Daily Archive : Thursday January 9, 2014



    Health fair on tap Jan. 25

    ChildServ, a Chicago-area agency helping at-risk children and families, will host a free health fair on Saturday, Jan. 25, in Waukegan.


    West Chicago students celebrated season of giving

    The spirit of the holiday season is giving and the students and staff at Community High School District 94 in West Chicago understand the value of giving back to the community that supports them, Superintendent Doug Domeracki says. "While charitable activities occurred during the holiday season, the culture of giving at Community High School extends throughout the year."


    Judge: Bianchi prosecutor’s actions ‘repugnant’ but not contempt

    An attorney hired as a special prosecutor to investigate McHenry County State's Attorney Louis Bianchi was found not guilty of contempt of court charges Friday. But the judge issued a scathing ruling, saying Thomas McQueen abused his power but there was not enough evidence beyond a reasonable doubt that he individually and willfully withheld information that could be have been beneficial to...

    Patrick Oberle, a junior at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville, works the camera Thursday as actress Cameron Diaz is interviewed by students in a media production class before speaking about her new book “The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body.”

    Diaz book tour means celebrity interview for students

    Four student journalists at Neuqua Valley High School in Naperville got some practice interviewing a celebrity Thursday as actress Cameron Diaz stopped by to present her new book, “The Body Book: The Law of Hunger, the Science of Strength and Other Ways to Love Your Amazing Body.”

    Barrington police and the Cook County Major Case Assistance Team are investigating the death of an 7-month-old child Wednesday at a home on the 100 block of South Hager Avenue in Barrington.

    DCFS investigating parents of deceased infant

    The Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of neglect against the parents of a 7-month-old Barrington girl who authorities found dead Wednesday. The results of the girl’s Thursday autopsy are still under investigation pending further toxicology and medical testing, police said.

    Jose Camacho

    Former Hanover Park man sentenced for 2001 murder

    Jose Camacho, convicted in November of first-degree murder in the 2001 death of 28-year-old Flavio Venancio, of Hanover Park, was sentenced to 32 years in prison Thursday. Assistant State's Attorney Mike Clarke argued for a substantial sentence citing the brutality of the murder and referencing the amount of water and mud the victim swallowed and a broken pen lodged inside his nasal cavity.


    Thousands lose power in Northwest suburbs

    Some 8,200 ComEd customers throughout the Northwest suburbs lost power for almost two hours Thursday due to a problem at a substation in Palatine.


    Illinois trying to limit spread of deer disease

    Illinois wildlife officials want to persuade landowners in some northern Illinois counties to let them shoot deer to control the spread of chronic wasting disease.

    Bruce Rauner

    Rauner flips stance on minimum wage

    The rising issue of a minimum wage hike tripped up Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on Thursday, as he declared his previous support for cutting Illinois’ minimum wage a “mistake” and said he would now do the opposite: support raising it.


    Person stabbed at Carol Stream apartment

    A person was stabbed Thursday night at an apartment complex in Carol Stream, authorities said. Police were called to the apartment building at 130 Klein Creek Court about 6:40 p.m.

    Steve Bosshard, center, distributes a specially prepared box of food at a food bank distribution Wednesday in Petaluma, Calif., as part of a research project with Feeding America to try to improve the health of diabetics in food-insecure families.

    Doctors say cutting food stamps could backfire

    Doctors are warning that if Congress cuts food stamps, the federal government could be socked with bigger health bills. Maybe not immediately, they say, but over time if the poor wind up in doctors’ offices or hospitals as a result. Among the health risks of hunger are spiked rates of diabetes and developmental problems for young children down the road.


    Clip: Rauner ‘adamantly’ against minimum wage hike

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner is again explaining his reversal on raising the minimum wage after video footage surfaced of him saying he’s “adamantly, adamantly” opposed.


    Prosecutor says office is challenged by lack of money

    The new U.S. attorney for northern Illinois said Thursday that congressional budget constraints and a corresponding hiring freeze could one day force his office to choose to scale back some prosecutions. Zachary Fardon made the comments to reporters after announcing his Chicago office had collected more than $78 million via criminal and civil prosecutions last year.

    Batavia Cares is seeking bakers willing to send a batch of cookies every month to troops stationed overseas, including those in Afghanistan.

    Bakers sought to send cookies to troops overseas

    Love baking cookies, but don't want sweets in the house? Batavia Cares is asking for donations of home-baked goodies to send to troops in Afghanistan. "They thoroughly enjoy them," said spokesman Ralph Gebes.

    Adam J. Moyers

    Former carnival worker sentenced to 12 years for abusing toddler

    Calling Adam J. Moyers “a parent’s worst nightmare,” a Cook County judge Thursday sentenced the 20-year-old former carnival worker to 12 years in prison for molesting a 3-year-old during Schaumburg’s 2012 Septemberfest celebration. Cook County Judge Thomas Fecarotta handed down the sentence in exchange for Moyers’ guilty plea to predatory criminal sexual assault.

    President Barack Obama is expected to rein in spying on foreign leaders and is considering restricting National Security Agency access to Americans’ phone records, according to people familiar with a White House review of the government’s surveillance programs.

    Obama ponders limiting NSA access to phone records

    President Barack Obama is still grappling with key decisions on the future of the National Security Agency’s phone collection program and the makeup of the secret court that approved the surveillance, lawmakers said Thursday following a 90-minute meeting at the White House.

    Outgoing Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce Chairman Michael Davey, right, has a laugh while passing the gravel to incoming Chairman Richard Sassan during the chamber’s Dynamic Year luncheon at Victoria in the Park Banquet Hall Thursday.

    Mt. Prospect chamber celebrates successful year

    Dozens of business and civic leaders attended Thursday's Dynamic Year Luncheon, an annual event hosted by the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce. Local officials celebrated a successful 2013 and looked ahead with optimism at the year to come. “I’m buoyed by optimism,” Mayor Arlene Juracek said.


    Rolling Meadows man gets 10 years for cocaine sale

    A Rolling Meadows man pleaded guilty Thursday to selling 399 grams of cocaine to an undercover Cook County Sheriff's Police officer in a Rolling Meadows parking lot in August 2012. In exchange for his guilty plea to the delivery of a controlled substance, Inez Lopez Mendoza, 46, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

    In a standoff over extending jobless benefits, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on Thursday accused Republicans of “continually denigrating our economy, our president and frankly, I believe, our country.”

    Jobless benefits extension bill stalls in Senate

    Legislation to resurrect long-term jobless legislation stalled in the Senate on Thursday, triggering recriminations from both sides of the political aisle despite earlier expressions of optimism that benefits might soon be restored for more than 1 million victims of the recession.


    Fire starts after propane torch used to thaw pipes

    Authorities say a fire Wednesday night at a Bartlett apartment building was the result of maintenance crews using a propane torch earlier in the day to thaw frozen pipes in the lobby.

    The Seaton Computing Center at the College of DuPage in Glen Ellyn.

    Suburban buildings among those honored for best design

    The Hanover Park Police Department, Schaumburg Township Library District and the College of DuPage were among the honorees when the American Institute of Architects Northeast Illinois Chapter handed out its 2013 Excellence in Design and Merit in Design awards. In all, 10 projects out of 59 entries submitted from across the region received awards.

    Jennifer Johnsen

    First Campton Hills administator eager to give back

    Campton Hills village leaders have hired the village's first administrator. Jennifer Johnsen, a Batavia resident and current administrator in Berkeley, will start later this month. Her contract runs through August 2015 and she has a salary of $89,000 for the full-time job. "I think she'll just make a great fit," said Village President Patsy Smith.

    Tory R. Taylor

    Massage parlor employee charged with assault of minor

    A Roselle man is facing criminal sexual assault charges in connection with an alleged attack on a minor at a Barrington massage parlor, police said. Tory R. Taylor, 35, was arrested and charged with one count of criminal sexual assault on Jan. 4, Barrington police announced Thursday.

    Jose Garcia

    Judge to allow confession video in murder case

    The defense for a Mundelein man accused of murdering a Zion teen over the way he wore his hat was dealt a trio of defeats in Lake County court Thursday. Judge Daniel Shanes denied two motions and portions of a third filed on behalf of Jose Garcia, 19, of Mundelein, that claimed police lied and threatened the known gang member to force him to confess to the March 10 murder of Gabriel Gonzalez, 19,...

    Batavia is seeking federal money to help study the needs of the Fox River, particularly its banks, as it flows through the downtown.

    Batavia seeks money for study of riverside

    Batavia is asking Kane County for federal money to study the shoreline of the Fox River, where it runs through the downtown. "It's (the riverside) not visibly crying for help, but it is going to become an issue someday," city administrator Bill McGrath said.


    MHS board meets Saturday:

    The Mundelein High School board will hold a rare weekend meeting on Saturday to select a new superintendent.


    Early farming lecture in Grayslake:

    Grayslake Heritage Center and Museum will host a lecture by author and historian Nancy Schumm about pioneer farming on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7:30 p.m.


    Storyteller at Stevenson Center:

    Storyteller Susan O’Halloran, who has been seen on PBS and other national programs and publications, presents “Story Power: Breaking through Compassion Fatigue” at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12 at the Stevenson Center on Democracy, 25200 N. St. Mary’s Road, Mettawa.


    Grayslake library concert:

    Grayslake Area Public Library will host Jutta & the Hi-Dukes from 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 12.

    Buffalo Grove’s Megan Bozek (9), shown celebrating a goal last year against Finland in the Four Nations Cup women’s hockey tournament, was honored by her hometown this week following the announcement that she’d earned a spot on the U.S. team that will compete in next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Buffalo Grove honors hometown Olympian Megan Bozek

    Buffalo Grove trustees this week recognized the accomplishments of Megan Bozek, the Stevenson High School graduate who on New Year’s Day was named to the 2014 Women’s Olympic Hockey team that will compete in next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Bozek is a Buffalo Grove native and former Daily Herald Standout who played her college hockey at the University of Minnesota.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A man was scammed out of $5,000 Jan. 3 in Hoffman Estates after he received a phone call from a man claiming to be from the IRS. He told the resident he owed the money and he would be arrested if he didn’t send it by purchasing Green Dot money cards and call him with the card numbers. The victim did as he was told.

    Des Plaines Police Officer Matt Cerasa is presented with a Life Saving Award by Chief William Kushner, as Mayor Matthew Bogusz looks on, at Monday’s city council meeting.

    Des Plaines officer honored for saving man’s life

    A Des Plaines police officer is being recognized for his quick thinking and lifesaving skills for reviving an unresponsive man on the Des Plaines River bridge. Officer Matt Cerasa was honored with a Life Saving Award at last Monday’s Des Plaines city council meeting for his actions on Oct. 23, when he responded to a call of a man down on the bridge at Rand Road.

    The Elgin liquor control commission Wednesday turned down a proposal by Java Jills to set up shop in the space formerly occupied by Ravenheart Coffee at 176 E. Chicago St.

    Elgin turns down cafe offering alcohol, video gambling

    A cafe featuring alcohol and video gambling will not be coming to downtown Elgin, but the company hopes to set up shop elsewhere in the Northwest suburbs later this year. Members of the Elgin liquor control commission Wednesday unanimously turned down a preliminary proposal by Java Jills, which sought a liquor license from the city for the space at 176 E. Chicago St., in the space formerly...

    Jose Reyes

    Trial in Mundelein abduction case delayed

    The trial of a Chicago man accused of kidnapping and molesting a 3-year-old Mundelein girl has been postponed until March. Jose Reyes, 28, of the 4900 block of West North Avenue, also asked to have items confiscated by police returned to a family member.

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District expects to buy two parcels near Lake Villa that would connect the Bluebird Meadow Forest Preserve and provide a key future trail connection.

    Lake County forest preserve district considers property purchases in Lake Villa, Newport townships

    The Lake County Forest Preserve District is primed to spend more than $3.1 million on its first significant land purchase in more than a year. The properties in Lake Villa and Newport townships would expand existing preserves and provide key trail connections.


    Anti-abortion march planned for Jan. 18 in Palatine

    The 2nd annual NorthWest Families March for Life will begin 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 18, at St. Teresa Catholic Church, 455 N. Benton St., Palatine. Last year’s march drew 500 people, said organizer Maria Goldstein, a co-founder of NWFL. The theme for this year’s march is “Every Life Matters,” she said. It occurs in January near the anniversary date of the Roe v. Wade court decision which legalized...

    Joshua Scheun

    Joliet man gets three years for abusing Villa Park teen

    A Joliet man was sentenced Thursday to three years in prison and required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life for having inappropriate sexual contact with a 13-year-old Villa Park girl. Joshua Scheun, 36, of the 4300 block of Timber Ridge Court, reportedly met the girl on a social networking site on March 18, 2013, and then went to Villa Park to meet her in person on March 22.


    Fox Valley police reports
    An estimated $300 damage was caused after someone shot a pellet through a window of a hone on the 37W100 block of Almora Terrace near Elgin between 4 and 6 p.m. Dec. 31, according to a sheriff’s report.

    Rod Vondracek, 80, was reported missing from his Streamwood home on Wednesday morning.

    Streamwood police looking for missing elderly man

    The Streamwood Police Department is asking for the public's help in locating an elderly resident, Rod J. Vondracek who was reported missing on Wednesday morning.

    Susan Verhaar

    Hanover Park woman gets 30 days for Bloomingdale gas station theft

    Susan Verhaar once bragged to co-workers about a new diamond bracelet and necklace. Thursday she was led off to jail wearing less fancy cuffs. Verhaar, 41, of Hanover Park, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than $52,000 by skimming from bank deposits during her three years managing a Bloomingdale gas station.

    Grayslake village officials advise using bottled drinking water while a boil order remains in effect through at least a part of Friday.

    Grayslake boil order rolls into Friday due to water pressure drop

    Grayslake's boil order for drinking water will continue through at least part of Friday, the result of a pressure loss in the village's system.

    Rose Augustine, wildlife specialist at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn, releases a black-crowned night heron. Staff members returned several birds to their enclosures Thursday after bringing them inside to protect them from this week’s bitterly cold temperatures.

    Willowbrook birds return home as cold finally eases

    Several birds living at Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn returned to their enclosures Thursday after being kept inside for much of the week as temperatures plunged to dangerous levels. Staff members and volunteers at all three education centers operated by the DuPage County Forest Preserve District had taken extra steps this week to protect “resident animals” from the bitter cold and...

    Allan Umscheid, owner of Yards By Al, feels the bitter wind and catches drifting snow on his face as he runs a snowblower in Lawrence, Kan.

    Scientists: Americans are becoming weather wimps

    We’ve become weather wimps. As the world warms, the United States is getting fewer bitter cold spells like the one that gripped much of the nation this week. So when a deep freeze strikes, scientists say, it seems more unprecedented than it really is.


    FEMA denies aid after tornadoes

    Gov. Pat Quinn said Thursday that Illinois would appeal the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s denial of the state’s request for $6.1 million in aid to local governments after deadly tornadoes in November.

    A so-called “Ghost Bike” has been placed along Diehl Road near Freedom Drive in honor of a 56-year-old Naperville woman who was struck and killed in September while riding her bicycle in that area.

    Aurora driver charged in crash that killed Naperville bicyclist

    The driver who struck and killed a Naperville bicyclist in September has been charged with aggravated driving under the influence of a controlled substance, police said Thursday. Joshua R. Spuhler, 36, of Aurora, turned himself in to Naperville police Tuesday.

    Carmel High School President Judith Mucheck, left, talks with the Rev. Carl Markelz during the dedication ceremony for the Fine and Performing Arts Center and Information Commons at the school in Mundelein. Mucheck resigned as president effective Jan. 3, the school announced Thursday.

    Mucheck resigns as Carmel president

    Judith Mucheck has resigned as president of Carmel Catholic High School in Mundelein effective Jan. 3, the school announced Thursday. No reason was given for the action by Mucheck, who served in that position for more than seven years.

    Chris McBrien of Lisle, known as “The Magic Storyteller,” teaches students about respect with his puppet, Lucky, during his “Team Bully Free” program Thursday at Washington Elementary School in Elgin. McBrien challenged Lucky to make the kids laugh without disrespecting him, so he wore McBrien’s hat, which had the kids roaring with laughter.

    Storyteller, puppets bring anti-bullying program to Washington Elementary

    Chris McBrien, known as “The Magic Storyteller,” brought his “Team Bully Free” program to Washington Elementary School in Elgin. McBrien, of Lisle, helps students identify each of the four basic kinds of bullying, including what they look like and how certain behaviors become bullying over time.


    Iroquois School in Des Plaines reopens Friday

    School will be back in session Friday for students of Iroquois Community School in Des Plaines, which canceled classes unexpectedly Wednesday and Thursday after a sprinkler system pipe burst half-hour into the school day Wednesday.


    Burglars hit Arlington Hts. auto parts business

    Burglars broke into a vehicle parts business in Arlington Heights overnight Thursday and stole thousands of dollars in parts and office equipment, police said. According to police, the break-in occurred sometime between 11 p.m. Wednesday and 9:40 a.m. Thursday at a business in the 2000 block of South Arlington Heights Road.

    Brooklyn Christol, 4, of Kenosha, Wis., makes a snow angel as kids got a chance to explore nature Thursday during the “Healthy-Happy Kids in Nature” program at Greenbelt Forest Preserve in North Chicago.

    Lake County forest district program preaches outdoor fun, nature for children

    Kids got a chance to go outside and have some fun while learning about nature Thursday at Greenbelt Cultural Center in North Chicago. The program, “Healthy-Happy Kids in Nature,” preaches getting children outside to play in nature.

    Wheeling firefighters responded to a potentially “catastrophic” situation Thursday morning when a fire broke out near six large propane storage tanks at a village industrial park. Because of the risk of explosion, authorities evacuated a nearby elementary school and six businesses.

    “Catastrophic” explosion avoided in Wheeling industrial park fire

    Authorities evacuated six nearby businesses Thursday morning after a fire broke out near six large propane storage tanks at a Wheeling industrial park. “If the tanks would have exploded, it would have been very catastrophic,” Wheeling Fire Chief Keith MacIssac said.


    Huntley Library reopens at 3 p.m.

    The Huntley Area Public Library reopened at 3 p.m. Thursday, after closing for two days while workers repaired three busted pipes and fixed other related issues. All programs have been canceled for Thursday, but some will resume on Friday. Services, computer access, and seating will be limited, but the book drops are still available.


    Kane County will hire consultant to verify $1M heating fix

    Early estimates suggest it might cost up to $1 million to fix the heating and cooling problems at the Kane County Judicial Center. Officials will spend more money on top of that for a consultant to determine if that estimate is correct.

    Illinois athletic director Mike Thomas

    U of I considers raise, extension for athletic director

    U of I Trustee James Montgomery said Thursday that Athletic Director Mike Thomas’ base pay could be increased to $554,000 and extended by two years. Thomas was hired in 2011 on a five-year contract with a base salary of $475,000.


    Maywood man gets life sentence for aunt’s beating death

    David Brown, 56, of Maywood beat his elderly aunt to death with a ceramic coffee mug in 2009.

    Dale Mortensen, a Nobel laureate and longtime professor of economics at Northwestern University, died Thursday at the age of 74.

    Nobel Prize-winning economics professor dies

    Nobel laureate and longtime Northwestern University economics professor Dale Mortensen has died. Mortensen shared the Nobel economics prize with two other Americans in 2010 for their work explaining how unemployment can remain high despite a large number of job openings.

    Service was interrupted in 1957 on the Chicago, Aurora and Elgin interurban railway. Do you know why? Take this quiz and find out.

    Test your knowledge of 1950s-60s Elgin

    Test your knowledge of 1950s-60s Elgin and Fox Valley area history with this quiz by Daily Herald columnist and local historian Jerry Turnquist.


    Emanuel wants 6 months to write gun sale law

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel has instructed city attorneys to ask for a six-month delay on firearms sales in Chicago. The mayor’s office says a delay would allow the city to develop a new law to regulate the sale of guns that would be “the strongest in the nation.”


    Humana extends payment deadline

    Another health insurance company has extended its payment deadline for people who signed up for coverage last month. Humana spokeswoman Cathryn Donaldson says customers have until Jan. 31 to make their first monthly payment.

    Claiming he played no part in the incident, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired a top aide who engineered political payback against a town mayor, saying she lied.

    Christie fires aide, apologizes for traffic jams

    Moving quickly to quell a widening political scandal, Gov. Chris Christie fired one of his top aides Thursday and apologized repeatedly for the “abject stupidity” of his staff, insisting he had no idea anyone around him had engineered traffic jams as retribution against a Democratic mayor.

    Dennis Rodman walks along the court at an exhibition basketball game between U.S. and North Korean players at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday.

    Rodman apologizes for comments on jailed American

    Dennis Rodman apologized Thursday for comments he made in North Korea about a detained American missionary, saying he had been drinking and was under pressure as he organized a game with former NBA players.

    Doug Truax

    GOP Senate primary race down to two

    Members of the Illinois State Board of Elections today removed two Republicans running for U.S. Senate from the March primary ballot.The vote to remove Republicans Armen Alvarez of Chicago and William Lee of Rockton was quick and unanimous. Neither had the 5,000 petition signatures needed to run for U.S. Senate in the March 18 primary.

    The Knoch Knolls Nature Center is one of seven major projects under construction in Naperville that will bring new recreation opportunities, hotels, restaurants, shops, and even indoor sky diving and a comprehensive recycling facility to the city.

    Naperville developments to offer shopping, lodging, recycling

    Construction and development will be a major focus this year in Naperville, with more than a half-dozen major projects bringing hotels, stores, restaurants, a nature center, an activity center, a recycling facility and an indoor sky-diving business to the city.

    Paul Magee

    Oak Park man found guilty in Naperville assault

    A DuPage County jury did not believe Paul Magee was merely defending himself last May when he pummeled 27-year-old Kyle Cates and left him laying in a pool of his own blood on a Naperville street. Magee, 27, of Oak Park, was found guilty Wednesday night by a six-person jury and now faces a prison sentence of two to seven years when he is sentenced next month.


    Schaumburg may annex 12-home site

    Schaumburg is considering a request to annex seven acres on the south side of Schaumburg Road across from the Schaumburg Post Office, for a 12-home subdivision to be called Coventry Woods.


    Learn to motivate volunteers at class

    Volunteer Center of McHenry County, 4508 Prime Parkway, McHenry, will offer a Volunteer Management Certificate Workshop, presented by Sophia de Vries and Susan McCoy. It will address how to motivate and supervise volunteers along with other key volunteer management challenges.

    Mark A. McDaniel

    Elgin man faces Class X felony, other charges

    After a two-month undercover investigation, a 22-year-old Elgin man was arrested and now faces drug-related charges. Mark A. McDaniel, of the 1000 block of Todd Farm Drive, was arrested Wednesday night and charged with unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, a Class X felony, and two Class I felony counts of unlawful delivery of a controlled substance, Elgin police said in a news release.


    River Trails D26 awarded state tech loan
    River Trails Elementary District 26 is among 22 schools benefiting from technology loans awarded by the Illinois State Board of Education. The state board has more than $3.5 million to issue as revolving low-interest loans, which allows schools to use technology for classroom instruction and staff development.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A Mount Prospect man was charged with two counts of misdemeanor aggravated assault after an argument over parking in a fire lane in an apartment lot on the 1900 block of West Algonquin Road. The men said they told the man to move his van from the fire lane. The man told police he was waiting for a friend and was angry that the men were shouting at him. He hit a yellow pole with the pipe but did...


    Christmas trees become wood chips in Dundee Township

    Even before the holidays, Larry Braasch can usually tell which type of Christmas tree is popular: artificial or fresh cut. “When the weather in the weeks leading to Christmas is mild and dry, people buy fresh-cut trees,” Braasch said. “When they are cold, snowy, or wet, people put up artificial trees. They don’t want to mess around with the cold.”

    Jesse White

    Glen Ellyn Library getting state grant for flood repairs

    The Glen Ellyn Public Library, in the final stages of flood repair and preventive measures stemming from an April 2013 storm, is getting a funding boost for the project.

    Jahi McMath

    Calif. teen called ‘brain dead’ gets feeding tube

    The family of a 13-year-old California girl who was declared brain dead after suffering complications from sleep apnea surgery has gotten her the feeding and breathing tubes that they had been fighting for. Christopher Dolan, the attorney for the girl’s family, said doctors inserted the gastric tube and tracheostomy tube Wednesday at the undisclosed facility where Jahi McMath was taken Jan. 5.


    Conn. official resigns over Newtown comment

    A school board member in a Connecticut town neighboring the one where 26 people were killed at an elementary school has resigned amid an outcry over his comment that he would observe the Newtown massacre’s anniversary by distributing ammunition.

    Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, right, comes in for a landing during a tandem sky-dive Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, in Tucson, Ariz. Giffords, severely injured three years ago in a mass shooting, marked the anniversary by sky diving for a report and interview for NBC’s “Today” show.

    Giffords doesn’t rule out running for office again

    Former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords — still recovering from a shooting three years ago — said Thursday she might consider a return to political office. The Arizona Democrat kept the door open when asked about such a possibility, saying “well, a little later” and “maybe” during an interview on NBC’s “Today” show. The interview was aired a day after bell-ringing and flag-raising ceremonies were...


    1 missing in Navy copter crash that killed 2

    The search continued Thursday for a sailor who has been missing since a Navy helicopter with five crew members aboard crashed in the ocean off the Virginia coast. Two people died in the Wednesday crash, which happened during a routine training mission, and two others were hospitalized.

    Wu Yongyuan, right, shows medicines his wife Gong Qifeng, left, takes to control her schizophrenia symptoms. When Gong’s mind is clear, she can recall how she begged for mercy as several people pinned her down and drove a syringe of labor-inducing drugs into her stomach when she was seven months pregnant.

    Forced abortion highlights abuses in China policy

    Forced abortions are considered an acceptable way of enforcing China’s population limits, but they are banned when the woman is more than five months pregnant. Yet no one has been held accountable for late-term abortions, and women in these cases struggle to get justice and compensation.


    Russia: 6 men found dead in 4 cars

    A series of unexplained killings in southern Russia involving booby-trapped bombs has further heightened security fears ahead of next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi. Investigators were scrambling Thursday to determine who had killed six men whose bodies were found the day before in four cars abandoned in an area just north of the volatile Caucasus Mountains region, where an Islamic insurgency...


    Dist. 200 expresses interest in offering online courses

    Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 appears to be one step closer to forming a virtual learning consortium with four other local school districts. The board of education expressed interest Wednesday in supporting the start of a second phase of planning for the consortium, which will offer high school students both online-only courses and blended learning courses, which will have online...


    Bombing kills 21 at Iraq army recruiting center

    A suicide bomber blew himself up at a military recruiting center in Baghdad on Thursday, killing at least 21 people in an attack likely meant to send a message to the government and would-be army volunteers over the Iraqi troops’ ongoing push to retake two cities overrun by al-Qaida militants.


    Northwestern adds documentary program

    Northwestern University is adding to its master of fine arts degree with a program in documentary media. The program’s director, Debra Tolchinsky, says in a news release that documentaries were once considered secondary but they’re now a vital part of entertainment, promotion and advocacy.


    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.Assistant Cook County State’s Attorney Jamie Santini says Adan Montano was acting “strange” and was harassing Stephanie Serrano and others attending a birthday party for his roommate.

    Rosemont's outdoor ice skating rink will be transformed into a hockey rink next month, and will play host to 127 games over the course of three weeks.

    Hockey teams to take over Rosemont ice rink in February

    Less than a month from now, hockey players will take over the Rosemont ice rink for the inaugural Winter Frost Face-Off, a 24-day schedule of games featuring local youth, high school, college and semipro teams. “I can't think of a better place to put an outdoor rink than where they've situated this one,” said tournament organizer Kevin Mann.

    Ice stalagmites? No, just icicles removed and planted upside down in the snow at a house in Palatine.

    5 things to watch out for during the thaw

    Snow in your attic? Ice dams in your gutters? Giant, slushy puddles that freeze into treacherous slick patches on driveways and sidewalks? These are all potential problems suburban homeowners could face when the thaw begins Friday. But a few preventive measures could stave off injury and save thousands of dollars in home damage.


    Dawn patrol: Baby’s death under investigation; peacock dies

    Baby’s death under investigation in Barrington. Peacock dies after cold weather exposure. Lake County lawsuit settled. Carpentersville endorses settlement with firefighters. Jury gets Naperville battery case. Moose Lodge gets a warning in Elgin. Blackhawks lose to Rangers.

    Vinay Nayak

    Oak Brook native travels route from shy kid to Rhodes Scholar

    Vinay Nayak once was so shy that his teachers asked — not entirely in jest — for a home video to prove he was a normal, talkative boy as his mother claimed. Now relaxed and confident, the 21-year-old Oak Brook resident never forgot what it feels like not to have much of a voice. “I’ve tried to find a way to express myself and help other people find their voice too, both...

    This bottle of Mongolian Fire Oil has been around longer than the kitchen cabinet where it resides. It would have been tossed a decade ago if not for its sentimental value tied to an old family video.

    Tossing expired chicken soup is good for the soul

    Nothing warms your soul on a cold day like throwing out all the expired food that could have killed you. Going through our shelves is like flipping through an old photo album. Any day when you can combine lifesaving and happy family memories is a good one.


    Elgin approves more affordable housing

    Construction of new affordable housing for seniors is expected to start this summer in Elgin, after the city council gave final approval on Wednesday night. The $25 million project by the Housing Authority of Elgin consists of rehabbing Central Park Tower at 120 S. State St. and building a new six-story building just to the south.

    Suzanne Fahnestock, Kane County director of elections, represented Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham, who appeared via video, as they unveiled a program Wednesday at Batavia High School to comply with a new law allowing 17-year-olds to register to vote.

    Kane County officials encourage 17-year-olds to vote

    Kane County Clerk Jack Cunningham unveiled a new push Wednesday to encourage 17-year-olds to register to vote. A new Illinois law paves the way for some of the youngest voters ever.

    Archdiocese of Chicago officials have ordered the closure of Santa Maria del Popolo School in Mundelein when the academic season ends in June.

    Archdiocese orders closure of Mundelein’s Santa Maria del Popolo School

    Citing financial reasons, Archdiocese of Chicago officials have ordered the closure of Santa Maria del Popolo School in Mundelein when the academic season ends in June. Santa Maria has provided a Catholic education for more than 60 years.


    Iowa guard Devyn Marble, right, steals the ball from Northwestern forward Nathan Taphorn during the second half Thursday's game in Iowa City.

    No. 20 Iowa beats Northwestern 93-67

    Aaron White had 18 points and 10 rebounds, Melsahn Basabe added 16 points with 10 boards and No. 20 Iowa routed Northwestern 93-67 Thursday night.

    Elk Grove Village native Gracie Gold skates to “Piano Concerto” during the women’s short program at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships on Thursday in Boston.

    Gold wins women’s short program at nationals

    Elk Grove Village native Gracie Gold easily skated off with the women’s short program Thursday night at the U.S. Championships with a career-high 72.12 points. Her sensational performance put her more than five points ahead of 15-year-old Polina Edmunds and nearly seven points ahead of a resurgent Mirai Nagasu. Addison native Alexa Scimeca and her partner Christopher Knierim finished the pairs short program in fifth place

    DePaul players celebrate after defeating beating Butler on Thursday in Indianapolis. DePaul won 99-94 in double overtime.

    DePaul survives 2 OTs against Butler

    The Blue Demons came back from an 11-point deficit to force overtime and later pulled away just enough in a 99-94 double-overtime victory over the Butler Bulldogs on Thursday.


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


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


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


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


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


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


    West Aurora holds tight to narrow win over Glenbard North

    West Aurora senior Abryia Zeitz grabbed the rebound of the missed game-tying shot in the final seconds Thursday at Glenbard North. Then she felt somebody else clutching the basketball.

    Grayslake Central guard Kayley Larson pushes Grayslake North guard Maggie Fish on a drive to the basket Thursday at Grayslake North.

    Fish, Grayslake N. bump off Grayslake C.

    Big brother being big brother, a smiling AJ Fish playfully punched his sister in the shoulder before she gave a media interview. “I taught her everything,” AJ joked. No worries. Maggie Fish can take it. She doesn’t mind the physical contact, either. The Grayslake North junior guard took the ball aggressively to the basket all night against visiting Grayslake Central on Thursday, and her willingness to welcome contact has become increasingly part of her game. Her confidence at the varsity level continues to grow, too, as evident again by her performance in the Knights’ 46-41 win over the Rams.

    Lake Zurich’s Abby Pirron shoots for the basket but Elk Grove’s Amber Lindfors takes the ball away from her under the basket Thursday at Elk Grove.

    Brown, Elk Grove stand tall against Lake Zurich

    A month ago, Taylor Brown missed two weeks because of shin splints. Most recently, she missed a game because of illness. But there was no doubt the Elk Grove girls basketball team had a healthy Brown on Thursday night. The 5-foot-5 senior guard scored a career-high 19 points to help lead the Grenadiers to a 49-40 triumph over visiting Lake Zurich in the nonconference contest.


    Glenbard South wins big, stays undefeated in MSC

    It didn’t take long for Glenbard South to show exactly why it remains undefeated in the Metro Suburban Conference.


    Streamwood drops St. Charles East

    Streamwood topped St. Charles East 55-46 on Thursday, dropping the Saints to 8-9.


    Larkin, Elgin notch City Classic wins

    The Elgin City Classic girls basketball tournament got under way Thursday night with Elgin and Larkin each registering wins ahead of their matchup tonight at 5 p.m. at Elgin Academy.

    Xavier’s Semaj Christon shoots past Marquette’s Juan Anderson and Todd Mayo in the second half of Thursday’s game in Cincinnati.

    Xavier downs Marquette for 8th straight win

    Semaj Christon scored a career-high 28 points and hit back-to-back 3s in the closing minutes Thursday night, helping Xavier hold on for an 86-79 victory over Marquette and its eighth win in a row.

    Derrick Walton Jr. (10) and his Michigan teammates celebrate at the end of Thursday’s road game against Nebraska.

    Michigan wins 71-70 over Nebraska on Walton layup

    Derrick Walton Jr. scored the go-ahead layup with 21.8 seconds left and Nebraska missed two inside shots during a scramble before the buzzer, giving Michigan a 71-70 victory on Thursday night.


    Wheaton North shakes rust, Glenbard East

    Wheaton North had no problem shaking off the rust of a 12-day layoff. The Falcons had not seen game action since their own girls basketball holiday tournament on Dec. 28 and were only able to practice once this week due to the weather closings on Monday and Tuesday. Despite the layoff and short week coach Dave Eaton’s squad put everything together during a 56-44 win against Glenbard East on Thursday night, using a 21-4 first quarter to overwhelm the visiting Rams.

    Aurora Central Catholic’s Natalie Droeske (15) and Rosary’s Rachel Choice (3) battle for a loose ball during Thursday’s game at Rosary.

    Unlikely star shoots Rosary past Aurora Central

    Ever since Rosary lost Megan Conlin to an ACL injury in the ninth game of the season, the Royals have been searching for a way to fill their leading scorer and rebounder’s shoes. Enter freshman Danielle Goering. The Batavia resident didn’t find out she was being called up to varsity until Wednesday night. On Thursday night, Goering found herself on the court in the fourth quarter of a heated game with rival Aurora Central Catholic. Goering’s free throw with 3:09 left tied the game at 38, then she made a pair at the line 20 seconds later to break the tie and give the Royals the lead for good. With Rosary milking the clock, Goering assisted Taylor Drozdowski for an easy lay-in with a 1:10 remaining, and she added one more free throw as Rosary pulled away to a 47-40 victory in her varsity debut.


    Joliet Catholic handles Carmel

    Carmel Catholic’s girls basketball team ran into a buzz saw Thursday night. In a first-place showdown in East Suburban Catholic Conference action, host Joliet Catholic Academy remained undefeated by knocking off the Corsairs 64-47.

    Mike Powers

    Powers honored with selection to ITCCOA Hall of Fame

    Mike Powers was simultaneously surprised and clued in to his induction into the Illinois Track and Cross Country Officials Association of Illinois.

    Olivia Stapleton of Naperville North looks to pass during the Lake Park at Naperville North girls basketball game Thursday.

    Sharples, Naperville North deny Lake Park

    By now girls basketball opponents of Naperville North know it’s important to always know where Kayla Sharples is on the floor. Thursday’s DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball contest in Naperville was no different, as the talented junior affected the game on both ends of the floor and also while sitting on the bench. Visiting Lake Park made a nice run in the third quarter to turn a 10-point halftime deficit into a 32-32 tie while Sharples was on the bench with three fouls.But unfortunately for the Lancers (5-11, 1-3), after Sharples returned the Huskies closed out the quarter on an 11-0 run and went on to win 57-48.


    Gillespie, Warren stop Lake Forest

    In Warren’s signature victory of the season, the team’s leading scorer, Eric Gillespie, didn’t score one 1-point basket the entire night in Lake Forest. That still left him with three 3-pointers and 12 free throws, good for 21 points and top scoring honors. Twelve-game winner Lake Forest opened a quick 12-4 lead in this key NSC Lake Division matchup. And then Warren went on a 12-0 run. It was still anyone’s game heading to the fourth quarter when Gillespie, all 5-foot-9 of him, took over the game. He scored 14 of his points in the decisive period as Warren stunned the winner of the York Tournament 55-43.

    Huntley’s Nick Meyer, top, and Jacobs’ David Dudych battle it out at 115 pounds Thursday in Huntley.

    Huntley battles past Jacobs

    It was a back and forth kind of night between the wrestling teams from Huntley and Jacobs. Several individual bouts featured dramatic endings and the team score came down to the penultimate match before the Red Raiders prevailed, 33-27, in Fox Valley Conference Valley action in Huntley Thursday.

    Joe Borcia of Libertyville is developing into an very impressive player as one of the better big men in the North Suburban Conference. Sports became a refuge of sorts for Borcia as he coped with the tragic loss of his younger brother Tony, who was killed in a boating accident in the Chain of Lakes two summers ago.

    In his battle with grief, Borcia’s coming up big

    Basketball has been a refuge of sorts for Libertyville standout Joe Borcia, whose younger brother Tony was killed in a boating accident. Though Joe still struggles with the aftermath, he's channeled his energies into the game he loves with promising results.

    Notre Dame’s DaVaris Daniels stiff-arms Rutgers’s Johnathan Aiken during the second half of the Pinstripe Bowl on Dec. 28 at Yankee Stadium in New York. Notre Dame won the game 29-16.

    Notre Dame WR not enrolled for spring

    Wide receiver and former Vernon Hills High School standout DaVaris Daniels is not enrolled at Notre Dame for the spring semester, becoming the third high-profile Fighting Irish athlete in the past year to be suspended from school for academic problems.


    WW South teams up on Naperville Central

    Naperville Central concentrated on stopping Wheaton Warrenville South star Meghan Waldron, but all of her teammates came through with the points. Four of the visiting Tigers reached double figures, as Wheaton Warrenville South dominated the first half and then withstood some red-hot Redhawks outside shooting to win Thursday’s DuPage Valley Conference girls basketball contest 61-44.


    Crystal Lake South holds off Cary-Grove

    Much is made of the trio of Nick Gil, Eric Barone and Brian Pence when speaking of Crystal Lake South wrestling — and why not? This group headed by the No. 2 rated senior Gil has amassed a dazzling 71-11 record thus far, with Gil fresh off a championship ring at the prestigious Dvorak Invite during the holiday break. But while keeping an eye on these three, one had better not overlook the rest of the Gators’ lineup, which Thursday night in Cary-Grove proved to be the difference down the stretch during a Fox Valley Conference Valley Division dual thriller before a big Senior Night crowd. With Nick Dorn (182), Hunter Stroh (195) and Roland Gastfield (220) leading the charge, the visiting Gators outlasted their hosts 35-25 to stay within striking distance of McHenry with a perfect 4-0-0 record heading into the final two weeks of the regular season.

    Photos from the Lake Park at Naperville North girls basketball game Thursday, Jan. 9.

    Images: Lake Park at Naperville North girls basketball
    Naperville North hosted Lake Park Thursday, Dec. 9 for girls basketball.


    White Sox set sights on prize free agent

    White Sox general manager Rick Hahn, vice president Kenny Williams and manager Robin Ventura met with Japanese free-agent starting pitcher Masahiro Tanaka and his representatives Thursday in the Los Angeles area.


    Uveges, South Elgin steal win from St. Edward

    Someone on the South Elgin girls basketball team needed to make a play and stop St. Edward’s momentum late in the first half Thursday night. Savanah Uveges did what senior captains are expected to do. Uveges had 2 steals and layins in the final 20 seconds of the second quarter to turn an 8-point lead into a 12-point halftime advantage. From there, the Storm went on to a 62-48 nonconference victory over the Green Wave in South Elgin.

    Grayslake North forward Brittney Thibeaux, left, battles Graylake Central forward Morgan Dahlstrom for a rebound .

    Images: Grayslake North vs. Grayslake Central girls basketball
    The Grayslake North Knights hosted the Grayslake Central Rams for girls basketball action on Thursday, January 9.


    Numbers work against Glenbard South

    It was a numbers game for the Glenbard South wrestling team Thursday in a Metro Suburban Conference dual meet at Riverside-Brookfield.

    White Sox slugger Frank Thomas dons his Hall of Fame cap and jersey during a press conference announcing his election into the National Baseball Hall of Fame on Thursday in New York.

    Goldis: Big Frank brilliant from the start

    Former White Sox scouting director Al Goldis knew he wanted Frank Thomas the first day he saw him. “I mean, you had to be blind not to see it,’’ said Goldis. And, yet, six players were taken ahead of Thomas in 1989.

    Naperville Central played Benet in the Class 4A Benet boys basketball regional final Friday night.

    Adding another pair of eyes to ‘The Five’

    We’re here to prove four eyes are better than two. With a holiday hiatus in the rearview mirror, “Eyes on Five” returns with a twist. After spending the fall focusing on football, this winter we’ll be talking about basketball. Kevin Schmit will handle the boys basketball discussion, while Orrin Schwarz jumps on board to talk about girls hoops.

    Aurora Central Catholic’s Natalie Droeske pulls down a rebound while surrounded by Rosary players.

    Images: Aurora Central Catholic vs. Rosary girls basketball
    Rosary hosted Aurora Central Catholic in a girls basketball matchup Thursday night in Aurora.

    Julius Peppers

    Bears’ Emery must fix defense

    There was plenty wrong with the Bears' defense in 2013. General manager Phil Emery and coach Marc Trestman know where improvements need to be made, and they have a plan, but they face a major reconstruction project in the months ahead.

    Wheeling’s Jake Noel swims the backstroke leg of the 200-yard medley relay in a dual against Hersey at Olympic Pool in Arlington Heights. A state qualifier as a freshman last year, Noel has gone an area-best 54.42 in the 100-yard backstroke.

    Competitive balance breeds Mid-Suburban League success

    Better balance between the division of the Mid-Suburban League's boys swimming team bodes well for the conference's performance at the state championship meet.

    Chip Flanigan of Glenbard North and Michael Karas of Lake Park go for a rebound during the Lake Park at Glenbard North boys basketball game Friday.

    Double trouble awaits Glenbard North

    As the DuPage Valley Conference restarts its schedule, the league jumps right in with a doubleheader Friday and Saturday. For Glenbard North (9-2, 3-0) that means facing two other front-runners: West Aurora and Naperville Central.

    Larkin’s Kendale McCullum is trailed by Geneva’s Nate Navigato in an Upstate Eight River game at Geneva last month.

    Larkin-Benet leads list of rescheduled games

    Most of Tuesday’s boys basketball games canceled by the extreme cold in the Fox Valley area have been rescheduled, including a meeting between teams ranked in the Daily Herald Top 20. No. 5 Larkin’s nonconference test at No. 8 Benet Academy (8-4) is now slated for Saturday, Jan. 18 at 7 p.m. It will be the second game in two nights for the Redwings and 6-foot-9 Xavier-bound senior Sean O’Mara. Benet hosts Notre Dame on Jan. 17, while Larkin is idle.

    Bruce Miles

    National honors for Daily Herald’s Miles, Hawks’ Wiedeman

    Marv Albert and Rick Reilly were elected to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame, and two sports veterans from Illinois — Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald and John Wiedeman of the Chicago Blackhawks — also earned national honors from the NSSA for their work.

    Luol Deng’s gone, but there’s no looking back for Joakim Noah and the rest of the Bulls, who should still make a run at the playoffs.

    Tanking would be futile for Bulls

    The Bulls carried on Thursday without Luol Deng or any player in return from the trade with Cleveland. There is still a long way to go in the season and the Bulls have just one realistic choice on how to proceed.

    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.com Chicago Bears wide receiver Alshon Jeffery makes a touchdown catch in the 4th quarter during the Bears season opener against the Indianapolis Colts at Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bears won 41-21.

    Jeffery named to replace Johnson in Pro Bowl

    After combing to set a franchise record for wide receiver duos, Brandon Marshall will be joined in the 2014 Pro Bowl with Bears teammate Alshon Jeffery. Jeffery is replacing Calvin Johnson, who is unable to participate due to injury.

    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 says he's not bitter about spinal tap issue

    In today's Bulls notebook, Mike McGraw covers Luol Deng's statements to the media regarding his feelings toward the Bulls. Carlos Boozer also looks ready to play on Friday against Milwaukee, and coach Tom Thibodeau talks to the team about moving on without Deng.

    The Hawks’ Marcus Kruger will skate for Team Sweden in the Sochi Olympics. He also earned a promotion to the Hawks’ second line with Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg.

    Kruger’s hard work paying huge dividends

    For weeks now, Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville has been hinting that changes may be coming.Well, it looks like they’ve arrived.


    Bulls game day
    Bulls vs. Milwaukee Bucks at the Bradley Center, 7:30 p.m. FridayTV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: ESPN 1000-AMUpdate: Tanking has gone well so far in Milwaukee, which holds the NBA’s worst record at 7-27. The Bucks have gone 2-11 since beating the Bulls at the United Center on Dec. 10. PG Brandon Knight is the top scorer at 15.2 ppg, followed by SG O.J. Mayo at 13.5 ppg. C Larry Sanders is back from an injury, but PF John Henson has missed the last five with an ankle injury. The Bulls won in Milwaukee 91-90 on Dec. 13 on Mike Dunleavy’s 3-point bank shot in the waning seconds.Next: Charlotte Bobcats at the United Center, 7 p.m. Saturday— Mike McGraw

    Harry Shipp

    Fire lands homegrown talent with Shipp signing

    Frank Yallop’s remaking of the Chicago Fire has been slow and steady and without major surprises.

    New Washington Redskins head coach Jay Gruden, attends a news conference at the Redskins Park in Ashburn, Va., Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. Jay Gruden was introduced as the new Washington Redskins head coach, replacing Mike Shanahan and becoming the teamís eighth head coach since Daniel Snyder purchased the franchise in 1999. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    Bengals coordinator Jay Gruden named Redskins’ coach

    Jay Gruden has his first NFL head coaching gig, charged with ending the perpetual state of turmoil that has become the Washington Redskins.


    Grayslake North prepares to make downstate connection

    Instead of playing in a tournament over the holidays, the Grayslake North boys basketball team will be in tournament-mode over the Martin Luther King long weekend. The Teamworks Invite in downstate Illinois gives teams such as Grayslake North a chance to not only compete for a championship but to enjoy a team bonding experience via an extended road trip.


    Vernon Hills puts 3-point preference into practice

    If opponents think the Vernon Hills boys basketball team shoots a lot of 3-pointers during games, they should see practice. The Cougars, who haven’t met a long-range shot they don’t like and led the Wheeling Hardwood Classic last month with 35 3-pointers over four games, aren’t effective 3-point shooters by chance. They practice their craft. Over and over and over again. “A couple of years ago, when we saw that we weren’t getting a lot of size in the program, we changed our offense and the way we practice,” Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty said. “We concentrate on 3-point shooting because we believe we can hang with bigger teams when we hit 3-pointers. “At every practice, we dedicate the last 30 minutes to having our 3-point shooters work solely on 3-points shooting. We get out the gun (shooting/ball retrieval machine) and just have those guys shoot. They like that a lot.”

    Dan Le Batard acknowledged Wednesday that he gave his baseball Hall of Fame ballot to the website Deadspin because he detests the “hypocrisy” in the voting process.

    ESPN host barred from future Hall of Fame votes

    Dan Le Batard was kicked out of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for one year and barred from future Hall of Fame votes after he turned over his 2014 ballot to a website that allowed readers to choose the selections.

    U.S. Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick has decided to leave Northwestern University and return to England to focus on his golf game.

    Fitzpatrick withdraws from Northwestern golf

    Northwestern men’s golf coach Pat Goss labeled Matt Fitzpatrick as “our most high-profile recruit since Luke Donald.” Unfortunately for NU, Fitzpatrick’s stay in Evanston didn’t last long. Fitzpatrick, the reigning U.S. Amateur champion and No. 1-ranked amateur in the world, withdrew from the school on Thursday to pursue more playing opportunities as an amateur in his native England.

    Alabama offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Doug Nussmeier talks with the media during a news conference before the Sugar Bowl.

    Michigan hires OC away from Alabama

    Michigan has made a bold move to give its football program a boost. The Wolverines hired Doug Nussmeier away from Nick Saban and Alabama to be Brady Hoke’s offensive coordinator.

    Lindsey Vonn skis during a downhill training run at Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada. Vonn is going to skip the Sochi Olympics because of a right knee injury.

    Without Vonn, U.S. team needs to find top gear

    Going into Saturday’s World Cup race in Austria, the U.S. women's Alpine team is looking for its first top-10 result of the season in downhill — a sharp contrast to last year, when six American speed skiers reached the podium at least once.

    New Louisville head football coach Bobby Petrino address reporters following the announcement of his hiring Thursday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium in Louisville, Ky.

    Louisville hires Petrino again as football coach

    Bobby Petrino is back for a second stint as Louisville’s football coach, returning to the school he calls home. And Louisville’s athletic director insists the school is getting a “changed person.”


    Mike North video: NFL playoff predictions
    Mike North picks his winners for this week’s NFL playoff games, including an upset between the Seattle Seahawks and the New Orleans Saints.


    Stocks were little changed Thursday, as retailers slumped and investors awaited Friday’s jobs report for clues to whether the Federal Reserve will accelerate the pace of stimulus cuts.

    A mixed close on Wall Street; S&P 500 edges up

    The stock market wavered for a second day Thursday as investors weighed disappointing news from the retail industry against more positive signals on the U.S. economy. Investors were looking ahead to Friday’s jobs report, as well as the start of corporate earnings season.

    From left: Mike Abruzzini, who accepted the Business of the Year Award on behalf of Buffalo Grove Bank & Trust; Sid Rothenberg; Vicki Baker; Chamber Board President Scott Fishkin; and Ron Ross.

    BG chamber honors its best of 2013

    On Jan. 7, the Buffalo Grove Area chamber recognized business owners and volunteers with the 2013 Chamber Commitment Awards, the annual lunchoen that recognizes members for their service.

    Plumber Nate Petersen prepares a pump to shoot water into the incoming city water line that had been frozen Thursday at a south Minneapolis home. Roto Rooter was been “inundated” with calls since the cold snap and regular work has been put on hold because of burst pipes and even frozen sewer lines according to plumbing manager Paul Teale.

    Deep freeze may have cost economy about $5 billion

    Hunkering down at home rather than going to work, canceling thousands of flights and repairing burst pipes from the Midwest to the Southeast has its price. By one estimate, about $5 billion.

    Rockford was a finalist for a massive Boeing plant before the aerospace company reached a deal with a union and agreed to build its 777X planes near Seattle, state officials said. Above is a plant that manufactures 787s in South Carolina.

    State: Rockford finalist for Boeing assembly plant

    Rockford was a finalist for a massive Boeing plant before the Chicago-based aerospace company reached a deal with a union and agreed to build its 777X planes near Seattle, state officials said.

    “Jeopardy!” champions Ken Jennings, left, and Brad Rutter, right, look on as the IBM computer called “Watson” beats them to the buzzer to answer a question during a practice round of the “Jeopardy!” quiz show on Jan. 13, 2011.

    IBM’s Watson gets its own business

    One of the most famous “Jeopardy!” champs of all time is moving to Manhattan. No, it’s not Ken Jennings. IBM announced Thursday that it’s investing over $1 billion to give its Watson cloud computing system its own business division and a new home in the heart of New York City.

    Retired airliners sit parked at the airport in Roswell, New Mexico.

    Airlines go on a record new jet shopping spree

    Capt. Paul Wannberg glides an old Boeing 757 over the New Mexico desert, lining up with the runway. A computerized voice squawks elevation warnings. Forty feet. Thirty. Twenty. Ten. Touchdown. Outside the cockpit window sit nearly a hundred airplane carcasses, perfectly lined up.

    Jerry Irvine

    Schaumburg tech expert: Online attacks could increase in 2014

    Schaumburg-based Prescient Solutions Chief Information Officer Jerry Irvine says get ready for more and creative attacks online this year. Irvine, as a member of the task force, has been meeting regularly in Washington, D.C., to help combat these cyber crimes and to help both businesses and individual consumers.

    A new report says almost one-third of Illinois homes are “deeply underwater” meaning that they’re worth at least 25 percent less than what’s owed on the loans.

    Report: A third of Ill. homes ‘deeply underwater’

    A new report says almost one-third of Illinois homes are “deeply underwater” meaning that they’re worth at least 25 percent less than what’s owed on the loans. The report released Thursday by Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac says that represents almost 775,000 Illinois homes. The report is based on data from December.

    With the New Year just under way, many U.S. workers are already resolving to find a new employer, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Twenty-one percent of full-time employees plan to change jobs in 2014, the largest amount in the post-recession era and up from 17 percent in 2013.

    Survey: 1 in 5 plan to change jobs in 2014

    With the New Year just under way, many U.S. workers are already resolving to find a new employer, according to a CareerBuilder survey. Twenty-one percent of full-time employees plan to change jobs in 2014, the largest amount in the post-recession era and up from 17 percent in 2013.


    Advocate doctors named tops by Chicago Magazine

    Nearly 60 Advocate Health Care physicians are named as Top Docs by Chicago Magazine. in its January edition.

    Chicago-based United Airlines said per-seat revenue rose as much as 12.5 percent in December as it benefited from flight cancellations and adjustments for tickets involving other airlines.

    United Airlines December revenue up 12.5 percent

    Chicago-based United Airlines said per-seat revenue rose as much as 12.5 percent in December as it benefited from flight cancellations and adjustments for tickets involving other airlines. Other airlines have noted a benefit from the unusually late Thanksgiving, which had travelers returning home in December at the end of the holiday weekend.

    In France, online retail giant Amazon and its peers must now choose between offering customers a 5-percent discount on books sold online or free delivery — but can't provide both.

    French Senate limits online book discounts

    In France, online retail giant Amazon and its peers must now choose between offering customers a 5-percent discount on books sold online or free delivery — but can't provide both. In an unusual show of unity, the French Senate unanimously approved early Thursday a bill to help struggling independent book shops facing pressure from online competitors that offer lower prices.


    Unemployment insurance taxes to fall in 2014

    Illinois officials say the unemployment insurance tax rate will fall in 2014 for most businesses as the economy is expected to improve. The Illinois Department of Employment Security said Wednesday employers who did not reduce their workforces in 2013 typically will see the greatest savings.

    TYPO's new iphone case that turns gives your iPhone a Blackberry keybaord. BlackBerry, the company that made physical typing on mobile devices an addictive craze, is suing Typo Products LLC, accusing it of copying its world-famous keyboard.

    Gadget Watch: Case makes iPhone a BlackBerry clone

    If you love your iPhone but would prefer a physical keyboard, Typo could be for you. But you might want to order soon. BlackBerry, the company that made physical typing on mobile devices an addictive craze, is suing Typo Products LLC, accusing it of copying its world-famous keyboard. The idea's great: With BlackBerry's ongoing struggles and the rise of touch-only iPhones and Android phones,

    Nutrition information on the back of a Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup can.

    Food companies cut 6.4 trillion calories

    Some of the nation's largest food companies have cut calories in their products by more than 6.4 trillion, according to a new study. The study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that between 2007 and 2012 the companies reduced their products' calories by the equivalent of around 78 calories per person per day. The total is more than four times the amount those companies had pledged to cut by next year.

    21-year-old Trevor Martin, who parlayed his expertise from playing “Call of Duty” games into a career as a video game commentator on YouTube, in Champaign.

    Champaign man a YouTube video-game star

    Playing video games has paid off handsomely for 21-year-old Trevor Martin of Champaign. Martin parlayed his expertise from playing “Call of Duty” games into a career as a video game commentator on YouTube.In the process, he’s built a following of nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers and taken in streams of revenue from corporate advertisers.


    Report: 5 Illinois 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. Auditor General William Holland reported the system-wide pension debt hit $100.5 billion last summer.


    Twitter stock continues to slide

    Twitter’s stock price continued a recent decline on Wednesday, closing down 3.5 percent after an analyst lowered the short messaging service’s rating on concerns that its stock price is too high. Shares of Twitter Inc. surged 53 percent in December as investors disregarded the company’s lukewarm early-November initial public offering.

Life & Entertainment

    A shop in Chinatown in Bangkok, Thailand, sells items in advance of the Chinese New Year, celebrated this year on Jan. 31. The holiday involves a litany of symbolic foods. Noodles are eaten for long life; clams, because they look like coins, are eaten for wealth.

    The many flavors of the foods of Chinese New Year

    Nelson Cho isn’t just Chinese-American. He’s Chinese-Cuban-Peruvian-American. Which means he grew up on the shredded beef dish ropa vieja, the fried chicken called chicharrones de pollo, and other Cuban specialties. “We ate mostly Cuban or Spanish growing up,” says 40-year-old Cho, whose family founded the Peruvian-Chinese restaurant Flor de Mayo in New York. Except for Chinese New Year, Cho says, when it was steamed oysters and roast pork all the way. “It was strictly traditional Chinese,” he says.

    FILE -This Oct. 17, 2012, file photo provided by the Las Vegas Police Department, shows rapper Flavor Flav, whose real name is William Jonathan Drayton Jr. New York State police say rapper and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer was ticketed for speeding and driving without a license while en route to his motherís funeral in suburban New York, Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Las Vegas Police Department, File)

    Rapper Flavor Flav stopped on way to mom’s funeral

    State police say rapper Flavor Flav was ticketed for speeding and driving without a license en route to his mother’s funeral in suburban New York.The rapper, whose real name is William Drayton, was allegedly driving 79 mph in a 55 mph zone Thursday morning on the Meadowbrook Parkway.

    Country singer Jason Aldean poses on Thursday in New York after announcing his “Burn It Down Tour.”

    Aldean announces 50-date tour with stadium visits

    Jason Aldean is heading to the centerfield. The country star is partnering with Major League Baseball to launch a 50-date tour this spring that will include stops at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia.

    Robin Williams, left, plays Dwight Eisenhower and Forest Whitaker is Cecil Gaines in “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.” The film was nominated for an Image Award for best motion picture. The 45th NAACP Image Awards will be held on Feb. 22.

    ‘Butler,’ ‘12 Years’ nab NAACP Image Awards nods

    In a year rich with black-oriented films, nominees for the NAACP Image Awards include “12 Years a Slave” and “Lee Daniels’ The Butler.”

    Katie Postotnik and Steven Grant Douglas star in the national tour of the London and Broadway show “Ghost The Musical” adapted from the hit 1990 film. “Ghost The Musical” plays Chicago's Oriental Theatre through Sunday, Jan. 19.

    Flashy illusions provide magic in 'Ghost The Musical'

    “Ghost The Musical” is the kind of show where you leave the theater humming the scenery and special effects more than you do the new score. This turns out to be both an major asset and an artistic pity for this 2011 London musical adapted from Paramount Pictures' 1990 blockbuster film “Ghost.” Now running at Chicago's Oriental Theatre in a non-Equity tour heavily based upon its 2012 Broadway incarnation, “Ghost The Musical” isn't really allowed to shake off the yoke of the original film that inspired it.

    Lt. Murphy (Taylor Kitsch), left, and Marcus Luttrell (Mark Wahlberg) take stock of their situation in Peter Berg's fact-based drama “Lone Survivor.”

    Lean, mean military drama deserves SEAL of approval

    Lean and mean as a U.S. Marine, Peter Berg's fact-based military drama “Lone Survivor” contains zero percent narrative body fat in telling a taut, suspenseful tale of a botched 2005 mission. Although Berg's miscalculated use of slow-motion footage dings the drama, the movie is still a worthy addition to recent top-quality survival tales like “All is Lost” and “Gravity,” even 2012's “Life of Pi.”

    Singer Chris Brown leaves the District of Columbia Superior Court in Washington Wednesday. Lawyers for Brown say the singer has rejected a plea deal in a case in which he’s accused of hitting a man outside a Washington hotel.

    Chris Brown rejects plea deal in D.C. assault case

    Lawyers for singer Chris Brown told a judge Wednesday that he has rejected a plea deal on a charge that he hit a man outside a Washington hotel. Prosecutors had offered a deal in which Brown would plead guilty to the misdemeanor assault charge he faces. One of Brown’s lawyers, Danny Onorato, said outside of court that attorneys rejected the deal because Brown is not guilty.

    A drawing from Antoine de Saint-Exupery's beloved children's tale “The Little Prince” is part of a major exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum in New York on the 70th anniversary of the book's publication.

    NYC museum presents 'The Little Prince' exhibit

    Antoine de Saint-Exupery crafted “The Little Prince” in New York City, mentioning Rockefeller Center and Long Island in one draft of the beloved children's tale — references he ultimately deleted. That page is contained in the French author's original handwritten manuscript, which is the subject of a major exhibition at the Morgan Library and Museum on the 70th anniversary of the book's French publication — a year after its U.S. debut. “The Little Prince: A New York Story,” which opens Jan. 24, features 35 of his original watercolors and 25 pages from his heavily revised 140-page text, written in Saint-Exupery's tiny script.

    General do-gooder Will Charity (Michael Sheen) confronts some villainous henchmen in "The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box."

    Dour 'Adventurer' anything but an adventure

    “The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box” is a dour, fun-starved pile of Dr. Whooey, based on the novel “Mariah Mundi and the Midas Box.” It's a mash-up of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and Jules Verne. It ranks somewhere around “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.”


    Arts agenda
    Auditions and artist calls starting Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, in Chicago and the suburbs.

    A model wears a design created by Alexander McQueen during London Collections for Men Autumn/Winter 2014 in London.

    McQueen shows dark, brooding menswear in London

    Subdued plaids, long double-breasted coats, and lashings of black and leather: Alexander McQueen’s latest menswear offering is as dark and brooding as the stormy London weather outside. The label’s catwalk Tuesday, shown in a darkened chapel as part of London’s menswear collection presentations, was all about black paired with silver or gold accents, sharp tailored suits, and minimal geometric shapes. Skinny trousers were layered with kilts and skirts, and an occasional pink and black plaid outfit provided a burst of color.

    Amanda Leigh Pulte and Matthew Gage with their daughter Zoey at their home in Austin. No longer taboo, living together has become a more common arrangement for America’s dating couples who unexpectedly become parents.

    As cohabitation gains favor, shotgun weddings fade

    No longer taboo, living together has become a more common arrangement for America’s couples who become pregnant while dating. Soon-to-be-released government figures show a major cultural shift since the days of “shotgun weddings” aimed at avoiding family embarrassment. With marriage on the decline, the shift is helping redefine the traditional notion of family. “The emergence of cohabitation as an acceptable context for childbearing has changed the family-formation landscape,” said Christina Gibson-Davis, a sociology professor at Duke University.


    Night life events: Chill out with Cab’s martini of the month
    Forget the cold. Warm up at these suburban night life events: Brauer House’s risque bingo in Lombard; Irish Mill Inn’s pub trivia Mondays in Mundelein; Cab’s martini of the month; and Tap In's postseason specials in Naperville.

    A prayer plant (Maranta leuconeura) is a houseplant that tolerates low light levels and “prays” by folding up its leaves each evening.

    Plants wait out the darkest days

    Plants and people can’t help but feel a bit wan this time of year, but things are brightening up already. Every day the sun is gradually moving higher in the sky, burning with increasing intensity and duration. Houseplants’ problems are further compounded by windows, which cut sunlight by another 10 percent. No wonder these plants, if they are growing at all, stretch for light this time of year. There are ways you can help them.

    "August: Osage County" starring Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep

    Tracy Letts' 'August' makes for a raw, brutal, comically laced drama

    “August: Osage County” takes place in Oklahoma during August when the temperatures shoot so high that they create a killer caldron of caustic conflict. Tracy Letts' screenplay, pared down from his Chicago stage version by about an hour, remains a thick, tasty, meaty bone for the female-dominated cast to vigorously chew on for 119 minutes. It's a raw, brutal, comically laced domestic drama.

    Dick Wolf keeps the pace frenetic in “The Execution.”

    Dick Wolf delivers in ‘The Execution’

    Dick Wolf, creator of television’s “Law & Order,” follows his thriller “The Intercept” with “The Execution,” a page-turning novel that reads like a compelling episode of the best television has to offer. And like his stories from “Law & Order,” the novel feels like it could be ripped from the headlines. Commandante Cecilia Garza of the Mexican intelligence agency has been hunting an elusive assassin known as The Hummingbird (Chuparosa). Twenty-three bodies are found near the U.S. border, and she knows this killer is responsible.



    Editorial: Metra meets a challenge but has work to do
    A Daily Herald editorial acknowledges Metra's herculean efforts this week, but emphasizes the rail service should evaluate its failures, too, to ensure better performance at times when commuters especially rely on the train.


    Weather creed: Good stories and plenty of them

    Columnist Jim Slusher: To butcher the creed of another venerable American institution, the post office, neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night — nor now, the bitterest of cold — can escape the imaginations of news people hungry for drama. We do love a good weather story.


    Hunger hurts us all

    Columnists Steven and Cokie Roberts: Carly Poe is a 33-year-old single mother in Portland, Ore. Despite a college degree, she struggles to find work and raise a teenage son with serious medical problems. Food stamps — the government program officially known as SNAP — help her survive.


    Common Core a deceptive Trojan Horse
    A Lake Bluff letter to the editor: According to a recent Gallup poll 72 percent of the American people view big government as a bigger threat to this nation than big business or big labor. But what about big government’s involvement in education?


    Most federal workers receive only average pay
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: I speak for the overwhelming number of federal employees who are not in the small ranks of “professional” — employees who earn just an average wage for the hard work they do. It is hard to raise a family with average pay and benefits in America today.


    Obamacare will weigh on the middle class
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: Obamacare is not designed to reduce health care costs but is a wealth redistribution scheme to provide free and subsidized health care to millions at the expense of the middle class.


    New Year’s wish: Show humility, Rush
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Rush Limbaugh, the right-wing radio GOP champion, should take a lesson from Pope Francis and stop his bigotry, fear-mongering and right-wing zealotry and adopt, instead, some humility and concern for people less fortunate than himself.


    Rebuttal to Brazile’s good and bad times
    A Naperville letter to the editor: Donna Brazile must have spent 2013 living under a rock. After reading this syndicated columnist’s Tale of Two Cities Jan. 2., I felt compelled to draft a rebuttaI to her observations on the good and bad of 2013.


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