iconic links destination that also includes the World Golf Hall of Fame. Len Ziehm has more on the turnaround and rebranding of the Renaissance World Golf Village Resort and Convention Center.

    Ravens players left the field when play was suspended against the Bears because of a severe thunderstorm at Soldier Field on Nov. 17. After the delay, players and fans returned to battle the elements.

    FANtastic: My Sports Person of the Year

    The Sports Person of the Year in 2013 wasn't an athlete. He was That Guy who sat in the upper southwest corner of Section 427 in Soldier Field after the weather delay of the Bears-Ravens game on Nov. 17.

    Bears linebacker Lance Briggs, who missed seven games to injury this season, will be back next season but the Bears have 28 free agents without contracts.

    Bears defenders call injuries a lame excuse

    The 2013 season was a disaster for the Bears' injury-ravaged defense and coordinator Mel Tucker, as the team allowed franchise-worst totals in points and yards. Some of Tucker's players blame the rash of injuries, but others say that shouldn't be an excuse.

    Rory McIlroy and his caddie, tennis player Caroline Wozniacki, share a laugh on the fourth hole during the par-3 competition at the Masters golf tournament in April. The couple announced their engagement on Twitter Tuesday.

    McIlroy, Wozniacki announce engagement

    Rory McIlroy is claiming his first win of the new year — his engagement to tennis star Caroline Wozniacki. One of the top power couples in sports announced their engagement on Twitter. A spokesman for McIlroy confirmed that he popped the question in Sydney, where Wozniacki is starting to prepare for the Australian Open in Melbourne.

    UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley (17) celebrates with teammates after a first-quarter touchdown against Virginia Tech in the Sun Bowl on Tuesday in El Paso, Texas.

    UCLA routs Virginia Tech in Sun Bowl

    Brett Hundley threw two touchdown passes and ran for two more scores to help No. 17 UCLA rout Virginia Tech 42-12 on Tuesday in the Sun Bowl. The Bruins (10-3) outscored the Hokies (8-5) 28-5 in the second half.

    A shot from a monitor at the ABC studios in Washingtom shows Ohio State University coach Woody Hayes, left, after he struck Clemson player Charlie Bauman on the sideline at the 1978 Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, Fla.

    Woody Hayes’ punch resounds 35 years later

    It has been 35 years and still the almost unthinkable image of an iconic 65-year-old coach cold-cocking an opposing player doesn’t fade away. As Clemson and Ohio State prepare to meet in the Orange Bowl on Friday, a clip of that no-turning-back moment will undoubtedly be shown.

    Senior Wisconsin running back James White is looking for his first bowl game win.

    S. Carolina, Wisconsin geared up for Capital One Bowl

    With a New Year’s Day matchup that on paper could be one of the best among the non-BCS games, neither the eighth-ranked Gamecocks (10-2) nor No. 19 Badgers (9-3) has had to search for motivation this week. That’s especially true for Wisconsin, which is trying to snap a three-game bowl losing streak following three straight Rose Bowl losses.

    Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio poses by the Rose Bowl trophy after a news conference Monday in Los Angeles. The Spartans will play in Pasadena Wednesday for the first time since 1988.

    Rose Bowl turning 100 as Stanford meets Michigan St.

    The game considered to be the first Rose Bowl was staged in 1902 to help pay for the Tournament of Roses Parade. An unexpectedly huge crowd of about 8,000 sat on temporary stands in a park and watched Stanford lose 49-0 to Michigan. No. 5 Stanford has returned to Pasadena 112 years later, facing No. 4 Michigan State on Wednesday in the 100th edition of college football’s quintessential bowl game.


    Hard lesson for St. Charles East

    Hoping to earn some hardware, St. Charles East’s basketball team had to settle for some hardened dispositions Tuesday afternoon in Hillside. Struggling with their shooting throughout the game, the Saints (8-6) suffered a 67-57 loss to Westinghouse (9-4) in the consolation championship of the 53rd annual Proviso West Holiday Tournament. St. Charles East, which carried a 3-game winning streak into the contest after its first-round tourney loss to Uplift, connected on 22 of its 61 field-goal attempts – including a paltry 6-for-27 (22 percent) from 3-point range – about 24 hours after blistering the nets for 88 points in a consolation semifinal victory over Libertyville.

    Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops watches a workout Saturday at the New Orleans Saints practice facility in Metairie, La. Oklahoma will play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl on Thursday.

    Underdog Sooners not ‘scared’ of Alabama

    Oklahoma (10-2) will have its chance to prove worthy of a BCS bowl selection on Thursday night when it takes on third-ranked Alabama (11-1). Last spring, Sooners coach Bob Stoops challenged the notion that the Southeastern Conference — which has fielded the last seven national champions — is the most complete league in the country.

    LSU quarterback Anthony Jennings throws a pass as Arkansas defensive end Trey Flowers rushes in during the second half of the Nov. 29 game in Baton Rouge, La.

    Freshman QB will LSU into Outback Bowl against Iowa

    No. 14 Louisiana State has no qualms about Anthony Jennings making his first college start against Iowa in the Outback Bowl. The true freshman quarterback came off the bench to lead a 99-yard drive in the closing minutes of the Tigers’ regular season finale to beat Arkansas, so LSU coach Les Miles feels his offense will be in good hands Wednesday.

    Georgia running back Todd Gurley dives into the end zone for a touchdown against Kentucky on Nov. 23 in Athens, Ga.

    Gator Bowl features pair of big-time running backs

    Georgia and Nebraska are playing with backup quarterbacks — all the more reason to focus on two of the top running backs in the country. Georgia’s Todd Gurley and Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah could make the Gator Bowl a ground-and-pound celebration on New Year’s Day.

    Toronto Maple Leafs players practice Tuesday on the outdoor rink for Wednesday’s Winter Classic against the Detroit Red Wings at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor.

    NHL hopes bigger makes the Winter Classic better

    As the novelty of playing hockey outdoors seems to be wearing off, the NHL is hoping bigger is better at the Winter Classic. The league said 105,500 tickets have been sold for the game Wednesday between the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. That almost doubles the average of 53,045 spectators who watched the first five Winter Classics. If every person who paid for a ticket braves temperatures in the teens on a snowy afternoon, a record will be broken.

    Formula One champion Michael Schumacher remains in a medically induced coma after a skiing accident on Sunday in the French Alps.

    Small improvement for Schumacher after 2nd surgery

    Michael Schumacher underwent a second surgery after a brain scan showed small, “surprising” signs of improvement, but grim doctors said Tuesday they could offer no insight into the prognosis for the Formula One champion. Schumacher, who turns 45 on Friday, suffered critical head injuries when he fell and struck a rock Sunday while skiing on a family vacation in the French Alps.

    Former Iowa State basketball coach Johnny Orr waves to fans as he walks off the court before a basketball game between Iowa State and Michigan on Nov. 17, 2013, in Ames, Iowa. Orr coached at Michigan for 12 seasons before directing the Cyclones from 1980-94.

    Iowa State, Michigan coach Orr dies at 86

    Johnny Orr, the fist-pumping basketball coach who led Michigan to the national title game and Iowa State into national prominence, has died. He was 86. His death was confirmed Tuesday by Iowa State, where Orr led the Cyclones to a school-record 218 wins from 1980 until 1994.

    Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey rushes upfield as Boston College defensive lineman Kaleb Ramsey pursues during the first half of the AdvoCare V100 Bowl on Tuesday at Independence Stadium in Shreveport, La.

    Arizona cruises past BC in Advocare V100 Bowl

    SHREVEPORT, La. — B.J. Denker threw for 275 yards and two touchdowns, Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 169 yards and two touchdowns and Arizona had an easy time Tuesday in beating Boston College 42-19 in the Advocare V100 Bowl.Arizona (8-5) never trailed, leading 21-6 by halftime and 42-6 early in the fourth quarter. Carey had his 16th straight game with at least 100 yards rushing while Denker added a 14-yard touchdown run.The game was billed as a matchup between two of the nation’s top running backs — Arizona’s Carey and Boston College’s Andre Williams. But the duel between AP All-America first team selections was one-sided.Williams, who won the Doak Walker Award over Carey, was held to 75 yards rushing and a touchdown. Boston College (7-6) didn’t score a touchdown until Williams’ 4-yard run early in the fourth quarter.Arizona’s Nate Phillips caught nine passes for 193 yards while redshirt freshman Trey Griffey — the son of former baseball star Ken Griffey Jr. — caught two touchdown passes. Arizona’s six touchdowns tied an Advocare V100 Bowl record.Boston College’s remarkable turnaround season came to a disappointing conclusion. First-year coach Steve Addazio took a team that finished with a 2-10 record in 2012 back to the postseason, but the Eagles couldn’t do much of anything right Tuesday.Williams, who came into the game with 2,102 rushing yards, looked ordinary against Arizona’s active defensive line. The senior never had much of a chance, usually meeting a pile of defenders right at the line of scrimmage.The Eagles’ secondary struggled to contain Arizona’s receivers, who repeatedly found space in the defense. Boston College’s Alex Amidon caught 10 passes for 129 yards and Nate Freese made field goals from 32 and 41 yards to cap a 20 for 20 season.Both teams took to the air early. Denker completed 8 of 12 passes for 145 yards in the first half, including a 26-yard touchdown pass to Griffey late in the second quarter that gave the Wildcats their 21-6 halftime lead. Griffey’s two touchdowns were the first of his career. Boston College looked much less comfortable throwing. Chase Rettig tossed two first-half interceptions, including one that was returned by Arizona’s William Parks for a 69-yard touchdown.Denker was named the game’s Most Valuable Player on offense while Parks won defensive honors.Carey had 116 of his 169 yards rushing in the second half. The Wildcats pushed ahead 28-6 early in the third quarter after a long drive ended with Carey’s second touchdown — a 5-yard run up the middle.

    Ohio State’s LaQuinton Ross brings the ball up court in the first half of Tuesday’s game against Purdue in West Lafayette, Ind.

    No. 3 Ohio St. pulls away from Purdue 78-69

    LaQuinton Ross had 25 points and 12 rebounds, both career bests, and Shannon Scott added a career-high 18 points to lead No. 3 Ohio State to a 78-69 victory Tuesday at Purdue.

    Jesse Crain had a streak of 29 straight appearances without allowing a run last season for the Sox.

    Astros sign Crain for one year

    Free-agent reliever Jesse Crain has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Astros. Crain made the All-Star team last season with a 0.74 ERA in 37 appearances for the White Sox before he was traded to Tampa Bay.

    Left winger Brandon Saad of the Blackhawks has a lot to smile about this season. After a stellar rookie season, Saad ranks fourth in goals for the defending Stanley Cup champions.

    Saad builds his case to join Team USA

    Brandon Saad admits he's a little on edge. Being on the bubble to make the Team USA roster for the upcoming Sochi Olympics will do that to a guy. “I don't know about nervous, just more excited,” Saad said after the Blackhawks' 1-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. “It's been a good first half so far and I've done all I can do.

    Green Bay Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson moves up the field against the Bears’ James Anderson on Sunday. The Bears defense couldn’t stop the Packers when the game was on the line.

    Bears defense kicks QB controversy aside

    The Chicago Bears need to worry more about their defense then their offense for the 2014 season. Mike North isn’t worried about the quarterbacks.

    Vernon Hills’ Sam Rattner moves the ball against Wheeling during Monday’s boys basketball tournament in Wheeling.

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

    Wide receiver Andrew Hawkins celebrates after the Bengals defeated the Baltimore Ravens 34-17 in Sunday’s game in Cincinnati.

    Bengals get another chance to break long drought

    The Bengals are convinced that this time, it will be different. No first-round flameout. No winter full of playoff angst. No more fans grumbling about how they can’t win the big one — or any one that happens after the regular season.


    Joyce Moens of Arlington Heights says being without health insurance forced her to let her health slide. On Wednesday, she and her sons, Scott and Eric, and husband Keith will have coverage under the new federal health care law.

    Thousands in suburbs now have health insurance, but some decide to wait

    Arlington Heights residents Keith and Joyce Moens went on healthcare.gov and could hardly believe their eyes. They found five insurance plans they were eligible for and could afford, thanks to the new federal health care law. Others like Valentine and Maria Dominquez of North Aurora haven't signed up, still hoping they can find jobs with employer-subsidized coverage before the spring deadline to have insurance.

    In the past year, authors Philip Roth and Alice Munro announced that they would stop writing after decades of prodigious output; he was 79, she was 81, and their declarations piqued fears in older artists that they, too, might run out of ideas or energy.

    Is creativity destined to fade with age?

    Does creativity have an expiration date? The question arises each time an artistic luminary retires: In the past year, authors Philip Roth and Alice Munro announced that they would stop writing after decades of prodigious output; he was 79, she was 81, and their declarations piqued fears in older artists that they, too, might run out of ideas or energy.

    A trader wears glasses celebrating the new year while working on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its biggest annual advance since 1997, as gains in consumer confidence and housing prices bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.

    2013 was the year of unstoppable stocks

    The stock market was unstoppable in 2013. A U.S. government shutdown, fear of a default, the threat of military action in Syria, big budget cuts, and a European country looking for a bailout — any number of events might have derailed the stock market. But they didn’t. And if skittish investors jumped out of stocks, they lost out.

    A trader wears glasses celebrating the new year while working on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange Tuesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index posted its biggest annual advance since 1997, as gains in consumer confidence and housing prices bolstered confidence in the world’s largest economy.

    S&P 500 index has its best year since 1997

    The stock market closed out a record year with more all-time highs on Tuesday, giving U.S. indexes their biggest annual gains in almost two decades. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index notched its best year since 1997; The Dow Jones industrial average rose the most since 1995.

    GEORGE LECLAIRE/gleclaire@dailyherald.com ¬ Walgreens Corporate Campus Headquarters sign in Deerfield.

    Walgreen to fill prescriptions for those who don’t have coverage yet

    Deerfield-based Walgreen Co will fill prescriptions at no upfront cost to some patients who don’t have all the information they need for coverage received through the health care overhaul.


    Barrington Chamber offers business training seminars

    The Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce will host four lunchtime business training seminars in January aimed to help business owners improve and succeed. The sessions are from noon to 1:15 p.m. each Friday, from Jan. 10 through Jan. 31, at the chamber office, 190 E. James St. in Barrington. The sessions are presented by coach/trainer Eleanor Anne Sweet and based on the teachings of Jack Canfield and Brian Tracy.


    Packers: Thousands of playoff tickets available

    GREEN BAY, Wis. — If you want to go to the Packers-49ers playoff game this weekend, it’s still not too late to get tickets.A Press-Gazette Media report says about 15,000 tickets were still available as of late Monday. The team made about 40,000 tickets available Monday morning. Those were ones that remained unsold to season-ticket holders as of Dec. 4. At the time the team was in the middle of a five-game winless streak.The first fans to get a crack Monday were season-ticket holders who have an email address on file with the team. At 3 p.m. the tickets were made available to the general public.Prices range from $102 to $125, with a four-ticket limit.The Packers host the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday afternoon.


    Petersen announces coaching staff at Washington

    SEATTLE — Chris Petersen announced his first coaching staff at Washington on Monday with most of his Boise State staff joining him in Seattle. Eight coaches who worked with Petersen at some point in his tenure at Boise State will be with him at Washington. “I’m thrilled to welcome this talented group of coaches to Washington,” Petersen said in a statement from the school. “They bring with them both a wealth of experience, and an understanding of what we want to accomplish here and how to get it done.”Pete Kwiatkowski will be the defensive coordinator after serving in that role under Petersen at Boise State. He’ll be joined on that side of the ball by Bob Gregory, who was Boise State’s interim coach for its bowl game loss to Oregon State. Gregory will be the Huskies linebackers coach/assistant head coach. Jimmy Lake will coach defensive backs and Jeff Choate will be the special teams coordinator and defensive line coach. On the offensive side, Jonathan Smith will be promoted from his role at Boise State and be the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach. Smith, a former quarterback at Oregon State, spent the past two seasons as the Broncos’ quarterbacks coach. Brent Pease will rejoin Petersen’s staff as the wide receivers coach after he was recently fired as Florida’s offensive coordinator. Pease was with the Gators for one season. Keith Bhonapha will be in charge of running backs and will be the Huskies recruiting coordinator and Chris Strausser will be the offensive line coach. Petersen is expected to hire a tight ends coach in the coming days. The staff will not include Tosh Lupoi, the defensive line coach under previous coach Steve Sarkisian. Washington is looking into allegations of recruiting violations against Lupoi, first reported by the Los Angeles Times. The school said Lupoi is being reassigned within the athletic department, but gave no details on what his duties will be. Petersen also is bringing Tim Socha from Boise State as the strength and conditioning coach. Rich Rasmussen will be the director of player personnel and Mike McHugh is leaving Fresno State to be the director of football operations.Damon Huard will remain chief administrative officer for the football program.

    Oscar Lira of Zacatecas, Mexico repairs a receipt printer at a maquiladora belonging to the TECMA group of Ciudad Juarez.

    At 20 years, NAFTA didn’t close Mexico wage gap
    Associated PressMEXICO CITY — Looking around a Mexico dotted by Starbucks, Wal-Mart and Krispy Kreme outlets, it’s hard to remember the country before the North American Free Trade Agreement, which has dramatically expanded consumer choice and trade since it took effect 20 years ago on Jan. 1.While it changed the country in some fundamental ways, the treaty never met many of its sweeping promises to close Mexico’s wage gap with the United States, boost job growth, fight poverty and protect the environment. Mexico’s weak unions and competition from Asia and Central America kept wages down; the tightening of security along the U.S. border closed off Mexico’s immigration “escape valve,” and environmental provisions in the agreement proved less powerful than those protecting investors.Mexico took advantage of the accord with the United States and Canada in some areas. The auto, electronics and agriculture sectors grew, and foreign banks moved in, increasing access to credit, but a majority of Mexicans saw little benefit in income. While there is undoubtedly a larger middle class today, Mexico is the only major Latin American country where poverty also has grown in recent years. According the Economic Commission for Latin America, poverty fell from 48.4 percent in 1990 to 27.9 percent in 2013 for all of Latin America. In Mexico, where it stood at 52.4 percent in 1994, the poverty rate dropped to as low as 42.7 percent in 2006; but by 2012, it had risen again to 51.3 percent. “About 30 or 40 percent of what they promised (in the trade pact) never came through,” said Rodolfo Hurtado Corona, 65, a chauffeur waiting for his boss on a Mexico City street. Still, motioning to the gleaming sport utility vehicle he drives for his boss, he noted that “before, there were only a couple of brands, now you can choose among many.”Economist Alfredo Coutino, director for Latin America at Moody’s Analytics, says “the benefits arrived, but perhaps not of the magnitude that had been hoped for.” He notes that “if this agreement had not been signed, Mexico would have been in a much worse situation than it has been over the last 20 years.” Before NAFTA, Mexico was a closed, state-dominated economy reeling from debt and the underlying problems of Mexican farms — low productivity on small plots. That had set up a perfect storm of mass unemployment. The trade accord, globalization and foreign investment did help create jobs, albeit low-paid ones.At supermarkets, shoppers are now familiar with everything from cranberries to chai and lemons (as opposed to the Mexican lime) that few had tasted before the treaty tore down trade barriers and tariffs between Mexico, Canada and the United States.Consumer goods and clothing that were trendy among Mexico’s wealthy are now available to everyone, with more products and choice, especially among electronics appliances and cars.Coutino recalls that “before, in Mexico, it was a question of social status to have a pair of imported sneakers, they were very expensive ... now the majority of Mexicans can have these things that were once considered luxuries.”Mexicans remain ambivalent: A recent Universal newspaper/Buendia-Laredo poll showed that while about half would approve the trade pact if it was proposed again today, about 34 percent would reject it. The rest had no opinion. The margin of error was 3.5 percent. There is no turning back. The three North American countries are pushing to become even more economically integrated. With Mexico’s newly passed energy reform allowing private investment in the county’s oil sector, they aim to make the continent energy independent as well.NAFTA is almost forgotten in the latest controversial free-trade effort, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a negotiation among 12 countries, including NAFTA’s three, to open trade between Asia and the Americas.

    Cracker Barrel says it won’t consider selling itself, rejecting a push from its biggest shareholder.

    Cracker Barrel says it won’t consider a sale

    LEBANON, Tenn. — Cracker Barrel says it won’t consider selling itself, rejecting a push from its biggest shareholder.The company said Monday that it will continue pursuing its own business strategies.Last week shareholder Sardar Biglari said he was willing to make a bid for the company and urged it to consider selling itself.Biglari, through his investment firm Biglari Holdings, owns nearly 20 percent of Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc.’s shares. He has tried and failed multiple times to win a seat on the board. Shareholders also recently rejected his proposal for a $20-per-share special dividend.Shares of Cracker Barrel lost $1.06 to $110.20 on Monday. The stock is up 72 percent in 2013.


    Chicago Botanic Garden has 1million visitors this year

    The Chicago Botanic Garden has drawn 1 million visitors in a calendar year for the first time ever. The garden in the northern Chicago suburb of Glencoe says it hit the 1 million mark on Monday. It's a first in its 41-year history.

    The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes in November was essentially unchanged from October, suggesting sales are stabilizing after several months of declines.

    Signed contracts to buy US homes level off

    The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy existing homes in November was essentially unchanged from October, suggesting sales are stabilizing after several months of declines. The National Association of Realtors said Monday that its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index ticked up to 101.7 from 101.5 in October. The October figure was revised lower from an initial reading of 102.1.

    Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings

    Netflix plans 50 pct pay hike for CEO Hastings

    Netflix Chairman and CEO Reed Hastings is getting a 50 percent pay bump in 2014 after a year in which shares of the online video subscription company quadrupled to an all-time high.

    Machinists in Puget Sound are under pressure to accept a Boeing contract offer that moves them away from pension plans, and much of that pressure is coming from local officials who have that type of retirement plan.

    Pension holders push Machinists to drop pensions

    SEATTLE — Machinists in Puget Sound are under pressure to accept a Boeing contract offer that moves them away from pension plans, and much of that pressure is coming from local officials who have that type of retirement plan.On Monday, several political leaders gathered in Everett, Wash., to talk about the importance of Machinists accepting a new contract this week. Of the six local leaders who called on the union members to accept the deal, one is already drawing pension payments while five others are expected to do so upon retirement.John Lovick currently earns about $150,000 a year serving as Snohomish County’s executive and is separately drawing more than $60,000 in pension payments from his career in the Washington State Patrol, according to records obtained by The Associated Press under public records law. Lovick said he did not have the expertise to assess the differences between retirement plans and said he didn’t know whether the contract requires the Machinists to surrender a lot. His push to get the contract accepted centered on job security, because Chicago-based Boeing is vowing to produce the new 777X airplane in the region if the contract is approved.“We want that plane to be built here,” Lovick said. “We want those good jobs to stay in this region.”Local union leaders are recommending a no vote on the contract because they feel it has too many concessions, and a particular sticking point has been Boeing’s insistence that workers move from a traditional pension plan to a defined-contribution retirement savings plan. National leaders of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers scheduled a vote for Friday despite the objections of local union officials. Since the Machinists rejected an initial contract offer in November, a total of 22 states have submitted bids to secure work on the 777X.In a message to union members, local union representatives touted the benefits of a pension plan.“It is the best retirement security you can have,” they wrote.Suzette Cooke, the Kent mayor who was among those pushing Machinists to accept the contract, said others in the state have the opposite opinion. She argued that workers can do better in the retirement savings plan and said it gives Machinists greater control over their money.Cooke is an active member in the Public Employees’ Retirement System, a state pension plan.Pensions used to be the most common type of retirement benefit, guaranteeing workers a specific monthly payment regardless of lifespan or the volatility of the stock market. Fewer than 9 percent of private sector employers still offer them, while 88 percent of employers opt instead to sponsor 401(k) retirement plans.The local political leaders have been pushing for a positive vote from the union, arguing that it is necessary to ensure a healthy aerospace industry for years to come. In their press conference Monday, they said a Boeing executive had just told them that work on the 777X airplane’s wing would go elsewhere if Machinists reject the proposed contract this week. Boeing began offering the 777X this year but is years away from delivering the first aircraft to customers. The company is deciding where that production will take place, and the production facility would bring thousands of well-paying jobs along with it.Boeing has said the 777X is expected to carry as many as 400 passengers and be more fuel efficient than the current 777. At the recent Dubai Airshow, the company received orders for 225 such planes.


    Netflix ends anti-takeover measure 2 years early

    Netflix says it’s ending a move meant to help ward off hostile takeovers almost two years early. The online video company adopted the shareholder rights plan, also known as a poison pill, in November 2012 after activist investor Carl Icahn disclosed a stake of almost 10 percent in the company.

    Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its sale to India’s Apollo Tyres, unraveling a $2.2 billion deal announced just over six months ago.

    Cooper Tire ends buyout agreement with Apollo

    Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. is calling off its sale to India’s Apollo Tyres, unraveling a $2.2 billion deal announced just over six months ago. Cooper said financing is no longer available and it continues to claim, as it has for months, that Apollo breached the terms of the agreement.

Life & Entertainment


    Larger problem(s) behind grandma’s Christmas present

    Caroline Hax talks mom out of balling out grandma for buying 4-month-old grandson "baby laptop" with advice on drawing battle lines.

    Comedian April Macie performs this weekend at Zanies in Rosemont and Chicago.

    Weekend picks: Comedian April Macie hits Zanies

    Comedian April Macie, finalist on "Last Comic Standing," performs shows this weekend at the Rosemont and Chicago Zanies locations. The Enchanted Railroad display chugs through a winter scene at Lisle's Morton Arboretum. And WGN radio personality Steve Cochran headlines at the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

    In this Feb. 3, 2013 file photo, recording artist Beyonce performs at Super Bowl XLVII, in New Orleans. Beyonce stopped short of apologizing for using a sample of audio from the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion in a statement released on Tuesday to ABC. The pop superstar explained the use of the short snippet at the beginning of her song “XO” from her new self-titled album after it brought criticism from the wife of the commander at the helm of the Challenger when it exploded in 1986 and others.

    NASA responds to Beyonce’s Challenger audio sample use

    NASA officials say the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster “should never be trivialized” in response to a new song from Beyonce that features an audio sample recorded just after the craft exploded on takeoff, killing all seven crewmembers. The space agency issued the statement late Tuesday after the pop star began to receive criticism from Challenger families and others for using the short sample that includes the words “major malfunction” as an allusion to a failed relationship.

    Bartender Mickey Phillip pours a cosmopolitan for Jennifer Vick of Batavia at Wilson Street Tavern.

    Batavia's Wilson Street Tavern caters to laid-back crowd

    New owners took over The Spotlight Inn on Wilson Street in Batavia in May 2012, keeping the bar at the center of the space but ditching the rest of the worn out décor. Since then, the new Wilson Street Tavern has served as a laidback hangout for locals looking to put some tunes on the jukebox and have a glass of wine or craft beer.


    Relationship won’t work if you make girlfriend your project

    Mixed up new girlfriend says she needs space after last relationship ended so badly. He just wants to help "fix" her. Carolyn Hax says don't make anyone a project.

    Actress Angela Lansbury, 88, was one of more than 1,000 people who were recognized by Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II in the New Year’s Honors List.

    Angela Lansbury made a Dame

    Honor, She Got. Hollywood star Angela Lansbury, best known as the clue-collecting super-sleuth in the television series “Murder, She Wrote,” has been made a Dame of the British Empire.

    There are still plenty of options available in the suburbs for a fun New Year's Eve.

    New Year's Eve options still plentiful in suburbs

    If you've procrastinated, had plans change or just aren't as excited about ringing in the New Year with Ryan Seacrest as you once were, there are still plenty of options available in the suburbs for a fun New Year's Eve. You can find options in Aurora, Oakbrook Terrace, Rosemont, Schaumburg, St. Charles and more.


    Night life events: JJ’s magically cuts pizza costs in half
    JJ’s Prime Time Sports Pub serves up table-side magic on Fridays, along with pizza specials; Cadillac Ranch hosts Super Saturdays; Quigley’s quizzes on Tuesday nights.

    Jonathan Banks, left, joins the “Community” cast as a professor and Joel McHale heads back to school — despite his character having graduated — when the NBC sitcom returns on Jan. 2

    ‘Community’ creator returns for NBC sitcom’s new season

    Love may be all you need to keep a “Community” together, but having its founder back in the house, and an Emmy or two, might also be nice. Well, one out of two ain’t bad for the NBC sitcom. Anyone arriving at the Paramount soundstage in Hollywood during production of the fifth season of the NBC comedy “Community,” premiering Thursday, Jan. 2, will see a large banner with a picture of an Emmy and the words, “Congratulations, 0 Emmy Nominations” above the show logo.

    “Get Rich Carefully” is the latest release by James J. Cramer.

    Book argues it’s possible to ‘Get Rich Carefully’

    Who wouldn’t want to “Get Rich Carefully,” as the title of Jim Cramer’s new book promises? The stock market may seem scary, but Cramer says you can make money with research, logic and prudence. That sounds good to me.

    A 2002 Aston Martin Vanquish used in the James Bond film “Die Another Day” is on display at the Miami Auto Museum at The Dezer Collection in North Miami, Fla. More than 1,000 cars are on display at the 250,000-square-foot museum, which features American Classics, military and electric cars, bicycles and cars featured in movies.

    Miami museum a treasure trove of cars, bicycles, Vespas

    The classic cars lined up against an empty, vintage gas station along a busy street in North Miami attract visitors to a much larger space right behind it. More than 1,000 cars are on display at the 250,000-square-foot Miami Auto Museum at The Dezer Collection that includes American classics, military and electric cars, bicycles and more. The museum is so large that if every passenger on three 747 airplanes were given just one item from the museum, they could all bike, drive or pedal their way out, said curator Myles Kornblatt. There are eight galleries spread throughout two large buildings in a part of Miami not known to showcase collectibles, much less $25 million to $30 million worth of one-of-a-kind vehicles. “We are a bit of a hidden gem,” Kornblatt said.

    Anola Stowick and her granddaughters Allie Edwards, 7, and Madison Edwards, 10, holding chocolate raspberry torte and on the side stuffed cucumbers and campari tomatoes.

    Cook of the Week: Grandma continues baking tradition with new generation

    Cook of the Week Anola Stowick remembers the joy she felt as a child baking alongside her mother and grandmother, learning how to make quick breads, cornbread, stovetop fudge and pie crusts. The Arlington Heights woman feels that same joy as she bakes with her own grandchildren. “Every surface in my kitchen from Thanksgiving until Christmas is covered with confectioner’s sugar,” Anola said.

    Bipolar disorder slowed what might have been an explosive career for conductor Ronald Braunstein. With his wife, French horn player Caroline Whiddon, Braunstein now runs the Me2/Orchestra, billed as “the world’s only classical music organization for individuals with mental illness and the people who support them.”

    Mentally ill and their backers fill Vt. orchestra

    Ronald Braunstein’s career as a musical conductor got off to a brilliant start. But bipolar disorder slowed what might have been an explosive career. He met his wife, French horn player Caroline Whiddon, when she was working as manager of the Vermont Youth Orchestra. They have since formed the Me2/orchestra. It’s billed as “the world’s only classical music organization for individuals with mental illness and the people who support them.” They’re hoping a performance as part of First Night Burlington, an annual New Year’s Eve arts festival in Vermont’s largest city, will bring some attention to the 2-year-old ensemble.

    Katelyn Prominski, a dancer in the musical “Flashdance,” found a new home on stage in musicals after her ballet career was cut short by diabetes.

    Ballerina sidelined by diabetes finds a new home on stage

    A former professional ballerina, Katelyn Prominski now instead dances in musical theater, after discovering she has diabetes. As a dancer, Prominski’s fitness level, healthy habits and stubborn streak had enabled her to ignore diabetes symptoms for three years. “As I started getting better, and getting my blood sugar under control, I realized that I needed to start performing again,” Prominski said. So she turned to musical theater.


    An effort to amend the Illinois Constitution is under way.

    A Remap Referendum: How you can help

    A Daily Herald editorial explains why a proposed constitutional amendment is the way to fix Illinois' corrupt system for drawing legislative maps -- and how you can help.


    Hillary Clinton’s unlucky year

    Columnist Richard Cohen: It is incumbent on me as a columnist to do one of those year-end things — the 10 best of this, the 10 worst of that or, as you will see, who had the worst year in politics. That distinction goes, with some reluctance on my part, to Hillary Rodham Clinton. As has sometimes happened in her life, events got away from her.


    The symbiotic relationship between columnist, readers

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: The year-end review required of all columnists inevitably brings us to the mailbag and a few clarifications. For the record, I read my mail but never online comments.


    Put an end to gerrymandering
    A letter to the editor: Thank you for finally shedding some much-needed light on the redistricting mess. A foolproof solution to this problem would be a very simple amendment to the Illinois Constitution.


    Leaders spinning a wheel of misfortune?
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor:Recently, I came across the television game show “Wheel of Fortune.” The contestants spin a wheel and select a letter and win cash or other prizes on the way to solve a word puzzle. I often wonder if our governing bodies use the same principle.


    Parents who buy toy guns culpable, too
    A Palatine letter to the editor: While I am not a sportsman, I have friends and relatives who hunt and fish. Some live in rural areas, and I respect and understand why they have guns. What floors me is the “toys” that I saw for sale this month. Several models of “toy” semi-automatic weapons with plastic “magazines” that rapid-fire multiple rounds of “Nerf bullets.”


    Free speech doesn’t apply unless it’s PC
    AHoffman Estates letter to the editor: I’m just not buying all of the righteous indignation expressed by A&E regarding the Phil Robertson interview with GQ Magazine, for several reasons.


    Restaurant manager’s Christmas kindness
    A Bloomingdale letter to the editor: A small Christmas kindness made many people happy. I went to the refrigerator late on Christmas Eve and found I had no eggs to make pumpkin pies for my children and grandchildren for Christmas. By now the stores were all closed and would not be open Christmas morning.


    Avoiding deficit spending in Elgin
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Elgin’s City Council just passed a 2014 budget and 3 year plan after months of presentations and discussions. The process included concerted yet ill-conceived efforts to send our community into deficit spending, threaten our AAA bond rating, and stop the progress this city has made in recovering from decades of decline.


    President putting all Americans at risk
    After reading a Dec. 22 article, it is my opinion that our president does not understand that bullies understand only one thing, and that is strength. Reducing the United States’ nuclear ability to attack enemies for purposes of a “green environment” is ridiculous. As commander and chief, he has the responsibility to protect the citizens of this nation. Whether or not that protection is by action or threat of action is immaterial. Informing the radical groups of the world who would not think twice of launching nuclear attacks against our country but only fail to do so because of our ability to respond is putting all of the citizens of our great nation at huge risk.In conclusion, this is just another example of our president ignoring the well-being of our nation. He hates the Constitution, does not enforce the laws of this land and now wants to weaken our military resistance.Steven R. HeubergerLibertyville


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