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Daily Archive : Wednesday January 1, 2014
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Arlington Hts., Mt. Prospect seek dog park input
Arlington Heights and Mount Prospect residents can learn about a dog park planned for Melas Park and give their opinions at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7, at Central Community Center, 1000 W. Central Road in Mount Prospect. “This is something people have been asking for; for a lot of people dogs are part of the family,” said Maryfran H. Leno, president of the Arlington Heights park board.
Aurora family welcomes first baby of 2014 for DuPage County
Kelle Lalko didn’t have anything exciting planned for New Year’s Eve — just a quiet dinner with her husband, Steve, and 2-year-old daughter, Emma. Instead, the Aurora woman ushered in the new year at Edward Hospital in Naperville, delivering a healthy baby girl early Wednesday morning — the first baby of 2014 for DuPage County.
James Avery, Uncle Phil from ‘Fresh Prince’ dead at 68
James Avery, the bulky character actor who laid down the law at home and on the job as the Honorable Philip Banks in “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” has died. Avery’s publicist, Cynthia Snyder, told The Associated Press that Avery died Tuesday in Glendale, Calif., following complications from open heart surgery. He was 68, Snyder said.
Medical pot legal, but state needs time to write rules
The state's first medical marijuana law officially takes effect today, but people with cancer, multiple sclerosis and other diseases will have to wait another year or longer before they can use the drug to ease their pain. Illinois officials are working through the details of how to implement the four-year pilot program, trying to decide everything from who will be allowed to grow and sell...
163 people brave snow, frigid water for Polar Bear Plunge in Waukegan
The weather outside was frightful but the faces on people after they emerged from the freezing Lake Michigan water was so delightful Wednesday during the 15th annual Polar Bear Plunge at the Waukegan Municipal Beach.
Rescue delayed for icebound ship in Antarctica
The latest attempt to rescue passengers on board a research ship that has been trapped in Antarctic ice for more than a week was delayed again Thursday after sea ice prevented a barge from reaching one of the rescue vessels.
Mundelein jewlery store customers await snow total
More than 200 customers are waiting to learn if enough snow fell Wednesday for them to wind up with refunds for their purchases as part of a Mundelein jewelry store's promotion.
Oscar nominated actress Moore dies at 99
NEW YORK — Juanita Moore, a groundbreaking actress and an Academy Award nominee for her role as Lana Turner’s black friend in the classic weeper “Imitation of Life,” has died.Actor Kirk Kelleykahn, her grandson, said that Moore collapsed and died Wednesday at her home in Los Angeles. She was 99, according to Kelleykahn. Accounts of her age have differed over the years.
Marketing efforts to uninsured youth ramp up
The so-called “young invincibles” are so important to the success of the Affordable Care Act that supporters and detractors are spending millions to reach them with racy ads, social media campaigns and celebrity endorsements. The president is even (gasp) asking their mothers to help convince them to sign up for insurance.
Legal recreational pot industry opens in Colorado
Crowds were serenaded by live music as they waited for the nation’s first legal recreational pot shops to open. They ate doughnuts and funnel cakes as a glass-blower made smoking pipes. Some tourists even rode around in a limo, eager to try weed but not so eager to be seen buying it.
1912 road race trophy back in Elgin
To the members of the Elgin Area Historical Society and Museum, it’s nothing short of serendipitous that an Elgin National Road Race trophy from 1912 is back in town. The so-called Illinois Cup won by racer Charles Merz is now on display at the Elgin History Museum, along with Merz’s racing helmet and googles, his World War II victory medal and pilot wings, and a few photographs, including one...
First babies of 2014 in northwest Cook and Lake counties arrive early
The first babies of 2014 born in Lake and Northwest suburban Cook counties didn't waste time welcoming the new year. They were born at 12:31 a.m. at Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital in Barrington and 1:18 a.m. at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village.
Groomers are dazzling up dogs with bling, bows
For some dog owners, simple bathing and combing is not enough. So they pay groomers to turn fur into an artist’s canvas, where vibrant sweeps of chalk and paint transform pooches into fantasy fur balls that draw both compliments and strange looks. For an extra 10 or 15 minutes at the groomer, the everyday dog can get an outlandish redesign with a temporary paint tattoo, Mohawk, feather extension...
Nations jockey for Arctic position, U.S. not in lead
The U.S. is racing to keep pace with stepped-up activity in the once sleepy Arctic frontier, but it is far from being in the lead. Nations across the world are hurrying to stake claims to the Arctic’s resources, which might be home to 13 percent of the world’s undiscovered oil and 30 percent of its untapped natural gas.
2013 ends with a big drop in homicides in Chicago
Following a year when Chicago led the nation in homicides with more than 500, the city’s Police Department said Wednesday that in 2013 the city recorded the fewest killings since 1965 and saw its overall crime rate fall to level not seen since 1972.
First babies of 2014 arrive early for Fox Valley area moms
Three Fox Valley area moms delivered the first babies of 2014 Wednesday at separate hospitals. Rebecca Mantz of Elgin recorded the first birth in Kane County, Kelle Lalko of Aurora had the first baby in DuPage County, and Erin Curtin of Crystal Lake had the first baby in Lake County.
Arlington Lakes hosts Chilly Open Jan. 18:
Arlington Lakes Golf Club in Arlington Heights hosts its Chilly Open, an annual tradition that pairs up golf with tasty chili, on Saturday, Jan. 18. The $35 fee per person entitles each player to a round of golf, a raffle ticket with a chance to win a special prize, and all the hot chili you can eat. Coffee, beer, and hot chocolate also will be available. Prizes will be awarded to the top players...
Sustainability topic of meeting:
The Lake County Regional Planning Commission will hold a special meeting at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 7, at the Lake County Division of Transportation, 600 W. Winchester Road, Libertyville,
See movies at library:
The Wauconda Area Library will exhibit three of 2013’s top movies for free in January, February and March.
Illinois’ new laws: No indoor tanning if under 18, cellphone rules
Indoor tanning for those under 18 and driving with a handheld cell phone are banned, while voting is allowed for some 17-year-olds as a result of new state laws taking effect Jan. 1.
Images: Waukegan Polar Plunge
Images of the Waukegan Park District's 15th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at 10:00am on New Year's Day at the Waukegan Municipal Beach 201 Sea Horse Drive. Proceeds from the event benefit the Special Recreation Services of Northern Lake County-Waukegan scholarship program.
Kane County bird-watchers kick off new year with eyes to the skies
The new year started with hushed anticipation for a group of six bird enthusiasts, who stood in a small circle in the accumulating snow and pronounced their first sighting of 2014, as part of Kane County Audubon Society's annual New Year’s Day bird watching hike.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow — enough already
The New Year is beginning with a light fluffy snowfall across much of the U.S. Northeast, including Boston and New York, that will give way to the coldest temperatures so far this season.To the west, Chicago was facing as much as 8 inches of snow through this afternoon, according to the weather service. A winter storm advisory was issued from northern Iowa to Ohio.
Ex-cop in Grayslake wins pension battle; who has state's highest pension?
Who won the battle over an extra cost-of-living increase for a former Grayslake police sergeant? Who was driving the IDOT truck that was ticketed for running a red light in Hanover Park? Who has the state's highest pension? Find out in this latest serving of watchdog kibble.
Pope stresses strength, courage, hope in new year
Pope Francis is offering “words of strength, courage and hope” as the world begins a new year.That was his emphasis in a homily during Mass in St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday morning. The Catholic church dedicates Jan. 1 to the promotion of word peace. Francis said there was `'hunger and thirst for justice, peace and God” in the world.In his first year as pope, Francis has...
Images: New Year’s Day Observed
Images of New Year's Day celebrations and observances . From the traditional ball drop in Times Square to protestors in Hong Kong, people recognized the holiday and the first day of 2014.
Will 2014 be the year for Settlers Hill and Longmeadow Parkway?
Two of the most anticipated construction projects in Kane County crawled along in 2013. But officials have laid the groundwork for 2014 to see substantial progress on the redevelopment of Settlers Hill and construction of the Longmeadow Parkway.
Some states move to save cursive in the classroom
The swirling lines from Linden Bateman’s pen have been conscripted into a national fight to keep cursive writing in American classrooms. Cursive. Penmanship. Handwriting. In years gone by, it helped distinguish the literate from the illiterate. But now, in the digital age, people are increasingly communicating by computer and smartphone. When the new Common Core educational standards were...
Trainer to stars says any dog can learn new tricks
If it seems like your dog knows every trick in the book, try changing books. Babette Haggerty, veteran dog trainer to the stars, has packed 106 teach-them-yourself stunts into her new book, “The Best Dog Tricks on the Planet.” Pets that master the basic sit, stay and heel commands can learn to help around the house and even appear to read, pirouette or do the “Hokey Pokey,” she says, picking up...
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 initative 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...
To younger veterans, pension cuts break a promise
The plan to trim pension increases for working-age military retirees is by far the most controversial provision in a bipartisan budget deal approved by Congress and signed last week by President Barack Obama.The cut is small — a one-percentage-point reduction in the annual cost-of-living increase — but it has provoked outrage among veterans who argue that the country is reneging on a solemn pact.
Bulls trying to find their rhythm
The Bulls finally had their full lineup on the floor — minus Derrick Rose — for the first time since Rose was injured on Nov. 22. But they scored just 79 points in Wednesday's loss to Toronto, so obviously there is work to be done.
Report: Lovie Smith to coach Bucs
Former Bears coach Lovie Smith has reached an agreement to become the next head coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFL sources told ESPN. Smith will replace the ousted Greg Schiano on a four-year deal. Schiano was 11-21 in two seasons as the Buccaneers' coach and had three years remaining on his contract, which he signed in 2012. The Buccaneers, who entered the 2013 season with high expectations, stumbled to an 0-8 start before finishing 4-12.
Another shot at gold for Blackhawks’ Kane
Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane, as expected, was named to the U.S. Olympic team on Wednesday. But Brandon Saad and Nick Leddy did not make it and will have to wait their turn. Kane was one of the 14 forwards named to the squad that will be going to Sochi, Russia, looking to avenge its overtime loss to Canada in the 2010 gold-medal game in Vancouver.
Blackhawks game day
Blackhawks vs. New York Islanders at Nassau Coliseum, 6 p.m. ThursdayTV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: WGN-AM 720The skinny: The Islanders have only 13 wins and are last in the Metropolitan Division. Defenseman Lubomir Vishnovsky is out with a concussion. Corey Crawford starts in goal for the Hawks for the first time since Dec. 8, when he suffered a groin injury against Florida.Next: New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, 6 p.m. Friday— Tim Sassone
No free time for Bears brain trust
Bears general manager Phil Emery faces a monumental task in the off-season with 28 free agents on the roster. We take a preliminary look at who might be back, and who might be playing elsewhere next season.
Michigan St. beats Stanford 24-20 in Rose Bowl
PASADENA, Calif. — Connor Cook passed for a career-high 332 yards and hit Tony Lippett with a tiebreaking 25-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, leading No. 4 Michigan State to a 24-20 victory over No. 5 Stanford on Wednesday night in the 100th Rose Bowl.Cook also threw a TD pass to Trevon Pendleton, and Jeremy Langford rushed for 84 yards and a score in the first Rose Bowl victory in 26 years for the Big Ten champion Spartans (13-1), who finished the season with 10 straight wins.Michigan State’s defense capped its dominant season with one more old-school, smash-mouth performance during the centennial celebration of the Granddaddy of Them All.“It’s a special time for all Spartans, and we came here in force,” coach Mark Dantonio said. “I’m very happy for our football team, the resilience we showed all season long.”The nation’s best defense ended it by stopping the Pac-12 champion Cardinal (11-3) on fourth-and-1 with 1:46 to play, utterly stuffing a run play up the middle. Kyler Elsworth, who started in place of suspended senior leader Max Bullough, hurdled the pile to deliver an electrifying, head-on hit to fullback Ryan Hewitt.“When I saw their offensive linemen’s stance, I knew the way to make a play was to go over the top,” said Elsworth, selected the game’s defensive MVP.Tyler Gaffney ran for 91 yards and an early TD for Stanford, and linebacker Kevin Anderson returned an interception 40 yards for a score late in the first half. But the Cardinal couldn’t follow up last season’s victory in Pasadena with back-to-back Rose Bowl wins, managing just three points from their offense after the first quarter.The Spartans have long labored in the shadow of Michigan and Ohio State, but coach Dantonio’s seven-year rebuilding project in East Lansing has put them on top of the Midwest this season with an unbeaten run through conference play.After knocking off the unbeaten Buckeyes in the league title game, Michigan State earned only the Big Ten’s second Rose Bowl win since 2000, even rallying from its first double-digit deficit of the entire season to do it.Cook led the way in his own inimitable fashion, making incredible plays and huge mistakes along the way. Along with his costly interception to Anderson, he also threw two passes that went through the hands of Cardinal defenders, and an interception in the third quarter was wiped out by a defensive holding call.But when the Spartans needed big plays in the second half, Cook repeatedly delivered, finishing 22 for 36.Kevin Hogan beat Wisconsin in last year’s Rose Bowl, but he couldn’t match Cook, going 10 for 18 for 143 yards and a key interception for Stanford.A mere 112 years after the game considered the first Rose Bowl was played in a park elsewhere in Pasadena, Stanford and Michigan State engaged in an old-fashioned slugfest in the venerable stadium that will host the BCS title game Monday night.Michigan State fans dominated the Rose Bowl grounds and stands, with about 70 percent wearing green in the crowd of 95,173 the game’s largest turnout since 1998.After Tournament of Roses Parade grand marshal Vin Scully flipped the coin, Stanford started with a 77-yard drive culminating in Gaffney’s 16-yard TD run.Michigan State had never trailed by double digits all season long until Jordan Williamson’s field goal put Stanford up 10-0 late in the first quarter, but the Spartans finally connected with a 13-play, 75-yard drive culminating in Langford’s bounce outside for a 2-yard TD.The Spartans dominated the second quarter, but Cook handed seven points to the Cardinal shortly before halftime. With Usua Amanam bearing down on him unblocked, Cook inexplicably threw a soft looping pass directly to Anderson, who returned his first career interception untouched for a score the first defensive touchdown allowed by Michigan State all season.
A toast to the Hawks’ dominance in 2013
The Chicago Blackhawks, the defending Stanley Cup champions, closed a phenomenal calendar year with 80 victories and only 21 regulation defeats in 113 games. Thus far this winter, they are 28-7-7 while exhibiting no signs whatsoever of ennui or fatigue as 2014 arrives. This binge is historic stuff, and Blackhawks Team Historian Bob Verdi puts it into perspective in this report.
The pulse of the Keys becoming more faint
The fishing in the Florida Keys is a far cry from what it once was, and anglers — along with anyone who cares about our collective future — should take note.
Blackhawks’ Kane will play for U.S. in Sochi
The U.S. men’s Olympic hockey team is set, and Blackhawks star forward Patrick Kane will be going to the Sochi Games. Teammates Brandon Saad and Nick Leddy were passed over. Ottawa Senators forward and 2010 Olympian Bobby Ryan was perhaps the most surprising omission on the 25-man roster revealed Wednesday after the Winter Classic. Jimmy Howard, who couldn’t help Detroit beat Toronto on Wednesday in a shootout, appears to be the Americans’ third goaltender behind Jonathan Quick and Ryan Miller.
Maple Leafs beat Red Wings in snowy Winter Classic
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A lot of winter. Very little classic hockey.Tyler Bozak scored the winning shootout goal and Jonathan Bernier made two saves in the heart-pounding final moments, lifting the Toronto Maple Leafs to a 3-2 victory over Detroit at the snowy Winter Classic in front of the largest crowd to watch a hockey game.The announced attendance Wednesday of 105,591 surpassed the 104,173 who saw Michigan and Michigan State skate in the same football stadium known as the Big House in 2010.The game began with temperatures in the low teens and steady snow that didn’t stop on a windy afternoon, leading to the sixth Winter Classic being much more of an event than a game.It was, though, a closely contested spectacle.Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg appeared to have good chance in overtime with the puck in the Maple Leafs’ end and defenseman Cody Franson on his left side. The horn, however, sounded to stop play at the 2:30 mark of the extra period so that both teams played into a 10 mph wind for an equal amount of time. The game also was halted midway through the third period so that the teams could switch sides.In the shootout, skaters for both teams attempted shots with the wind in their face toward the same net — or end zone.The game-time temperate was 13 degrees with a wind chill of zero. The average temperature of the previous five Winter Classics was 39 degrees, and the average attendance was 53,045.A slew of skaters with shovels cleared significant amounts of snow during early stoppages in play, but players still had a tough time pushing the puck through piles of the white stuff.The struggling yet storied franchises did their best to put on show in the league’s annual showcase in awful conditions.Joffrey Lupul, who might face discipline from the NHL for a cross-check that knocked Patrick Eaves out of the game in the first period, scored the first of two goals for the Maple Leafs in the shootout.Pavel Datsyuk scored Detroit’s only goal in the shootout and teammate Tomas Tatar was foiled on his team’s third attempt because he struggled to control the puck on the snow-covered surface and didn’t even get a shot off.Bernier, with a knit hat over his helmet, made 41 saves.Jimmy Howard had 24 saves for Detroit. After leaving the ice and the snow-covered football field, he returned minutes later when he was introduced as one of the members of the U.S. Olympic team that will go for gold next month in Sochi.Detroit’s Justin Abdelkader tied it 2 with 5:32 left in regulation after Bozak scored the go-ahead goal early in the third period.Daniel Alfredsson opened the scoring for the Red Wings at 13:14 of the second and James van Riemsdyk tied in on a power play with 37 seconds left in the period.
Stevenson grad makes Olympic hockey team
Eleven returning Olympians are on the roster for the women’s hockey team that will represent the United States at Sochi. The roster, which includes 2009 Stevenson High School graduate and Buffalo Grove native Megan Bozek, was announced during the break between periods of the NHL’s Winter Classic. Bozek, a defenseman, won two NCAA hockey championships with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and will play in her first Olympic games.
LSU beats Iowa 21-14 in Outback Bowl
TAMPA, Fla. — Jeremy Hill rushed for 216 yards and two touchdowns, helping No. 14 LSU and inexperienced quarterback Anthony Jennings hold off Iowa 21-14 in the Outback Bowl on Wednesday.Craig Loston’s interception stopped a potential game-tying drive, giving Hill a chance to put the game out of reach by carrying four times for 87 yards on a six-play, 92 yard march that gave the Tigers (10-3) a 21-7 lead.Iowa (8-5) again pulled within a touchdown after Jordan Cotton returned the ensuing kickoff to the Tigers’ 4.Jennings rushed for a touchdown but only threw for 82 yards while standing in for the injured Zach Mettenberger in the freshman’s first college start.Backup quarterback C.J. Beathard’s fourth-down interception stopped one promising drive for Iowa, but he also tossed a 4-yard TD pass to Kevonte Martin-Manley to trim the Hawkeyes’ deficit to 21-14 with 1:42 remaining.
Wisconsin drops Capital One Bowl to South Carolina
ORLANDO, Fla. — Connor Shaw was responsible for five touchdowns, including three passing, and No. 8 South Carolina outlasted No. 19 Wisconsin 34-24 in the Capital One Bowl on Wednesday.The Gamecocks’ senior was named the game’s MVP after picking apart the Badgers defense, completing 22 of 25 passes for 312 yards. Shaw also had rushing and receiving scores. South Carolina (11-2) won its third straight bowl game to cap its third straight 11-win season.Bruce Ellington caught six passes for 140 yards and two touchdowns. The Badgers (9-4) lost their fourth straight bowl game, failing to capitalize on 100-yard rushing games from both Melvin Gordon and James White, and struggling after quarterback Joel Stave left in the third quarter with a shoulder injury.Backup Curt Phillips was intercepted twice. While the Gamecocks struggled to contain the Badgers rushing attack for most of the game, Shaw and Ellington did plenty to keep South Carolina productive on offense. Trailing 17-13 in the third quarter, Ellington reeled in a juggling reception near the sideline on a fourth-and-7 play. Then, two plays later Shaw found Ellington for 22-yard touchdown strike to put the Gamecocks up by three. The Badgers lost Stave on the next series, and with Phillips taking over, were stopped short on fourth down run inside the Gamecocks 30.South Carolina took advantage, and needed just six plays for Shaw to find Jerrell Adams for a 3-yard touchdown that made it 27-17 with 11:05 to play in the game. Wisconsin wasn’t done. Kenzel Doe took the ensuing kickoff and ran it back 91 yards for a score to get the Badgers back within a field goal. But then Shaw went back to work. Pinned inside his own 15 to start the drive, he used a combination of runs and passes to set up his 1-yard touchdown plunge to cap a nine-play, 81-yard drive that made it 34-24. Wisconsin appeared to be done after Phillips was intercepted by Kaiwan Lewis with less than five minutes to play. But the Gamecocks gave it right back on a Brandon Wilds fumble on the next series. The Badgers picked up a few first downs, but then Phillips was intercepted again by Skai Moore with 3:14 left to end the threat.Wisconsin got the ball back one more time, but Gordon fumbled inside the South Carolina 20 to help the Gamecocks secure the win.Wisconsin led 14-13 at the half, scoring on a pair of touchdown passes by Stave.But the Badgers did most of their damage on the ground, piling up 159 rushing yards and 7.2 yards per carry in the opening 30 minutes. Both drives were over 70 yards against a South Carolina defense that entered the game ranked second in the Southeastern Conference, giving up just 142 yards per game. Jadeveon Clowney had four tackles in the half, including one for a loss. But he was mostly a non-factor early as the Badgers alternated White and Gordon in the backfield.
North Texas tops UNLV 36-14 in Heart of Dallas Bowl
DALLAS — Derek Thompson threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns, Brelan Chancellor scored twice and North Texas dominated the second half Wednesday to beat UNLV 36-14 in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. Both of Chancellor’s touchdown runs came in the fourth quarter after he keyed the go-ahead scoring drive in the third with some nifty footwork on a first-down catch. He had 121 yards combined rushing and receiving.This was the Mean Green’s first postseason appearance since a 2004 New Orleans Bowl loss to Southern Miss and its first bowl victory since New Orleans in 2002. The Rebels lost for the first time in four bowl games.UNLV (7-6) drove 95 yards for a touchdown on its opening possession but didn’t score again until the Mean Green (9-4) were up 28-7 in the fourth quarter.With the score 7-7 at halftime, the Mean Green went ahead for good at 14-7 in the third quarter on Thompson’s 7-yard scoring pass to Drew Miller — the fourth third-down conversion on the drive.Chancellor kept the possession alive by slipping past UNLV’s Peni Vea along the sideline and staying inbounds for a 17-yard catch on third-and-16. That was one play after North Texas was backed up by a late-hit penalty on guard Mason Y’Barbo.Tim Cornett, UNLV’s career rushing leader, was held to 33 yards — 71 below his average and the same total as quarterback Caleb Herring, who threw for 196 yards and two touchdowns.Chancellor, who had 74 yards receiving and 47 rushing, scored on runs of 3 and 15 yards. The Mean Green sacked Herring five times.Darnell Smith had a 34-yard catch to put North Texas up 28-7 before Herring’s 13-yard scoring pass to Jerry Rice Jr., the first career touchdown for the son of Hall of Famer Jerry Rice in his final college game.North Texas came in with one of the nation’s top scoring defenses and forced seven straight scoreless UNLV possessions. The Rebels punted on their first three possessions of the second half, and the Mean Green scored each time.UNLV missed a chance to take control in the first quarter when Keith Whitely muffed a punt to keep the Rebels from getting the ball back after a 95-yard drive highlighted by Herring’s 29-yard pass to Devante Davis and punctuated with a 9-yard scoring toss to Marcus Sullivan.Zed Evans recovered Whitely’s muffed punt at the UNLV 42, and Antoinne Jimmerson scored from inside the 1 a play after his run from the 3 was ruled a touchdown before getting overturned on replay.Davis had 10 catches for 96 yards for the Rebels.North Texas’ James Jones dropped what would have been an easy interception that he could have returned for a touchdown in the final minute of the first half. Coach Dan McCarney called timeout moments before the Mean Green blocked a field goal that Kenny Buyers would have easily taken about 50 yards for a score on the final play before halftime.The Rebels were in position to try the 52-yard field goal at the end of the half after the Mean Green jumped offside with UNLV punting on fourth-and-5 with 24 seconds left. Nolan Kohorst’s kick was well short.
Nebraska beats Georgia 24-19 in Gator Bowl
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Tommy Armstrong Jr. connected with Quincy Enunwa for two touchdowns, including a 99-yarder in the third quarter, and Nebraska held on to beat No. 23 Georgia 24-19 in the rain-soaked Gator Bowl on Wednesday.Playing in their 50th bowl, the Cornhuskers (9-4) ended a four-game losing streak against teams from the Southeastern Conference. The streak included a 45-31 loss to Georgia in the Capital One Bowl last season.The rematch was much different.Nebraska did a solid job against running back Todd Gurley, who ran for 125 yards and a touchdown last year. Gurley finished with 86 yards on the ground.Gurley was more effective in the passing game, catching seven passes for 97 yards and a score. His 25-yard score on the first play of the fourth quarter cut Nebraska’s lead to 24-19.But the Huskers stopped Georgia (8-5) twice on fourth down in the closing minutes. Rantavious Wooten and Arthur Lynch dropped fourth-down passes that ended drives in the red zone.Those drops were indicative of the entire game for Georgia. The Bulldogs moved inside the 25-yard line seven times, but settled for four field goals.Despite those, Georgia had a chance late.Wooten dropped a fourth-and-2 pass at the 10-yard line with 4:42 remaining. Georgia got the ball back with 3:18 to play and marched toward the end zone. But Lynch couldn’t haul in a fourth-and-3 pass that would have moved the chains with about 25 seconds remaining. Nebraska ran out the clock from there.The Huskers pulled ahead 24-12 late in the third on the longest play in Gator Bowl history.Armstrong dropped back on a third-and-14 play at the 1 and heaved the ball as far as he could to Enunwa, who was streaking wide open down the left sideline. Georgia cornerback Shaq Wiggins let Enunwa go, but got no safety help deep. Quincy Mauger had a chance to tackle Enunwa, but bounced off him just past midfield.Enunwa coasted the rest of the way.Enunwa finished with four receptions for 129 yards. He also broke a school with 12 touchdown receptions, eclipsing the mark of 11 set by Johnny Rodgers in 1971.Armstrong, filling in for injured starter Taylor Martinez, completed 6 of 14 passes for 163 yards. He also had a 5-yard TD pass to Enunwa in the second quarter.Ameer Abdullah ran 27 times for 122 yards and a score. It was his 11th 100-yard game of the season.Nebraska finished with 307 yards, 109 fewer than Georgia.Turnovers were the difference.Nebraska turned two of them into two touchdowns. Reggie Davis muffed a punt deep in Georgia territory in the second quarter and Nebraska scored two plays later. The Huskers also turned Hutson Mason’s lone interception into points. Mason overthrew Chris Conley near the sideline. Josh Mitchell picked it off, setting up Abdullah’s TD run.Mason, making his second straight start in place of injured starter Aaron Murray, completed 21 of 39 passes for 320 yards, with a touchdown and an interception.
Retirement unlikely for some blue-collar Americans
Many blue-collar boomers expect to work the rest of their lives because they have little cash put away for their old age and they worry Social Security won’t cover their bills. Some hope to move to jobs that are less physically demanding.
At 20 years, NAFTA didn’t close Mexico wage gap
While it changed the country in some fundamental ways, the North American Free Trade Agreement 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.
Consumer discretionary stocks rose most in 2013
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index logged its best year since 1997, gaining 29.6 percent. All 10 industry groups that make up the index rose, led by consumer discretionary stocks, a broad category that includes department stores, restaurants and entertainment companies. Telecommunications stocks rose the least. Here’s a breakdown:
Netflix rose the most in the S&P 500 in 2013
Netflix soared while Newmont sank. Here are the three biggest winners and the three biggest losers in the Standard & Poor’s 500 index in 2013.
CEO predictions for the next 100 years of flying
With Wednesday marking the 100th anniversary of the first commercial flight, the Associated Press reached out to today’s aviation leaders to see what they are predicting for the future of flying.
‘Safe’ investments like gold were hit hard in 2013
Being safe left some investors sorry in 2013. That’s because some financial assets that are considered safe and steady lost money. After three decades of steady gains, bonds had a bad year. Prices for Treasurys and other kinds of bonds slumped as the U.S. economy improved, investors’ nerves steadied and the Federal Reserve prepared to pull back on its huge bond-buying program.
Facebook still leads social media, but sees slower growth among young users
WASHINGTON — This is not your father's Facebook. It's your grandfather's.New data from the Pew Center for Internet and American Life released Monday show that Facebook's strongest growth over the past year has come from users over the age of 65, as more older users sign onto the site to keep in touch with their friends, children and grandchildren.The survey found that 45 percent of American seniors who use the Internet are on Facebook, up from 35 percent the previous year.Use among teens, however, has stagnated at 84 percent. That's in keeping with growing concern that Facebook is seeing lower engagement with the younger users that drove its early popularity, something that the company has acknowledged itself in an earnings call this year.Facebook may be a victim of its own success after nearly ten years as the country's leading social network, said Pew senior researcher Aaron Smith.“It's hard to get more than 85 percent of anyone doing anything,” he said. “A lot of the easy converts in the younger group, or even in the older and middle-aged group, are already on the site. The senior group is the only area that has any substantial area for growth.”Facebook is seeing an uptick in teen use on Instagram, which it bought for $1 billion in 2012, indicating that it's far from being down for the count.Still, a stagnating teen audience — the percentage of those in the 18-29 age group that use the site fell two percentage points compared with last year — fits in with a recent study from researchers at University College London, which found some British teens at are leaving Facebook because of the influx of older users.An ethnographic study of 16-18 year olds north of London found teens are opting to use private messaging services such as WhatsApp and Snapchat to communicate with their friends. In many cases, the study said, teens stay on Facebook at the behest of their parents, who have made it a tool for keeping track of their children.“You just can't be young and free if you know your parents can access your every indiscretion,” wrote Daniel Miller, a professor of Material Culture at UCL, who ran the study.In other words, teens are using Facebook, but not for the same reasons that they once did. And that, Smith said, fits in with a larger trend in the social media space: Americans are diversifying the social networks that they use.More than 40 percent of Americans, Pew found, maintain multiple social network accounts for different purposes.Facebook, which has more than 1 billion users and is used by 71 percent of Americans, seems to be the “default” social network, he said, while Pinterest skews more heavily to women, LinkedIn to more educated or wealthier users and Twitter among young adults and African Americans.“People are pretty utilitarian,” Smith said. “This fits really well with a lot of the research we've seen in terms of how people navigate all of these things.”Users go to specific places based on what they're trying to do, Smith said, and so engagement for many of the smaller sites are on par with Facebook, Smith noted. Fifty-seven percent of Instagram users, for example, return daily to the site to check for updates, compared to 63 percent of Facebook users. Nearly half of Twitter's users, 46 percent, also make the site a daily habit.Pew researchers surveyed 1,800 adults in English and Spanish via landline and cellphone for the study. The survey was conducted in August and September.
NFL's turf gurus gird for historic Super Bowl
It may qualify as a small irony that in the run-up to the first outdoor, cold-weather Super Bowl, the people seemingly least threatened about the possibility of bad weather are the folks whose job is to protect the surface on which the game will be played. It should come as no surprise, since the NFL's groundskeeping experts are used to dealing with the elements — and improvising when they have to.
Historic coverage expansion to test promise of health plan
After three months of turmoil surrounding the rollout of President Obama's health care plan, the country faces a historic turning point on Jan. 1. From emergency rooms to pharmacies to company human- resources departments, changes will unfold within the U.S. health care system as the nation guarantees insurance coverage to all Americans for the first time, a goal that has eluded presidents and lawmakers since the end of World War II.
In technology, 2013 was a more amazing year than you think
If you go by the headlines, the iPhone 5S and Google Glass were the big technology stories of 2013, and Twitter’s IPO was the event of the year. The coverage of Glass focused mostly on its privacy implications — not its ability to change the world. And iPhone and Twitter were just more of the same. So we could end the year really disappointed because nothing dramatic seems to have happened on the technology front. But look again, at the stories we missed.
SeaTac wage experiment could be over before it begins
In November, the voters of the city of SeaTac — the community of 27,000 around the airport — approved a ballot measure that would have raised his hourly wage from $10.88 ($1.69 above the state’s legal minimum) to $15 an hour. On Friday, in response to a lawsuit backed by the airlines and the restaurant industry, the King County Superior Court ruled that the measure could apply only to the 1,600 people who work at hotels and car services outside the airport. That cuts out 4,700 people who work within the airport itself, which is technically a separate jurisdiction belonging to the Port of Seattle and not subject to the voters’ desires.
Hyundai replaces U.S. chief to revitalize 2014 sales
Hyundai, South Korea’s largest automaker, is counting on new leadership at its U.S. unit to help the company revive market-share gains. In naming Executive Vice President David Zuchowski as the next CEO of its U.S. operations from Jan. 1, Hyundai turned to one of its top salesmen to battle Toyota Motor Corp. to Ford Motor Co. in the country. He’ll replace John Krafcik, 52, who in his five-year tenure as U.S. chief oversaw Hyundai gain the most market share among major automakers until late 2012, when it began ceding back some of those gains.
USAA to GEICO test voice apps seeking $12 billion savings
First it was the tellers. Now, call centers are under threat as financial services firms weigh new voice-activation technology to cut the cost of customer service.USAA, GEICO Corp. and other financial firms are turning smartphones into virtual clerks. USAA in February became the first to let depositors use its mobile application via spoken commands. Now, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bancorp and ING Groep also are among about 50 firms working with Nuance Communications Inc. to use similar technology in mobile apps.While banks have offered basic services over the phone for years, new programs seek to provide more complex interaction, similar to Apple’s Siri talking digital assistant, also powered by Nuance’s voice and artificial-intelligence software. Customers will eventually be able to ask, “Has my check cleared?” or “Am I on track to save for retirement?” using apps, instead of visiting a branch or dialing a call center.The feature lessens the need for human interaction and could reduce the number of customer calls to banks by as much as 40 percent, said Richard Crone, chief executive officer of researcher Crone Consulting. By using voice-based apps to cut the number of call centers and workers to staff them, the financial-services industry could save $8 billion to $12 billion a year, he said.“There’s a business case around reducing call-center calls,” said Dominic Venturo, payments chief innovation officer at U.S. Bancorp, which tested voice banking with hundreds of its own employees earlier this year.While apps vary from bank to bank, a user can typically activate the tool with a button and then start asking questions. The software bases its response on a quick review of such information as the customer’s account and banking history, providing answers with text or spoken word.The overhaul of banking apps was prompted largely by Nuance’s release in August 2012 of Nina — a Siri-like virtual assistant designed for mobile apps. Using artificial intelligence and a dictionary of thousands of banking-related phrases, Nina can simplify finding answers to complex financial queries on the go, said Robert Weideman, an executive vice president at Burlington, Mass.-based Nuance.“We are seeing something very similar to mobile-check deposit — all of a sudden, everyone is doing it,” Weideman said. Mobile deposits, which let customers snap photos of a check to submit it to their accounts, are used by 21 percent of Generation Y households — those born in the early 1980s to early 1990s — according to Raddon Financial Group.The market for voice-recognition technologies will reach $113 billion in 2017, up from about $53 billion last year, BCC Research estimates. In two to three years, mobile will account for more than half of all industry customer-service interactions, up from less than 30 percent today, according to Crone. That’s happening as more consumers bank using their phones. Some 48 percent of smartphone owners had used mobile banking in the previous 12 months, up from 42 percent in December 2011, a 2012 Federal Reserve Board survey showed.Nuance, whose stock is down by a third this year, could use the growth. Billionaire investor Carl Icahn has taken a 19.2 percent stake in the voice-technology company and has named two directors to the board.Protecting consumers’ privacy and security will be key for increased adoption of mobile-banking apps, said Seth Schoen, a senior staff technologist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. With smartphones functioning as small computers that store sensitive information, identity thieves are increasingly trying to steal users’ banking credentials, he said.
Some with Alzheimer’s find care in far-off nations
Spouses and relatives in Western nations are increasingly sending thousands of Alzheimer’s patients abroad for care as costs rise, and the supply of qualified nurses and facilities struggles to keep up. Faraway countries are offering cheaper, and to some minds better, care for those suffering from the irreversible loss of memory. The nascent trend is unnerving to some experts who say uprooting people with Alzheimer’s will add to their sense of displacement and anxiety, though others say quality of care is more important than location.
That $2.5 million classic Jaguar you’re buying may be fake
In the 1930s, British sports-car maker MG made exactly 33 of the K3 open-top race car. If you want to buy one now, there are more than 100 to choose from. No, the defunct carmaker didn’t restart production. The tripling of the K3 fleet is part of the booming trade in fake antique autos as soaring prices for classic cars spur sophisticated counterfeits.
Super Bowl in Wall Street's backyard sparks record ticket demand
Super Bowl ticket demand is at a record high as denizens of Wall Street seek seats for the game in nearby New Jersey. There has been a robust market for weeks as New York businesses try to satisfy their own customers' requests, say ticket resellers. “A lot of clients are calling us saying, 'We don't have them, but we're expected to have them and I can't tell my client I don't have them,' especially on Wall Street,” said Jason Berger, broker.
Life & Entertainment
DIY bookcase: Steps to an industrial-style piece
I started by shopping, assuming the only way I could have an industrial-style bookcase was by paying a hefty sum for one. As this style of furniture has become more popular, many different companies and craftsmen have begun offering variations on the theme: rustic, sturdy shelving units, and tables made from planks of wood and plumbing parts. Meanwhile, the Internet has also become crowded with do-it-yourself instructions for making these pieces.
Grave marker project helps bury the blues
Blues guitarist Tommy Bankhead rubbed shoulders with some of the genre’s royalty, from Howlin’ Wolf and Elmore James to Albert King and Sonny Boy Williamson. But visitors to the overgrown St. Louis cemetery where Bankhead was buried more than a decade ago would never know his musical legacy. Or his name. That will soon change thanks to the Killer Blues Headstone Project, a nonprofit effort to bring belated recognition to long-forgotten blues musicians.
Seniors, disabled get help feeding furry friends
If Meals on Wheels didn’t deliver donated dog food, Sherry Scott of San Diego says her golden retriever Tootie would be eating the pasta, riblets and veggie wraps meant for her. But thanks to partnerships between the program for low-income seniors and pet groups across the country, fewer people and pets are going hungry.
Hollies need males to look their best
You might deck your halls with boughs of homegrown holly, but unless you planned ahead, those boughs could lack red berries. And that leads us to some frank talk about sex. A holly berry, like any other fruit, is a mature ovary, home for a seed or seeds. Seeds are what stimulate development of any fruit, but seeds themselves can’t get started without sex.
Music notes: Jay-Z returns to the UC
Mike & Joe get the new year started in Palatine with their energetic rock covers, while rapper Jay-Z makes another stop in Chicago as part of his massive Magna Carter Tour.
As new film meccas flourish, artists become nomads
Even as new filmmaking centers help spread Hollywood’s wealth around the world, the boost to local economies comes at a personal cost to the specialists who must follow the work. As movie production migrates from place to place, friendships get left behind and raising a family can be difficult. But the life can be exciting for a highly skilled class of adventurers.
Hollywood struggles against new film meccas
In the old days, filmmakers flocked to Hollywood for its abundant sunshine, beautiful people and sandy beaches. But today a new filmmaking diaspora is spreading across the globe to places like Vancouver, London and Wellington, New Zealand. Fueled by politicians doling out generous tax breaks, filmmaking talent is migrating to where the money is. The result is an incentives arms race that pits California against governments around the world and allows powerful studios — with hundreds of millions of dollars at their disposal — to cherry-pick the best deals.
Educate athletes about injury risk
A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Am I the only one getting tired of reading the “woe is me” stories about brain injuries resulting from sports such as football and boxing? I find it hard to believe that we haven’t been aware for many years that our brains cannot withstand battering without repercussions.
Vote for Quinn a vote for higher taxes
A Wheaton letter to the editor: Recently, Gov. Quinn signed the pension reform law estimated to save taxpayers $160 billion and claimed a victory for the people. After his re-election several years ago, Gov. Quinn immediately signed into law a 67 percent increase in the Illinois income tax rate. His election was a mandate by the people to raise income taxes, according to Quinn.
Buried power lines an impractical joke
An Elgin letter to the editor: I am 88 years old and a former lineman for Western United and ComEd. I have worked many stormy nights and cold winter days. Now when the public needs additional electric lines, ComEd has been told to bury the lines. To me that Is a joke.