Daily Archive : Friday January 17, 2014


    Glendale Heights resident Jeremy Custer, left, and Moon Khan of Lombard are seeking to become the Democratic Party’s nominee for DuPage County Board District 4. The winner of the March 18 primary will face a Republican opponent in the fall.

    Democrats want to challenge GOP for DuPage board seat

    This year, voters in the DuPage County Board’s 4th District are getting something rare: a Democratic primary. M. Moon Kahn of Lombard and Jeremy Custer of Glendale Heights are seeking the Democratic Party’s nomination to one District 4 seat on the county board.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars broke into a 2004 Ford pickup truck between 3 p.m. Jan. 3 and 10:09 a.m. Jan. 4 at the Prospect Heights Elementary District 23 administration building, 700 N. Schoenbeck Road, Prospect Heights. The truck was parked with the front plow up against a wall and chained to the wall. The offenders removed the cable chain, put the truck in neutral, pushed the truck away from the wall and stole...

    Seeking to calm a furor over U.S. surveillance, President Barack Obama called for ending the government’s control of phone data from hundreds of millions of Americans and immediately ordered intelligence agencies to get a secretive court’s permission before accessing the records.

    Obama fuels reform on some but not all NSA spying

    President Barack Obama's orders to change some U.S. surveillance practices put the burden on Congress to deal with a national security controversy that has alarmed Americans and outraged foreign allies. Yet he avoided major action on the practice of sweeping up billions of phone, email and text messages from across the globe.

    Anka Miscevic

    Lombard woman accused of murdering husband thinks he's still alive

    A Lombard woman charged with murdering her husband last week by first stabbing him in the chest and then striking him in the head with a baseball bat apparently thinks he is still alive. In fact, Anka Miscevic, 49, thinks her deceased husband has a big day coming up.


    Accident closes River Road in Des Plaines

    River Road between Golf and Rand roads in Des Plaines was closed for nearly six hours while crews cleared the scene of an accident involving a semitrailer truck carrying a huge concrete slab.


    Tax increase for road repairs on Fox Lake ballot

    Fox Lake voters will decide in the March 18 primary whether to raise taxes to improve local roads. The village board agreed Nov. 12 to put a referendum on the ballot that asks voters whether the village should issue $6 million in bonds to repair 23 miles of roads.

    It’s no secret that smoking causes lung cancer. But what about diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, erectile dysfunction? Fifty years into the war on smoking, scientists still are adding diseases to the long list of cigarettes’ harms — even as the government struggles to get more people to kick the habit.

    Surgeon general ties cigarettes to diseases beyond cancer

    A half century after linking smoking to lung cancer, the U.S. is confronting stalled progress in kicking the habit of 42 million Americans with new evidence that many common ailments such as diabetes, arthritis and impotence can be tied to tobacco use.

    Missie McGuire, left, listens to her husband, Dennis McGuire, at a news conference Friday in Dayton, Ohio, where they announced their planned lawsuit against the state over the unusually slow execution of his father, also named Dennis McGuire.

    Unclear future for executions after 26-minute Ohio ordeal

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — The long and fitful execution of an Ohio inmate with an untested combination of chemicals brought cries of cruel and unusual punishment Friday and could further narrow the options for other states that are casting about for new lethal injection drugs.

    President Barack Obama signs the $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September, in Washington, Friday at Jackson Place, a conference center near the White House. Obama signed the measure the day before federal funding was set to run out and was joined by aides who did much of the work negotiating it.

    Obama signs $1.1 trillion government spending bill

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday signed a $1.1 trillion spending bill that funds the federal government through the end of September.

    A man man walks to an outbound Metra train at the Arlington Heights station in the sub-freezing temperatures Jan. 6.

    UP apologizes: ‘Our performance was unacceptable’

    UP executives apologized for stranding passengers and other messups during the "polar vortex" at a Friday meeting. "To put people at risk is just unbelievable," Director Arlene Mulder said.

    Gregory Arthur Weiler II

    Elk Grove man accused in Oklahoma bomb plot deemed insane

    An Elk Grove Village man accused in a failed plot to firebomb dozens of Oklahoma churches was found not guilty by reason of insanity Friday after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed he was mentally ill.U.S. District Judge Claire Eagan found Gregory Arthur Weiler II of Elk Grove Village, not guilty on a charge of possessing an unregistered, destructive device.

    Jeffrey Talley

    Body confirmed as that of Geneva man

    The body of a man found Tuesday in Bolingbrook was identified Friday as Jeffrey Talley, 50, of Geneva, who was reported missing last November.

    Authorities say Todd Berkley, 40, of Clarkson, Ky., robbed four banks in the Chicago area and attempted to rob a TCF branch in Des Plaines in 2012.

    Suspect charged in Des Plaines bank robbery attempt

    A Kentucky man who authorities say attempted to rob a Des Plaines bank faces federal charges. The U.S. attorney’s office announced that the man suspected of being the “Elmer Fudd Bandit” was charged with robbing four banks in the area, in addition to trying to rob the Des Plaines bank branch.

    A woman passes by a Jaguar XJ during an Auto Moto Show in Bucharest, Romania. Women now buy nearly half the new cars in the U.S.

    Auto shows doing more for women

    The shows, which are run by dealers, say they’re trying to attract more women with events like fashion shows. The North American International Auto Show in Detroit doesn’t keep track of visitors by gender, but the New York International Auto Show says 40 percent of its 1 million visitors in 2013 were women, up from 29 percent two years before.

    An aerial view of a home in the 2900 block of Oak Brook Hills Road in Oak Brook where a reported carbon monoxide leak killed an 86-year-old man.

    Water heater cause of deadly carbon monoxide leak

    A water heater that the owner of the home recently reported issues with has been determined the proximate cause of a carbon monoxide leak Thursday in an Oak Brook mansion in which an 86-year-old man was found dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.

    John Hoscheit

    Farmers lobby Kane forest officials to keep ComEd off local farms

    Kane County Forest Preserve District officials are interested in haggling with ComEd over the rights to run new power lines and towers through the Muirhead preserve. In short, if ComEd comes up without enough money, commissioners may be willing to allow the lines to run along existing railroad tracks. That would make private farmers in the area happy. The lines will run through their property in...

    President Barack Obama gestures Thursday as he speaks during an Expanding College Opportunity event. A judge’s emails held Obama in partrticularly low regard.

    District judge sent hundreds of bigoted emails

    HELENA, Mont. — A federal judicial panel investigating former U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull over a racist email involving President Barack Obama found the judge sent hundreds of other inappropriate messages.

    Mary Bishop, left, and her partner Sharon Baldwin listen as Sue Barton and her partner Gay Phillips speak to guests during a celebration Tuesday at the Dennis R. Neill Equality Center, in Tulsa, Okla. A federal judge struck down Oklahoma’s gay marriage ban Tuesday, but headed off any rush to the altar by setting aside his order while state and local officials complete an appeal.

    Methodist clergyman faces church trial over gay wedding

    The Rev. Thomas Ogletree will be tried March 10 for violating church law against officiating at gay unions, his spokeswoman, Dorothee Benz, announced Friday. It’s the second high-profile United Methodist trial in recent months over same-sex relationships. In December, pastor Frank Schaefer of central Pennsylvania was defrocked after he officiated at his son’s gay wedding. The church considers...

    A truck clears away rocks along San Gabriel Canyon Road as firefighters continue Friday to battle the Colby Fire.

    Crews make progress on destructive California fire

    A destructive wildfire above foothill suburbs northeast of Los Angeles was reduced to smoke and scattered flames Friday, but the charred landscape remained too dangerous for 2,000 people to return to their homes.

    James Everett Dutschke stands in the street near his home in Tupelo, Miss.

    Man pleads guilty to sending ricin-tainted letters

    A former martial arts instructor pleaded guilty Friday to sending poison-laced letters to President Barack Obama and other officials in a bizarre case in which authorities say he tried to frame a longtime enemy and Elvis impersonator who was briefly jailed in the case.

    Associated Press/Oct. 9, 2013 Convicted killer Jeffrey Cutlip sits in court where he entered guilty pleas to three old Oregon homicides in Portland, Ore.

    Killer of at least 3 women sentenced in Oregon

    Jeffrey Cutlip avoided murder charges until 2012, when he contacted police while living in Texas and admitted killing four women in Oregon. Police have so far been able to confirm only three killings, but the investigation isn’t over.

    A crime scene vehicle is parked Thursday outside a house in Detroit where 4-year-old girl accidentally shot her 4-year-old cousin to death.

    Girl, 4, fatally shoots boy, 4, at Detroit home

    The girl was playing and watching TV on Thursday afternoon with the 4-year-old boy and his 5-year-old sister when she found the gun, police Sgt. Michael Woody said. He said she picked up the weapon, pointed it at the boy and shot him once in the chest.


    Water shut off at Elgin Tower Building

    Water was shut off Friday at the Elgin Tower Building, and condemnation proceedings will begin Tuesday if the bill isn’t paid, officials said. The Stickling Foundation, which owns the 15-story building in downtown Elgin, owes the city $1,566.37 in past due bills, Elgin Councilman John Prigge said.

    Metra’s looking at new ways to pay for fares.

    Tickets? Metra working toward an app for that

    Metra officials think a smartphone app could be the answer to providing easy access to tickets on board trains. But how would this interface with the universal fare mandate and Pace and the CTA's joint Ventra card?

    William Strauss, senior economist and economic adviser for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, explains his 2014 outlook at Friday’s 7th annual Economic Forecast Lake County luncheon at the University Center at the College of Lake County in Grayslake.

    Economy will continue to grow, though not significantly, expert says

    The economy and job prospects are expected to improve the next two years, a group of Lake County business and community leaders learned Friday. William A. Strauss, an economist and economic advisor with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said manufacturing is expected to be strong.

    Mya Lyons

    Father convicted in Addison girl’s death

    A jury deliberated less than two hours Friday afternoon before finding Richard Lyons guilty of the 2008 beating and stabbing death of his 9-year-old daughter, Mya Lyons of Addison. In a case that depended largely on circumstantial evidence, prosecutors say testimony from a blood-splatter expert was key to securing a conviction of the 45-year-old Lyons, who authorities say murdered the girl in his...


    Fox Valley police reports
    Jorge Tellez-Orduno, 22, of Carpentersville, was arrested after an investigation by the Kane County Child Advocacy Center and later charged with seven class 2 felony counts of aggravated criminal abuse of a victim between 13 and 17, according to court records. Bail was set at $100,000 Friday.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Nathan A. Jugenitz, 30, of St. Charles, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, DUI with a blood alcohol concentration greater than .08, and failure to reduce speed after he rear ended another vehicle at about 10:04 p.m. Monday at Route 25 and Stearns Road near South Elgin, according to a sheriff’s report.

    Lombard is naming its new public works facility after Keith Surges, who retired in 2011 from his job as operations superintendent for the village's public works department.

    Lombard facility to be named after former public works employee

    A new Lombard public works maintenance facility that is scheduled to open this fall will be named after Keith Surges, a 37-year veteran of the department. The facility and a salt dome that was constructed last year was part of Surges' vision for the village's public works operations. Surges retired in 2011, shortly after being diagnosed with cancer.


    Lake County sheriffs nab woman on the run

    Lake County sheriff’s police say a woman who’s been on the run has been nabbed in a drug case.


    District 57 contract negotiations getting heated

    After almost a year of negotiating, contract talks in Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 are no closer to a resolution. Both the school board president and education association made public statements at a school board meeting on Thursday addressing the distance between the two, which has now resulted in the union filing that an impasse has been reached.

    Delbert Cooper

    Aurora man guilty in stabbing death of girlfriend

    A jury took less than three hours to convict a 33-year-old Aurora man of choking and stabbing to death his live-in girlfriend in the December 2011. Prosecutors argued Delbert Cooper wanted money to buy crack cocaine but Rennee Ann Perry, 21, wouldn't give it to him. Cooper faces up to 60 years in prison when sentenced March 13.


    Chicago man gets life for arson that killed 2

    A Chicago man has been sentenced to life in prison for a 2000 grocery store arson that killed two employees. Eric Brooks set the fire at Mike and Sons Food and Liquors on Chicago’s West Side as part of a plan to collect insurance money.


    Former Palatine Library Board president remembered

    A memorial service for Don Maurice Jacobs, former Palatine Library Board President, is scheduled for Saturday morning at the First United Church of Palatine. Jacobs, who died Dec. 28, served on the library board and was instrumental in the completion of the current Palatine library building according to his peers.


    Marine dies during screening at California base
    Col. Sean D. Gibson said Friday that Pfc. Joshua Islam died Monday afternoon while undergoing an initial screening test for an infantry school that involves treading water for 30 minutes in a swimming pool. The test is a precursor to the Marines’ physically demanding reconnaissance training.


    Schaumburg blood drive set for Jan. 30

    A Schaumburg Community Blood Drive in honor of an 11-year-old cancer survivor named Corina will be held from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30 at the Community Recreation Center gym at 505 N. Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg. Donors will be entered into a random drawing for a $10 iTunes gift card.


    Hanover Township looking for award nominees

    Hanover Township is looking for nominees of businesses or dedicated volunteers for its annual Community Service Awards. Awards will be presented to the winners in March.

    Democratic gubernatorial contender Ed FitzGerald has chosen Sharen Neuhardt, a Dayton-area business attorney who supports abortion rights, in his second pass at picking a running mate.

    Judge declares abortion-ultrasound law illegal

    A federal judge in North Carolina says a state law requiring women who want an abortion to have an ultrasound and then have a medical provider describe the image to them is a violation of constitutional free-speech rights.

    Police stands guard the Delaware Valley Charter School Friday.

    Two students shot in Philly school gym

    Police say up to three boys may have been involved in the shooting of a couple of fellow students at a Philadelphia high school gym.

    Ophelia De’lonta speaks during an interview at the Buckingham Correctional Center in Dillwyn, Va.

    Appeals court upholds sex change for inmate

    U.S. 1st Circuit Court of Appeals Judges O. Rogeriee Thompson and William Kayatta Jr. said in their ruling they were “assuredly mindful of the difficult tasks faced by prison officials every day.”“But as the Supreme Court has cautioned, while sensitivity and deference to these tasks is warranted, `(c)ourts nevertheless must not shrink from their obligation to `enforce the constitutional rights of...

    State Rep. Jack Franks, a Marengo Democrat, says lawmakers need “to remember every (business) incentive we give comes at the expense of taxpayers.”

    Lawmakers question state’s corporate tax breaks

    Lawmakers on Friday questioned the effectiveness of the tax breaks Illinois gives companies to keep or create jobs, with one legislator saying there’s little verifiable evidence the incentives work and another calling the current system “insanity.”

    New Cubs manager Rick Renteria signs a hat for Cesar Esobeds of Carpentersville.

    Cubs skipper visits Advocate Children’s Hospital

    New Cubs Manager Rick Renteria visited with children and families at Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge on Friday afternoon as part of the annual Cubs Caravan’s stop in the suburbs.

    Connecticut guard Ryan Boatright, an Aurora native, goes to the basket against Memphis defenders Joe Jackson, left, and David Pellom in the first half of Thursday’s game in Memphis, Tenn.

    Aurora native honors slain cousin during UConn game

    UConn guard Ryan Boatright had the initials “AW” drawn on his left cheek in marker Thursday during the team’s nationally televised game against Memphis. It was a visible tribute to his cousin, 20-year-old Arin Williams, who was shot to death Monday in Boatright’s hometown of Aurora.

    Chad A. Coe

    Elgin man on leave as church group director faces child porn charges

    A West Dundee church youth minister accused of sexually assaulting a youth group member last summer is now charged with six counts of child pornography possession. The additional charges against Chad Coe, 32, of Elgin, were revealed Friday when an indictment was unsealed iin Kane County court. Coe is on paid leave from the church.

    U.S, Sen. Dick Durbin said Friday that he’s working with Illinois lawmakers to raise the state’s minimum wage, which now is $8.25 an hour.

    Durbin calls to raise minimum wage, blasts Rauner

    Illinois Democrats continued their election-year strategy of pushing for a minimum wage hike Friday when U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin used a Martin Luther King breakfast to call for an increase to the state’s rate and blast a Republican gubernatorial candidate for his evolving stance on the issue.

    Harvey L. Radney

    Metra rethinking its police department

    Metra officials updated board directors on plans to hire security consultant Hillard Heintze to ease the transition to an improved police force and find a new chief. The force needs modernization, officials acknowledged.

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will speak at a Republican fundraiser next month in Chicago.

    Louisiana governor to speak at Illinois GOP event

    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal will speak at a fundraising event next month for the Illinois Republican Party. The Feb. 25 dinner in Chicago comes as the GOP fights to regain control of the Illinois governor’s office.


    Four suburban women charged in student loan scam

    Four women are facing student loan and identity theft charges following an investigation by College of DuPage, Illinois Attorney General and the U.S. Secret Service. The four are accused of co-opting strangers' identities to steal more than $100,000 in financial aid from the U.S. Department of Education.


    Actress to visit library:

    An actress portraying “Gone With the Wind” author Margaret Mitchell will visit the Wauconda Area Library on Sunday.

    State police are processing thousands of applications from people who want permits to carry concealed weapons.

    Businesses, churches mull concealed carry rules

    A new law that allows some Illinois residents to carry concealed weapons is prompting questions for hospitals, churches and even banks as they weigh whether to let people bring guns inside.


    Federal grant for housing agency:

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded a grant of $69,000 to a local agency for its needs.


    Winnebago County investigates prisoner escape

    Northern Illinois officials said they are investigating how a female prisoner managed to steal a Winnebago County sheriff’s car this week, prompting a two-hour manhunt.


    Illinois EPA files emergency rules for petcoke

    New emergency rules involving the storage of petroleum coke could go into effect as soon as next week, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency said.

    Michael Detienne

    Aurora man sentenced to 90 days for child porn

    A 36-year-old Aurora man, charged with having more than 14 videos of child pornography on his laptop, was sentenced Friday to 90 days in jail and two years of sex offender probation.

    A visitor to Folsom Lake, Calif., walks his dog down a boat ramp that is now several hundred yards away from the waters’ edge. Gov. Jerry Brown formally proclaimed California in a drought Friday.

    California governor proclaims state officially in drought

    The drought doesn’t bode well for California’s notorious wildfire season.. Previous super-dry years led to catastrophic wildfire seasons in California in 2003 and 2007, said Tom Scott, a natural resources specialist with the University of California system. Fire crews beat back a wildfire northeast of Los Angeles earlier this week, but it was a stark reminder of the dry and dangerous conditions.


    St. Raymond hosts Unity Week event:

    St. Raymond de Penafort Church and St. Mark Lutheran Church, both in Mount Prospect, will jointly host an evening discussion on Sunday, Jan. 19, “What I Always Wanted to Know About Your Tradition,” part of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

    Longtime Ss. Peter and Paul School Principal Frank Glowaty hears a presentation from a student in this 2003 photo. Glowaty announced Thursday night that he will retire at the end of this school year after 39 years as principal at the school affiliated with Naperville’s oldest Catholic church.

    Sts. Peter and Paul principal announces retirement from Naperville school

    The longtime principal of Ss. Peter and Paul School in Naperville will retire at the end of this school year, concluding a nearly 40-year career leading the educational arm of Naperville’s oldest Catholic church. Frank Glowaty, who became principal in 1975, announced Thursday he will not return as principal next year. “I have concluded it is in the best interest of the school for somebody else to...


    Gurnee park preschool:

    The Gurnee Park District will host two open house events in January for its Growing Tree Preschool, a news release stated.

    A scene from the video game, “Wii Fit U”. Even with new titles including “Pikmin 3,” Nintendo failed to capitalize on U.S. video-game product sales that surged to their highest in three years in December.

    Nintendo forced to study new business model

    “The revision is much worse than expected,” Yusuke Tsunoda, an analyst at Tokai Tokyo Securities Co. in Tokyo, said by phone. “It’s going to be a third consecutive annual operating loss and that raises a serious management issue.”

    Debbie Miller

    Where’s the money coming, going in 65th House GOP race

    How much money are the candidates for the Republican nomination for the 65th District House seat raising, and spending, for their campaigns?

    Algonquin residents give the village high marks for being a good place to live and raise a family. Scott Nory, Jacob Halper and Eric Longo spend a warm July day last year fishing in a creek near Towne Park.

    Algonquin survey respondents not thrilled with traffic, taxes

    While Algonquin residents love their village, they hate its traffic and taxes, according to the results of a community survey released this week. “Our job is to make sure that our residents are happy,” Village President John Schmitt said. “In any areas they’re unhappy, we have to either be able to fix the problems they’re concerned about, or educate them to the...


    Dist. 200 considers issuing $10 million in bonds for school improvements

    The Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 board of education is considering the issuance of $10 million in bonds to pay for some “immediate” facility needs at 18 of the district’s 20 schools. “If we don’t do this we’re just kicking the can down the road,” said Superintendent Brian Harris. “We don’t have that amount of money in our operating...

    Reference Librarian Jane Shelton leads the Second Tuesday Book Discussion Group at the St. Charles Library.

    Winter reading in the suburbs: What's hot right now

    Barrington High School grad Veronica Roth's debut trilogy is on the minds of teens across the suburbs. Her three novels are consistently among the most checked out young adult books from Naperville to Grayslake.

    Brewmaster Ken McMullen of Naperville stirs the mash as he brews up a batch of IBA, India Brown Ale at the Hopvine Brewing Company in Aurora. During the mash process, various grains are steeped in hot water to extract the fermentable sugars required for fermentation.

    Moving Picture: Naperville brewmaster crafts hobby into a career

    Brewmaster Ken McMullen of Naperville turned his passion for craft beer from a homebrew project into a career making great beer for others. “From the first time I tried (brewing) beer, I was mesmerized,” McMullen said. After brewing his first batch at home, he thought to himself, “I can make a living at this.” Turns out he was right.

    The 1901 Victorian home at 1217 Marion St. in Dunmore, Pa.

    Couple advertises home as ‘slightly haunted’

    There were calls from ghost hunters. An open house attracted lots of curiosity seekers, but no legitimate buyers. And a former resident came out of the woodwork to tell the couple that when he was a kid, he found a human skull in the basement — the same basement whose door Sandi Leeson once barricaded because she swore she could hear the clicking of a cigarette lighter emanating from the...

    Angel Wings board member Debbie Flader, right, her daughter, Noel, who has epilepsy, her husband John, and her daughter and foundation Executive Director Becki Flader stand in front of the 2014 Toyota Highlander the foundation won with Schaumburg Toyota/Scion General Manager Chris Haley.

    Angel Wings in Hanover Park wins Toyota

    Angel Wings, a Hanover Park-based nonprofit organization that is working to provide safe and independent housing to adults with epilepsy, was presented with a new 2014 Toyota Highlander by Schaumburg Toyota/Scion as part of the automaker’s 100 Cars for Good program. As part of a national program, Toyota gave away 100 cars to 100 nonprofits over the course of 50 days. Angel Wings was the only...

    Pope Benedict XVI meets with his brother Monsignor Georg Ratzinger at the Vatican. Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.

    Pope defrocks 400 priests in two years

    VATICAN CITY — A document obtained by The Associated Press shows Pope Benedict XVI defrocked nearly 400 priests over just two years for molesting children.

    Keith Wheeler

    Fundraising records show who’s lining up behind 50th House candidates

    Who is supporting who in the Republican primary for the nomination for the state 50th House District seat?

    J.P. Maund, a trainer at Life Time Fitness in Warrenville, receives the Warrenville Fire Protection District's Lifesaving Award from Chief Dennis Rogers. Maund was honored Wednesday night for helping resuscitate a man who went into cardiac arrest at the gym Dec. 4.

    Warrenville firefighters recognize trainer for helping save life

    A trainer at a Warrenville gym whom authorities say helped save a man's life was honored this week by the Warrenville Fire Protection District. J.P. Maund, who works at LifeTime Fitness at Diehl and Winfield Roads in Warrenville, is credited with helping resuscitate a 59-year-old man who went into cardiac arrest at 4:55 p.m. Dec. 4.

    Pastor Corey Brooks from New Beginnings Church in Chicago will speak Monday, Jan. 20, at DuPage County's Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.

    'Rooftop pastor' to speak at DuPage Dr. Martin Luther King celebration

    When organizers of this year's annual DuPage County Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebratation looked for a keynote speaker, they wanted someone local who was high-profile enough to bring in an audience. The Rev. Corey B. Brooks Sr., known as the "rooftop pastor" for the 94 days he spent on the roof of an abandoned motel in Chicago to raise money to tear it down and replace it with a community...

    Dennis McGuire was executed Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, by means of a two-drug lethal injection process never before tried in the United States.

    Daughter: Ohio execution most awful moment of life

    The execution of an Ohio inmate who gasped and took an unusually long time to die was “torture,” the man’s daughter said Friday in announcing plans to file a lawsuit over her father’s death. McGuire’s daughter, Amber McGuire, referred to the “agony and terror” of watching her father die on Thursday — using the same words the condemned man’s attorneys used in trying to stop his execution using a...


    Explosion hits Bangkok protesters, wounding dozens

    Dozens of people were wounded in Thailand’s capital Friday when a grenade blast ripped through a crowd of marching anti-government demonstrators, an ominous development that raises tensions in the country’s political crisis and the specter of more bloodshed to come.

    David Wildstein, the former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie who directed lane closures that backed up traffic for hours in one New Jersey town, is reiterating that he is ready to share more information if he can be granted immunity from prosecution.

    Player in NJ bridge scandal will talk for immunity

    The former appointee of Gov. Chris Christie who directed lane closures that backed up traffic for hours in one New Jersey town is reiterating that he is ready to share more information if he can be granted immunity from prosecution. Meanwhile, 17 other people and three organizations are being issued subpoenas as lawmakers try to learn exactly how the September lane closures happened and why.

    Residents begin cleanup after a tornado plowed through rural sections of eastern Mississippi, killing at least one person and causing widespread damage and power outages last spring. The Storm Prediction Center plans to broaden its days-in-advance warning system for severe weather after finding the days labeled with a “Slight Risk” tag turned out to have storms that were fairly stout — and even deadly.

    Forecasters adding new layers of storm outlooks

    The Storm Prediction Center intends to broaden its advance warning system for severe weather after finding that days it labeled with a “slight risk” turned out to be pretty nasty. State emergency managers say they’re already attuned to bad weather, but believe new labels for its severe weather outlooks, “enhanced” and “marginal,” could keep them from crying “wolf” — and the public from tuning...

    Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., says he plans to finish the current year in office and resign his seat nearly two years before his term is scheduled to end.

    U.S. Sen. Coburn to resign after current session

    Sen. Tom Coburn has announced he will resign at the end of the current session of Congress, nearly two years before his term is scheduled to end. The decision comes just months after the two-term Republican senator was diagnosed with a recurrence of prostate cancer, but the 65-year-old said in a statement late Thursday that his health wasn’t the reason.

    Cynthia Fuerst

    Vernon Area Library to ease some borrowing rules for non-residents

    Vernon Area Public Library officials are set to lift one of the last remaining restrictions for out-of-district patrons who check out materials at the Lincolnshire facility.

    A firefighting plane makes a water drop on a wildfire that’s burning in the hills just north of the San Gabriel Valley community of Glendora, Calif., on Thursday, Jan 16, 2014. Southern California authorities have ordered the evacuation of homes at the edge of a fast-moving wildfire burning in the dangerously dry foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

    Crews chase flare-ups in California fire

    Firefighters were chasing early-morning flare-ups Friday in a damaging wildfire that was largely tamed but kept thousands of people from their homes in the foothill suburbs northeast of Los Angeles. Spots of open flames chewed through brush along hillsides, raining embers and ash onto communities abutting the San Gabriel Mountains as crews doused properties in the path of the fire. Firefighters...

    Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said Friday that his country is prepared to implement a cease-fire in the war-torn city of Aleppo and exchange detainees with the country’s opposition forces as confidence building measures ahead of a peace conference opening next week in Switzerland.

    Syria says ready for cease-fire, prisoners swap

    Syria’s foreign minister said Friday his country is prepared to implement a cease-fire in the war-torn city of Aleppo and exchange detainees with the country’s opposition forces as a confidence building measure ahead of a peace conference opening next week in Switzerland.

    Princess, left, a Bactrian camel famous for her ability to correctly predict the winner of football games, was euthanized Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014 after arthritis made it impossible for the 26-year-old animal to stand, said Bergmann, just weeks before the state is set to host its first Super Bowl.

    NJ’s pigskin-picking camel dies before Super Bowl

    New Jersey’s pigskin-prognosticating camel has died just weeks before the state is set to host its first Super Bowl. Princess was a fixture at the Popcorn Park Zoo in Lacey Township for 10 years and gained fame for picking winners. Princess correctly picked the Baltimore Ravens in last year’s Super Bowl. Her best run came in the 2008 season, when she picked 17 of 22 games correctly, including the...

    First lady is celebrating her 50th birthday Friday. The first lady was spending the day out of sight, with no scheduled public appearances after back-to-back events at the White House this week. A big birthday bash is on tap for Saturday night at the White House. President Barack Obama has been involved in planning it.

    Happy birthday for Michelle Obama, who turns 50

    Michelle Obama is celebrating her 50th birthday Friday. The first lady is spending the day out of sight, with no public appearances after back-to-back White House events this week. But she tweeted a picture of herself holding up her AARP card. She tweeted, quote, “Excited to join Barack” in the 50-plus club today. “check out my @AARP card!”

    This photo was taken in east central Iowa right after Christmas. The warm, early morning sun caused the ground fog to envelop the five lone trees in the field washing out everything around the trees.

    Images: Photo contest finalists

    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of January, 13th.


    Clinton Lake fish kill blamed on water temps

    Wildlife officials say changes in water temperature are to blame for a central Illinois fish kill. The (Bloomington) Pantagraph reports more than 5,300 dead fish were found this week in Clinton Lake. The dead fish included walleye, bass, crappie and channel catfish.

    Jacques Nuzzo, the program director at the Illinois Raptor Center in Decatur, wraps the wing of Diablo, a barn owl at the center’s hospital.

    Animals are Decatur man’s devotion

    From the earliest age, Jacques Nuzzo was taught that the birds of the sky were a treasure to be carefully observed and guarded. Growing up in Decatur, he would often visit his grandmother, a self-proclaimed bird lover with a backyard full of feeders, and what he remembers of those days isn’t necessarily the birds, but her reaction to them.


    Lewis University campus death likely alcohol related

    Administrators at a Romeoville college say the death of a 22-year-old man whose body was found in a dorm room was likely alcohol related.Elvis Dominguez-Mejia’s body was found Thursday morning at Lewis University.Officials say the Joliet man was visiting a friend who attended the school.


    Transportation-training center construction begins

    Structural work on a $45 million transportation-training center will begin soon at Chicago’s Olive Harvey College. Gov. Pat Quinn announced Thursday that $4.6 million from the Illinois Jobs Now! capital program for structural work.


    Dist. 211 to raise lunch prices by 10 cents

    Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 board members on Thursday voted to keep student user fees at the same prices they've been for years, but they raised the cost of lunch by 10 cents.


    Dawn Patrol: Carbon monoxide death in mansion; arrest in ’06 murder

    1 dead, 7 taken to hospital after Oak Brook carbon monoxide leak; son arrested in Algonquin Township couple's 2006 slayings; Hinsdale Middle School to be closed today; 3 of 5 Elgin shooting victims out of hospital; Northwest suburban coach preached hard work and dedication; can Hawks slow down high-flying Ducks?

    Judy Biggert

    State Republicans to pick national leader Saturday

    Bob Schillerstrom is running for GOP national committeeman, and the decision will get made Saturday. Sandack and Matune square off. Truax gets a DuPage County boost. And the Wheeling Republicans cross up Cook County.



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


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


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


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


    Gunderson, Barrington able to finish at Conant

    It seemed like a long drought for Brooke Gunderson. After dominating in the first quarter with 11 points in leading Barrington to a 17-4 lead over Conant, it was late in the game and the senior guard hadn’t scored again. And to make matters worse for the Fillies, the host Cougars had rallied all the back to tie the contest at 36 with just minutes remaining. “We’ve had trouble closing teams out,” said Gunderson. “It’s occurred too many times, and this time we all said that it wasn’t going to happen again.” The senior made sure it didn’t, stepping up with the game on the line with a couple of late steals and buckets as Barrington eked out a 40-39 Mid-Suburban West win on Friday. Gunderson tallied a game-high 15 points, while Dee Dee Durr led Conant with 9.


    True to form, Gorecki and Fremd roll

    Prior to Friday’s Mid-Suburban West girls basketball game, Fremd junior standout Haley Gorecki was recognized for scoring her 1,000th point against Montini in the quarterfinals of the Montini Christmas Tournament.Gorecki then went out and added to that total with a game-high 18 points as the Vikings retained their grip on first place in the Mid-Suburban West with a 52-22 triumph over visiting Palatine.


    Yorkville drops Kaneland in OT

    Yorkville’s Josh Bondurant was crushed, missing on the potential game-winning drive in the last couple seconds of regulation against Kaneland


    North Chicago picking up steam

    Every season North Chicago boys basketball coach Gerald Coleman predicts that his team will win the state tournament, and every year his team falls a little short. Coleman feels that his could be the year that the Warhawks go all the way in Class 3A. “The competition gets tougher as you go and everything has to click at the right time,” Coleman said. “Last year we had some off-the court issues that took us from the things we wanted to do.” Coleman also knows his team has to take care of buisness before the tournament starts. His Warhawks continued to do that Friday night, as they blasted visiting Wauconda 86-41 to remain perfect in the North Suburban Prairie Division.


    ICCP connects when it counts

    Suburban Christian Gold-leading IC Catholic Prep edged second-place St. Edward 69-63 in Elgin Friday because the Knights made more shots with the game in the balance. St. Edward led 49-48 entering the fourth quarter of a competitive contest that featured seven ties and six lead changes, but the Knights sank 6 of 8 field goals and 9 of 12 free throws in the final period, whereas the short-handed Green Wave missed 10 of 15 fourth-quarter field-goal attempts.


    Claussner steps up, shoots St. Charles East past Larkin

    When a fractured kneecap ended Amanda Hilton’s basketball career at St. Charles East last week, the Saints’ other concern was whether the all-conference point guard’s injury would end the team’s season hopes, too. St. Charles East struggled to adjust to Hilton’s absence in its first three games without her, beating Elgin but losing at Streamwood and getting shelled 63-41 at Batavia on Tuesday. The Saints’ problems continued on Senior Night Friday when Larkin erased a 15-8 deficit and jumped ahead 30-26 early in the third quarter. That’s when Katelyn Claussner officially took the baton from Hilton as the Saints’ new floor leader.


    West Aurora continues perfect DVC start

    Naperville North coach Jeff Powers tried to slow down West Aurora standouts Jontrell Walker and Roland Griffin with a triangle-in-two defense after the duo combined for all 18 of the Blackhawks’ first-quarter points. But Tommy Koth and Matt Dunn made the strategy backfire when they were the focal points of another West Aurora surge. The Blackhawks blistered Naperville North with 64 percent shooting from the field, raced to a 24-point lead at halftime and remained flawless in DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball play with a 77-53 victory Friday night in Aurora.


    Timothy Christian gets back into swing of things

    Before Friday the 30 most familiar to Timothy Christian senior Connor VanderBrug was the calendar date of his team’s last basketball game.

    Geneva’s Nate Navigato puts up a shot over Batavia’s Micah Coffey during Friday’s game in Geneva.

    Geneva’s defense stymies Batavia

    Geneva’s boys basketball team had one thing going for them that their girls counterpart didn’t Friday night. The Vikings didn’t have to guard Liza Fruendt. To cap a boys/girls doubleheader with the crowd still buzzing after Fruendt’s 51 points in the opener, Geneva’s defense held Batavia to 9 first-half points on its way to a 57-44 win that wasn’t nearly as close as the final score indicates.

    Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph goes airborn to deliver two against Hersey’s defense.

    Kemph leads Meadows’ comeback win at Hersey

    Hersey’s girls basketball team was patient Friday night. Rolling Meadows guard Jackie Kemph was not. The 2012-13 Illinois Gatorade Player of the Year dashed relentlessly to the basket for 13 of her game-high 27 points in the third quarter as the state’s No. 3-ranked team in Class 4A erased 0a 2-point halftime deficit for a 58-45 win at the Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights. The disciplined Huskies, who made several passes on each possession, were able to take a 27-25 lead at the break when junior Annie Korff hit a 16-footer with three seconds left.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Burlington Central 35, Rockford Christian 34: Sophomore Sam Pryor made a free throw with no time left on the clock as the Rockets hung on for their 19th straight Big Northern East win. Central (15-3, 6-0) scored the first 15 points of the game before struggling to find the basket the rest of the night. Rockford Christian closed the gap to 19-13 at halftime and 25-22 by the end of the third quarter before there were six lead changes and two ties in the fourth quarter. Shelby Holt led BC with 10 points. Pryor had 6, while Alison Colby and Becca Gerke added 5 each. The Rockets travel to WIllowbrook today to take on Class 4A power Fremd (16-2) at the McDonald’s Shootout.Westminster Christian 75, Elgin 44: The Warriors (17-2) notched their third-straight win and clinched the Elgin City Classic championship behind McKaila Hays’ game-high 21 points on 3 3-pointers. Maddie Versluys poured in 18 points and had 9 rebounds while Claire Speweik turned in a 6-point, 16-rebound effort. Ahead by 1 point midway through the second quarter, Westminster outscored the Maroons 54-24 until the final buzzer. Melanie Berg led Elgin (6-12) with 15 points while Anna Eckholm and Abby Pierre-Louis each chipped in 12. St. Edward 72, Aurora Central Catholic 62: The Green Wave (12-7, 4-2) fought off a furious, fourth quarter rally by the Chargers to earn a Suburban Christian Blue road win. Maddie Spagnola finished with a game-high 19 points (7-of-7 at the foul line) while Katie Swanson managed 16 points. Clarissa Ramos and Katie Castoro each added 10. ACC trailed by as many as 22 in the third quarter and cut the Wave lead to 7 under 4 minutes to play. But St. Edward averted the crisis by knocking down 13 of 16 from the charity stripe in the fourth to preserve the win. Harvest Christian 51, Elgin Academy 18: Coming off a win at IMSA Thursday night, the Lions were able to handle the back-to-back, picking up a win in a rout during the Elgin City Classic at Elgin. The Lions (9-7) were able to use another big night from junior Kylee Knox in a game that looked to be over after the first quarter. Leading the area with 21.5 points per game, Knox poured in 20 while picking up 4 assists and 5 steals. Rachel Oostdyk and Morgan Lockwood also contributed with 12 and 11 points respectively for the Lions, who will next play on Monday against Westminster in the final game of the Elgin City Classic. Praire Ridge 60, Jacobs 42: Down by 18 at the half, the Golden Eagles (4-16, 2-5), despite hitting 9 3-pointers on the night, could not fight their way back into the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division contest at home. After a 2-point first quarter, the Golden Eagles were able to find the find the bottom of the basket more consistently, scoring in double-figures the rest of the way. Jennifer Barnec and Tiffany Frighetto led Jacobs with 7 points apiece and got to the foul line a combined 10 times, hitting a total of 7 free-throws.CL Central 46, Hampshire 31: In Fox Valley Conference Fox Division action, the Whip-Purs (7-11, 2-5) dropped their second meeting with the Tigers by the same exact score as the Dec. 10 loss at CL Central. Emma Benoit scored 7 of her team-high 9 points in the first quarter, when Hampshire held a 13-8 lead. Benoit tallied 7 rebounds as well and Tricia Dumoulin added 8 points and 3 steals but a 21-4 second quarter by CLC was the difference. Crystal Lake South 68, Dundee-Crown: The Gators (12-7, 4-2) used a pair of 20-point plus quarters in the second half to secure the win over the visiting Chargers (6-17, 1-6) in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division. It also helped the Gators to have Sara Mickow on the floor. Mickow scored 25 points while snaring 19 rebounds and grabbing 4 steals, helping South beat D-C for the second time in less than a month.


    Grayslake N. knocks off 3A power Washington

    A trip to central Illinois didn’t cool off Grayslake North’s girls basketball team.Kendall Detweiler poured in 26 points, and the Knights knocked off host Washington 60-50 Friday night. Washington is ranked sixth in Class 3A.Grayslake North (12-6) won its fourth straight game and eighth in its last nine.Brittney Thibeaux and Sidney Lovitsch added 13 and 10 points, respectively, for the Knights, who led 11-10 after one quarter, 27-23 at halftime and 43-35 after three. Detweiler and Lovitsch each hit two 3-pointers.Grayslake Central 41, Johnsburg 24: Morgan Dahlstrom scored a game-high 18 points, as the visiting Rams won the Fox Valley Fox Division contest.Grayslake Central (14-6, 6-1) also received 8 points from Theresa Curtis in winning its third in a row.Wauconda 44, Round Lake 24: Eleven players scored for the Bulldogs, who were led by Anna Wisniewski’s 8 points in the North Suburban Prairie game.Jackie Lung and Dani Sturm each had 6 points for Wauconda (9-6, 4-2). Katie Rossetti and Lauren Nee had 9 and 6 rebounds, respectively.Round Lake (3-19, 0-6) got 13 points from Justice Clark and 7 from Destiny Brown.

    Stevenson forward Nick Dillon shoots the ball against Lake Forest defender Steve Vogrich at Stevenson on Friday.

    Big night for Dillon, Stevenson

    The basket — a pump fake to get his defender airborne and then a drive and finish — was vintage Jalen Brunson. Only it wasn’t Jalen Brunson who made the slick move during Stevenson’s 66-50 win over visiting Lake Forest in the North Suburan Conference Lake Division basketball game Friday night. It was Nick Dillon, who looks like he could be a bodyguard for Brunson, the Patriots’ star. “I learn from the best,” the 6-foot-3, 265-pound Dillon said with a smile. Stevenson’s best was at his best again. Brunson dropped in a game-high 25 points, including four 3-pointers, while also coming up with 5 steals and taking a pair of charges. Fellow guard Connor Cashaw added 15 points and 12 rebounds, as Stevenson (14-1, 4-1) rebounded from its loss a week earlier to Zion-Benton.


    Just one problem in Naperville Central win

    Naperville Central needed to overcome a poor free-throw shooting effort in the fourth quarter to secure a road win at Wheaton North.


    Grayslake Central storms back to beat Dundee-Crown

    Grayslake Central was plodding along at a point-a-minute pace and trailing by 6 points late in the third quarter of its Fox Valley Conference boys basketball crossover at Dundee-Crown on Friday night. So, the Rams decided to scramble defensively and trap their way out of their doldrums. It sparked a 22-point outburst in the final 10 minutes and they held on for a 44-41 victory in Carpentersville.


    Balliu, Lakes more than measure up against Antioch

    The task for the shorthanded Lakes boys basketball team on defense Friday night against the visiting Antioch Sequoits was to try and slow down feisty Sequoits point guard AJ Marsiglio. One way to slow down a feisty hard-nosed basketball players is to use another feisty and hard-nosed player to match up with him. And Lakes junior Jake Balliu was more than up to the task. Marsiglio still managed to lead his team in scoring with 11 points, but he needed 10 shots to do it and never really got on the type of roll that could carry Antioch to the win. Balliu stood in his way most of the night and added a game-best 12 points to lead the Eagles, who played minus TJ Edwards and Devyn Cedzidlo, in a 44-38 win over the visiting Sequoits.


    Waubonsie Valley falters against South Elgin

    In a chippy, physical battle the South Elgin Storm girls basketball team took care of the Waubonsie Valley Warriors with a 43-30 road victory on Friday night.


    Fremd tops Palatine as Glassmann surpasses 1,000 points

    On an night when it was offensively challenged, Fremd showed the importance of playing defense. The Vikings struggled against Palatine’s zone defense, but Fremd turned up the defensive pressure enough to help cook their crosstown rivals 37-22 Friday. And oddly, on a night when offense was so limited, Fremd guard Riley Glassmann reached quite a milestone. He finished with 14 points to put him past 1,000 in his career; he now has 1,005 points in a Fremd varsity uniform.


    Glenbard North dunks WW South

    With a five-game road trip just around the corner, Glenbard North wanted to put on a good show for the home crowd Friday night in Carol Stream. The Panthers wasted little time getting their fans on their feet with a rapid start that paved the way to a 25-10 first-quarter lead on their way to a 69-50 DuPage Valley Conference win over Wheaton Warrenville South.

    Geneva’s Grace Loberg blocks a shot by Batavia’s Erin Bayram (33) during Friday’s game in Geneva.

    Fruendt’s 51 leads Batavia past Geneva

    With her last chance in her four years to get a win on rival Geneva’s home court, Liza Fruendt left everything she had on the floor Friday — and put the basketball in the hoop like no Bulldog has done before. Fruendt, who just became the school’s all-time leading scorer Tuesday, torched the Vikings for a staggering 51 points Friday, leading her team to their first win at Geneva in six years, 75-68.


    Rosencrants steps up for St. Charles North

    St. Charles North’s Morgan Rosencrants is accustomed to playing alongside junior teammate Nichole Davidson. When Davidson was called for her second foul with 2:07 left in the opening quarter and subsequently sat out the entire second quarter, Rosencrants picked up the pieces and stepped up her game. The 6-foot-1 sophomore forward scored 10 first-half points as the North Stars grabbed a 24-17 lead over Streamwood at the intermission.Rosencrants finished with a team-high 18 points and 13 rebounds to lift the North Stars (9-10, 3-3) to a 44-36 Upstate Eight Conference River Division girls basketball victory over Streamwood (7-10, 2-4) Friday night in Streamwood.

    The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler makes a strong move to the basket over John Wall of the Wizards on Friday in Washington.

    Weary Bulls hits the Wall, fading down the stretch

    The Bulls played well in Washington, but seemed to hit a wall midway through the fourth quarter on Friday. They scored just 2 points in the final five minutes and lost to the Wizards 96-93. Just two days earlier, the Bulls won a triple-overtime game in Orlando.


    In the end, momentum favors Z-B against Libertyville

    One 3-point shot could’ve been the momentum-changer for Libertyville’s boys basketball team against Zion-Benton on Friday night. The Wildcats had clawed back from a 14-point second-quarter deficit to tie the game on Jack Lipp’s jumper with five minutes left in the final quarter. He finished with a team-best 21 points. When Libertyville got the ball back following a Zion-Benton turnover, Matt Reed (14 points), who had hit 3 straight three-pointers in the fourth quarter, lined up a try at a fourth straight. But Libertyville’s momentum ran out at that point, as Reed’s shot went in and out. After the Wildcats missed that opportunity at the lead — the first such chance since the first couple minutes of the first quarter — they didn’t get another. Zion-Benton never relinquished the lead and held off host Libertyville 67-64 in the North Suburban Lake game on Friday night.


    Wolves rally before falling in OT

    After rallying to force overtime with a pair of power-play scores, the Chicago Wolves surrendered their third power-play goal with 1:11 left in extra time and fell 3-2 to Toronto on Friday night at Allstate Arena in Rosemont.Defenseman Cade Fairchild started the Wolves’ rally with his first goal of the year, and left wing Sergey Andronov pulled the Wolves (20-14-2-2) into a tie at 3:19 of the third period. Mark Mancari added 2 assists for the Wolves, who saw their home winning streak end at seven games.


    Maine West shoots down Niles North

    It took long enough for Maine West to get the message. Now, they’re delivering it. The Warriors showed Friday night just how far they’ve come under the tutelage of first-year head coach John Bongiorno in a 72-61 Central Suburban North thumping of visiting Niles North.


    Conant clinches share of MSL West title

    It was a long evening, but when it had finally ended, a relieved Chad Hay was wearning a big smile. Conant’s coach saw an impressive season continue as the Cougars held off defending Mid-Suburban West champion Barrington 42-23 Friday to clinch at least a tie for the MSL West crown, ending the Broncos’ hopes for a fourth consecutive title.


    Benet scores inside and out

    Benet took advantage of the much younger Notre Dame Dons to win 74-58 in the East Suburban Catholic Conference on Friday in Lisle.


    Tough night all around for Glenbard West

    A bench technical that was assessed to Oak Park-River Forest before action even got under way was about the only thing that went right for Glenbard West on Friday night.


    Mundelein manages to hang on against Lakes

    With two weeks until the North Suburban Conference wrestling meet, visting Lakes and Mundelein met in a rare NSC crossover dual meet Friday night. Three straight forfeits early in the meet really hurt Lakes’ chances as the Eagles were facing a huge 27-0 deficit after only six bouts. Lakes (16-5) did put together a very strong comeback late in the meet. But Mundelein (15-3) had built a large enough lead that the Mustangs were able to hold off the Eagles for a 35-26 victory.


    DiCanio turns things around for Bartlett

    Ryan DiCanio made a mistake Friday night and knew he had to make up for it. The junior was whistled for a technical foul in the fourth quarter that sparked a 7-0 South Elgin run which gave the Storm the lead. DiCanio scored 7 points in the Hawks’ 15-2 run to end the game as Bartlett beat South Elgin, 72-60, in Upstate Eight Valley Division action.


    Breaststroke standouts sparkle as Prospect edges Meadows

    The marquee matchup went in favor of Rolling Meadows, but Prospect had a slightly happier ending. Rolling Meadows junior Jake Barson and Prospect senior Nathanael Ginnodo finally had a head-to-head meeting as the Mid-Suburban League’s top two 100-yard breaststrokers so far this season competed on Friday at Elk Grove in an East Division duel. Barson produced the top MSL time with a 1:01.03, just ahead of Ginnodo (1:01.89). But as has been the case for so many of Prospect’s foes, the Knights’ balance and depth was just too formidable in a 109-77 decision.

    The Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews puts pressure on Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller during the second period Friday at the United Center.

    Just ducky! Hawks end Anaheim's 8-game winning streak

    The Blackhawks were looking to make a statement Friday night against the red-hot Anaheim Ducks. They can consider their mission accomplished The Hawks cooled off Anaheim, ending the Ducks' eight-game winning streak, with a 4-2 victory at the United Center. “We knew this was a big weekend for us with Anaheim tonight and Boston on Sunday and it's nice to get the first one,” Bryan Bickell said.


    Neuqua Valley converts turnovers to points

    When Neuqua Valley was forcing turnovers against Metea Valley on Friday night in Naperville, it opened up its lead. When the visiting Mustangs could break the Neuqua press, they cut into the lead. Neuqua Valley forced 31 Metea Valley turnovers in the Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division girls basketball game, running away with a 56-37 victory.


    Naperville North defeats West Aurora

    The Naperville North wrestling team enjoyed a 39-23 senior night victory Friday night against West Aurora. But more important than the win for the Huskies or the loss for the Blackhawks was the question, are both teams ready for the postseason?

    Westminster Christian’s Robert Kleczynski works past Harvest Christian’s Brett Cramer Friday in Elgin.

    Westminster Christian holds off rival Harvest

    Westminster Christian came away with a win and both teams played well for the most part, but neither coach was completely satisfied after the Warriors downed Harvest Christian Academy, 61-49, in Northeastern Athletic Conference boys basketball action at Harvest Friday night. For Harvest’s Jeff Boldog, the chief complaint was a turnover-plagued stretch in the second quarter that allowed Westminster to take control. The Lions committed 13 first-half turnovers, which allowed the Warriors to go on a 20-5 run that began with the last basket of the first quarter and ended with Westminster ahead 29-13.


    Hard work pays dividends for Hawks’ Smith

    He isn’t flashy or ultra skilled, but Blackhawks winger Ben Smith knows that hard work will keep him earning an NHL paycheck. “It’s what I have to do to stick around here,” Smith said. “Be strong on the puck and win puck battles. If I’m on top of my game, then I’m doing all those things.” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville agrees, as he explains in today's Blackhawks notebook.

    Images from Rolling Meadows vs Hersey girls basketball on Friday, January 17th.

    Images: Hersey vs. Rolling Meadows, girls basketball
    The Hersey High School girls basketball team hosted the Rolling Meadows girls on Friday, January 17th, in Arlington Heights.


    Zornow, Huntley outlast Cary-Grove

    Huntley senior guard Bethany Zornow scored only 3 points, but without her smothering defense on Cary-Grove scoring machine Katie Barker the Red Raiders could have been in trouble. Zornow held Barker to 11 points, 9 under her average as the Red Raiders were able to post a 48-38 win over Cary-Grove in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division girls basketball action in Cary Friday night.

    Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews, right, and Anaheim Ducks' Hampus Lindholm watch the puck during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Chicago, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Blackhawks cool off Ducks with 4-2 victory

    Marian Hossa scored two goals, and Kris Versteeg and Bryan Bickell also tallied to lead the Blackhawks past Anaheim 4-2 on Friday night to end the Ducks’ eight-game winning streak and hand them only their second loss in the past 20 games. Corey Crawford made 19 saves to help the Blackhawks end a five-game losing streak against Anaheim — including three straight in Chicago — and beat the Ducks for the first time since December 2011.


    Bradley pulls away from Southern Illinois, 66-60

    PEORIA — Walt Lemon, Jr. got to the basket for a dunk and Omari Grier got to the line to make 3 of 4 free throws in the final minute as Bradley knocked off Southern Illinois for the third straight time, 66-60 Friday night.It’s the first time Bradley has won three straight against the Salukis since a string that began in the 1999-2000 season and concluded in 2000-01.Jalen Pendleton pulled the Salukis even at 54-54 with a pair of free throws with 3:51 to play, but Bradley went on a 9-2 run highlighted by an Auston Barnes’ 3-pointer and capped by a pair of Grier free throws that made it 63-56 with under a minute left.Lemon scored 16 points to lead the Braves (7-12, 2-4 Missouri Valley), with Barnes and Mason Alwan each adding 12.Desmar Jackson scored 17 and Anthony Beane added 15 for Southern Illinois (6-13, 2-4).

    Photos from the Glenbard East at Lake Park boys basketball game Friday, Jan. 17 in Roselle.

    Images: Glenbard East at Lake Park boys basketball
    Lake Park hosted Glenbard East Friday, Jan 17 for boys basketball in Roselle.

    Images from the Lake Forest at Stevenson boys basketball game on Friday, January 17 in Lincolnshire.

    Images: Stevenson vs. Lake Forest boys basketball
    The Stevenson Patriots hosted the Lake Forest Scouts for boys basketball acton on Friday, January 17 in Lincolnshire.

    Images from the Westminster Christian vs. Harvest Christian boys basketball game Friday, January 17, 2014.

    Images: Westminster Christian vs. Harvest Christian boys basketball

    Westminster Christian at Harvest Christian boys basketball Friday, January 17th in Elgin.


    Bulls game day
    Bulls stories, notes, photos and graphics

    Washington Wizards guard John Wall, center, goes up for a shot under pressure from Chicago Bulls forward Carlos Boozer (5) and center Joakim Noah, right, during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Friday in Washington. The Bulls lost 96-93.

    Wall leads Wizards over Bulls 96-93

    John Wall had 23 points and 11 assists, and the Washington Wizards reached .500 for the third time this season with a 96-93 win over the Chicago Bulls on Saturday night. The Wizards had six players score in double figures in their third straight victory, two of them coming against Chicago. Bradley Beal and Martell Webster had 14 points apiece.

    Images from the Batavia vs. Geneva girls basketball game Friday, January 17, 2014.

    Images: Batavia vs. Geneva girls basketball
    Geneva hosted Batavia in a girls basketball matchup Friday night in Geneva.

    Cubs manager Rick Renteria, center, laughs with former Cub Bill Matlock, right, as Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins watches during the Cubs Convention Friday in Chicago.

    Optimistic Epstein ready to face Cubs fans

    Cubs president Theo Epstein said Friday he welcomes tough questions from fans attending this weekend's annual convention. This is Year 3 of the Epstein regime, and the Cubs have combined for 197 losses over the first two seasons. Epstein and team chairman Tom Ricketts will face the fans Saturday morning.

    Former Cuban star Jose Abreu has already impressed White Sox officials, including Kenny Williams and new hitting coach Todd Steverson. But as Scot Gregor points out, the proof will come in April when Abreu faces tough major-league pitchers such as Justin Verlander of the Tigers.

    What do Sox have in Abreu? Time will tell

    How good is new White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu going to be? Time will tell, but Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson liked what he saw from Abreu during a minicamp earlier this week.

    Former Lake Zurich basketball star Audrey Bauer celebrates after helping her Navy team win the Patriot League tourament last season. They are favored to repeat this season.

    Former LZ star Bauer sailing along at Navy

    Former Lake Zurich standout Audrey Bauer has made the most of her opportunites on and off the court at Navy. She has her team poised for another run at the Patriot League title and NCAA bid as she prepares to begin her duty afloat after graduating as a surface warfare officer.

    FILE - In this Oct. 7, 2012, file photo, Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, left, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, speak in the middle of the field after the Patriots beat the Broncos 31-21 in an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots are scheduled to play the Broncos in the AFC championship game on Sunday in Denver. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

    Patriots, Broncos overcame plenty of obstacles

    Embarrassing headlines. Sidelined superstars. Retooled offenses. Shredded defenses. It’s a wonder the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos made it this far.

    Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) celebrates with tight end Zach Miller (86) after running for a 31-yard touchdown against the New Orleans Saints during the fourth quarter of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

    Intimidation is real with 49ers, Seahawks

    Big, bad football players don’t get intimidated. Not by noise, weather, statistics or hard hits.Tell that to the two defenses about to attempt to dominate the NFC championship game Sunday.Or to the offenses, for that matter.

    Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin lies on the ground after being injured during the second quarter of an NFC divisional playoff NFL football game against the New Orleans Saints in Seattle, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

    WR Harvin ruled out for NFC title game

    As was the case for most of the season, the Seattle Seahawks will be without wide receiver Percy Harvin for the NFC championship game.

    FILE - In this Oct. 9, 2013, file photo, former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez attends a pretrial court hearing in Fall River, Mass. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty to killing Odin Lloyd, 27, a semi-professional football player from Boston who was dating the sister of Hernandez's girlfriend. Police wrote in a June 28, 2013 search warrant application that there was probable cause to believe that Hernandez was driving a vehicle used in a separate double slaying of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado, in Boston, and "may have been the shooter." (AP Photo/Brian Snyder, Pool, File)

    Former Patriots TE Hernandez can’t watch team play

    If former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez wants to know the score of Sunday’s AFC Championship game, he’ll have to hope he overhears it from an officer or a fellow inmate.

    New Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, center, poses with team owner Zygi Wilf, left, and Mark Wilf, right, during an NFL football media availability at Winter Park in Eden Prairie, Minn., Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Zimmer is the ninth head coach in the Vikings' franchise history.(AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

    Confident Zimmer takes over as Vikings coach

    The long wait to be an NFL head coach didn’t cost Mike Zimmer his confidence.After 35 years in the game as an assistant and two full decades in the league, his opportunity has finally arrived with Minnesota. Zimmer’s self-assured style, the edge softened by down-to-earth Midwest roots, helped him be successful. It’s one of the reasons the Vikings gave him the job.

    Serena Williams of the U.S. takes a drink during a break in her third round match against Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Friday, Jan. 17, 2014.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Djokovic, Williams into 4th round at Aussie Open

    The heat wave didn’t claim any major casualties at the Australian Open. Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams extended their winning streaks to move into the fourth round, and all except one of the leading contenders made it through to the weekend.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a ceremony of presentation of credentials by foreign ambassadors in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Putin: Gay ‘propaganda’ law doesn’t discriminate

    President Vladimir Putin sought Friday to reassure gay visitors to the Sochi Games that they are welcome in Russia despite a law banning gay “propaganda” to minors.

    FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2013, file photo, Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Chicago Cubs in Los Angeles. Kershaw has trouble contemplating the enormity of a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Dodgers that makes him baseball's richest pitcher. The team finalized the contract on Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, while Kershaw stayed home in Dallas. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)

    Clayton Kershaw calls lucrative deal ‘humbling’

    Even Clayton Kershaw has trouble contemplating the enormity of a $215 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers that makes him baseball’s richest pitcher.The team finalized the contract Friday, when Kershaw stayed home in Dallas. The 25-year-old ace says talking money is “a little bit uncomfortable for me.”

    FILE - In this April 6, 2013, file photo, Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer throws during a baseball game against the New York Yankees in Detroit. Scherzer has agreed to a one-year contract with the Tigers for $15,525,000, setting himself up for an even bigger payday when he becomes eligible for free agency after the season. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

    Scherzer, Tigers agree at $15.25 million for 1 year

    AL Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer agreed to a one-year contract with the Detroit Tigers for $15,525,000, avoiding arbitration with free agency still looming less than a year away.

    The Blackhawks and Daily Herald are partnering to present four screenings of “17 Seconds,” the documentary film about the team's improbable come-from-behind win to clinch the Stanley Cup last year in Boston. Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough will serve as the team's ambassador for the first screening, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26 at Classic Cinemas theater in Elk Grove Village.

    Blackhawks, Daily Herald partnering to screen Stanley Cup documentary

    The Chicago Blackhawks and Daily Herald are partnering to present four screenings of “17 Seconds,” the documentary film about the team's improbable come-from-behind win to clinch the Stanley Cup last year. Blackhawks President and CEO John McDonough will serve as the team's ambassador for the first screening, scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 26 at Classic Cinemas theater in Elk Grove Village.

    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has climbed up the NFL Draft lists. ESPN's Mel Kiper is the latest to predict Manziel will be the No. 1 pick.

    Why is Cubs mascot taking such a beating?

    With a new mascot for the Chicago Cubs, Mike North can’t understand why the anger isn’t pointed more directly at the team and its lack of success as opposed to targeting "Clark”?


    West Chicago digs deep for win

    In recent years a 10-point deficit might prove demoralizing to the West Chicago boys basketball team. This year’s Wildcats squad, however, doesn’t even get fazed by a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, as evidenced by Thursday night’s exciting rally that ended in a 78-74 defeat of visiting East Aurora in Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division play.


    Payne lifts Murray State over E. Illinois 70-66

    Cameron Payne scored seven points in the final 1:22 to carry Murray State to a 70-66 comeback victory on Thursday night at Eastern Illinois.


    Waubonsie Valley defeats South Elgin

    The rematch between the South Elgin boys basketball team and Waubonsie Valley on Thursday night in Aurora went down to the wire just like in early December when the Storm prevailed by two points.


    Paddock Publications CEO Doug Ray, left, listens as the Rev. Clyde Brooks, chairman of the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations, introduces him Friday night during the 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance and Celebration Dinner at the Chicago Marriott Northwest Hotel in Hoffman Estates.

    Diversity commission honors suburban leaders

    The Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations on Friday celebrated two suburban leaders at an event remembering Martin Luther King Jr., two days after what would have been the slain civil rights leader’s 85th birthday. The Rev. Clyde Brooks, the commission’s chairman, and Douglas K. Ray, CEO of Paddock Publications Inc., were lauded at the commission’s 13th annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Remembrance and Celebration Dinner in Hoffman Estates.


    Regulators close West Chicago bank

    The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Friday it has taken over DuPage National Bank, based in West Chicago.

    Associated Press The moon rises over Freedom Industries Inc.’s chemical plant along the banks of the Kanawha river in Marmet, W.Va.

    Company blamed for W.Va. spill files for bankruptcy

    After the spill, residents in a nine-county area around the state capital of Charleston were told not to use the water for anything other than flushing toilets. Some businesses and schools were forced to close for several days. The water restrictions have since been lifted for most residents.

    Shoppers at a Target store in Colma, Calif. The retail giant wasn’t the only company to get hit with a data breach over the holidays. Last week, Neiman Marcus said thieves stole some of its customers’ payment information and made unauthorized charges over the holidays.

    Shoppers fret about authenticity of Target emails

    According to Target, hackers stole data related to 40 million credit and debit card accounts and also pilfered personal information, including email addresses, phone numbers, home addresses and names of as many as 70 million customers. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder says it’s those 70 million people that Target contacted by email.

    Signs warn river traffic about a section of water containing an electric fish barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal Romeoville in 2009. A toxic chemical was dumped Wednesday as part of state and federal efforts to keep the voracious and invasive Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes.

    Congresswoman criticizes handling of Asian carp issue

    A congresswoman whose district stretches more than 100 miles alongside Lake Erie has criticized federal officials for not acting with enough urgency to keep harmful Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.

    A General Electric logo is displayed on a kitchen appliances Thuirsday in an H.H. Gregg store in Cranberry Township, Pa. General Electric Co. reported quarterly financial results Friday and its stock slumped 62 cents, or 2.3 percent, to $26.58 after profit margins in the company’s industrial unit fell short of its own targets.

    Stocks mostly lower as earnings fall short

    About 10 percent of the companies in the S&P 500 have reported fourth-quarter results so far. Despite the disappointing earnings on Friday, profits are still forecast to climb 5.3 percent for the period to a record of $27.76 a share, according to S&P Capital IQ.

    A builder works on the the roof of a home under construction in Wilmette last December.

    Homebuilding dips, but best year since ’07

    Construction activity in December fell 33.5 percent in the Midwest and 12.3 percent in the South. Construction rose 15 percent in the West and was unchanged in the Northeast.Mortgage rates are roughly a percentage point higher than in the spring.

    Cecilia Abadie, left, wears a Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device while her attorney, William Concidine, speaks to the media, Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014 in San Diego. A San Diego traffic court threw out a citation Thursday against Abadie, a woman believed to be the first motorist in the country ticketed for driving while wearing a Google Glass computer-in-eyeglass device.

    More fights could follow driver’s Google Glass win

    A California woman believed to be the first person cited for wearing Google Glass while driving won her case, but legal experts say it marks only the beginning of what they predict will be numerous court battles fought in the gap between today’s laws and fast-arriving technology.

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday gave the long-planned FutureGen clean-coal project one of the final OKs it needs to start building.

    FutureGen gets key U.S. Energy Department approval

    The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday gave the long-planned FutureGen clean-coal project one of the final OKs it needs to start building. The Energy Department issued its 25-page approval of the $1.65 billion plan that would refit a coal-fired power plant in Meredosia in western Illinois. The project would remove carbon dioxide from the coal and store it underground. The greenhouse gas is linked to climate change.

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has appealed a decision that would put a central Illinois landfill a step closer to storing toxic waste over an aquifer that provides water for about 750,000 people.

    Illinois AG appeals order on toxic-waste landfill

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has appealed a decision that would put a central Illinois landfill a step closer to storing toxic waste over an aquifer that provides water for about 750,000 people. Madigan’s office said Thursday that she appealed last year’s Illinois Pollution Control Board order allowing the Clinton Landfill to store cancer-causing PCBs.

    The price to board an airliner in the United States has risen for the fourth straight year, making it increasingly expensive to fly almost anywhere.

    Airfares continue to rise, up 12 percent since `09

    The price to board an airliner in the United States has risen for the fourth straight year, making it increasingly expensive to fly almost anywhere. The average domestic roundtrip ticket, including tax, reached $363.42 last year, up more than $7 from the prior year.

Life & Entertainment

    The courageous crew at Red Letter Media watches terrible movies so you don't have to in their hilarious web series, “Best of the Worst.”

    Hibernating? Chill out with offbeat shows, DVDs
    We've had our share of frigid days and snowy nights this winter, times when you just want to curl up on the couch instead of heading into the bitter cold. For those kind of days — and we're sure there will be more — we have a few recommendations for shows, movies and Internet videos sure to warm up a night at home. All are available on either DVD, Netflix or online. So grab a blanket, order some takeout and settle in for a night of chills, thrills and well-earned laughs.


    Short and Sweet critic Lauren Dennhardt reviews Ghost the Musical, hosted by Diana Martinez

    Short and Sweet critic for the day, Lauren Dennhardt of Buffalo Grove, reviews Ghost the Musical in an interview with Diana Martinez.

    Strange happenings surround Sam’s (Allison Miller) unborn child in “Devil’s Due.”

    Few surprises, less scares in gimmicky ‘Devil’s Due’

    A “Rosemary’s Baby” for the “Paranormal Activity” generation, “Devil’s Due” uses the increasingly unimaginative found-footage gimmick to try to juice up the tired trope of a woman who is carrying a demonic fetus. That’s not a spoiler. The movie’s two-word title is the world’s shortest plot synopsis, and the trailer gives away even more.

    Film critic Roger Ebert works in his office at the WTTW-TV studios in Chicago in 2011. When “Life Itself” debuts Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival, it will be the first time Ebert’s wife, Chaz, will see the full documentary about her late husband’s life.

    Ebert documentary to premiere at Sundance festival

    When “Life Itself” debuts Sunday at the Sundance Film Festival, it will be the first time Roger Ebert’s widow will see the full documentary about her late husband’s life. “I made a decision that I wanted to see the movie at the Sundance Film Festival because it’s a film festival that meant so much to Roger,” said Chaz Ebert. “Life Itself” includes footage director Steve James gathered over the final four months of the famed film critic’s life. Ebert died in April after a long battle with cancer.

    Los Angeles County prosecutors have charged Nadya Suleman with welfare fraud. The district attorney’s office said on Monday that Suleman failed to report nearly $30,000 in earnings while applying for public assistance last year. Suleman gained fame when she gave birth to octuplets in 2009.

    ‘Octomom’ heading to court to face welfare fraud charges

    “Octomom” Nadya Suleman is headed to court to face charges of failing to report $30,000 that authorities say she was earning when she applied for public assistance benefits. The 38-year-old mother of 14 children is scheduled to be arraigned Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court on three counts of welfare fraud.

    British actress Helen Mirren was named Friday, Jan. 17, 2014, as Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals 2014 Woman of the Year.

    Mirren earns Harvard’s Hasty Pudding award

    Academy Award-winning actress Helen Mirren has been named woman of the year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals.

    The pop-rock trio fun. is launching a campaign to raise money for at-risk LGBT youth in Detroit.

    Fun. plans to raise funds for LGBT Detroit youth

    The pop-rock trio fun. is launching a campaign to raise money for at-risk LGBT youth in Detroit. The band said Friday it plans to raise $250,000 to build a community health center for the Ruth Ellis Center, which provides housing, meals, clothing and medical services for LGBT youth in need.

    A New York judge says Kanye West’s lawyers can do the research necessary to learn the identities of the creators of digital currency called Coinye West.

    N.Y. judge: Kanye West likely to win Coinye lawsuit

    A New York judge says Kanye West’s lawyers can do the research necessary to learn the identities of the creators of digital currency called Coinye West. U.S. District Judge Analisa Torres on Thursday granted the “Gold Digger” rapper’s lawyers the legal authority to learn who will face a lawsuit saying the bitcoins were created to cash in on his fame.

    Dede Gardner, left, Steve McQueen, and Jeremy Kleiner accept the award for best picture for “12 Years a Slave” at the 19th annual Critics’ Choice Movie Awards Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif.

    ‘Gravity,’ ‘12 Years’ win big at Critics’ Choice

    “Gravity” soared with a record-setting seven Critics’ Choice Awards, but “12 Years a Slave” was named best picture. The Broadcast Film Critics Association presented its annual awards Thursday in Santa Monica, Calif., honoring many movies that earned Oscar nominations just hours earlier. Awards for “Gravity” included best actress for Sandra Bullock, best director for Alfonso Cuaron and best sci-fi movie. “American Hustle” won four prizes, including best comedy, best acting ensemble and best actress in a comedy for Amy Adams.


    Theater events: Live it up at Marriott’s ‘Cabaret’

    Marriott Theatre revives the Kander and Ebb classic "Cabaret"; Drury Lane presents Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein"; and Northlight Theatre premieres the stage adaptation of Henry Fielding's rollicking "Tom Jones" this week in suburban theater.

    Carly Majewski taps a beer at Crazy Pour in Villa Park.

    Villa Park bar beckons with beer, burgers, off-track betting

    Since opening in September, Crazy Pour in Villa Park has become a gathering destination. With banquet facilities hosting up to 160, you might find a party in one room while sports fans cheer loudly at the bar and horse race lovers place their bets at the adjoining OTB.

    “I am Abraham Lincoln” by Brad Meltzer

    Brad Meltzer’s new books teach kids real heroics

    Brad Meltzer is no stranger to heroes, having written about the Justice League and Batman. His new stories are about historic people like Amelia Earhart and Abraham Lincoln that let young readers learn from authentic trailblazers.

    Actor Will Smith, wearing all Valentino, attends the Valentino’s men’s Fall-Winter 2014-2015 fashion collection Wednesday in Paris.

    Will Smith graces Valentino show in Paris

    The fashion pack says “Bonjour, Paris!” as the catwalk shows move on from Milan and onto the final dash to the finish line of fall-winter 2014 menswear collections. The presence of “Men in Black” star Will Smith at Valentino, dressed completely in the label, ensured that the show was the snapshot highlight of the first day of Paris menswear.

    A Red Grange football trading card is part of the “Gridiron Greats” exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The pop-up exhibition of 150 cards, including a series from 1894, are part of the museum’s vast collection of sport trade cards donated to the Met by the late hobby pioneer Jefferson Burdick.

    NYC’s Met museum shows off football trading cards

    Football at the Met. No, not MetLife Stadium where the Super Bowl will make history next month. The Met, as in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The venerable institution is presenting a pop-up exhibition celebrating football’s history through the ages with vintage trading cards. It opens Friday, Jan. 24, and runs through Feb. 10.

    The Salt and Pepper Crab, a famous dish at the R&G Lounge restaurant in San Francisco, is a staple that keeps visitors and locals packing into the three-level Chinatown restaurant. It consists of a whole Dungeness crab cleaned and partially jointed, that is dipped in batter, deep-fried and lightly seasoned.

    Go for the food: Fried crab in San Fran Chinatown

    Crab and San Francisco go together like sour and dough, and you can find it here in just about every incarnation from basic cracked and steamed to meticulously plated in the mode of haute cuisine. But if you like your crustaceans on the crispy side, you may want to check out the city’s Chinatown. If you are lucky enough to be in San Francisco for Chinese New Year, the 15-day festival that begins Jan. 31, a stroll around Chinatown before or after a meal will show you the neighborhood in its frenetic, bustling glory.

    Woody Allen has directed more than 40 movies. His latest, “Blue Jasmine,” is now available for home viewing.

    ‘Blue Jasmine’ is Allen’s latest on Blu-ray

    At age 78, with more than 40 directorial credits to his name, Woody Allen is still a relevant, revered figure in the film industry who shows no signs of slowing down. His latest effort, “Blue Jasmine,” comes to Blu-ray, DVD and VOD services next Tuesday and boasts a performance from Cate Blanchett that has already won her a Golden Globe and a bevy of film critics’ awards.

    George Ball, CEO of W. Atlee Burpee & Co., predicts Americans will increasingly incorporate gardens into smaller spaces and urban lifestyles. Plants will be smaller but their yields will be higher.

    Climate of change ahead for gardening

    The gardening industry’s visionaries are pouring talent and resources into products and ideas they hope will be sown in years to come. So what are the prospects for gardening in the year 2020 and beyond? Some responses from the long-term thinkers:


    Lenders to follow useful new rule on appraisals

    A new federal rule could give millions of homebuyers insights they’ve never had before about a crucial element of their mortgage application: the appraisal, including the electronic cross-checks and reviews now used by lenders to determine the amount of the loan they’ll approve.


    How many electrical outlets in a bedroom

    Q. What are the requirements for electrical outlets in a bedroom? We are renting a two-bedroom apartment, and the second bedroom (11-by-13 feet) has only one outlet in the entire room.


    A midseason fireplace-safety checklist:

    If you use your wood-burning fireplace a lot, then it’s probably due for a midseason checkup about now. Here is a list of things you should take a close look at monthly during a long, cold winter.


    Winter can be the best time for buyers to shop for a home

    Many homebuyers can get the best deals in January or February, because sellers are anxious to make concessions instead of marketing their property when the weather improves and more houses go up for sale.


    Rev. Clyde Brooks is celebrating the 50th anniversary of beginning his suburban journey of spreading the word of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Brooks moved to Elk Grove Village in 1964. $PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Patrick Kunzer/ pkunzer@ dailyherald.com$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$

    Editorial: King’s dream still a work in progress

    A Daily Herald editorial notes that if we don't share and learn from the people who've made the suburbs more diverse over the past half-decade, then we're losing out on a more enriching life.

    Ibrahim Hooper

    Selective finger-pointing unfair to Muslims

    Guest Columnist Ibrahim Hooper: Only when we view all acts of violence or instances of political instability through the same intellectual lens will we be able take the steps necessary to achieve what should be everyone’s goal — a more just and peaceful world in which people of all faiths and backgrounds are equally valued and respected.


    Voting GOP? Be careful what you wish for
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: It never ceases to amaze me that there are folks like the writer of a letter debunking the Affordable Care Act as a means to destroy the middle class that is a fallacy and so misleading. The United States is so far behind Europe in giving universal health care, we are a joke.


    ‘Book Thief’ overlooked by critic, Hollywood
    A Mundelein letter to the editor: Dann Gire’s review of “The Book Thief” as a “Disneyfied view of the Nazis” is an outrage. This is a wonderfully acted drama that faithfully follows the book. Hey, Dann, did you by any chance read the book?


    We’re focusing on the wrong scandals
    A Prospect Heights letter to the editor: Again we see something blown out of proportion to deflect attention from real scandals. Six people from New Jersey are seeking a class-action suit because of lane closures on George Washington Bridge.


    How much more corporate welfare?
    A Dunde letter to the editor: A little over two years ago, Sears strong-armed the taxpayers of the state of Illinois to extend their previous 23 tax incentives an additional 23 years. The initial package was reported to have cost the taxpayers $250 million.


    Spending injustices are hurting Americans
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: Mr. Noll in Naperville, your contribution to the view inspired me to cheer and extend your comments to the minds of those who are looking for justice in this country (“Why do we continue with foreign aid?” Dec. 14).


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