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Daily Archive : Friday January 3, 2014

News

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    Enrique Galeana

    Palatine man charged in roommate’s stabbing

    An argument between two roommates escalated and culminated in one stabbing the other outside their Palatine apartment, Palatine police said. And now, while his roommate lingers in critical condition in intensive care at Lutheran General Hospital with wounds to his abdomen, Enrique Galeana, 38, faces two felony counts of aggravated battery.

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    Fire damages Darien townhome

    Firefighters battled a blaze Friday at a townhome in Darien. Several departments responded to the fire at a home on the 7900 block of Knottingham Circle, which rendered the townhome uninhabitable. At 1:52 p.m., the Darien-Woodridge Fire District responded to 911 reports. When the first fire units arrived less than three minutes later, they found heavy smoke pouring from the roof of a four-unit...

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    ‘Duck Dynasty’ star to speak at Naperville church

    When Naperville’s Compass Church planned to have Alan Robertson from A&E’s reality series “Duck Dynasty,” kick off its series about the Bible and family dynamics, it didn’t count on having to duck questions about a recent controversy involving the Robertson family. At 6 p.m. on Saturday, and at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. on Sunday at the Hobson Campus, Robertson will share his story of “Faith, Family and...

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    Spring Grove woman charged with DUI

    A Spring Grove woman faces DUI charges after authorities said she struck a vehicle parked alongside a road, resulting in minor injuries to the woman and a juvenile passenger. Amanda Ducat, 28, of the 37900 block of Dewey, was charged with driving under the influence, police said.

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    In this April 1, 1960 file photo, Phil, left, and Don of the Everly Brothers arrive at London Airport from New York to begin their European tour. Everly, who with his brother Don formed an influential harmony duo that touched the hearts and sparked the imaginations of rock ‘n’ roll singers for decades, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan, died Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. He was 74. Everly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Burbank hospital, said his son Jason Everly.

    Phil Everly, half of pioneer rock duo, dies at 74

    Phil Everly, who with his brother Don formed an influential harmony duo that touched the hearts and sparked the imaginations of rock `n’ roll singers for decades, including the Beatles and Bob Dylan, died Friday. He was 74. Everly died of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease at a Burbank hospital, said his son Jason Everly.

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    Dan Sullivan drives one of the department rigs from the Westmont Fire Station during a recent night on shift.

    Moving Picture: Westmont 'crisis junkie' also paramedic

    Dan Sullivan splits time between two professions which are quite different, yet each helps him be better at the other. As the director of Spiritual Care at Rush-Copley Medical Center in Aurora, he tends to the spiritual needs of patients there, praying with them and guiding them through difficult times. But he also loves the hectic pace of his job as a firefighter/paramedic with the village of...

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    Woman hospitalized after crash into I-90 guardrail

    A one-vehicle crash into the right-side guardrail on the eastbound Jane Addams Memorial Tollway near Elmhurst Road at 1:28 p.m. Friday triggered a traffic backup that extended beyond Arlington Heights Road for more than 90 minutes.

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    Carol Stream fire battalion chief’s hearing to start Feb. 5

    Opening arguments in the termination hearing of a Carol Stream Fire Protection District battalion chief will begin on Feb. 5, while key points were addressed Friday related to claims that actions to fire him is retaliation for a refusal to participate in a cover-up of possible regligence that may have contributed to a choking woman’s death in 2012.

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    Train hits car in Downers Grove

    If there is such a thing as the equivalent of a fender bender in a car versus train accident, it happened Friday afternoon in Downers Grove. At around 3:30 p.m., according to Downers Grove police, a man driving a sedan north on Main Street made a right turn onto the train tracks just as freight train was approaching from the east.

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    Gregory Pyle

    Former McHenry deputy admits abusing boy in Milwaukee hotel

    A former McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy and child porn investigator pleaded guilty Friday to taking a minor under 12 to a Milwaukee hotel, sexually abusing him and later putting photos of the abuse online. Gregory Pyle, 38, formerly of Crystal Lake and now of Crest Hill, faces 30 years to life in prison when sentenced April 14. Prosecutors said Pyle admitted that he driving from Crystal Lake to...

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    Two model homes built by the former developer of The Conservancy in Gilberts were demolished in the fall by current property owner Gilberts Development LLC. Here is the foundation of one of the homes.

    Stalled Gilberts subdivision gets new investor

    The long-stalled construction of a Gilberts subdivision is expected to get a new infusion of life soon. Only two model homes were built in The Conservancy, a planned 985-home development on the northwest corner of Galligan and Freeman roads, before the original developer Neumann Homes filed for bankruptcy in late 2007. Now, Gilberts Development LLC, which acquired the property in December 2012,...

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    The Schaumburg High School marching band performs during halftime at the Outback Bowl in Florida.

    Schaumburg High band performs at Outback Bowl

    The Schaumburg High School band has completed a tour that included stops in Orlando and Tampa, Fla. The band had seven performances in six days while on the road.

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    Mt. Prospect chamber announces award winners

    The Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce has announced this year’s Business Award winners. They are Business Leader of the Year, Susan Dozier, American Chartered Bank; Business of the Year, Vista Linda Eye Care; and Chairman’s Award, Jeanine Molinelli of Hampton Inn & Suites.

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    New Eagle Scouts of 2013 to be honored

    “A Gathering of Eagles” event will be held Saturday, Jan. 4 at Chandler’s Banquets, 401 N. Roselle Road in Schaumburg. The recognition luncheon will honor the many Boy Scouts of the Northwest suburbs who earned the rank of Eagle Scout in 2013.

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    Book drive at Schaumburg preschool Jan. 18

    The Goddard School at 1001 E. Woodfield Road in Schaumburg will be the host of the Winter Wonderland/Bernie’s Book Bank literacy book drive from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Jan. 18. The goal of the literacy drive is to collect 25,000 gently used books to donate to children who may not otherwise be able to afford to have books in their homes.

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    Glen Ellyn Park District considering master plan for Ackerman Park

    After years of making minimal improvements to Ackerman Park, Glen Ellyn Park District is exploring a master plan with a potential $7 million price tag that could include trail connections, improved lighting, turf fields and an indoor pool. Norris Design, a national landscape architectural firm with a Glen Ellyn office, is expected to present plans to the board by February.

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    Arlington Heights resident Sam Moser helped lead a campaign to save trees from emerald ash borer rather than removing them.

    Arlington Heights Heart of Gold winners announced

    Arlington Heights will honor 13 of its residents with its annual Heart of Gold awards that recognize people who “work or live in our community and enrich the quality of life in Arlington Heights through their generous contributions and acts of kindness.”

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    Willette T. Duncan

    Chicago woman charged with kicking Naperville cop

    Naperville’s first police report of the year begins with officers observing an intoxicated woman urinating outside the entrance to a downtown bar. It ends with Willette T. Duncan, 27, of Chicago, charged with one felony count of aggravated battery to a police officer, as well as misdemeanors of resisting arrest and disorderly conduct.

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    Nick Siaglia, left, of Roselle and Sarah Bopp of Bloomingdale do some cross country skiing Friday at Bloomingdale's Circle Park.

    Cold? Snow? Not everyone weary of winter quite yet

    Heavy snow and bitterly cold temperatures already have many of us dreaming about spring. Buit as a pair of cross country skiiers make clear, not everybody is all that winter-weary.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    A resident of the 6N700 block of Tuscola Avenue near St. Charles reported an unauthorized credit card charge of $1,782 at Best Buy at 12:13 p.m. Tuesday. The transaction was canceled.

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    Aaron Rogalski, 9, of West Chicago concentrates on his next move during the second annual Pokémon Tournament. The tournament for third- through eighth-graders was held Friday at the St. Charles Public Library.

    Pokemon battle takes over St. Charles library

    With the lights turned on low and the sound turned up, a Pokemon battle overtook a room Friday at the St. Charles Public Library as kids from all over the area came to the second annual tournament. Aaron Rogalski, 9, of West Chicago, who had never been in an organized Pokemon tournament, was all smiles after he won one of the rounds he was in. “It’s great” he said.

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    Caroline Ramirez, left, and Sam Martinez, use computers Wednesday at BiblioTech, a first of its kind digital public library in San Antonio.

    Texas library turns page on high-tech future

    The library is on pace to surpass 100,000 visitors in its first year. Finding an open iMac among the four dozen at BiblioTech is often difficult after the nearby high school lets out, and about half of the facility’s e-readers are checked out at any given time, each loaded with up to five books.

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    This Thursday, photo provided by the Chicago Zoological Society shows a baby grey seal that was born Wednesday, with his mother, 10-year-old Lily, at the Brookfield Zoo in Brookfield, Ill. Zoo officials say the pup is the first of its species to be born at the zoo. He weighed 25 pounds.

    Baby grey seal born at Brookfield Zoo

    A baby seal is the first birth of the year at suburban Chicago’s Brookfield Zoo. The Chicago Zoological Society said Friday that the male grey seal pup was born 7 a.m. on New Year’s Day. His mother is 10-year-old Lily and the pair will be off exhibit for several weeks.

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    Curtis Hobbs

    3 of four guilty in summer Batavia house burglaries

    Three of four people connected to a string of residential burglaries in August in Batavia have pleaded guilty to their role in the crimes. A fourth defendant briefly appeared in Kane County court Friday. Terrell Jones-Bradley, 22, of Batavia, was to admit guilt and he was sentenced to four years in prison.

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    Arlington Heights Radio Shack store manager Sadaf Farooqui shows the various Bluetooth devices available at her store. Sales of Bluetooth devices have spiked in recent days in suburban electronics and telecommunications stores now that talking on a cellphone behind the wheel without a hands-free device is illegal.

    Suburban stores see strong demand for hands-free phone equipment

    Employees at suburban electronics and telecommunications stores say the demand for Bluetooth communications equipment has spiked in recent days, now that it’s illegal in Illinois to drive and talk on your phone without the wireless gear.

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    Coffee shop stop:

    State Rep. Carol Sente of Vernon Hills will host a Coffee Shop Stop from 9 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, at Bontà Italian bakery, 430 N. Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire.

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    Workshop on financial planning:

    A free two-hour workshop on how to better handle financial challenges will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Lake Villa District Library, 1001 E. Grand Ave., Lake Villa, a news release stated.

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    Meet with Yingling:

    House District 62 State Rep. Sam Yingling will hold satellite office hours on Monday, Jan. 6, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., at Honey Hill Coffee Company, 107 S. Main St., Wauconda, a new release stated.

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    Winter Ribfest teams sought:

    Lake Villa Township officials are seeking teams to participate in the annual Winter Ribfest competition, scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 25, from noon to 4 p.m. at Caboose Park, 37908 N. Fairfield Road, Lake Villa.

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    The production and sale of marijuana for medical purposes now is legal in Illinois.

    Lake County task force creates model rules for pot businesses

    A Lake County task force has developed model rules for entrepreneurs who want to open medical marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries here. Village boards and city councils can use the proposal to develop their own, binding regulations.

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    Shane Jones, 2, of Round Lake Beach, watches washers fall down a metal pipe Friday during the Busy Brains Children's Museum program at Lake Villa District Library in Lake Villa.

    Children's museum hosts program for kids to explore science principals

    Little fingers tinkered with gears, pegs and plastic pipe during a Busy Brains Children's Museum program at the Lake Villa District Library on Friday morning. Ten activity stations allowed children to explore various science principals.

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    The three winners among 25 gingerbread sculptures displayed this holiday season are “Equinox,” sponsored by Riverwalk Family Dental, “DMi,” sponsored by DMI Hotels, and “Mr. Naperville” sponsored by Naperville Magazine.

    Gingerbread winners chosen in Naperville display

    The 25 sculptures designed to look like gingerbread cookies in downtown Naperville may be covered with snow, but they’re still smiling — especially the three that captured the most votes from visitors in a contest sponsored by the Downtown Naperville Alliance. The fan favorite among the decorated sculptures displayed throughout the holidays was “Equinox.”

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    Midway Airport experiencing heavy delays

    Passengers on flights at Midway International Airport were stuck on planes for more than four hours due to delays at the airport, NBC 5 Chicago has been reporting.

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    Jack Clifton of the Carpentersville Public Works Department knows what it's like to work a major snowstorm, so he's prepared with a cot set up in his office. He spent more than 48 hours straight on the job this week, sleeping in his office between routes driving a snowplow. He estimates he and the rest of the public works crew put in at least 450 man-hours during this week's storm.

    Carpentersville employee living at work during snowstorm

    Ever since a giant snowstorm sacked the suburbs on New Year's Eve, Jack Clifton, Carpentersville's streets superintendent, has spent the last few days living at work — on Diet Pepsi, coffee and on power naps he takes on a cot in his office. “I'm hoping to go home sometime late tonight,” said Clifton, who lives in Carpentersville. “If not, whenever I get there. My house...

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    Severe cold could force school closures Monday

    Subzero temperatures predicted next week could force suburban school districts to cancel classes just as students are scheduled to return from winter break. Administrators are anxiously monitoring weather forecasts, even though some say severe cold alone doesn't automatically warrant school closings.

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    Chicago fire causes Elgin Metra delays

    A warehouse fire in Chicago is causing major delays on the Metra Milwaukee District West train line this morning. According to ABC 7, the warehouse fire began just after 9 a.m. and engulfed a building at 1945 N. Latrobe near Grand and Cicero avenues. While the Chicago Fire Department battles the fire, no Metra trains are moving through the area.

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    “Other Desert Cities,” a Pulitzer Prize-nominated play about family dynamics, takes center stage beginning Jan. 17 in Glen Ellyn.

    ‘Other Desert Cities’ opening in Glen Ellyn

    Glen Ellyn’s Village Theatre Guild will present “Other Desert Cities" on weekends beginning Friday, Jan. 17, at the group's theater at Butterfield Road and Park Boulevard. Written by Jon Robin Baitz, the play was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

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    Xan Pearson

    Bulls/Sox Academy names new president

    A veteran administrator at the Bulls/Sox Academy in Lisle, Xan Pearson, has been named president of the academy. In her new role, Pearson will be responsible for leading all academy business operations, including marketing, programming, administration, operations and business development.

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    20-year-old man's body found in rural DeKalb County

    Authorities are investigating after the death of a northern Illinois man whose body was found near a frozen creek in rural DeKalb County.Investigators tell The (DeKalb) Daily Chronicle that 20-year-old Devin G. Blakeley's body was found Thursday afternoon in Waterman.

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    A tattered flag flies by a flooded yard along the shore in Scituate, Mass., Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. A blustering winter storm that dropped nearly 2 feet of snow just north of Boston, shut down major highways in New York and Pennsylvania and forced U.S. airlines to cancel thousands of flights nationwide menaced the Northeast on Friday with howling winds and frigid temperatures.

    Images: Snow Hits the East Coast
    Up to two feet of snow covered the East Coast on Friday. The snow will be followed up by below zero temperatures.

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    A look back at some of the people who made a difference in DuPage County

    DuPage County Faces of the Year for 2013

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    It’s been more than 25 years since workers renovating Abraham Lincoln’s home found a letter fragment in a mouse’s nest inside a wall.But researchers think they’ve finally identified the author of the mystery letter as newspaper editor Andrew Johnston.

    Author of Lincoln mystery letter identified

    It’s been more than 25 years since workers renovating Abraham Lincoln’s home found a letter fragment in a mouse’s nest inside a wall.But researchers think they’ve finally identified the author of the mystery letter as newspaper editor Andrew Johnston.Stacy Pratt McDermott is an associate editor of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln.

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    Leslie Klinger at his Los Angeles office.

    Sherlock copyright issues no elementary matter

    It's the kind of puzzle that might have amused Sherlock Holmes himself. Now that copyright protections have expired on nearly all of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's tales about the pipe-puffing detective, are writers free to depict the character in new mysterries? A federal judge in Chicago says yes.

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    Dawn Patrol: First snow, now cold; ‘Jeopardy!’ champ finishes

    Cold to move in after snow. Snow brings plow drivers feast, not famine. Arlington Heights ‘Jeopardy!’ champ takes third. Barrington fire split not smooth. Award-winning Elburn light show extended. Hawks lose to Islanders. Bulls beat Celtics.

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    Workers install windows near the front entrance of the new Mariano’s in Lake Zurich on Route 22.

    Looking ahead to 2014 in Lake County

    Budgets have not been as tight as the economy continues to loosen, and projects of varying degrees are pending or proposed in several Lake County communities. Voters will have a say on local and state candidates in 2014 and some tax hike questions will be on the ballot as well. Those are among the items to watch in the coming year.

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    Suburban Living editor Pat Adam talks to Dorothy Marsh of Good Housekeeping magazine while covering the Pillsbury Bake-Off in 1967.

    Former Herald editor remembered for devotion, skill

    Pat Adam, a longtime editor at the Daily Herald who died Thursday, was remembered by family members and former colleagues as a generous person and devoted journalist. Adam worked full-time at the Herald from 1963 to 1987. Among other accomplishments, she helped update and broaden features coverage. “It’s a huge loss,” son Jeff Adam said. “She was a generous person, and she...

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    Vernon Hills residents Iriana Heyer and her daughter, Elsa, 5, sled down the hill at Century Park in Vernon Hills on Thursday.

    Century Park becomes winter wonderland

    People sled down the hill at Century Park in Vernon Hills on Thursday after two days of falling snow produced almost 17 inches of snow. “We have been digging out for two days,” Vernon Hills resident Michele Whelan said. “This is a wonderful sled hill, and the boys are having a great time.”

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    Several birds gather at a bird feeder in a Mundelein backyard recently.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of December 30th.

Sports

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    Looking back at 'Year of the State Champions'

    According to the Chinese Zodiac, 2013 was the Year of the Black Snake. For Tri-Cities high school sports fans, 2013 went down as the Year of the State Champions.

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

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

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

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    Teutopolis tops Antioch

    Despite another strong effort from Paige Gallimore, Antioch’s girls basketball team opened the new year with a loss Friday night. Facing Class 2A state power Teutopolis in central Illinois, the Sequoits dropped a 57-31 decision.

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    Montini misses the mark

    A happy medium. Montini’s looking for it. The boys basketball team on Friday had its high scoring game this season. It also gave up the most, losing to Suburban Christian Conference Gold Division foe Marian Central 78-67.

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    Grant’s Devin Bald goes up and over Barrington’s Jake Orr on Friday at Barrington.

    Goldsmith, Barrington sprint past Grant

    What wiry Barrington junior forward Calvin Goldsmith lacks in girth, he makes up for in speed. That’s his secret to staying one step (or in his case, five, six or seven steps) ahead of bigger, stronger defenders. “I’m a little bit thinner. I’m not as thick as most guys my size. Because I’m 6-foot-5, 6-6, I attract bigger, thicker guys usually,” Goldsmith said. “I use my speed and athleticism and try to beat them down the court and use that to my advantage.” Goldsmith was often beating not only his guy, but everyone down the floor Friday night in Barrington’s 64-44 run-away nonconference victory against visiting Grant. He scored many of his game-high 18 points on breakaway layups simply by hustling ahead of the pack.

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    Burlington Central passes up Harvard

    The holidays are over but the season of sharing continued for the Burlington Central boys basketball team in Harvard on Friday. Thirteen of the Rockets’ 25 field goals were assisted in a 60-47 Big Northern East victory over the Hornets. “That’s our team,” Central coach Brett Porto said of the we-first mentality. “When the ball touches multiple people’s hands on a possession, we usually get a great shot."

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    Addison Trail’s Alexandar DIsilvio, left, battles Lake Park’s Jen Warfield, right, during girls basketball action in Roselle.

    Lake Park gets it right from the start

    When Lake Park is doing everything right, the Lancers play something like they did Friday afternoon.

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    Paul Michna/pmichna@dailyherald.com Jackson Modaff of Neuqua and Jimmy Davis of Waubonsie Valley take part in the 138 pound match during the Neuqua Valley at Waubonsie Valley wrestling meet Friday.

    Waubonsie Valley stifles Neuqua Valley’s hopes

    The Neuqua Valley wrestling team had a tenuous margin for error Friday night in Aurora.

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    Fremd’s second-half surge sinks Milwaukee King

    Fremd may not have been one of the five Mid-Suburban League girls basketball teams which were either first, second or third in a Christmas tournament, but there was a good reason. The Vikings were fifth in the Montini tourney, the most competitive in the state. Fremd went looking for more competition on Friday, participating in the ‘Battle of the Borders Shootout’ at Zion-Benton High School. And just like at Montini, the Vikings gave another quality showing and handed Milwaukee King High School a 64-58 loss.

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    Barrington’s Scott Bennett scores.

    Images: Grant vs. Barrington boys basketball
    The Barrington High School boys basketball team hosted the Grant High School boys on Friday, January 3rd, in Barrington.

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    Addison Trail’s Stephan Hayden, left, wrestles Wheaton North’s George Roskuszka in a 170lb match on Friday in Addison.

    Wheaton North finishes strong, edges Addison Trail

    The Addison Trail and Wheaton North wrestling teams experienced another first for 2014 on Friday — the first dual meet of the year that went down to the wire.

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    The Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp celebrates his fourth career hat trick and second in his last five games. The red-hot Sharp has 14 goals in his last 13 games.

    Hats off — again — to Sharp

    It’s hard to imagine where the Blackhawks might be without goalie Antti Raanta. Or Patrick Sharp. When No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford went down with a groin injury on Dec. 8, Raanta stepped in and the Hawks haven’t skipped a beat. Raanta ran his record to 11-1-3 on Friday with a 5-3 win at New Jersey behind Sharp’s second hat trick in the last five games. Sharp now has 14 goals in the last 13 games.

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    Delicious first half for Fremd

    The end of the holiday basketball tournaments marks the unofficial midway point in the boys basketball season. Many of the area teams will not resume play until next week when school is back in session, so it’s a good time to reflect on all the extra pounds many basketball junkies put on at holiday tournaments, and in between games at the hospitality rooms at Wheeling and York. One team that continues to feast is Fremd. The Vikings made the most of their third year at Wheeling, blasting through foes to claim their first title and remain unbeaten on the season.

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    Grant quickly gets going at Buffalo Grove

    Grant’s state-ranked wrestling team got off to a rip-roaring start in the new year by overwhelming a trio of opponents Friday at Buffalo Grove’s triple dual. The No. 11-rated Bulldogs took a bite out of Elgin, Geneva and Proviso East by a combined 203-18 to run their overall record to 14-0 in advance of its best test at West Aurora on Saturday, where Grant will find Brother Rice and St. Patrick awaiting.

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    Wolves’ offense grounded by Griffins

    The Chicago Wolves’ offense stalled in a 3-1 loss to the Midwest Division-leading Grand Rapids Griffins on Friday night at Van Andel Arena.Defenseman David Shields scored while the Wolves (17-13-1-2) were short-handed in the third period.

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    This Dec. 21, 1996 file photo shows Westlake High School quarterback Drew Brees preparing to pass against Abilene Cooper High School during a game in Austin, Texas. Ten years after Brees led Westlake High School to victory in the Texas state championship game, Nick Foles broke several of his passing records but lost in the title game. The two quarterbacks meet in an NFC wild-card game on Saturday.

    Texas prep legends Brees, Foles share history

    Ten years after Drew Brees led Westlake High School to the Texas state championship, Nick Foles came along and broke many of his passing records but couldn’t deliver another title for the Austin-based school. The two quarterbacks go head-to-head for the first time in the NFL with more at stake when Brees and the New Orleans Saints (11-5) visit Foles and the Philadelphia Eagles (10-6) in an NFC wild-card playoff game Saturday night.

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    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, who set the NFL record this season for touchdown passes and passing yards, was a unanimous pick for The Associated Press All-Pro team.

    Peyton Manning only unanimous all-pro pick

    Peyton Manning was the only unanimous choice for the 2013 Associated Press NFL All-Pro team Friday. It was his seventh time as a first-teamer, tying Hall of Famer Otto Graham for the most by a quarterback.

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    Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck will lead the Colts offense against Kansas City in Saturday’s AFC wild-card game in Indianapolis. .

    Colts hope to stay loose in wild-card game

    Colts coach Chuck Pagano has kept it loose all week. He’s been cracking jokes, encouraging laughter and trying to put football in perspective. He does not want Saturday’s playoff game to change the routine, so he is imploring the Colts to make this business as usual — even with the Chiefs coming to town for a wild-card game.

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    Bulls game day
    Bulls vs. Atlanta Hawks at the United Center, 7 p.m. SaturdayTV: WGNRadio: ESPN 1000-AMUpdate: The Hawks fell victim to the league-wide injury bug when C Al Horford suffered a torn pectoral muscle and is likely out for the year. PF Paul Millsap stepped up on Tuesday to help fill the void by scoring 31 points in a victory at Boston. With Horford out, Millsap is now Atlanta’s top scorer at 17.9 ppg. followed by PG Jeff Teague (17.0) and SG Kyle Korver (12.8). The Hawks lead the league in assists with 26.1 per game. The Bulls have won four straight home games against Atlanta.Next: Phoenix Suns at the United Center, 7 p.m. Tuesday — Mike McGraw

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    Chicago Bulls forward Mike Dunleavy (34) blocks the shot of Boston Celtics forward Kris Humphries (43) during the second half of an NBA basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, in Chicago. The Bulls won 94-82. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Gibson knew Dunleavy was a ‘tough guy’

    Taj Gibson raved about Mike Dunleavy's angry outburst in Thursday's win over Boston, but didn't stop there. Gibson also told a story about how impressed he was to encounter Dunleavy on a New York subway train roughly 10 years ago.

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    Aurora Central Catholic’s Maggie O’Brien shoots over Walther’s Abbie Hanson during the Chargers’ 47-31 win Friday in Aurora.

    Aurora Central snaps 3-game skid

    Aurora Central Catholic opened the 2014 portion of its schedule Friday with a 47-31 home win over Walther Christian.

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    The Blackhawks’ Patrick Sharp celebrates his hat trick with Duncan Keith (2) during Friday night in Newark, N.J. The Blackhawks beat the Devils 5-3.

    Sharp nets hat trick, Blackhawks beat Devils 5-3

    Patrick Sharp scored three goals and the Chicago Blackhawks avoided a rare second straight loss with a 5-3 victory over the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. Sharp, Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa scored in a span of 4:04 early in the third period to give the Blackhawks a 4-1 lead. Sharp added his 25th of the season and capped his hat trick with less than 2 minutes to play after New Jersey had pulled to 4-3.

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    Tyler Hankins, here shooting against Bartlett’s Brian Triphahn, helped South Elgin finish up with a four-game win streak in Hinkle Holiday Classic play at Jacobs.

    Plenty of highlights in this first half

    The best is yet to come as the conference wars kick into high gear, but first let’s recap some highlights from an exciting first half of the boys basketball season in the Fox Valley coverage area.

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    Burlington Central overwhelms Richmond-Burton

    The Burlington Central girls basketball team wanted to start the new year on a high note. Coming off a 2-2 Charger Classic at Dundee-Crown against bigger schools, Central certainly began the year well Friday night. Central dominated Richmond-Burton from the start and cruised to a 51-28 Big Northern East victory.

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    Addison Trail’s Alexandar DIsilvio, left, battles Lake Park’s Jen Warfield, right.

    Images: Lake Park vs. Addison Trail girls basketball
    The Lake Park Lancers hosted the Addison Trail Blazers for girl basketball action on Friday.

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    Grace Loberg

    Loberg emerging as breakout star at Geneva

    When senior Morgan Seberger scored 16 points in Geneva’s win over Zion-Benton last Saturday to win the consolation title at the Montini Christmas Tournament, it snapped an impressive and equally rare streak by Grace Loberg. Loberg, Geneva’s 6-foot-2 freshman center, had 13 points in the win — the first time in her six games since getting called up from the Vikings’ JV team that she didn’t lead the team in scoring.

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    Images from the Walther Christian vs. Aurora Central Catholic girls basketball game Friday, January 3, 2014.

    Images: Walther Christian vs. Aurora Central Catholic girls basketball
    Aurora Central Catholic hosted Walther Christian Academy in a girls basketball matchup Friday night in Aurora.

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    Bulls fans will recall sharpshooter Kyle Korver firing up 3-pointers before he signed with the Hawks as a free agent. Korver owns the NBA record of 102 straight games — and counting — making at least one 3-point basket.

    Bulls would like to snap Korver’s 3-point streak

    Kyle Korver had some good moments during his two seasons playing for the Bulls, but it was never like this. Now with the Atlanta Hawks, Korver returns to Chicago on Saturday in the midst of a NBA record streak of 102 consecutive games with a made 3-pointer.

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    Mel Tucker

    Bears defensive coordinator Tucker’s fate uncertain

    The Bears' 2013 defense wil go down as one of the worst in franchise history, and there were a variety of factors that combined to undermine the best efforts of coordinator Mel Tucker. Coach Marc Trestman and general manager Phil Emery have given mixed signals about whether Tucker will be back next season.

  •  
    While these kids enjoyed a slide down the “Monster Sled” adjacent to the left field wall as snow fell at Fenway Park in Boston on Thursday, the heavy snowfall forced stadium operators to cancel an outdoor hockey game scheduled there.

    Stevenson hockey star loses chance to play at Fenway

    Stevenson graduate Maggie Brennolt and the rest of her Northeastern hockey teammates almost got the thrill of a lifetime: a game outdoors at Fenway Park. A snowstorm in Boston put the game against Harvard on ice, but at least the Huskies got a practice in at the historic stadium.

  •  
    Jeff Anderson cleans the windows Friday on the sky boxes at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.

    No NFL blackouts this weekend

    There will be no local television blackouts in the NFL this weekend.The Indianapolis Colts, Cincinnati Bengals and Green Bay Packers said Friday that their weekend wild-card playoff games are sellouts. Normally, teams must sell out 72 hours before kickoff to have a game broadcast in their local market. The NFL gave the Colts, Bengals and Packers an extra day to do it.The Colts host Kansas City on Saturday. On Sunday, the Packers host San Francisco and the Bengals host San Diego.In each case, corporations stepped up to buy big blocks of the remaining tickets, including retailer Meijer in Indy, Associated Bank in Green Bay and P&G in Cincinnati. Many will be distributed to military families and veterans.

  •  
    For games this weekend and on Jan. 17 at Allstate Arena, Wolves players will wear specially designed first responder jerseys to raise money for the 100 Club of Chicago, the 5-11 Club Chicago and Chicago Wolves Charities.

    Wolves’ Messmer sing praises of first responders

    The Chicago Wolves will wear special jerseys this weekend at Allstate Arena to honor first-responders. The events and the jerseys will have special meaning for Wolves executive Wayne Messmer, whose life was saved by first-responders 20 years ago after Messmer was shot in Chicago.

  •  
    With Derrick Rose on the sideline again, Bulls general manager Gar Forman has some tough decisions to make regarding the team’s future.

    Cutler signing a bad deal for Bears

    Jay Cutler signs for a 7 year deal with the Chicago Bears and Mike North considers it as bad of a signing as Dave Wannsted for head coach..

  •  
    Bears general manager Phil Emery must be very good at making people feel good about themselves.

    Spellman’s Scorecard: Bears GM positively special

    Bears GM Phil Emery has done it again.

  •  
    Alabama running back Derrick Henry (27) carries on a touchdown run as Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon (20) pursues during the second half of the NCAA college football Sugar Bowl in New Orleans, Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

    Boomer Sooner! Oklahoma upsets ‘Bama 45-31 in Sugar Bowl

    Bob Stoops declined to announce a starting quarterback before the Sugar Bowl, and when freshman Trevor Knight took the field on the Sooners' first possession, Alabama's defenders couldn't have anticipated what was in store. Knight completed a Sugar Bowl-record 32 passes for 348 yards and four touchdowns, and No. 11 Oklahoma took down third-ranked Alabama, 45-31 on Thursday night.

  •  

    Blackhawks game day
    Blackhawks vs. New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center, 6 p.m. FridayTV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: WGN-AM 720The skinny: The Hawks look to make it 2 wins in a row over the Devils and a sweep of the season series. Antti Raanta is expected to start in goal. The Devils will be without winger Damien Brunner (knee) with defenseman Anton Volchenkov (body soreness) and winger Patrik Elias (upper body) questionable.Next: San Jose Sharks at the United Center, 7 p.m. Sunday— Tim Sassone

Business

  •  
    ECC recently finalized the purchase of the 41 remaining acres of the former Spartan Meadows Golf Course. The college has no immediate plans for the property, which it purchased as part of an $8 million deal with the city of Elgin.

    ECC buys remaining Spartan Meadows land

    Elgin Community College recently purchased the remaining 41 acres of the former Spartan Meadows Golf Course for yet-to-be-determined expansion. The sale of the property, just south of the college’s campus at McLean Boulevard and Spartan Drive, was finalized last month. It culminates an $8 million deal struck almost a year ago with the city of Elgin for the land, said Sharon Konny, ECC vice president of business and finance.

  •  
    Employees at Sheffield Platers Inc. work on the factory floor in San Diego.

    Misconception: Older workers take jobs from young

    “There’s no evidence to support that increased employment by older people is going to hurt younger people in any way,” said Alicia Munnell, director of the Center for Retirement Research and the co-author with Wu of “Are Aging Baby Boomers Squeezing Young Workers Out of Jobs?”“ It’s not going to reduce their wages, it’s not going to reduce their hours, it’s not going to do anything bad to them,” Munnell said.

  •  
    George Goodman at home in Princeton, N.J.

    George Goodman, aka TV’s “Adam Smith,” dies at 83

    “Adam Smith’s Money World” was a multiple Emmy winner that aired on PBS stations from 1984-1996, with guests including Warren Buffett and then-Federal Reserve Board chairman Paul Volcker.

  •  
    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke listens to a question during a news conference at the Federal Reserve in Washington.

    Bernanke: 2014 should be better year for economy

    WASHINGTON — Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on Friday predicted a stronger year for the U.S. economy in 2014, saying several factors that have held back growth appear to be abating.Americans’ finances have improved and the outlook for home sales is brighter, Bernanke said. He also expects less drag from federal spending cuts and tax increases.The combination “bodes well for U.S. economic growth in coming quarters,” Bernanke said during a speech to the annual meeting of the American Economic Association in Philadelphia.Bernanke made a similar assessment of the economy at a Dec. 18 news conference after the Fed’s last meeting. At the meeting, the Fed announced it would begin in January to reduce its monthly bond purchases from $85 billion to $75 billion, noting signs of an improving economy.The bond purchases are intended to keep long-term interest rates low and encourage more borrowing and spending.Friday’s appearance was expected to be one of Bernanke’s final speeches as Fed chairman. He is stepping down at the end of this month after eight years leading the central bank. The Senate is expected to confirm Janet Yellen on Monday to be the next Fed chairman. She would take over on Feb. 1.In his speech, Bernanke said that he tried to make the Fed more transparent and accountable while at the same time combating a deep recession and severe financial crisis. Making the Fed more transparent was an important goal for him when he took over in 2006. He cited his participation in more television interviews, his efforts to hold more town hall meetings and his visits to universities. Bernanke also added a quarterly news conference after four of the Fed’s eight policy meetings. “We took extraordinary measures to meet extraordinary economic challenges and we had to explain those measures to earn the public’s support and confidence,” Bernanke said. Bernanke said while the financial crisis has passed “the Fed’s need to educate and explain will only grow.”Bernanke also used his speech to make some pointed remarks at Congress. He said “excessively tight” budget policies had been counterproductive.“With fiscal and monetary policy working in opposite directions, the recovery is weaker than it otherwise would be,” Bernanke said.Bernanke also defended the central bank against critics who say the Fed’s massive bond purchases have had little effect on jumpstarting the recovery.“Economic growth might well have been considerably weaker, or even negative, without substantial monetary policy support,” Bernanke said. He noted economic research that supported the benefits of the Fed’s bond purchases.In response to an audience question, Bernanke criticized legislation pending in Congress that would allow the Government Accountability Office to expand its audits of the Fed to look at decisions on interest rates. The GAO, the auditing arm of Congress, can currently conduct audits of the Fed. But it is prohibited from investigating its interest rate decisions.Bernanke said passage of this legislation would be a bad idea because it would harm the Fed’s independence. He said such independence is necessary to assure markets that the Fed is not being swayed by political interests.

  •  
    Associated Press/Oct. 16, 2013 Larry Hasheider drives his truck past his farm in Okawville, Ill. Hasheider grows soybeans, wheat and alfalfa on the farm, nestled in the heart of Illinois corn country. There’s a lot of conversation about traditional agriculture recently, and much of it is critical. Among the issues people are concerned about: genetically modified crops, overuse of hormones and antibiotics, inhumane treatment of animals and whether the government subsidizes unhealthy foods.

    Government might allow wide planting of genetically altered seeds

    MILWAUKEE — The federal government on Friday proposed eliminating restrictions on corn and soybean seeds genetically engineered to resist a common weed killer, a move welcomed by many farmers but worrisome to scientists and environmentalists who fear it could invite growers to use more chemicals on crops.The herbicide known as 2,4-D has had limited use in corn and soybean farming because it becomes toxic to the plants early in their growth. The new seeds would allow farmers to use the weed killer throughout the plants’ lives.Farmers have been eager for a new generation of herbicide-resistant seeds because of the prevalence of weeds that have become immune to Monsanto’s Roundup. But skeptics are concerned that use of the new seeds and 2,4-D will only lead to similar problems as weeds acquire resistance to that chemical too.“It’s just so clear. You can see that you have this pesticide treadmill effect,” said Bill Freese, a chemist with the Washington, D.C.-based Center For Food Safety, which promotes organic agriculture.Most corn and soybeans grown in the U.S. are already genetically engineered, largely to resist Roundup, which was introduced in 1976. Before that, most farmers tilled their fields prior to planting, flipping the soil over and burying the weeds to kill them. The technique also exposed tilled earth to the air, creating problems with erosion and runoff.Herbicide-resistant seeds permitted most farmers to stop tilling because it let them spray fields after their plants emerged, killing the weeds but leaving crops unharmed.The new generation of plants “allowed us to do a better job of controlling the weeds, and therefore, we’ve been able to do a better job of preserving the soil, which is our primary natural resource,” said Ron Moore, who grows 2,000 acres of corn and soybeans with his brother in western Illinois.The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s plant-inspection agency concluded that the greatest risk from the new seeds developed by Dow AgroSciences was increased use of 2,4-D, which could hasten the evolution of weeds resistant to it.But, the agency said, resistance could develop anyway because 2,4-D is the third most-used weed-killer in the nation.Freese also raised concerns about 2,4-D’s tendency to drift beyond the area where it is sprayed, threatening neighboring crops and wild plants.Dow AgroSciences has attempted to address that by developing a new version of 2,4-D and new equipment to use with it, company spokesman Garry Hamlin said. The seeds and new 2,4-D have been approved in Canada but not yet sold there.The company has targeted their release in the U.S. for 2015, pending approval by various federal agencies. In anticipation of that, it has received import approval from multiple nations so that farmers using seeds sold under the Enlist brand name can export their crops and products made from them.For now, the seeds can only be used in tightly controlled trials.The public has 45 days to comment on the USDA report published Friday as part of the deregulation process. The Environmental Protection Agency is conducting a separate review on the impact of expanded use of 2,4-D, although it previously found the herbicide safe.The EPA plans to release a report in the coming months, and the two agencies are expected to make final decisions simultaneously on use of the chemical and seeds. It was not clear when that would happen.Dow AgroSciences has asked the USDA to deregulate one corn and two soybean varieties. The corn resists 2,4-D and glyphosate, the generic form of Roundup. Both soybean varieties resist 2,4-D, but they differ in their immunities to other herbicides.The USDA said farmers could help curb resistance to 2,4-D by using a variety of means to fight weeds and not relying solely on the one herbicide.

  •  
    Traders work Thursday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks mixed on Wall Street

    The yield on the 10-year Treasury note edged higher to 3 percent from 2.99 percent on Thursday. The price of oil dropped for a fourth straight trading day. Oil fell 95 cents, or 1 percent, to $94.50 a barrel.

  •  
    The Snapchat Inc. logo stands outside the company's headquarters on the strand at Venice Beach in Los Angele.

    Snapchat says it plans to make app more secure

    Snapchat says it plans to put out a more secure version of its application following a breach that allowed hackers to collect the usernames and phone numbers of some 4.6 million of its users. The disappearing-message service popular with young people said in a blog post late Thursday that the updated version of its app would allow users to opt out of its “Find Friends” feature, which was apparently at the heart of the breach, and would stem future attempts to abuse its service.

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    Signs urging a no vote are held up at a rally asking members to vote against a proposed contract Thursdayin Seattle.

    Boeing machinists voting on contract tied to 777X

    Boeing machinists will decide Friday whether to accept a contract that would concede some pension and health care benefits in order secure assembly of the company's new 777X airplane in Washington state. Chicago-based Boeing has been exploring the prospect of building the 777X elsewhere,

  •  
    Yard signs to protest the hydraulic fracturing of gas wells are seen at the home of Craig and Julie Sautner in Dimock, Pa.

    Comment period ending on Illinois 'fracking' regs

    It's the final day to submit public comment on proposed rules for high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.Environmentalists say thousands of comments have been submitted about the process known as hydraulic fracturing. The Southern Illinoisan reports the final number of written comments will be tallied after the public comment period ends Friday.

  •  
    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it's considering taking legal action against “responsible parties” after DNA testing showed traces of fox meat in the donkey meat it sold in China.

    Wal-Mart recalls fox meat-tainted donkey meat in China

    Wal-Mart Stores Inc. says it's considering taking legal action against “responsible parties” after DNA testing showed traces of fox meat in the donkey meat it sold in China. Wal-Mart had recalled the donkey meat — which it said was considered a popular delicacy in parts of China — after DNA testing by a government agency.

  •  
    Job seekers at a job fair at Roosevelt University in Chicago. University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz said the state's economy finished the year strong in spite of stubbornly high unemployment.

    Index finds Illinois' economy finishes 2013 strong

    An index that measures the growth of Illinois' economy finished 2013 at one of its highest points since 2007. The University of Illinois said Thursday its Flash Index hit 107 in December. That was up from 106.5 in November and tied September for the highest reading of 2013. The last time the index was higher was in April 2007.A reading higher than 100 indicates the state's economy is growing.

  •  
    Joe Lewnard | Daily Herald file Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge changed its sterilization procedures after a “super bug” investigation to establish practices exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendations.

    State hospitals fighting spread of “super bug” bacteria

    Illinois’ top doctor is pointing to an investigation of an outbreak of a “super bug” bacterial infection as evidence the state’s hospitals are learning to take preventive steps quickly.The outbreak affected dozens of patients, with some cases apparently linked to a tainted endoscope used at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge. The hospital changed its sterilization procedures after the investigation to establish practices exceeding the manufacturer’s recommendations.The investigation is written up in a weekly report published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck says public health experts worked with the hospital to find the source of the outbreak. He calls such cooperation vital to stopping the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Cuisine de Saigon chef/owner Chan Le shows off the banh hoi thit nuog.

    Naperville's Cuisine de Saigon adds French flair to Vietnamese fare

    A nice thing about ethnic eateries is their ability to transport patrons through their food to distant lands. That's certainly the case with Cuisine de Saigon in Naperville. Walk through the door of this comfortable restaurant tucked in Naperville Plaza Shopping Center and prepare to experience the tastes of authentic French-influenced Vietnamese fare. During a recent visit, I found the food easy to like, the service congenial and the prices notably modest.

  •  
    Jesse (Andrew Jacobs) runs into trouble in “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones.”

    Latest ‘Paranormal’ delivers new angles, humor

    It would be a wild exaggeration to suggest that “Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones” breathes new life into the increasingly fumes-fueled found-footage horror subgenre, but it certainly represents a shot in the arm for this series after 2012’s “Paranormal Activity 4.” Functioning more as a mythology-expanding spinoff than a sequel, this fifth installment (the first directed by longtime series writer Christopher Landon) smartly switches the setting away from airy suburbs to overcrowded working-class apartments, and introduces a winning sense of humor that almost compensates for its relentless reliance on every terror trope in the book.

  •  
    Kurt Elling

    Elling to play McAninch in February
    Kurt Elling is set to perform works from his latest album, "1619 Broadway - The Brill Building Project," for a Valentine's Day weekend concert at College of DuPage's McAninch Arts Center in Glen Ellyn at 4 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 16.

  •  
    Cate Blanchette, Sally Hawkins and Andrew Dice Clay in a scene from the Woody Allen film, “Blue Jasmine.” “Blue Jasmine,” “Nebraska” and “American Hustle” have been nominated for Writers Guild honors, continuing their imprint on Hollywood’s awards season. The three comedies gained nods on Friday for exceptional screen writing.

    ‘Blue Jasmine,’ ‘Nebraska’ gain Writers Guild bids

    “Blue Jasmine,” “Nebraska” and “American Hustle” have been nominated for Writers Guild honors, continuing their imprint on Hollywood’s awards season. The three comedies, joined by dramas “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Her,” gained nods on Friday for exceptional screenwriting in the original screenplay category.

  •  
    Skaters can take to the ice at Elgin's Civic Center Plaza.

    Now's the perfect time to skate a local outdoor rink

    The holidays may be over, but there's still plenty of winter ahead, and you don't have to spend it all inside. Bundle up and take advantage of something you can only do when the weather's chilly: ice skating outdoors. There are plenty of local rinks to show off your moves, get some exercise and make the most of the season. Here is just a sampling of some outdoor rinks in the area.

  •  
    B.o.B has made his mark on pop radio, but it’s been hard for the rapper to be taken seriously by some urban radio stations and nightclubs, even in his hometown of Atlanta.

    B.o.B looks to make a mark on urban radio

    B.o.B has made his mark in pop music with the hits “Nothin’ on You” and “Airplanes,” but it’s been hard for the rapper to be taken seriously by some urban radio stations and nightclubs — even in his hometown of Atlanta. B.o.B’s third album, which debuted at No. 22 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, features thumping raps tracks. But the performer said in an interview that he isn’t trying to abandon pop, though it’s time he focused his attention on creating songs that resonate with hardcore hip-hop listeners.

  •  
    Rick Foster, manager of North America Humanitarian Services with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, talks about the Mormon Church’s Welfare Square in Salt Lake City, where people can buy large cans and bags of oats, wheat, sugar, potato flakes and beans. Many Mormons buy items from this center as they compile a three-month supply of food, while also storing away food that can last as long as 30 years.

    Mormon-centric Utah epicenter for food storage

    Towering grain silos overlook the main highway in Salt Lake City at the Mormon church’s Welfare Square. At grocery stores, there’s a whole section with large plastic tubs with labels that read, “Deluxe survivor 700.” Houses are equipped with special shelving for cans of beans, rice and wheat. Storing away enough food and water in case of disaster, job loss or something worse is not just part of the fundamental teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, it’s an idea that is increasingly catching on nationwide. And it’s also big business.

  •  
    Friends and federal workers, Turner Swicegood, left, Joshua Steinman and Jay Gaul are co-owners of Penance Hall, a startup producing luxury men’s socks.

    For 3 young entrepreneurs, dreams of fashion success start at toes

    The sock guys have old-people names. Joshua Steinman. Jay Gaul IV. D. Turner Swicegood. They are actually 30, 30 and 26 years old, respectively — not quite old enough to be squeezed of vitality and adventure by a lifetime of civil servitude. Once upon a time, three young men in search of safe nonconformity might have started a band. Now three young men, especially three young men in Washington, might launch a start-up to make a statement about dress socks.

  •  
    Warden Nick Ludwick stands in an inmate’s cell at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, Iowa. The penitentiary, the oldest in use west of the Mississippi River with a history dating back to 1839, is set to close next year. Some local officials hope that history buffs, ghost hunters and the plain curious will show up to replace them.

    At Iowa prison, grim history may lure visitors

    The Iowa State Penitentiary stands like an ancient stone fortress on a bluff over the Mississippi River, ringed by castle-like guard towers and sheathed in chain link and razor wire. Built in 1839, seven years before Iowa became a state, the buff-colored compound is the oldest operating prison west of the Mississippi, and as unwelcoming a place as you can imagine. But soon, a place people have long wanted to avoid may try to become the opposite: an attraction for visitors. After Iowa’s most dangerous criminals leave next spring, some local officials hope that history buffs, ghost hunters and the plain curious will show up to replace them.

  •  
    A couple enjoys a sunny afternoon against the backdrop of the Midtown skyline from Piedmont Park in Atlanta. The nearly 200-acre green space in Midtown gives Atlanta residents and visitors a tranquil setting to picnic, play games, walk their dogs and relax in the meadow or along the shores of Lake Clara Meer.

    5 free things to do on your next trip to Atlanta

    Many people who visit Atlanta for the hundreds of conventions the city hosts each year never make it out of the few blocks around their hotels. But the city has much more to offer, and some attractions are even free. Atlanta is a diverse, cosmopolitan city that is home to world-class cultural institutions and restaurants helmed by award-winning chefs. It has a rich cultural and political history, plus parks and trails to keep outdoor enthusiasts busy during the many months of the year when Atlanta’s latitude makes it pleasant to be outside. Here are five free things to do and see on your next trip to Atlanta.

  •  
    The medium Oda Mae Brown (Chicago native Carla R. Stewart) is shocked to find that she’s able to communicate with the spirit of Sam Wheat (Steven Grant Douglas) in the national tour of “Ghost The Musical,” adapted from the hit 1990 film. “Ghost” plays Chicago’s Oriental Theatre from Tuesday, Jan. 7, through Sunday, Jan. 19.

    Chicago native getting into the spirit of musical ‘Ghost’

    Chicago native Carla R. Stewart is relishing her chance to star in the role of the sham medium Oda Mae Brown in the national tour of "Ghost The Musical." The London and Broadway musical based upon the Academy Award-winning 1990 film "Ghost" makes its Chicago debut at the Oriental Theatre from Tuesday, Jan. 7, through Sunday, Jan. 19.

  •  
    This 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo was recently restored by Kevin Pocrnich and many others throughout the Effingham community as a tribute to Ron Henderson, who recently died just days before the car was complete.

    Restored Monte Carlo fulfills Illinois man’s dying wish

    Ron Henderson’s dying wish to have his 1970 Chevrolet Monte Carlo restored became more about the effect he had on those around him than about the project itself. During his yearlong battle with melanoma, Ron served as an inspiration to many around him.

  •  

    A hybrid mortgage may fit in your housing future

    Higher mortgage rates for 2014? Count on it. Could this be the year to check out hybrid mortgages, which haven’t been popular lately? Maybe.

  •  

    For furniture, gray is the new beige

    Which styles and colors will we be seeing in furniture showrooms — and, ultimately, homes — in the months ahead? One reliable barometer is the High Point Market, the giant home furnishings trade show held twice a year in High Point, N.C.

  •  

    Tips and tricks for fixing common wallpaper problems

    Wallpapering has come a long way since it was first used, thank goodness! Now we have paper that is easier to put up and take down. But they haven’t found a way to prevent peeling, bubbling and a few other issues.

  •  

    Grease from turkey clogs homeowners’ insurance claim

    Whether you’re pouring grease down a drain or filling it with other stuff, don’t expect your insurer to pay the bill if your sewer system gets plugged up.

  •  

    Faulty information printed in real estate listing

    Q. We plan to sell our home and just discovered that it was misrepresented when we bought it three years ago. The listing on the Realtor’s website inflated the lot size by more than 10 percent. We contacted the listing agent to ask about these issues. She said the listing clearly states at the bottom that the Realtor is not responsible for the accuracy of the information on the listing. Do we have any recourse?

Discuss

  •  
    Officials need to look deep for ways to reduce wasted spending in goverments

    Editorial: Resolve to end waste in government

    The new year brings an opportunity for all government entities to recommit to finding waste and inefficiencies, a Daily Herald editorial says.

  •  
    Shaan Khan

    A changing perspective for Indian-Americans

    Guest columnist Shaan Khan: Home is where the heart lies, but in recent weeks, some Indian-Americans have begun questioning their hearts and loosening ties with their ancestral home. Like those in other immigrant communities in the United States, Indian-Americans have been vociferous supporters of their native country and its foreign policies. However, the recent upheaval over the arrest of an Indian diplomat, Devyani Khobragade, 39, posted at the Consulate of India as deputy consul general, has created a defining chasm between mainland Indians and Indian-Americans.

  •  

    Experience tells a different story
    A Hawthorn Woods letter to the editor: I’ve been following all the negative commentaries mimicking Fox News talking points about the Affordable Care Act.

  •  

    Primary election deserves more news space
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I’ve always believed that primaries were more important than the general election. In every general election so many voters stay away using the excuse that their choice is between bad and worse. The primary is truly the best way to give voters a say.

  •  

    Kerry’s deal with Iran is worthless
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Can the current administration in Washington really believe what they stated to the world regarding Kerry’s agreement with Iran? Netanyahu of Israel correctly identifies this deal as a “historic mistake.”

  •  

    Getting rid of the blight of open space
    A Sleepy Hollow letter to the editor: Thank you to the voters of West Dundee for electing a village board that has voted to get rid of the blight of open space between Route 72 and Binnie Road, east of Randall Road.

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