Daily Archive : Wednesday January 8, 2014


    Naperville City Council later this month will consider a boundary change for the downtown Riverwalk that could lead to the path being extended to Martin Avenue from its end at Hillside Road.

    Naperville to consider Riverwalk boundary extension

    A plan to extend the boundary of the Naperville Riverwalk further south could be approved later this month, but lengthening the path is not exactly right around the corner. A new section of Riverwalk could be designed beginning in spring 2015, but construction would not be scheduled to begin until spring 2017.

    Rendering of the planned John and Nancy Hughes Theater at the Gorton Community Center

    Filmmaker’s legacy will endure at Gorton Community Center

    Nancy Hughes, long-time Lake Forest resident and wife of the late film director John Hughes, will endow the transformation of the Gorton Community Cener auditorium into the John and Nancy Hughes Theater, a state-of-the-art performance space for Lake Forest and Lake Bluff residents.

    Maud Powell, the famous American violinist from Aurora, will receive a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from The Recording Academy Jan. 25.

    Legendary Aurora violinist to receive Grammy

    Almost a century after her death, famed violinist Maud Powell of Aurora is receiving yet another honor: A Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement.

    Richard Vanecko, right, leaves the Rolling Meadows courthouse with his legal team following a hearing Thursday.

    Charge against Daley nephew stands

    The judge presiding over the case of Richard Vanecko, charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of 21-year-old David Koschman of Mount Prospect, denied a trio of defense motions to dismiss the charge. That clears the way for trial to begin Feb. 18 for Vanecko, a nephew of former Chicago mayor Richard Daley.


    Probe into Barrington infant’s death ongoing

    Barrington police continue today to investigate the death of a 7-month-old girl pronounced dead shortly after noon Wednesday. Village police and firefighters were called to a residence in the 100 block of South Hager Wednesday in response to reports of a deceased individual. Crime scene tape surrounded the home this morning, and a Barrington Police squad car was stationed outside the residence.


    Elgin liquor commission issues warning to Moose Lodge

    Elgin Moose Lodge officials got what amounts to an informal warning after they apologized to police and the liquor control commission for an incident that happened in late September.


    Carpentersville endorses settlement with firefighters

    Carpentersville officials approved a contract settlement with the village’s 32 full-time firefighters Wednesday, a move that puts the issues between the two parties to rest, and gives residents the protection they need without breaking the bank, officials said. “We’ve put some of the biggest disagreements behind us, and we’re moving forward cooperatively,” Carpentersville Village President Ed...

    Kristin Wuestenfeld, an employee at the Randall Oaks Barnyard Zoo in West Dundee, cradles Blue the peacock Tuesday, shortly after she rescued him from the top of a nearby tree, with the help of the West Dundee Fire Department. Blue later died from injuries he sustained in the frigid air.

    Peacock dies after cold weather exposure

    A peacock that survived a dramatic rescue in subzero degree weather after it fled a West Dundee zoo Tuesday has died, an official confirmed Wednesday. Blue the peacock passed away overnight, likely from fluid that built up in his lungs from being outside too long. “It’s unfortunate that it happened, but these are the harsh realities of what this kind of weather can do,” said Tom Mammoser,...

    A wheelchair belonging to a rescued resident sits outside a home Wednesday on the 100 block of Beck Avenue in South Elgin after a fatal fire.

    Careless smoking suspected in fatal South Elgin house fire

    Careless use of smoking materials is the suspected cause of a fire Wednesday morning in South Elgin that killed a 72-year-old man and a dog, officials said. A woman called authorities at about 9 a.m. saying her house was filing up with smoke, her husband was in another room, and she could not leave because she was in a wheelchair. Police rescued the woman and a dog, but her hushand, Thomas...

    The Sport Center of the Schaumburg Park District plans to add 126 more parking spaces this year through an agreement to lease 1.5 acres from the neighboring Schaumburg Regional Airport. Park district officials say they need the additional parking to keep up with patron demand.

    Schaumburg Sport Center targets more parking

    The Sport Center of the Schaumburg Park District has been a popular bastion of winter recreation since it opened in 2003, but its parking capacity hasn’t kept up with demand. The district plans to add 126 more parking spaces this year through an agreement to lease 1.5 acres from the neighboring Schaumburg Regional Airport.


    Appellate court judge dies in chambers

    Supreme Court spokesman Joseph R. Tybor says Judge Patrick J. Quinn died Wednesday in his chambers at the First District Appellate Court in Chicago. The cause of the 60-year-old Quinn’s death has not been disclosed.


    Quinn backs prisons director

    Gov. Pat Quinn is supporting his prisons director after Republican challenger Kirk Dillard called for the director to be fired.


    Blue Cross extends payment deadline to Jan. 30

    People who signed up recently for health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois now have until Jan. 30 to pay their first month’s premium and still get coverage for all of January.


    Pipe issues force Schaumburg library to close early
    Damaged water pipes caused the Schaumburg Township District Central Library to close early today.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie looks out over a crowd during a gathering in Union City, N.J., Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. A top aide to Christie is linked through emails and text messages to a seemingly deliberate plan to create traffic gridlock in Fort Lee, N.J., at the base of the George Washington Bridge after its mayor refused to endorse Christie for re-election.

    Messages tie Christie aide to N.J. traffic jam

    A political dirty-tricks investigation of Gov. Chris Christie’s inner circle broke wide open Wednesday with the release of emails and text messages that suggest one of his top aides engineered traffic jams in a New Jersey town last September to punish its mayor.

    Arlene Hickory

    Hearing officers recommend who’s on the ballot

    The primary election opponent for Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and two Republicans hoping to run for U.S. Senate could see their campaigns end Thursday if the Illinois Board of Elections agrees they don’t qualify to be on the ballot. Officers who have reviewed objections to candidates across the state also recommend the board should allow Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican congressional...

    Ice forms on parts of a dock on West Grand Traverse Bay near the Great Lakes Maritime Academy in Traverse City, Mich., earlier this week.

    Deep freeze has silver linings for natural world

    It may be hard to think of this week’s deep freeze as anything but miserable, but to scientists there are silver linings: The extreme cold may help raise low water in the Great Lakes, protect shorelines and wetlands from erosion, kill insect pests and slow the migration of invasive species.

    Des Plaines School District 62 Superintendent Jane Westerhold points to where a sprinkler system pipe burst earlier Wednesday at Iroquois Community School, forcing the abrupt cancellation of classes for the remainder of the day as well as Thursday. Officials blamed the pipe break on the recent spell of frigid weather.

    Burst pipe closes Des Plaines school at least through Thursday

    Wednesday was a short-lived first day back for students at Iroquois Community School in Des Plaines following winter break and two additional off days because of cold weather. A half-hour into the school day, a sprinkler system pipe burst in the school’s front vestibule entrance, flooding hallways and forcing school officials to cancel classes for the rest of the day, as well as Thursday.


    Wheaton Winter Market moves to new location

    Wheaton's Winter Market is moving to a space in downtown Wheaton that was occupied for the month of December by a pop-up bookstore called the Big Red Schoolhouse. The bookstore will continue to operate at 121 W. Wesley St., along with winter market vendors Ari's Flowers and Seize the Bead, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays.


    Grayslake issues boil order for drinking water

    Grayslake has issued an emergency boil order for drinking water after losing pressure in its pipeline. The boil order is expected to remain in place for at least 36 hours, officials said.

    George LeClaire/gleclaire@dailyherald.com Commuters continued to experience delays Wednesday even as temperatures improved.

    Wednesday brings less commuting chaos, but Metra delays continue

    It was a relatively balmy 5 degrees Wednesday morning, but delays continued to plague Metra with trains arriving 15 to 45 minutes late, according to the agency’s website. Some riders like Yvette Guyton were so shellshocked by their commuting odysseys earlier in the week, the fact that the 8 a.m. BNSF Line train arrived around 8:30 a.m. in Downers Grove was no big deal.


    Report: 5 state pension funds owed $100.5 billion

    Illinois lawmakers thought they were saving money five years ago by changing the way the cash-strapped state counts its pension debts, but a report released Wednesday suggests the effort may have landed taxpayers with billions of dollars in extra costs.

    Paul Vallas listens to reporter’s questions after Gov. Pat Quinn introduced him as his choice for a running mate in the 2014 election.

    Quinn’s running mate continues working in Connecticut

    Gov. Pat Quinn’s running mate, Paul Vallas, will continue working in as the leader of a Connecticut school district until March 1, just days before he appears on the ballot in Illinois’ Democratic primary.

    Sonia Rodriguez

    Sheriff: Carpentersville teen tried to foil drug test

    A 19-year-old from Carpenterville was arrested by McHenry County authorities Tuesday and charged with trying to foil a drug test that was part of her probation. Sonia Rodriquez was required to take three drug tests as a part after an arrest last summer on charges of misdemeanor drug parapheranalia possession and disorderly conduct.

    Cardinal Francis George

    Church to release files on sex abuse by priests

    The Archdiocese of Chicago plans to release files detailing the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests as part of a court settlement. Cardinal Francis George made the announcement in a letter to priests that is set to be published in church bulletins on Sunday.

    Gregory Weiler II

    Elk Grove man deemed fit to stand trial

    A Elk Grove Village man charged with plotting to bomb dozens of northeastern Oklahoma churches has been found mentally competent to stand trial.


    Man held on $1.5 million bond in death of teen

    Bond was set at $1.5 million for a Chicago man charged with murder in the death of an 18-year-old woman attending a birthday party for his roommate.


    30 National Guard mechanics activated due to weather

    The Illinois Army National Guard says more than 30 of its mechanics were activated to help during this week’s subzero temperatures and snowfall.


    Auto insurance rates expected to climb in Illinois

    Major insurers in Illinois are raising rates. Northbrook-based Allstate says in a regulatory filing that rates for customers will climb between 2.5 and 3.5 percent later this month. Esurance rates are rising about 3.2 percent in late January, while Geico expects to boost prices by 2 to 3 percent in March.

    Paul Magee

    Jury gets Naperville battery case

    The fate of an Oak Park man charged with brutally assaulting a Naperville man following a night of drinking in downtown Naperville, rests with a jury of six that began deliberating Wednesday in DuPage County. Paul Magee, 27, is charged with aggravated assault in a fight that occurred during the early hours of May 19, 2013, and left his victim with a concussion, a broken nose and several missing...


    Hanover Park man guilty of defrauding bank

    A 22-year-old Hanover Park man and former bank employee pleaded guilty Wednesday to misappropriating propety from a financial institution. In exchange for the plea, a Cook County judge sentenced Jovanny D. Sosa, to two years probation and ordered him to have no contact with TCF Bank.

    Eugene Gruber

    Lake County approves $1.95 million settlement in lawsuit over jail inmate’s death

    The family of a Lake County jail inmate who was paralyzed during a violent confrontation with a guard and later died will receive $1.95 million under a settlement approved Wednesday.

    Stephanie Johnson, 4, of Lake Zurich, uses circle shapes to make a ladybug bookmark during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum near Wauconda. The Small Discoveries event focused on shapes and nature and coincided with the artwork exhibit of Charles Harper.

    Children learn about shapes in nature during Lake County museum program

    Children learned about shapes and using them to make animals during the Colorful Creatures program Wednesday at the Lake County Discovery Museum in the Lakewood Forest Preserve near Wauconda. “It’s always good to have something with art and nature,” museum educator Seleena Kuester explained.


    Carol Stream Park District to hire firm for director search

    As Arnie Biondo completed his last day as Carol Stream Park District’s executive director on Wednesday, the park board already was moving forward to find his replacement. At a special meeting this week the board agreed to hire an executive search firm to find a new executive director.

    Icicles hang from a home on Highland Avenue in Arlington Heights.

    Images: Icicles in the Suburbs
    Images of icicles on structures in the suburbs of Chicago. A severe winter, including the recent Polar Vortex experience combined with loads of snow have created significant icicles.


    Fox Valley police reports
    A Garmin GPS, a phone charger and a hands-free phone device were stolen between 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday from a vehicle on the 14N600 block of Route 25 near East Dundee, according to a sheriff’s report.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone ransacked a home on the 1600 block of Solifsburg Avenue near Aurora between 4:30 and 9 p.m. Sunday and stole two flat screen TVs, two tablets and a Nintendo 3DS, worth a combined $1,470, according to a sheriff’s report.

    William McLeod

    Hoffman mayor appointed to NLC committee

    Hoffman Estates Mayor William McLeod has been appointed to the National League of Cities (NLC) 2014 Transportation Infrastructure & Services Steering Committee. This committee has the lead responsibility for developing NLC federal policy positions on issues involving transportation.

    Jonathon R. Buczak

    Fox Lake man charged with burglary in Elgin, Bartlett

    A Fox Lake man faces charges related to residential burglaries that took place in Elgin and Bartlett, officials said. Jonathon R. Buczak, 27, is expected to appear in bond call Thursday, Elgin Police Cmdr. Ana Lalley said in a news release.


    No drug testing for District 203 students

    Athletes and club members in Naperville Unit District 203 will not be subjected to mandatory random drug testing, school administrators said. The district will focus on drug prevention programs rather than screenings, they said.


    Horta sentencing delayed:

    The sentencing for a Waukegan man convicted of murder was delayed Wednesday. Jose Horta, 21, is facing 60 years in prison for killing David Campbell, 27, in 2011 and dumping his body in the Penny Road Pond.

    Concerned about the spread of video gambling in the village, Bartlett leaders are crafting stricter standards that could include increased fees for operators and a tougher process to obtain a permit. One possible regulation: requiring new businesses that seek a video gambling permit to develop bars or restaurants with commercial-grade kitchens.

    Bartlett moves to restrict video gambling

    Fearing that Bartlett could turn into what one official called a “mini Las Vegas,” village leaders are crafting stricter standards for video gambling. Trustees have taken issue with the influx of video gambling machines in town. Nearly 20 terminals have popped up in Bartlett, generating about $3,600 in revenue for the village in November.


    Stevenson students sing:

    Stevenson High School’s Kiva Club hosts its annual S-Factor student singing competition at 7 p.m. Friday in the Performing Arts Center.


    Lake Zurich band makes it home:

    After a two-day delay, a group of Lake Zurich High School marching band members and chaperones has made it home from Madrid.


    Black ice may have contributed to Lake-Cook crash

    Black ice may have contributed to a crash that temprarily shut down on Lake-Cook Road in Palatine on Wednesday morning, police said. No one was injured.


    Civil War discussion:

    The Grayslake Historical Society will host a meeting of the Lake County Civil War Roundtable at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, at the Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum, 164 Hawley St., Grayslake.


    Arlington Heights village manager gets a raise

    The Arlington Heights village board on Monday approved a 2.75 percent raise for Village Manager Bill Dixon. The raise, effective Jan. 1, brings Dixon’s total compensation package to $207,092. The salary increase was approved without discussion by the village board. Dixon’s last salary increase came in 2012 with a 2 percent raise halfway through the year and another 1 percent at the end of the...

    Thom Lange, Amy English, Carol Lange deliver gifts to Washington, Ill.

    Northwest suburbs continue to aid tornado-ravaged Washington, Ill.

    While this week suburban residents focused their efforts on fighting severe cold and helping their neighbors cope, up through the holiday reports continued to emerge of the work local residents and governments did to help in the wake of the Nov. 17 tornado that ravaged Washington, Ill. The destruction throughout the area was massive. What follows are reports on some of the activities it...

    The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that flu activity is now widespread, meaning the virus is showing up in at least half the state.

    Flu widespread in Illinois; 6 deaths this season

    Health officials are expecting an increase in flu-related hospitalizations and deaths in Illinois with cases now reported widely. The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that flu activity is now widespread, meaning the virus is showing up in at least half the state.

    Dennis Rodman sings Happy Birthday to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, seated above in the stands, before an exhibition basketball game at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014.

    Rodman sings happy birthday to North Korean leader

    Dennis Rodman sang “Happy Birthday” to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before leading a squad of former NBA stars in a friendly game Wednesday as part of his “basketball diplomacy” that has been criticized in the United States as naive and laughable.

    President Barack Obama stands in the East Room of the White House in Washington with, from left: Vice President Joe Biden and outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates. The White House is bristling over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new memoir accusing President Barack Obama of showing too little enthusiasm for the U.S. war mission in Afghanistan and sharply criticizing Vice President Joe Biden’s foreign policy instincts.

    White House defends Biden against Gates criticism

    The White House is bristling over former Defense Secretary Robert Gates’ new memoir accusing President Barack Obama of showing too little enthusiasm for the U.S. war mission in Afghanistan and sharply criticizing Vice President Joe Biden’s foreign policy instincts.

    The Obama administration is issuing new recommendations on classroom discipline that seek to end the apparent disparities in how students of different races are punished for violating school rules. Attorney General Eric Holder said the problem often stems from well intentioned “zero-tolerance” policies that too often inject the criminal justice system into the resolution of problems.

    Gov’t: End overly zealous discipline in schools

    The Obama administration is urging schools to abandon overly zealous discipline policies that civil rights advocates have long said lead to a school-to-prison pipeline that discriminates against minority students. “A routine school disciplinary infraction should land a student in the principal’s office, not in a police precinct,” Attorney General Eric Holder said.

    Greg Maddux

    Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Frank Thomas make MLB hall of fame

    Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine and Frank Thomas have been elected to baseball's Hall of Fame, while Craig Biggio fell just short. The results were announced Wednesday. The trio will be inducted in Cooperstown on July 27 along with managers Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Tony La Russa, elected last month by the expansion-era committee.


    Sprinkler malfunction closes DuPage state’s attorney’s offices

    The building housing the DuPage County state’s attorney’s offices was temporarily evacuated shortly before noon Wednesday and will remain closed for the rest of the day after sprinklers in an electrical room went off twice within a few minutes, knocking out power to the facility, authorities said.

    Joshua Joyce

    Man accepts plea deal, boot camp, in Lindenhurst home, car break-ins

    A Lindenhurst man accused of burglarizing seven homes and vehicles in August pleaded guilty to theft in Lake County court Wednesday and was sentenced to the Illinois boot camp program. Joshua Joyce, 20, of Beck Road, will spend two years in prison if he doesn't successfully complete the boot camp program.

    Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam Volunteer of the Year Steve Domski

    Illinois Department of Natural Resources laud local volunteers

    The Illinois Department of Natural Resources staff recently honored 121 volunteers who donated their services to Volo Bog State Natural Area, Moraine Hills State Park and McHenry Dam in 2013. Together they contributed 6,019 hours to these sites. Marilyn Huster of Libertyville was named Volunteer of the Year for Volo Bog State Natural Area and Steve Domski of McHenry was named Volunteer of the...

    Terry Stroh, head of the science department at Jacobs High School, works with the Green Eagles club inside the greenhouse they renovated on the roof of the Algonquin school. Stroh and the club cleaned the old, unused greenhouse and are now growing food in it for local food pantries.

    Jacobs students grow fruits, veggies for the needy

    Led by science department head Terry Stroh, the Green Eagles Club at Jacobs High School secured a grant to renovate a greenhouse atop the school and now use it to grow food for the needy. Stroh and his students are people to be thankful for.


    Grayslake Historical Society hosts events in January

    The Grayslake Historical Society hosts several events in January at the Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum, 164 Hawley St., Grayslake.

    A group of the Comfort Creatures made by Mundelein High School students.

    Mundelein class project helps children in homeless shelters

    What started as a Mundelein High School class lesson on childhood fears has turned into a project to help children in homeless shelters in Lake County.

    An Arlington Heights police officer shot in the face last month while responding to a domestic disturbance is now out of the hospital and continuing his rehabilitation elsewhere. The shooting led to a lengthy standoff Dec. 12 that ended with the police fatally shooting the Niles man who opened fire on the officer.

    Shot Arlington Heights officer released from hospital

    Arlington Heights Officer Michael McEvoy started the new year out of the hospital, police said Wednesday. McEvoy, the officer shot in the face while responding to a domestic disturbance last month, was released from the hospital Dec. 27 and is continuing his rehabilitation. “He still has a long road of recovery in front of him,” said police Capt. Andrew Whowell.

    Jim Beaudoin

    Lake Zurich plan aims to spark downtown rejuvenation

    Downtown revitalization, finding alternative revenue sources and infrastructure imrpovements are among the priorities of a proposed five-year strategic plan for Lake Zurich. “I think it's going to be a huge step moving forward with some clear direction,” Trustee Jim Beaudoin said

    Shirley Forpe

    Forpe out of race for Palatine Twp. Democratic commiteeman

    Shirley Forpe, one of three candidates for Palatine Township Democratic committeeman in the March 18 primary, has withdrawn her candidacy, according to the website of Cook County Clerk David Orr.


    Burst pipes lead to Huntley library closing

    The Huntley Area Public Library will be closed today. Pipes burst from the extreme weather conditions and building repairs are under way, according to Leigh Ann Porsch, communications and development coordinator.

    Police believe former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was in an SUV when someone inside shot two people to death in Boston in 2012, according to a search warrant filed in Connecticut.

    Warrant links Aaron Hernandez to Boston shooting

    Police believe former New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez was in an SUV when someone inside shot two people to death in Boston in 2012, according to a search warrant filed in Connecticut. The warrant does not indicate who investigators believe pulled the trigger or suggest a motive in the shooting of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado in Boston’s South End.

    Mark Van Ryne, right, is sworn into the village board by Village President Bob Kellermann.

    New trustee seated in Deer Park

    Mark Van Ryne, a 7-year resident of Deer Park, has been appointed to fill a vacant seat on the village board through April 30, 2015. On Dec. 16, Village President Robert Kellermann nominated Van Ryne to fill the seat formerly held by Trustee Jim Denny.

    Ice in the Mississippi River flows past the Gateway Arch Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, in St. Louis.

    Arctic air eases its grip on much of the U.S.

    An arctic blast eased its grip on much of the U.S. on Wednesday, with winds calming and the weather warming slightly a day after temperature records — some more than a century-old — shattered up and down the Eastern Seaboard.

    In the three years since she was severely injured in a mass shooting at a political event, Gabrielle Giffords made an impressive recovery, learned to walk again and founded a national political organization. On Wednesday, while others will hold bell-ringing and flag-raising ceremonies, she will mark the anniversary by skydiving.

    Giffords to mark shooting anniversary by skydiving

    In the three years since she was severely injured in a mass shooting at a political event, Gabrielle Giffords made an impressive recovery, learned to walk again and founded a national political organization. On Wednesday, while others will hold bell-ringing and flag-raising ceremonies, she will mark the anniversary by skydiving.

    Two minutes of footage from a camera on Michael Schumacher’s ski helmet showed the Formula One great was clearly skiing off a groomed trail when he lost his balance and crashed, leaving him with critical head injuries, investigators said Wednesday Jan. 8, 2014.

    Footage: Schumacher skiing off trail in crash

    Two minutes of footage from a camera on Michael Schumacher’s ski helmet showed the Formula One great was clearly skiing off a groomed trail when he lost his balance and crashed, leaving him with critical head injuries, investigators said Wednesday.

    Gunmen gather in a street as they chant slogans against Iraq’s Shiite-led government and demanding that the Iraqi army not try to enter the city in Fallujah, 40 miles west of Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. Fierce clashes erupted Tuesday between Iraqi special forces and al-Qaida-linked militants outside the city of Fallujah, a flare-up in a days-long standoff in the Sunni-dominated western province of Anbar, Iraqi officials said.

    UN warns of humanitarian threat in western Iraq

    Iraq’s prime minister urged al-Qaida-linked fighters who have overrun two cities west of Baghdad to give up the battle, vowing Wednesday to press forward with a push to regain control of the mainly Sunni areas. The United Nations, meanwhile, warned that the area in Anbar province is facing a “critical humanitarian situation” as food and water supplies are starting to run out.

    Nick Popaditch shows the Marine Corps insignia in his right eye. Popaditch, who was injured in Iraq on April 7, 2004, says, “ ... if the bad guys come back into control, that’s not something I can control 8,000 miles away here. I’m just proud of the fact that when it came time to stand and fight for those things, those concepts of freedom, liberty, human rights ... I’m glad my nation did it.”

    Reversals in hard-won Iraqi city vex veterans

    The image of two charred American bodies hanging from a bridge as a jubilant crowd pelted them with shoes seared the name Fallujah into the American psyche. The brutal house-to-house battle to tame the Iraqi insurgent stronghold cemented its place in U.S. military history. So it is no surprise that the city’s recent fall to al-Qaida-linked forces has touched a nerve for the service members who...

    This handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution, taken in Nov. 2008, shows a family viewing the Star Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington.

    Star-Spangled banner, song to be displayed at Smithsonian

    The original, handwritten manuscript of “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the flag that inspired the song’s lyrics will be displayed together at the Smithsonian in Washington, the first time the historic pieces are believed to have been shown side by side.


    Museum plans retrial of Greek mythological figure

    Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and other prominent Chicago lawyers are getting together again to retry the case of a figure in Greek history. Fitzgerald served as prosecutor in a do-over last year of Socrates' 399 B.C. trial on charges of corrupting the youth and disrespecting its gods.


    Dealer: Chicago gun sales 'a business opportunity'

    Firearms dealers are welcoming a judge's ruling calling the city's ban on gun sales unconstitutional. Barry Soskin owns a suburban gun shop named Article II Range. He calls the potential for Chicago sales “a business opportunity in a great city.”


    Felon fighting to stay on Cook County board ballot

    The former head of Chicago’s streets and sanitation department is fighting to stay on the ballot after being convicted of rigging city hiring. Al Sanchez is running for a seat on the Cook County Board.


    Ind. Supreme Court to hear foul ball injury case

    The Indiana Supreme Court is taking up the case of a woman who wants to sue a minor-league baseball team over injuries she suffered when a foul ball struck her during a game.

    Melissa Sallée, right, a choreographer and teacher with Naperville Park District’s Dance Academy, says she fell in love with ballet the first time she took a class. In addition to dance classes like this one for young people, she teaches sessions for adults, senior citizens, disabled veterans and students with physical and mental disabilities. She even wants to start one for expectant mothers.

    Melissa Sallée strives to spread the joy of dance

    Melissa Sallee, a choregraper and teacher with Naperville Park District's Dance Academy, is also assistant director of Dance>Detour, a mixed-abilities ensemble of dancers with and without disabilities based in Chicago. Members of both groups performed together this fall and plan to do so again.


    Dawn Patrol: Black ice on roads; 10 Blackhawks to Sochi

    Black ice danger shows after death of Elgin woman in Palatine. Fewer Metra cancellations today. Another weather day in some Lake County schools. Arlington Heights house fire. 10 Blackhawks going to Sochi.


    A worker stands next to trash collected by a garbage-collecting barge at the Guanabara Bay, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

    IOC President Bach to meet Rousseff about Rio 2016 issues

    International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach will meet later this month with Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and organizers of Rio's 2016 Olympics to remind them there is no time to waste as they prepare for South America's first games.

    White Sox slugger Frank Thomas was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday after receiving 83.7 percent of the vote.

    Sox slugger Thomas joins HOF with Maddux, Glavine

    During his 19 seasons in the major leagues — 16 spent with the White Sox — Frank Thomas was well known for making opposing pitchers sweat. Since retiring in 2008, Thomas has been sweating out his first crack at making the Hall of Fame. He can stop sweating. Thomas garnered 83.7% of the vote to easily make the National Baseball Hall of Fame along with pitchers Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine. Craig Biggio fell two votes short.

    Kateri Stone

    Girls basketball: Week 5 MVP

    Montini senior guard Kateri Stone has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent girls basketball performances.

    Jason Gregoire

    Boys basketball: Week 5 MVP

    Cary-Grove junior guard Jason Gregoire has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent boys basketball performances.


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


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


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


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


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

    Kathleen Doyle of Benet takes a shot during the Joliet Catholic at Benet girls basketball game Wednesday.

    Shots don't fall, so Benet does

    While Benet executed some key components of its game plan well Wednesday night, the most critical component — making shots — was off.

    Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky shoots against Illinois' Nnanna Egwu during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in Madison, Wis. Egwu fouled Kaminsky on the play. (AP Photo/Andy Manis)

    Wisconsin demolishes Illinois 95-70

    Be careful against No. 4 Wisconsin. A couple of missed shots can quietly snowball into a huge hole for opponents. No. 23 Illinois is the latest team to get run over by the surprising big red juggernaut. Ben Brust scored 18 points, Sam Dekker added 17 and the Badgers used a 20-0 run in the first half in an easy 95-70 win Wednesday night. The Badgers improved to 16-0 (3-0 Big Ten), the best start in school history — not that coach Bo Ryan is paying attention.


    Smith becomes VH’s all-time leading scorer in victory

    Sydney Smith reached another milestone in her Vernon Hills’ basketball career Wednesday night. The four-year varsity starter became the Cougars’ all-time leading scorer in their 49-31 win over host Lake Forest in a North Suburban Conference crossover. Smith scored 12 points, giving her 1,404 in her career.

    Jacobs’ Kenton Mack drives around McHenry’s Kyle Postal on Wednesday in Algonquin.

    In the end, Jacobs stops McHenry

    The Jacobs boys basketball team finally got the defensive stops it sought in the closing minutes of Wednesday’s 53-50 home win over McHenry. Thanks to an offensive rebound by senior Robert Grant, junior guard Kenton Mack gave Jacobs (6-6, 2-0) the lead for good on a second-chance drive with 3:48 to play, marking the fifth and final lead change of the fourth quarter between the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division foes.

    Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist blocks a shot by the Blackhawks’ Jonathan Toews as New York’s Ryan McDonagh helps his goalie.

    Lundqvist outduels Crawford in Blackhawks loss

    Henrik Lundqvist played like a king Wednesday night. The New York Rangers’ goaltender ran his career record against the Blackhawks to 5-1-2 with a 3-2 win at the United Center.

    Antioch’s Carly McCameron, left, applies some tough defense on Libertyville’s Becky Deichl on Wednesday at Libertyville.

    Antioch goes deep, passes up Libertyville

    That year of softball, flag-football experience and tossing the football around in the yard with her twin, older brother and dad paid off for Amy Reiser on Wednesday night. Note the Antioch freshman’s deep pass with Peyton Manning precision to Alexis Duehr late in the fourth quarter of the Sequoits’ North Suburban Conference crossover at Libertyville. On an inbounds play, the righty Reiser rifled the ball from under Antioch’s basket and hit a sprinting Duehr, who caught the ball in stride at half-court and raced in for a layup that stretched the Sequoits’ lead to 6 with 1:20 left. The play, which was just how the visitors drew it up, all but sealed Antioch’s 60-55 win.


    McCrea, Buffalo beat Northern Illinois 67-46

    Javon McCrea had 14 points, eight rebounds, eight blocks, and four assists on Wednesday night to lead Buffalo past Northern Illinois 67-46 in the Mid-American Conference opener for both teams.

    Wichita State's Ron Baker, left, steals the ball from Illinois State's Tony Wills during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Wichita, Kan., Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis Heying) LOCAL TV OUT; MAGAZINES OUT; LOCAL RADIO OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT

    No. 6 Wichita St shuts down Illinois State, 66-47

    After his team won its 14th straight game, Wichita State coach Gregg Marshall challenged his players to make vast improvements on defense.Two games later, he will need to find something else to harp on. The sixth-ranked Shockers cruised past Illinois State 66-47 Wednesday night, holding the Redbirds to 32.7 percent shooting (18 of 55).

    Geneva’s Grace Ginsberg competes on the vault during the gymnastics meet vs. Batavia on Wednesday, January 8.

    Not its best, but Geneva beats Batavia

    The Batavia girls gymnastics team didn’t expect to go into Mack Olson Gym on Wednesday evening and beat Geneva.


    Huntley, C-G claim Valley Division wins

    Huntley took command in routing host McHenry 62-35 in a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division girls basketball matchup Wednesday.


    St. Charles East learns lesson in win over Glenbard West

    Watching a 14-point halftime lead shrink to 10 in the first 2 minutes of the third quarter, St. Charles East basketball coach Patrick Woods did not want Wednesday night’s nonconference game with Glenbard West to turn into a case of déjà vu.

    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) reacts after New York Rangers' Brad Richards (not shown) scored a goal during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Hawks can’t finish comeback against Rangers

    Carl Hagelin scored a tiebreaking goal in the third period to lead the New York Rangers to a 3-2 victory over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.


    Southern Illinois beats Loyola 71-67

    Desmar Jackson scored a career-high 31 points as Southern Illinois pushed past Loyola in the final seconds to win 71-67 on Wednesday night.


    Missouri State tops Bradley 68-65

    Jarmar Gulley scored 26 points and grabbed five rebounds to help give Missouri State a 68-65 victory over Bradley on Wednesday night.

    Chris Parrilli helped Geneva win the tournament title at East Aurora.

    Several teams head into second half with momentum

    From Aurora Central Catholic to West Aurora basically every local boys basketball team got something out of the holiday tournament season.


    The transformation continues as Larkin turns the corner

    Things are looking up for Larkin’s wrestling team this season. After a 3-15 record in his first year in charge last season, charismatic coach Steve Hoyt has worked a miracle or two, transforming his club into an impressive bunch this winter. And now the Royals are officially winning more than they’re losing after a 67-9 romp at Streamwood Wednesday night in an Upstate Eight River matchup. The Royals improved to 10-9-0 overall and 4-2-0 in the division.


    Struggling Bicks plans to stick to basic game

    Bryan Bickell received Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville’s message loud and clear. Bickell didn’t have much fun on Sunday when he was benched for the entire third period and overtime in the Blackhawks’ loss to San Jose. "It’s not good (sitting). You want to be out there helping your team, especially in a close game like last game," Bickell said. "You want to have that goal or hit to change the momentum, but I’ll learn from experience. And try to get my game back to where it needs to be.”

    Buffalo Grove’s Diandra Duenser competes on the balance beam during Wednesday’s meet with Hersey and Fremd.

    Fremd takes top honors in MSL triangular

    Fremd senior Christine Jensen had the top scores in three events to help the Vikings past a pair of Mid-Suburban League foes in girls gymnastics action Wednesday in Palatine. Jensen won the vault (9.45), balance beam (9.40) and floor exercise (9.65) as Fremd totaled 146.70, ahead of Hersey (133.95) and Buffalo Grove (127.85).

    Kim Wallner won her 400th game as West Chicago girls basketball coach on Dec. 23.

    W. Chicago’s Wallner marked end of 2013 with milestone

    lHappy New Year! West Chicago girls basketball coach Kim Wallner spent it as a freshly minted 400-game winner.

    On Wednesday, it was time for baseball to tip is collective cap to newly selected Hall of Famer Greg Maddux.

    The greatest of Maddux was that he would not give in

    The truly great can stay in the moment, control their breathing and somehow replicate a motion thousands of times during the course of a season. That’s what I think of when I remember Greg Maddux, though there are thousands of stories I could tell.

    Frank Thomas holds up a baseball he signed “Frank Thomas HOF” during a news conference Wednesday to discuss the announcement of his selection as a first-ballot Hall of Famer.

    What a great ride the Big Hurt has taken us on

    What a ride complicatedly interesting and interestingly complicated former White Sox slugger Frank Thomas has taken us on toward his election to baseball's Hall of Fame.

    Photos from the Joliet Catholic at Benet Academy girls basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 8.

    Images: Benet Academy vs. Joliet Catholic girls basketball
    Benet Academy hosted Joliet Catholic Wednesday, Jan. 8 in Lisle for girls basketball.


    Uneven start to season for local teams

    Just one game into the CCIW men’s basketball season and Elmhurst, North Central and Wheaton all have the same overall record, 8-4. However, the three DuPage County schools have taken significantly different routes to get where they are.


    Fierce effort from BG’s Savage, but Palatine prevails

    Buffalo Grove’s Joanne Savage wasn’t too happy about the open frame she recorded to begin her final game against Palatine on Wednesday night. So she made up for it. Starting in frame two, Savage proceeded to roll five consecutive strikes enroute to an outstanding 232 game. The sophomore finished with a 604 series but it wasn’t enough to slow down the Pirates and senior Katie Conrad. Conrad fired a 239 game three as Palatine defeated the Bison 7-2 in Mid-Suburban League play at Arlington Lanes, as the competitors returned from their winter break with a flourish.

    McHenry’s Cody Freund and Jacobs’ Kenton Mack scramble for a loose ball.

    Images: McHenry vs. Jacobs boys basketball
    Jacobs hosted McHenry in a boys basketball matchup Wednesday night in Algonquin.

    Images from the Antioch at Libertyville girls basketball game on Wednesday, January 8.

    Images: Libertyville vs. Antioch girls basketball
    The Libertyville Wildcats hosted the Antioch Sequoits for girls basketball action on Wednesday, January 8.


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

    It all seemed like good news when Derrick Rose was named MVP in 2011. But that award, combined with a new clause in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement and Rose's injuries, helped accelerate the Bulls' rebuilding plan.

    Obscure NBA rule helped tear Bulls roster apart

    It all seemed like good news when Derrick Rose was named MVP in 2011. But that award, combined with a new clause in the NBA's collective bargaining agreement and Rose's injuries, helped accelerate the Bulls' rebuilding plan.

    New Cleveland Cavaliers forward and former Bulls Luol Deng laughs as he meets reporters after practice at the NBA team’s facility in Independence, Ohio Wednesday. Deng says he’s ready to be the Cavs leader.

    Deng lands in Cleveland, praises Thibodeau

    Luol Deng practiced for the first time in Cleveland on Wednesday after being traded from the Bulls. He made a trade with a new teammate to get No. 9 and reflected on his nine years with the Bulls.

    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel smiles from the sidelines during the first half of the NCAA BCS National Championship college football game between Auburn and Florida State Monday, Jan. 6, 2014, in Pasadena, Calif. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

    Manziel leaving Texas A&M for NFL draft

    Johnny Football is heading to the NFL. Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel declared for the NFL draft on Wednesday following two spectacular seasons in which he became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy and helped the Aggies make a splash in their first two years in the Southeastern Conference.

    New Cleveland Cavaliers forward Luol Deng laughs as he meets reporters after practice at the NBA team's facility in Independence, Ohio Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014. Deng was traded to the Cavaliers from the Chicago Bulls for Andrew Bynum and future draft considerations. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)

    Deng doesn’t have any hard feelings toward Bulls

    Luol Deng was surprised. His mom was shaken.After learning he had been traded from the Bulls to Cleveland, Deng said the most difficult aspect of knowing he would no longer be playing for the Bulls after nine seasons wasn’t packing his bags or saying goodbye to teammates.The hardest part was explaining to his mom, Martha, he had to move.


    Former German World Cup player comes out as gay

    A former World Cup player from Germany came out as gay Wednesday, rebuking the Russian anti-gay law that threatens to tarnish next month’s Sochi Olympics and challenging the longstanding stigma against homosexuality in soccer.


    Don Mattingly gets 3-year deal as Dodgers manager

    Don Mattingly will be back as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers next season with a new three-year contract that takes him through 2016.The Dodgers announced the deal on Wednesday.

    Chicago Cubs pitcher Greg Maddux, shown here en route to his 300th career win, earned a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Wednesday along with Braves pitcher Tom Glavine and White Sox hitter Frank Thomas.

    Low-key Maddux earns baseball’s highest honor

    Greg Maddux was his usual low-key self Wednesday upon being elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame along with White Sox slugger Frank Thomas and pitcher Tom Glavine. Maddux served two stints with the Cubs and said Chicago still holds a special place in his heart.

    Asian carp are shown here jumping after being jolted by an electric current from a research boat on the Illinois River near Havana during a study on the fish’s population. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released a report on Monday about options for keeping Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes.

    Solution to invasive species a long time coming

    Finally, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has proposed what concerned citizens have advocated for a long time now: We need more than an electric barrier to prevent invasive species from entering the Great Lakes via the Mississippi River drainage.


    Mike North video: Hawks are the best organization in Chicago
    Mike North reminds us how far the Blackhawks have come from Sports Illustrated's picks less than 10 years ago as the worst run franchise in sports to one of the best on every level.


    Ravenheart Coffee closed its doors late in 2013 on East Chicago Street in downtown Elgin.

    Gambling cafe eyes former Elgin coffee shop
    A business likening itself to a Starbucks that serves alcohol in its beverages is investigating whether it should move into the space formerly occupied by Ravenheart Coffee in downtown Elgin. Representatives from Crown Pointe Amusement, doing business as Java Jills, will meet with the city’s liquor control commission Wednesday to discuss a liquor license in connection with opening a combined cafe and video gambling establishment, Mayor Dave Kaptain said.

    The Rivers Casino has so far avoided revenue declines seen at other suburban gambling palaces.

    Rivers Casino continues growth in second year

    In its second full year, Rivers Casino in Des Plaines has so far managed to avoid the declining revenues that have burdened other Illinois gambling palaces, an Illinois Gaming Board report released today shows. Meanwhile, the Grand Victoria in Elgin and Hollywood Casino in Aurora continue to see the amount of money gamblers spend plummet.

    Macy’s, with anchor positions at shopping centers including Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg, plans to cut 2,500 jobs.

    Macy’s cutting 2,500 jobs in reorganization

    Macy's said Wednesday it's closing five stores and laying off about 2,500 workers nationwide. No stores in Illinois are closing. A company spokeswoman declined to say how many Chicago and suburban workers may be let go.

    Kodak CEO Antonio Perez, right center, rings the opening bell of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday. The stock market stumbled Wednesday as investors waited for the government’s jobs report later this week and the beginning of quarterly earnings releases from corporate America.

    Stocks slip as a sluggish start to 2014 drags on

    The stock market stumbled Wednesday as investors waited for the government’s jobs report later this week and the beginning of quarterly earnings releases from corporate America.

    Ziegler's Ace Hardware in Carol Stream is closing after 25 years in the same location. Owner Dave Ziegler said he and his landlord couldn't agree on a lease extension.

    Carol Stream Ace Hardware closing after 25 years

    Ziegler's Ace Hardware in Carol Stream is shutting its doors after operating for 25 years in a strip mall near County Farm and Army Trail roads. Owner Dave Ziegler, whose family has been in the hardware business for more than 80 years, said he and his landlord couldn't come to an agreement on extending his lease that expires in March.

    DAILY HERALD/Bob Chwedyk The latest sales data from the holiday season shows that U.S. shoppers increasingly prefer to research clothes, TVs and shoes online, or “virtual window shop,” before heading to stores.

    Holiday sales up, but fewer people in stores

    Window shopping is taking on a new meaning for many Americans. The latest sales data from the holiday season shows that U.S. shoppers increasingly prefer to research clothes, TVs and shoes online, or “virtual window shop,” before heading to stores.


    Highland Park Hospital proposes $74 million upgrade

    Highland Park Hospital is planning a $74 million upgrade over the next three years. The Lake County News-Sun reports that Highland Park Hospital's modernization will begin later this year with interior remodeling. New construction adding 45,000 square feet would begin in the summer of 2015, pending approval by state regulators.

    Specialist Michael Shearin, foreground center, works at his post on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Wednesday.

    Stocks open lower on Wall Street ahead of Fed news

    Stocks are mostly lower in early trading as investors hold back ahead of the release of the latest news from the Federal Reserve. The Dow Jones industrial average fell 88 points, or 0.6 percent, at 16,435 in early trading Wednesday. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index was down five points, or 0.3 percent, at 1,831. The Nasdaq composite fell eight points, 0.2 percent, to 4,154.

    Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., left, and Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, right, arrive at the Senate on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday for a procedural vote on legislation to renew jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed. The vote was 60-37 to limit debate on the legislation, with a half-dozen Republicans siding with the Democrats on the test vote.

    Benefits debate is first volley of election year

    The struggle in Washington over whether to renew expired jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed is as much about providing aid to 1.3 million out-of-work Americans as it is about drawing the first political line of an election year. Tuesday's unexpected vote in the Senate removing one obstacle to a three-month extension of aid attracted the support of six Republicans, illustrating the real-life and political pressures on some GOP lawmakers, including those from states with unemployment above the national average.


    Eurozone economy shows glimmers of hope

    Glimmers of hope emerged Wednesday for the eurozone economy to suggest that the coming year will see the recovery gathering steam. Official figures showed a stabilization in unemployment and the biggest increase in monthly retail sales in 12 years.


    Legislation would nix pay for non-work accidents

    Lawmakers will consider legislation this spring that aims to clarify who is responsible for injuries sustained in a traffic accident on the way to work. Lee Enterprises Newspapers in Illinois reported Tuesday that Sen. Kyle McCarter, a Lebanon Republican, has introduced a measure that exempts an employer from paying for injuries if the worker is not traveling specifically for work purposes.


    Gadget Watch: Nabu smart wristband from game maker

    Razer Inc., whose gaming tablet won last year’s “Best of Show” award at the International CES gadget show, has unveiled a wristband that combines the functionality of a fitness tracker and a smartwatch. As a fitness tracker, the Nabu wristband tells you about your sleep patterns and the number of steps taken and the stairs climbed.


    TV-on-Internet service Aereo gets $34M in funding

    Aereo, a Barry Diller-backed startup that provides broadcast television channels over the Internet for a monthly fee, said Tuesday that it has secured $34 million in additional funding from outside investors. The money will help Aereo expand beyond the 10 metropolitan areas it currently serves. It will also allow Aereo to develop apps for additional devices, such as Internet-connected TVs and game consoles, while battling copyright-infringement lawsuits filed by broadcasters.

Life & Entertainment

    Nintendo's popular “Wii Fit” program, in which players use a balance board to weigh themselves, do yoga and play exercise games, comes to the Wii U console this week.

    Getting fit with a Wii U

    Nintendo's popular fitness program launches Friday on its Wii U console.“Wii Fit U” gives players more than 70 activities to try. With the use of the Wii Fit balance board peripheral, you can dance along to hip-hop and Flamenco routines, do a little virtual luging or scuba diving, and, gulp, weigh yourself to keep track of your progress.

    Sandra Bullock won Favorite Movie Actress, Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress and Favorite Comedic Movie Actress Wednesday night at the 40th annual People’s Choice Awards in Los Angeles.

    Sandra Bullock sweeps People’s Choice Awards

    Sandra Bullock reigned supreme at the 40th annual People’s Choice Awards, taking home four trophies as the evening’s top winner. The actress was named favorite movie actress, comedic actress, dramatic actress and shared the favorite movie duo award with “Gravity” co-star George Clooney. Bullock’s buddy comedy, “The Heat,” co-starring Melissa McCarthy, was awarded favorite comedic movie. Fans deemed Ellen DeGeneres their favorite daytime TV host, making her the woman who has gained the most People’s Choice Awards with a total of 14 trophies.

    Grating or shredding veggies, like beets, from top, parsnips and carrots, is a speedy way to work more vegetables into your diet.

    An easier, speedier way to eat more vegetables

    It’s the same thing every year. We overindulge during the holidays, then make solemn (and quickly abandoned) promises to eat healthier and shed pounds in the new year. So here’s a sane and simple resolution that will help you achieve both goals in a single stroke — eat more vegetables.

    Associated Press Sandra Bullock won Favorite Movie Actress, Favorite Dramatic Movie Actress and Favorite Comedic Movie Actress Wednesday at the 40th annual People's Choice Awards iin Los Angeles.

    Images: People's Choice Awards
    Images from Wednesday night's People's Choice Awards show.


    A guide to the gestures that help restaurants serve you better

    Be flattered if you catch the general manager of BLT Steak in Washington flashing a quick, sideways peace sign as he seats your party. Adam Sanders isn’t revealing his politics; he’s simply making a “V” — and alerting his staff to the presence of a VIP.

    Jason Aldean will perform at the first iHeartRadio Country Festival, which will be held March 29 in Austin, Texas

    Clear Channel launches country festival in Austin

    Clear Channel Media and Entertainment got such an overwhelming response to country music performers during the iHeartRadio Music Festivals, they’ve decided to start one geared toward country fans. The first iHeartRadio Country Festival will be held March 29 in Austin, Texas, with Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Lady Antebellum and Florida Georgia Line heading up the initial lineup.

    Harry Anderson (star of "Night Court") brings his magic and stand-up routine to Zanies this weekend.

    Weekend picks: Harry Anderson supplies magic, laughs

    Harry Anderson, comedian and star of "Night Court," brings his stand-up and magic to Zanies in Rosemont Friday and Saturday. Country superstar and "American Idol" judge Keith Urban heads to the United Center with the Light the Fuse Tour Friday. Rosemont hosts the Travel and Adventure Show, highlighting trends and hot spots for global travelers.

    Actress Lily Tomlin poses for a portrait at the Four Seasons Hotel, in Los Angeles. Tomlin’s publicist Jennifer Allen told People Magazine and other media outlets Tuesday that the 74-year-old actress and comedian married 78-year-old Jane Wagner in a private New Year’s Eve ceremony in Los Angeles.

    Lily Tomlin ties knot with partner of 42 years

    After more than four decades together, Lily Tomlin’s longtime partner and collaborator is now her wife. Tomlin’s publicist Jennifer Allen told People Magazine and other media outlets Tuesday that the 74-year-old actress and comedian married 78-year-old Jane Wagner in a private New Year’s Eve ceremony in Los Angeles.

    Singer Chris Brown, left, appears in court in December 2013 with his attorney Mark Geragos, in Los Angeles. Brown is expected to return to court for a status hearing in a case in which he’s accused of hitting a man outside a Washington, D.C., hotel. The R&B singer was arrested in October after a man said the singer hit him outside the W Hotel. Brown and his bodyguard each face a misdemeanor assault charge.

    Chris Brown scheduled to appear in DC courtroom

    Singer Chris Brown is expected to return to court for a status hearing in a case in which he’s accused of hitting a man outside a Washington, D.C., hotel.

    The McKinley family of the past and present join together to remember and celebrate the life of Finn Hudson, paying tribute also to the late actor Cory Monteith who played him, in “The Quarterback” episode of “Glee,” which aired Oct. 10. “Glee” hit the right note as it leads with eight nominations for the People’s Choice Awards.

    Bullock, ‘Glee’ poised for People’s Choice Awards

    The most popular stars in television, music and film — including the cast of “Glee,” Katy Perry and Sandra Bullock are up for honors at Wednesday night’s People’s Choice Awards. Broadcasting live at 8 p.m. on CBS from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles, People’s Choice is one of the first award shows of the season and one of the few decided by the fans themselves. “Glee” leads with eight nominations, while Perry and Bullock top with five nods each.

    British actors Helen McCrory and Luke Evans announced Wednesday that “Gravity,” “12 Years a Slave,” “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips” and “Philomena” are best picture nominees for the British Academy Film Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars.

    ‘Gravity’, ‘12 Years a Slave’ lead U.K. film awards

    The space thriller “Gravity,” the unflinching slavery saga “12 Years a Slave” and the crime caper “American Hustle” gained awards-season momentum Wednesday with stacks of nominations for the British Academy Film Awards, Britain’s equivalent of the Oscars. “Gravity” received nominations in 11 categories, including best picture and lead actress, for Sandra Bullock. “12 Years” had 10 nominations, including nods for star Chiwetel Ejiofor, supporting performers Lupita Nyong’o and Michael Fassbender and director Steve McQueen.

    A food processor makes quick work of a trio of sides: shredded beets with balsamic, from left, shredded parsnips with walnuts and shredded spicy carrots.

    Shredded Beets with Balsamic
    Shredded Parsnips with Walnuts

    Grating or shredding veggies, like beets, from top, parsnips and carrots, is a speedy way to work more vegetables into your diet.

    Shredded Parsnips with Walnuts
    Shredded Beets with Balsamic

    A food processor makes quick work of a trio of sides: shredded beets with balsamic, from left, shredded parsnips with walnuts and shredded spicy carrots.

    Shredded Spicy Carrots
    Shredded Spicy Carrots

    Dilled Chicken Soup Stew is one of my family's favorites.

    Herbs enrich not-from-scratch chicken soup

    No time for full-blown, from-scratch chicken soup? Here's one that uses store-bought broth and is enriched with dill, barley and aromatic vegetables.

    @$ID/[No paragraph style]:The Washington Post Dill Chicken Soup Stew

    Dill Chicken Soup Stew
    Dill Chicken Soup Stew

    A piece titled “He Xie” featuring 3,200 porcelain crabs by the Chinese artist Ai Weiwei is on display at the new Perez Art Museum Miami in Miami.

    Boats, pearls, crabs: New museum channels Miami

    Model yachts, rustic fishing boats and wooden rafts dangle above visitors as they step into the new Perez Art Museum Miami. The colorful display is both a playful nod to South Florida's maritime culture and a somber reference to the perilous journeys many make to get here. It is the perfect entry to a museum that channels the city around it: whimsical, vibrant, brimming with culture from across the Americas — and yes, a work in progress. The museum, which opened in December, still lacks a permanent blockbuster, but its retrospective of Chinese master and political dissident Ai Weiwei, on display through mid-March, should temporarily satisfy.

    “Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids” packs the best for kids into one handy tome.

    Ring in 2014 with best recent crafting books

    As a longtime knitter, my New Year’s resolution is to learn how to crochet. Storey Publishing has obliged with the fifth in its One-Skein Wonders series, an enticing grab bag of a book called “Crochet One-Skein Wonders,” edited by Judith Durant. The idea is clever: Provide an eclectic mix of projects, including purses, toys, hats and shrugs, that require only one skein (or ball) of yarn, proving there’s more to crochet than you can shake a hook at.

    Not a fan of pork? Substitute beef, veal or turkey in this easy bolognese.

    Easy pork Bolognese for nights when jars won’t do

    There is a time and place for jarred pasta sauces. Wednesday nights, for example. Those nights when one kid needs to be at karate, another at band practice, and the spouse has a late meeting. For all other nights — nights when you can spare 30 minutes to whip together something better — leave the jar in the cabinet. Because the difference between a jarred sauce and a homemade Bolognese will make you wish you could carve out those 30 minutes more often.

    Five-Spice Pork Bolognese is mostly effortless. You can make it even more so by using the food processor to chop your vegetables.

    Five-Spice Pork Bolognese Pasta
    Five-Spice Pork Bolognese

    Ice forms on a cliff face along the Indian Ladder trail at John Boyd Thacher State Park in Guilderland, N.Y. The park, which sprawls along a cliff southwest of Albany, plans to let the rock climbers and spelunkers come, the latest outdoor adventures in a park system that already hosts everything from 100K runs to windsurfing in the Atlantic.

    N.Y. state parks are appealing to adventure sports

    Casey Holzworth wedged himself sideways into the narrow stone crevice that angled down from a parking lot, the limestone walls gradually widening slightly and rising higher as the state biologist inched and climbed about 60 feet to reach a narrow hiking trail, the kind of place more people may be allowed to go as New York moves to exploit growing interest in adventure sports. Under Thacher State Park’s new master plan that envisions more outdoor adventuring, the park may allow hikers to descend Helmes Crevice, spelunkers to explore the deep confines of Hailes Cave and climbers to scale some of the cliffs 15 miles southwest of Albany.

    On “Unvarnished,” Joan Jett turned her ire on two targets: reality TV and social media.

    Take note: Seek out these overlooked albums from 2013

    Before music fans get too far into the new year, they should take a look back at some of 2013’s overlooked albums, from rocker Joan Jett to rapper E-40 and the Craig Taborn Trio.

    Russian-American novelist Gary Shteyngart offers a funny, honest memoir of an immigrant success story in “Little Failure.”

    Coming to America: Shteyngart writes first memoir

    At age 41, Gary Shteyngart seems awfully young to be writing a memoir. But readers of “Little Failure” soon discover that he’s been precocious all his life. The book is Shteyngart’s funny, often moving, chronicle of his family’s journey from St. Petersburg, Russia, then known as Leningrad, to the U.S. in 1979. It’s also a brutally honest record of his personal transformation from fearful, sickly child to angry, self-destructive youth to professional success and mensch.

    The blackened salmon comes on a bed of cheddar grits.

    Dining events: LongHorn packs the new year with flavor

    LongHorn Steakhouse scratches your comfort-food itch; Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen introduces new menu items; Bulldog Ale House offers daily specials in Roselle and Carol Stream.



    Editorial: 50-year war against smoking still worth fighting

    A Daily Herald editorial says much has been accomplished but much remains to be done 50 years after the first U.S. Surgeon General report definitively linking smoking to wiedspread illness and death.


    A yellow light for government

    Columnist Michael Gerson: The appeal of conservatism as a governing vision now depends on the transformation of this nascent effort into a movement that is strong enough to redefine a party.


    Make a deal with Snowden

    Columnist Richard Cohen: Is Edward Snowden a traitor? The question has vexed me ever since he leaked some of America’s most valued secrets to various news organizations, including The Washington Post. It soon became obvious, though, that he was giving Americans information that maybe we should have had all along and he was getting nothing in exchange — no baubles, no dames and, much less cinematically, no Eurobonds. If this is the case, then as a traitor Snowden is something of a flop.


    Understand how public pensions benefit all
    A letter to the editor: We have an urgent need to 1) dispel the misconception that defined benefit pensions are unsustainable and 2) strengthen public understanding of their public interest reliability advantages compared to defined contribution plans.


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