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Daily Archive : Wednesday January 22, 2014

News

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    Lake County State's Attorney Michael Nerheim pauses before answering a question during a news conference Wednesday morning about the 11-year-old girl who was killed on Tuesday in Mundelein.

    Mundelein teen charged with murdering half-sister

    An 11-year-old Mundelein girl was stabbed, slashed and cut more than 30 times by her half-sister, who now faces first-degree murder charges, authorities said Wednesday. “(It's) heartbreaking beyond understanding,” Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz told the Daily Herald.

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    Westerners may be surprised at just how cozy Russians can get. These are toilets at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for the Sochi Olympics.

    Twin toilets photo at Sochi Olympics goes viral
    At least one Olympic bathroom seems to be flush with toilets. When BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg went to use the bathroom at the cross-country skiing and biathlon center for next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, he found two toilets but only one stall. His tweeted picture instantly became a national joke.

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    Wind chills and blowing snow make going outside on foot or on bike dangerous tonight into Thursday morning.

    Wind chill warning in effect especially north through noon

    The National Weather Service's Chicago office issued a wind chill warning for some suburbs, especially west and north, overnight through late this morning, as well as a winter advisory overnight warning of blowing snow.

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    Naperville police seek help on burglary

    Naperville police hope the public can help them solve a burglary that happened at a Corner Pantry earlier this month. In the early morning hours Jan. 9, a man broke into a vacant business adjoining the Corner Pantry at 1801 Wehrli Road and dropped into the Corner Pantry through the ceiling, stealing cigarettes, lottery tickets and rolls of quarters and nickels.

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    Grand Victoria Casino, Elgin could partner for fireworks

    After hearing that Grand Victoria Casino might be willing with partner with Elgin to hold Fourth of July fireworks downtown, the Elgin City Council postponed making a decision about the proposed expense. Holding fireworks at Festival Park would cost an estimated $67,000 or so, about $26,000 related to police, fire and public works personnel costs, according to the city’s estimates.

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    Train strikes SUV in Round Lake Park, killing driver

    A Metra train struck an SUV in Round Lake Park shortly after 6 p.m., killing at least one person, Metra officials said. Milwaukee District North Line train No. 2129 struck a Range Rover at the crossing near Route 134 and Porter Drive, killing the driver, Metra spokesman Tom Miller said.

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    Naperville police are investigating the suspicious death of a man found Wednesday morning in a townhouse on Vail Court.

    Naperville police investigating suspicious death

    Naperville police were investigating what they termed a suspicious death of a man found Wednesday morning inside a townhouse on the 1100 block of Vail Court in the city’s Estes Park neighborhood.

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    President Barack Obama, accompanied by Vice President Joe Biden, focused on the problem of campus sexual assaults Wednesday before signing a memorandum creating a task force to respond to the issue.

    Obama targets college sexual assault epidemic

    President Barack Obama shone a light Wednesday on a college sexual assault epidemic that is often shrouded in secrecy, with victims fearing stigma, police poorly trained to investigate and universities reluctant to disclose the violence.

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    Metra’s police force has problems, a consultants’ report found.

    Report: Metra police were untrained in firearms, didn’t ride trains

    Metra unveiled a critical report of its police department by consultants that found flaws in planning, training, staffing and overtime. “One of the most remarkable findings of our assessment was that Metra officers rarely ride trains,” the consultants wrote. “It was surprising to us that almost no one indicated his or her job is to protect the passengers.”

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    Alexis Prokopchuk

    Suburban woman charged with abandoning alligator at O’Hare

    An Oakbrook Terrace woman who authorities say abandoned a sickly alligator at O’Hare International Airport in November has been charged with reckless conduct and cruelty to animals, according to Chicago police. Alexis Prokopchuk, 29, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of reckless conduct and one misdemeanor count of cruelty to animals.

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    Michael “Big Mike” Strick, Charles “Chuck” Maher and Suzanne Hart, all of Naperville, are running for the Republican nomination to represent District 11 on the Will County Board in the March 18 primary election.

    Three Naperville Republicans seeking two Will County Board seats

    Two Republican incumbents running as a team are seeking their party’s nomination against a single challenger in the race for two District 11 seats on the Will County Board.

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    North Central College junior Nick Hayes is one of two student artists whose work will be on display through Sunday, Feb. 2, at the Naperville school.

    Exhibit showcases student artists’ ‘Menagerie’

    An art exhibit featuring the works of two North Central College students, junior Nick Hayes and senior Lauren Wohlrab, is on display through Feb. 2 in the school’s Meiley-Swallow Hall Gallery. Titled “Menagerie,” their exhibit will showcase sculpture, ceramics, paintings and drawings that capture the essence and beauty of exotic animals. The exhibit is free, and visitors can meet the artists...

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    Oak Brook resident Raghuveer Nayak pleaded guilty last year and faces up to 23 years federal prison for paying bribes to physicians for patient referrals and filing false federal income tax returns.

    Sentencing underway for fundraiser

    A witness at former Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s initial trial testified Wednesday at the sentencing of a Chicago-area businessman convicted of bribing doctors for referrals to surgery centers, describing “panic” among some political fundraisers after Blagojevich’s 2008 arrest.

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    Gathered in the drawing room, each of 10 people invited to a home by an unseen host hear themselves accused of specific murders in “And Then There Were None,” formerly known as “Ten Little Indians.”

    Wheaton Drama takes on Agatha Christie classic

    Eight dinner guests, all strangers, are marooned on an island with the house’s butler and housekeeper. As they mysteriously die one by one, they eye each other with suspicion and confront their own guilty consciences.Wheaton Drama presents the classic Agatha Christie murder mystery “And Then There Were None,” formerly titled “Ten Little Indians,” beginning Friday, Jan. 24, and continuing to...

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    Addams Junior High science teacher Michelle Burke, right, with 8th District Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth at a FUSE program event last October.

    Schaumburg science teacher invited to State of the Union

    Michelle Burke never thought teaching science and running a technology education program at Addams Junior High School would earn her a seat at the State of the Union address on Capitol Hill. But Burke will be the guest of 8th District Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth at next Tuesday’s presidential address in Washington, D.C.

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    This is al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri. Israel on Wednesday said it had foiled an “advanced” al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets, in what analysts said was the first time the global terror network’s leadership has been directly involved in plotting an attack inside Israel.

    Israel says it foiled al-Qaida plot on U.S. Embassy

    Israel on Wednesday said it had foiled an “advanced” al-Qaida plan to carry out a suicide bombing on the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv and bomb other targets, in what analysts said was the first time the global terror network’s leadership has been directly involved in plotting an attack inside Israel.

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    Mount Prospect renews tax break for Cummins-Allison Corp.

    Mount Prospect officials this week backed a 12-year renewal of Cook County propertx tax incentive for the Cummins-Allison Corp. Through the county's 6B tax abatement program, the company could save as much as half on its property taxes for the next decade.

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    Despite lingering concerns from residents and even some trustees, the Buffalo Grove village board voted almost unanimously this week to move forward with a plan that would widen both Weiland and Lake-Cook roads. The project also includes construction of a controversial new “connector” road.

    Buffalo Grove moves forward with Weiland Road plan

    Citing the overall good of the community, the Buffalo Grove village board this week moved the Weiland Road/Lake-Cook Road improvement project to its next phase, despite a few residents who object to the improvements and the reservations of a couple of board members.

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    Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, Bashar Ja’afari, speaks during a press conference Wednesday, the first day of Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland.

    Syrian peace talks stuck over Assad’s future

    Furiously divided from the start, representatives of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the rebellion against him threatened Wednesday to collapse a peace conference intended to lead them out of civil war.

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    John Carr, the recently retired superintendent of Kane County’s Veterans Assistance Commission, Wednesday was recognized as Illinois Veteran of the Month.

    Friend to county vets honored by state

    The recently retired superintendent of Kane County’s Veterans Assistance Commission was honored Wednesday as Illinois Veteran of the Month. A decorated veteran himself, John Carr, who was raised in Mooseheart, assisted local veterans for 30 years.

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    Chicago mayor sets new tourism goals

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel raised his goal for the number of tourists who visit Chicago annually on Wednesday, the same day the city announced it had record hotel occupancy in 2013.

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    Treasurer candidate criticizes incumbent on travel

    A Democratic candidate for Illinois treasurer is criticizing the Republican incumbent and governor candidate Dan Rutherford for spending on state travel allegedly to promote himself.

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    Peter A. Mazzara

    Campton Hills man accused of $500,000 theft

    A Campton Hills man already facing charges of bilking two clients out of more than $100,000 is now charged with writing bogus checks for a property worth at least $500,000. An arrest warrant has been issued for Peter A. Mazzara, who pleaded guilty in October 2012 to damaging a Kane County couple's $1 million home that he was evicted from and ordered to pay $60,000 restitution.

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    Union: Recent bargaining session in Dist. 57 “fruitful”

    A short time after expressing frustration about ongoing teacher-contract talks, the union representing teachers in Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 said that a face-to-face bargaining session held this week was productive. Negotiators from the Mount Prospect Education Association and the district met Tuesday night.

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    Vernon Hills may seek exception to smoking ban for summer festival

    Vernon Hills trustees are expected to seek an exception to a recently enacted smoking ban for its Summer Celebration event this summer in Century Park. The village would suggest creating a special smoking area.

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    Dawn Vogelsberg resigned Tuesday as 3rd Ward alderman in Geneva.

    Vogelsberg resigns as 3rd Ward alderman in Geneva

    Dawn Vogelsberg steps down as 3rd Ward alderman in Geneva, saying she no longer has the time to do the job as she would like.

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    Broderick Alexander, 48, sits in his apartment on Chicago’s West Side. Knowing he has a safe place to return at night helps Alexander focus on taking his medications and staying out of the emergency room.

    Illinois Medicaid pursues housing as health care

    Broderick Alexander lived on the streets for more than two years in Chicago, but since 2005, he has slept in his own apartment. A case manager visits once a month, helping the 48-year-old set goals as part of a program that links housing to health care.

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    Chicago Board of Ed approves 7 new charter schools

    The Chicago Board of Education, following the recommendation of its staff, has approved seven proposed new charter schools that will open over the next two years. The board’s action Wednesday follows its decision last year to close 50 neighborhood schools because they were underutilized.

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    Julian Perez of Roselle is seeking permission from Bloomingdale to open a shooting sports facility along Circle Avenue, just north of Lake Street. The site is the empty building that was last used as a sheet metal fabricating business.

    Neighbors oppose proposed shooting facility in Bloomingdale

    A Roselle man hopes to open a shooting sports facility in Bloomingdale that would provide education, family entertainment and recreation for suburban gun owners. Neighbors of the proposed facility, however, are asking village officials to reject the plan because they don’t want a gun range so close to their homes.

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    Chicago schools to add more gym and arts classes

    Officials with Chicago Public Schools say the district is hiring more arts and physical education teachers citywide. The district will use $21.5 million in surplus tax increment financing funds over the next two years.

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    High school teacher’s death ruled a homicide

    A longtime suburban Chicago high school teacher’s death has been ruled a homicide.The Cook County medical examiner ruled Wednesday that 61-year-old Al Filan died of multiple stab wounds. Filan was a business teacher at Brother Rice High School.

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    Wet fall and cold weather create propane shortage

    Propane distributors have traveled as far as Mississippi and Kansas to keep up with demand in Illinois. John Tibbs, the director of education and safety for Illinois Propane Gas association, said he’s “going to be scared to death” if cold weather persists for the next couple of weeks.

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    Enroll in adopt-a-highway program:

    Open enrollment for the Lake County Division of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway ends Jan. 31.

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    Route 83 section closed Thursday:

    Commuters will be directed to a detour Thursday if they plan to use a section of Route 83 in Grayslake.

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    District 62 town hall meeting:

    House District 62 State Rep. Sam Yingling will host a town hall meeting on Monday, Jan. 27, to hear from constituents about issues facing the state.

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    District 50 band performs:

    In anticipation of the upcoming Winter Olympics, members of Woodland Middle School’s Symphonic Band 1 have been invited to perform at the opening day ceremonies celebration at Rink Side Sports Ice Arena at 12:15 p.m., on Feb. 1, 6152 Grand Ave., Gurnee, a news release said.

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    State education board asks for more money

    The Illinois State Board of Education Thursday plans ask lawmakers for $1 billion more to pay for schools around the state. But as Illinois continues to sit on billions of dollars in unpaid bills, anyone looking for more money is likely to face some skepticism from lawmakers.

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    Elk Grove preschool open house Thursday

    The Elk Grove Park District preschool and kindergarten club will hold an open house Thursday for parents to learn about the program and meet staff. The park district’s preschool has provided early childhood education in Elk Grove Village for over 43 years.

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    Grayslake Central High School junior Emma Eiserman, under supervision by Jonathan Saigeon, learns some lessons on a distracted driver simulator there Wednesday as part of a “Save a Life Tour” sponsored by Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital.

    Grayslake Central High School students educated on distracted driving

    Grayslake Central High School students received in-depth education about distracted driving dangers as part of a special program that made its first local stop there Wednesday. Instead of participating in physical education classes, the students rotated through the “Save a Life Tour” sponsored by Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital. Speeches, videos and a distracted-driving simulator were among the...

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    The Naperville Noon Lions Turkey Trot 5K is one of six such races on the city’s special events calendar for this year. The city council has asked staff to consider whether Naperville can accommodate three additional 5K races that are not yet on the calendar, including a race the Rotary Club of Naperville International Committee wants to schedule for 8 a.m. Sunday, May 18.

    Naperville considering extra 5K races

    Naperville will consider the addition of three 5K races to its already-closed 2014 special events calendar after representatives of a group planning a race not on the calendar asked Tuesday for permission to run a 5K at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 18 at Freedom Commons in north Naperville. “This is a good thing in a good location that incorporates another part of town that has been underutilized,” council...

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    Bartlett approves three-year deal with public works union

    Bartlett has reached an agreement with the union representing nearly 40 of its public works employees after about five months of contract talks. Union members will see salary increases, but some concessions related to health insurance benefits.

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    Carol Stream OKs contract for Illini Drive bridge replacement

    A project to replace the aging Illini Drive bridge continues to move forward after the Carol Stream village board approved consultant contracts for construction drawings, permitting and bidding. Officials said the Illini Drive work became necessary when inspectors discovered cracks on the bridge deck.

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    Train scrapes front of car in Palatine

    A Palatine woman who got caught in traffic too close to the railroad tracks Wednesday morning had the front of her vehicle scraped by a Metra train, Palatine police said.

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    Despite lingering concerns from residents and even some trustees, the Buffalo Grove Village Board voted almost unanimously this week to move forward with a plan that would widen both Weiland and Lake-Cook roads. The project also includes construction of a controversial new “connector” road.

    Buffalo Grove moves forward with Weiland Road plan

    Citing the overall good of the community, the Buffalo Grove village board this week moved the Weiland Road-Lake-Cook Road improvement project to its next phase, despite a handful of citizens who object to the improvements and the reservations of a couple of board members.

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    A witness saw two men attempting to burglarize a 2000 Chevrolet Venture van between 6 and 8:40 p.m. Jan. 9 in an apartment lot on the 800 block of East Old Willow Road in Prospect Heights. One offender stood guard while the second man entered the van. After they left, the owner discovered the van ransacked. The ignition was also damaged.

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    Waubonsee plans for new year and beyond

    At Waubonsee Community College, we are looking forward to what 2014 will bring, but we are also looking further ahead, to prepare the college to continue to meet the educational and lifelong learning needs of our students for the next decade and beyond.

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    A pedestrian’s umbrellas is turned inside out during a winter snowstorm Tuesday in Philadelphia. A storm is sweeping across the Mid-Atlantic and New England. The National Weather Service said the storm could bring 8 to 12 inches of snow to Philadelphia and New York City, and more than a foot in Boston.

    No school for kids across Northeast, except in NYC

    A winter storm dumped a foot or more of snow, grounded flights and closed schools across much of the Northeast — but not in New York City, where Wednesday was a regular school day for 1.1 million students.

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    The Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that asks whether a victim of child pornography can seek millions of dollars from a defendant who had just two images of her on his computer.

    Court struggles with restitution for child porn

    The Supreme Court lent a sympathetic ear Wednesday to a victim of child pornography who wants the court to make it easier for victims to collect money from people convicted of downloading and viewing the pornographic images.

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    Author Joelle Charbonneau will visit the Schaumburg Township District Library, on Wednesday, Jan. 29, to talk about writing and her newest release, “Independent Study.”

    Author Joelle Charbonneau to chat at Schaumburg library

    How does an opera singer become a novelist? New York Times Best Selling Author Joelle Charbonneau never expected her music and acting path to veer off into the world of fiction, but when it did, she jumped in with both feet. Charbonneau will discuss “The Testing” and her other books during an author signing slated from 7-8 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 29, in Teen Place at the Schaumburg Township...

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Fox blotter

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    A path is lit for members of the Purdue marching band during a vigil for a teaching assistant who was fatally shot on campus at Purdue University, on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2014, in West Lafayette, Ind.

    Police search for motive in deadly Purdue shooting

    Classes at Purdue University were interrupted by the sounds of gunfire, fire alarms and screams when a student entered a basement classroom and fatally shot a fellow senior engineering student whom a former teacher described as “phenomenal.” Police said they haven’t determined why the 23-year-old shot the 21-year-old teaching assistant inside the school’s Electrical Engineering Building about...

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    Libertyville man facing federal mortgage fraud charges

    A Libertyville man is facing federal mortgage fraud charges. Prosecutors said 73-year-old Conrad Ulz fraudulently obtained almost $3.2 million for 13 mortgages for properties on Chicago's South Side. He faces a maximum of 30 years in prison if convicted.

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    ‘Envision Elgin’ meeting at YWCA Jan. 29

    Elgin’s Spanish-speaking residents will get a chance to help shape the city’s new comprehensive plan next week. Consultants from Chicago-based Houseal Lavigne Associates will hold the third public meeting for the “Envision Elgin” planning process at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 29 at the YWCA.

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    Angel Santiago, who was abused in the 1980s by one of the 30 priests singled out in the documents, said he hopes more victims of abuse come forward. “These files here represent a lot for us survivors. For some of us it will be answers, for some of us it will be peace of mind ... for all of us, it’s a start,” Santiago said.

    Chicago priest sex abuse victims demand more files

    Victims of childhood sexual abuse by priests vowed to keep pushing for more information on how allegations were handled by the Archdiocese of Chicago and other Catholic orders, and are encouraging other victims to come forward. More than 6,000 pages of internal church documents posted online Tuesday showed how officials tried to contain the scandal. But the documents cover only 30 of the at least...

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    A spate of bird flu cases since the beginning of the year in China has experts watching closely as millions of people and poultry are on the move ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the world’s largest annual human migration.

    Bird flu spikes in China ahead of Lunar New Year

    A spate of bird flu cases since the beginning of the year in China has experts watching closely as millions of people and poultry are on the move ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, the world’s largest annual human migration. China has reported more than 50 H7N9 infections in 2014 after the strain jumped from birds to people for the first time last year.

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    Minutes before a gunman opened fire in a Los Angeles International Airport terminal last fall, killing a security screener and wounding three other people, the two armed officers (not seen in this photo) assigned to the area left for breaks without informing a dispatcher as required.

    AP: LAX gunfire came while armed officers on break

    Minutes before a gunman opened fire in a Los Angeles International Airport terminal last fall, killing a security screener and wounding three other people, the two armed officers assigned to the area left for breaks without informing a dispatcher as required.

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    A look at key fighting groups in Syria

    Here’s a list of key fighting groups inside Syria.

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    Email threat about Sochi attacks considered a hoax

    An email in Russian and English threatening national Olympic delegations and athletes with terrorist attacks at the Sochi Winter Games is a hoax, not a real danger, officials said Wednesday.

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    Dawn Patrol: 14-year-old charged in death of 11-year-old Mundelein girl

    Autopsy planned today in death of Mundelein girl. District 300 superintendent leaving for North Shore. St. Charles to add permit for bars opening past midnight. Geneva's Great Harvest store to close at the end of the month. Blackhawks still pumped for game against Red Wings tonight.

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    When you're talking to your kids about relationships, make sure to really listen to them, experts say.

    How parents can help kids build positive connections

    If you want to help your child develop healthy personal relationships, it doesn’t hurt to start by working on your own relationship-building skills and taking a close look at your own beliefs and morals, experts say.

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    Grammy Award-winning artist Common delivered the keynote address titled “Greatness” on Tuesday night as part of North Central College's Martin Luther King Jr. Week.

    Common to North Central audience: 'Greatness is within you'

    He first paid homage to the “great” Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., then challenged his audience to likewise be great. Grammy Award-winning artist, actor and author Common, a Chicago native called the “King of Conscious Hip-Hop,” on Tuesday delivered the keynote address at North Central College's Martin Luther King Jr. Week.

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    The Naperville City Council approved a change to Riverwalk planning documents that extends the boundary of the popular path another 1,300 feet south to Martin Avenue from its current end at Hillside Road. The extension is not planned to be built in the near future as city council members want to delay it to avoid borrowing funds for the project.

    Naperville OKs prospective Riverwalk extension

    Naperville City Council on Tuesday night approved the extension of the city's popular Riverwalk another 1,300 feet south to Martin Avenue — from a planning standpoint, at least. Six of eight council members voted in favor of changing Riverwalk planning documents to allow the boundaries to extend another long block south. “I'm willing to support the land planning part of this,”...

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    View of the northeast corner of the proposed Brainerd Community Center in Libertyville. The proposal calls for the Jackson Gym to be demolished and replaced with parking.

    Libertyville voters get more info on Brainerd plan

    Libertyville voters who will decide whether to hike taxes to convert a vacant school into a community center have a bounty of information to use in making their decision. Nearly the entire edition of the most recent village newsletter is devoted to the proposal being pursued by Brainerd Community Center Inc. “There are a lot of people with misinformation still. I want to make sure (that)...

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    Rondout Elementary District 72 will collect $30,381 in property taxes per student this year, while East Aurora Unit District 131 has a property tax collection level of $2,816 per student.

    Which school districts tax the most per student?

    Property taxes collected to run public schools range from $30,381 per student in Rondout Elementary District 72 to $2,815 per student in East Aurora Unit District 131, with 90 other suburban school districts falling somewhere between. For schools at the bottom end of the ranking, the taxing disparity means more reliance on state and federal resources and more basic programs.

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    Wheaton College gets approval to build 5 new dorms

    Wheaton College was given final approval by the city council Tuesday to move ahead with plans to build five new dorms on the southeast corner of Harrison and Irving avenues. Wheaton City Councilman John Prendiville, who lives about a block away from the proposed dorms, was the only person to vote no on the measure that will grant the college a special-use permit for the residences.

Sports

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    Ali Andrews

    Girls basketball: Week 7 MVP

    Huntley sophomore Ali Andrews has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent girls basketball performances.

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    Rhashaun Epting

    Boys basketball: Week 7 MVP

    IC Catholic Prep sophomore Rhashaun Epting has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent boys basketball performances.

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

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

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

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

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    Another home win for Harper

    It took some attention to detail, but after some primping, Harper’s men’s basketball team still looked like a winner. “We tightened our shoes and our beltbuckle and we got after it,” said Harper coach Tony Amarino after his team’s 87-84 double-overtime victory against Milwaukee Area Technical College in North Central Community College Conference play.

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    Lakes makes its own breaks, takes Round Lake

    Lakes’ girls basketball team finally put some points up in beating visiting Round Lake 65-44 in North Suburban Prairie Division action Wednesday night.

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    Vernon Hills’ Sydney Smith drives past North Chicago’s Kylah Collins on Wednesday at Vernon Hills.

    Webb, Vernon Hills outlast N. Chicago in 3 OTs

    When Lauren Webb couldn’t count on her right foot this season, at least she could rely on her right hand, which is about as steady as they come. So the wounded Vernon Hills senior shot free throws in practice. “I definitely practiced them a lot more, because for a while I wasn’t allowed to jump or run,” said Webb, who played only one half of basketball in the Cougars’ first 19 games. “So really the only thing you can do then is free throws and a few easy shots.” As clutch a free-throw shooter as Lake County has seen the last four seasons, Webb showed Wednesday night that she has little rust, if any, to shake off. Her 16-of-16 performance from the foul line and a gutty performance by her and her teammates helped Vernon Hills rally for a 76-73 win over visiting North Chicago in three overtimes.

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    Larkin’s Christian Negron slams home the first points of the game Wednesday in Streamwood.

    Short-handed Larkin handles Streamwood

    So much for having a short roster available. The Larkin boys basketball team was missing two injured players when it invaded Streamwood Wednesday — including senior co-captain Drew Jones, who rolled an ankle against Benet last Saturday — and was also missing four reserves “for various reasons,” according to coach Deryn Carter. Unfazed, the Royals rolled to a 75-43 victory to remain unbeaten in the Upstate Eight River.

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    St. Francis’ Kilian Brown drives to the basket against Walther Christian Academy at home in boys basketball.

    St. Francis gets restarted quickly

    The St. Francis boys basketball team had only played twice during this month before Wednesday night’s 66-41 home win over Walther Christian.

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    Tne Bulls’ Joakim Noah embraces former teammate Luol Deng after the Bulls’ victory over Deng and his new team, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Bulls roll right past old buddy Deng

    Luol Deng hit just 2 of 11 shots for 11 points against his former teammates, and the Bulls rolled to a 98-87 win at Cleveland on Wednesday. It was the first meeting since the Bulls traded Deng to the Cavs on Jan. 6.

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    Fenton frustrated by shooting woes

    Wednesday’s 41-30 girls basketball loss to Lake Forest Academy was particularly frustrating for Fenton.

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    Crystal Lake South wins in overtime

    Crystal Lake South 85, Marian Central 84 (OT): Trailing by 6 at the half, and just 2 going into the fourth quarter, the Gators (13-4, 2-2) were ready to keep fighting and finally got the win in overtime at Gator Alley Wednesday in the nonconference tilt. Austin Rogers scorched the Hurricanes to the tune of 28 points, including 12 in the third, letting him build on an already dominate season where he is averaging 23 points a game. The final blows were struck in OT where Collin Wagner hit 2 3-pointers, giving him 5 on the night and 15 points for the game, and Chris Mahoney (17 points) added one final 3-pointer to secure the victory. Caleb Johnson was able to add 13 points as well for Crystal Lake South.

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    Blackhawks game day
    Blackhawks vs. Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center, 7 p.m. ThursdayTV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: WGN-AM 720The skinny: The Wild is 18-7-2 at home but banged up. Zach Parise (lower body), goalie Josh Harding (illness), Mikko Koivu (ankle surgery) and Jared Spurgeon (lower body) are out. Goalie Niklas Backstrom is questionable with a lower-body injury. Backup Antti Raanta starts for the Hawks.Next: Winnipeg Jets at the United Center, 6 p.m. Sunday— Tim Sassone

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    Red Wings center Gustav Nyquist, right, scores Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford in the second period Wednesday day.

    Blackhawks go to shootout, fall to Red Wings

    Once upon a time, the Blackhawks and the Red Wings played at least eight times during the regular season, plus the playoffs.Now, with realignment and Detroit in the Eastern Conference, two games a year and two meaningless preseason games will have to do.Wednesday night sure lived up to the hype as they needed a six-round shootout to decide things, with the Red Wings winning 5-4 on a goal by Darren Helm.

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    Minnesota's Deandre Mathieu, right, drives into Wisconsin's Frank Kaminsky, left, in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Minneapolis. Mathieu and Maurice Walker each scored 18 points to lead Minnesota in their 81-68 win. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

    Minnesota takes down No. 9 Wisconsin, 81-68

    DeAndre Mathieu and Mo Walker each scored 18 points, an outside-inside combination that pushed Minnesota to an 81-68 victory Wednesday night over No. 9 Wisconsin, the Badgers’ third straight loss.

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    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    McHenry 54, Jacobs 33: With over 70 percent of their points, and 80 percent of their baskets, coming from behind the 3-point line, and led by Alyssa Lach, the Golden Eagles (4-17, 2-6) looked to get their struggling offense going at home in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game. Unfortunately for Jacobs, the Warriors’ defense was ready for the attack, holding Jacobs to just 4 points inside the arc and, under 40 points for the ninth time this year. Lach had 8 points in the game thanks to a pair of 3s in the fourth, while Nita Williams and Tiffany Frighetto both finished with 6 points.Prairie Ridge 55, Crystal Lake South 50: Down 6 going into the fourth quarter, the Gators (12-8, 4-3) could not muster the comeback, falling to the Wolves for the second time this season, this time on the road in the Fox Valley Conference Valley Division. Chanel Fanter led all Gators with 17 points. Both teams made 20 baskets on the night, but the Wolves were able to shot 45 percent from beyond the arc, while Crystal Lake South shot only 8 percent. Kianna Clark finished the night with 13 points and 6 rebounds, while Sara Mickow ended with 9 points and grabbed 12 boards for Crystal Lake South.

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    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford, second from left, stops a Detroit Red Wings left wing Justin Abdelkader's (8) shot in the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

    Hawks fall to Red Wings in shootout, 4-3

    Darren Helm scored on Detroit’s sixth attempt in the shootout and Jonas Gustavsson stopped Andrew Shaw’s shot, lifting the Detroit Red Wings to a 4-3 win over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night.

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    Prospect’s Olivia Gonzalez competes on the floor exercise during Wednesday’s meet with Buffalo Grove and host Elk Grove.

    Prospect produces MSL East title

    Prospect earned the Mid-Suburban East’s divisional championship in girls gymnastics on Wednesday by topping Buffalo Grove and host Elk Grove. Coach Randy Smith’s team finished at 131.2, ahead of the Bison (127.95) and the Grenadiers (124.5).

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    Drake defeats Southern Illinois 57-54

    Aaron Hawley scored 19 points and Richard Carter added 12 as Drake snapped a five-game losing streak with a 57-54 victory over Southern Illinois on Wednesday night.

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    Cary-Grove holds off Dundee-Crown

    The Cary-Grove girls basketball team knows that in order to be successful as the season approaches state tournament time, it will have to get offense from more than just junior scoring machine Katie Barker in order to win.And while Barker did score 21 points Wednesday night, other Trojans had to step up for C-G to survive a hard-fought battle with improving Dundee-Crown.They did just that, and Cary-Grove made the free throws down the stretch it needed to make to come away from Carpentersville with a 51-42 Fox Valley Conference Valley Division win.

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    Addison Trail coach Paul Parpet will be inducted into the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association hall of Fame on Saturday.

    Parpet brought toughness to Addison Trail

    Though Paul Parpet regrets never having served in the military like his father, Florian, and his brother, John, from sturdy physique to outdoor-voice confidence he projects attributes that come in handy in a scrap.

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    Indiana State edges Loyola 65-61

    Khristian Smith scored 18 points as Indiana State edged Loyola 65-61 on Wednesday.Indiana State (15-4, 6-1 Missouri Valley) got 14 points from Jake Odum and Brandon Burnett added 10. The Sycamores out-rebounded Loyola 41-28 and made nine more three throws than the Ramblers.

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    St. Charles North's Alec Goetz (1) drives to the basket as he is defended by Geneva's Mike Landi (52) during Friday's game in Geneva. ¬

    This backcourt features pair of Stars

    Goetz and Ludwig — their names sound a little more like a law firm than the starting backcourt for a high school basketball team.

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    Mason’s return gives St. Charles East big boost

    Finally, St. Charles East senior Dave Mason is getting over a bad break.

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    Hoffman Estates retains grip on first place

    Hoffman Estates and Conant have had some spirited battles on the bowling lanes the last few years. Wednesday night in Arlington Heights was no different for the crosstown rivals. The Hawks, led by a 222 game from Brandy Hoglund, defeated the Cougars by a 177-pin margin to cement their hold on first place in the Mid-Suburban League.

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    Photos from the Walther Christian at St. Francis boys basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 22 in Wheaton.

    Images: St. Francis vs. Walther Christian Academy boys basketball
    Saint Francis High School hosted Walther Christian Wednesday, Jan. 22 for boys basketball.

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    Fabbri trying to find a spot in Viator’s 1,000-point club

    Senior Erin Fabbri broke her ankle on Dec. 6. Now she is trying to break into an elite list of St. Viator girls basketball players. Only two Lions have reached 1,000 points for their career — Denise Walker (current Lions freshman coach) and Susan Hohenadel (junior guard at Rockhurst University). Fabbri, a four-year starter, needs 37 points to join them. Playing in her third game back since the injury against Gorden Tech, Fabbri scored 9 points as the Lions raced past Chicago Academy 51-16 on Wednesday night at Fenton High School in Bensenville.

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    Toledo handles Northern Illinois 77-68

    Justin Drummond scored 24 points with 11 rebounds to lift Toledo over Northern Illinois 77-68 on Wednesday.Toledo (16-2, 4-1 Mid-American) trailed by three at 16-13 after Northern Illinois’ Aksel Bolin drilled a 3-pointer. The Rockets scored the next six points, including a layup and pair of free throws by Drummond, en route to a 34-26 lead at the break.

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    Iowa guard Josh Oglesby (2) defends a 3-pointer from Michigan guard Nik Stauskas in the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

    Michigan tops Iowa 75-67, sets up showdown vs. MSU

    Nik Stauskas scored 26 points, and No. 21 Michigan held off No. 10 Iowa 75-67 on Wednesday night to remain unbeaten in the Big Ten.The Wolverines (14-4, 6-0) have won eight straight to set up a showdown in East Lansing on Saturday night with rival Michigan State, the Big Ten’s only other unbeaten team in conference play.

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    Images from the North Chicago at Vernon Hills girls basketball game on Wednesday, January 22.

    Images: Vernon Hills vs. North Chicago girls basketball
    The Vernon Hills Cougars hosted the North Chicago Warhawks for girls basketball action on Wednesday, January 22.

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    The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler (21) tries to poke the ball away from Cleveland Cavaliers’ Luol Deng during Wednesday night’s game in Cleveland. The Bulls won 98-87.

    Augustin, Gibson lead Bulls over Cavs, 98-87

    D.J. Augustin scored 25 points in a start for Kirk Hinrich and Taj Gibson matched a career high with 26 filling in for Carlos Boozer as the Chicago Bulls improved to 7-2 since trading Luol Deng with a 98-87 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Wednesday night. Augustin and Mike Dunleavy hit 3-pointers down the stretch to pace the Bulls, who at 21-20 moved over .500 for the first time since Nov. 22.

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    Images from the Larkin vs. Streamwood boys basketball game Wednesday, January 22, 2014.

    Images: Larkin vs. Streamwood boys basketball
    Streamwood hosted Larkin in a boys conference basketball matchup Wednesday night in Streamwood.

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    Double the fun as show season reaches its peak

    With two simultaneous outdoor sports shows vying for attendees and loose change this weekend, the show-going public may have a tendency to scratch its collective head and wonder why? Well, we know the reason — there just isn’t an adequate cure for the ills of a winter-time angler.

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    Seattle Seahawks' Richard Sherman speaks during a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks play the Denver Broncos in the NFL football Super Bowl on Feb. 2. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Seattle’s Sherman surprised by public reaction

    Richard Sherman wondered if he came to the NFL 20 years too late.The Seattle Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback wondered if his swagger might have fit better a few decades earlier when that confidence and an unfiltered tongue was perhaps more accepted. “I studied the old school game more than I studied the new school game, and I play it that way. It rubs a lot of people the wrong way,” Sherman said Wednesday.

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    Former Dallas Cowboys NFL football player Josh Brent is put in handcuffs after he was found guilty of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, in Dallas, for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown. He faces up to 20 years in prison for a December 2012 wreck after a night of partying with fellow Cowboys players. He could also get probation. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Nathan Hunsinger) MANDATORY CREDIT; MAGS OUT; TV OUT; INTERNET USE BY AP MEMBERS ONLY; NO SALES

    Ex-Cowboy convicted of intoxication manslaughter

    Former Dallas Cowboys player Josh Brent was convicted of intoxication manslaughter Wednesday for a fiery wreck that killed his teammate and close friend, Jerry Brown.

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    Chicago White Sox general manager Rick Hahn watches a spring training baseball workout, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

    No Tanaka on South Side? Hahn has no regrets

    The White Sox have no regrets about coming up short in the Masahiro Tanaka sweepstakes. On Wednesday, the 25-year-old sensation from Japan agreed to a seven-year, $155 million contract with the Yankees.

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    FILE - In this Jan. 18, 2014, file photo, Illinois head coach John Groce has words with a referee during Illinois' 78-62 loss to Michigan State in an NCAA college basketball game in Champaign, Ill. Groce said Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014, that he went too far in a series of outbursts during the loss. (AP Photo/Robin Scholz, File)

    Illinois’ Groce: Angry outbursts over the line

    CHAMPAIGN — Illinois coach John Groce said Wednesday that he regrets an outburst that included throwing his suit jacket and yelling at officials during a loss to Michigan State.“For me, my entire life — passion, energy, emotion is a positive thing,” Groce said as the Illini prepared for Thursday’s game at No. 17 Ohio State. “The difference between emotion and emotional is two letters. ... I broke that line of emotion and, the two-letter difference, emotional.”Groce’s outburst followed a series of heated exchanges with officials in both the loss to the Spartans and the previous loss to Purdue. Illinois (13-6, 2-4 Big Ten) has lost four in a row.Groce was assessed a technical foul after throwing his suit jacket, but he doesn’t believe he hurt his team. But he said he didn’t provide a good example of how players should handle themselves in tough situations.“I can’t ask them to do that and then I don’t do that,” he said, adding that he spoke to both his wife and his father about his outburst.The Illini are in the middle of a tough Big Ten stretch. Illinois over the next 13 days will face the Buckeyes (15-4, 2-4), Indiana, No. 10 Iowa and No. 9 Wisconsin.During the loss to the Spartans, Groce came off the bench frequently to complain.“You’ve got to stop! You’ve got to stop!” referee Bo Boroski warned him a few minutes before the technical was called.Groce said after the game that he didn’t believe new rule changes intended to create more offense were being called consistently, a contention Spartans coach Tom Izzo agreed with after the game.The Buckeyes are playing through their own four-game slump, meaning both teams are anxious for any kind of win, Groce said.“Both teams, you know, pride starts to settle in a little bit, pride in terms of where both of us are at right now,” he said.

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    Japan's Masahiro Tanaka and the New York Yankees agreed Wednesday to a $155 million, seven-year contract. In addition to the deal with the pitcher, the Yankees must pay a $20 million fee to the Japanese team of the 25-year-old right-hander, the Rakuten Golden Eagles.

    Chicago losing Tanaka no big deal — for now

    It's no big deal in the short term that the Cubs and White Sox lost out to the Yankees in the bidding for Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka. However, the signal it sends for the long term isn't encouraging when it comes to Chicago's teams having to pay up for their own top players.

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    Soccer supporter Workman also fought for gender equity

    When Tim Brieger first started at St. Edward as soccer coach, he recalled a conversation he had with Frank Workman.“We used to practice at Kimball Middle School,” said Brieger, the only boys’ and girls’ soccer coach the school has had. “Frank said why don’t you come out and practice at the Toastmaster fields (that used to be visible from Interstate 90 and are now part of a housing development). He was a guy who was always looking to help people by getting better places to practice or helping you line the fields or getting new equipment for the kids.”

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    Lake Zurich named Sky Team of Week

    The Chicago Sky has announced the third High School Team of the Week for 2014. The Lake Zurich girl basketball team has earned this week’s honor for its consistent improvements on and off the court.

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    Associated Press Members of the Norway’s Men’s Olympic Curling Team from left, Thomas Ulsrud, Torgor Nergard, Christoffer Svae, and Havard Vad Petersson wear their new Sochi 2014 suits as they pose for a photographer in New York.

    Norway’s curlers to show off funky pants in Sochi

    So what will be the must-see moments at the Sochi Olympics?How about snowboard star Shaun White performing his latest trick — the front-side double-cork 1440. Or Evgeny Plushenko’s quad jump, the signature move of the Russian figure skating superstar. And be sure not to miss Mikaela Shiffrin — the American skiing sensation — slicing her way through the women’s slalom.When it comes to curling, there’s no doubt what the showstopper will be.Yes, Norway’s men’s team is back with their crazy, funky pants. And they’ll be more outrageous than ever when the players emerge for their first game at the Ice Cube.“Put it like this, you’ll not see me wearing them,” Norway coach Pal Trulsen told The Associated Press. “Except maybe at a bad-taste party or something.”The Norwegians — Thomas Ulsrud, Torgor Nergard, Christoffer Svae and Havard Vad Petersson — caused a stir at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010 when they took to the ice for the tournament’s opening game against Canada sporting bold, diamond-printed golf pants in their nation’s colors. With curlers having always worn basic black uniforms, tradition was thrown out of the window.Spectators couldn’t believe what they were seeing. The pants became one of the talking points of the games, quickly going viral. Even the Norwegian monarch, King Harald V, received a pair.A Facebook page dedicated to ‘The Norwegian Olympic Curling Team’s Pants’ peaked at 695,000 followers during the games, according to its founder Anthony D’Orazio — that figure is currently back down to close to 540,000 but is sure to grow before and during Sochi. Two of the biggest clusters of followers are in China and Brazil.Norway’s emboldened curlers — trendsetters in their own right — are taking some new patterns over to Russia.Four have already been revealed — one has a zigzagging chevron print, and another is black and flowery and called “rosemaling” — and several more will be unveiled throughout the Olympics. It’s all very top-secret at the moment, but prepare to be amazed.“Because we know them, we probably won’t be shocked,” said British curler Anna Sloan, who has become good friends with the Norwegian team. “But trust me, it will be good.”Initially stunned, World Curling President Kate Caithness has embraced the pants, which have added a whole new dimension to curling.“I am a traditionalist, I must be honest,” Caithness said in a telephone interview with the AP. “But after I saw them in Vancouver, I actually liked them. They brought focus to our sport, these crazy pants. “It would be awful if all the teams were wearing them — it would look like a circus. But I think it’s a trademark of the Norwegian team only and we like it that way.”Svae hopes so, too. After all, it was he who came up with the idea in the first place.The longtime Norway international curler was unhappy at the black-and-gray colored uniform his team had been given for Vancouver, and asked its equipment sponsor a month before the Olympics to make them some colored pants. There wasn’t enough time, so he went online to find some goofy golf pants.He happened upon Loudmouth, an American sportswear company known for its flamboyant attire. Golfer John Daly and rock singer Alice Cooper are customers.“It’s definitely been life-changing for us,” Svae said. “Not so much in the everyday but when we travel around the world for curling, it doesn’t always matter if we do well or not, people still think that we win stuff because we are always in the media.”

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    Mike North video: Baseball conventions worth the time?
    The Chicago Cubs convention just ended with good attendance and the Chicago White Sox convention is just around the corner. Mike North wonders what the attraction is to attend these three-day events.

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    Yankees Masahiro Tanaka agree to $155M, 7-year deal

    The New York Yankees and prized Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka agreed Wednesday to a $155 million, seven-year contract. The Cubs were said to be among the finalists for the Rakuten Golden Eagles ace.

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    Associated Press Northwestern guard/forward Drew Crawford (1) blocks a final second shot by Purdue guard Ronnie Johnson (3) at the end of an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday in Evanston. Northwestern won 63-60.

    Northwestern beats Purdue 63-60 in double OT

    Drew Crawford scored 19 points and blocked the potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer to lead Northwestern to a 63-60 double-overtime victory over Purdue hours after a shooting on the Boilermakers’ campus on Tuesday. Crawford scored four points in the second OT and delivered the big block on Ronnie Johnson off an inbounds pass as time expired to preserve the win.

Business

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    Child car seats would for the first time have to protect children from death and injury in side-impact crashes under regulations the government is proposing, The Associated Press has learned.

    New rules sought to make child car seats safer

    Child car seats would for the first time have to protect children from death and injury in side-impact crashes under regulations the government proposed Wednesday. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to upgrade standards for child seats for children weighing up to 40 pounds to include a new test that simulates a side crash.

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    Most U.S. stocks rose as investors assessed earnings from companies including Norfolk Southern Corp., Coach Inc., International Business Machines Corp.

    S&P 500 ekes out another small gain; IBM slumps

    The Standard & Poor’s 500 index eked out its second small gain of the week Wednesday as investors pored over the latest earnings reports. Norfolk Southern climbed after the railroad company said its fourth-quarter profit rose 24 percent, better than Wall Street analysts had forecast.

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    Greg Brown

    Motorola Solutions to move some manufacturing from Mexico to Schaumburg

    While Motorola Solutions Wednesday reported increased sales, the maker of public safety equipment and tablets plans to bring back some manufacturing from Mexico to its Schaumburg headquarters. The company will add about 150 jobs here by late March to make high-end, sophisticated radio devices for its public safety customers.

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    Johnny Dodson, 2011 Harley-Davidson custom started life as a Road King police bike.

    Custom kills it at Chicago Cycle Show

    The frosty Midwest still needs to thaw out a bit before regular riding season returns. Yet motorcycle fever was in full swing at the recent 2014 Chicago Cycle Show.

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    Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings announced today that it anticipates hiring 6,500 veterans and military spouses in 2014.

    Sears Holdings to hire 6,500 veterans and military spouses

    Hoffman Estates-based Sears Holdings announced today that it anticipates hiring 6,500 veterans and military spouses in 2014. The hiring goal builds on the more than 6,000 veterans and spouses hired in 2013, and nearly doubles the 3,500 hired in 2012. The company currently employs more than 30,000 veteran associates, many of whom are still serving in the National Guard and the Reserve forces.

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    Aid for low-income Illinoisans making home repairs

    More than $6 million in federal money will be available in May for low-income Illinois homeowners to use for household maintenance such as roof repairs and heating system upgrades. The Illinois Housing Development Authority announced the program Tuesday. The money has been allocated to 31 public and nonprofit organizations throughout the state.

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    Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions’ fourth-quarter net income rose 2 percent and strong government sales energized its revenue, but shares dipped in premarket trading on its guidance.

    Motorola Solutions 4Q profit up, gov’t sales rise
    Schaumburg-based Motorola Solutions’ fourth-quarter net income rose 2 percent and strong government sales energized its revenue, but shares dipped in premarket trading on its guidance. The company anticipates first-quarter adjusted earnings from continuing operations between 46 and 52 cents per share, well short of the 77 cents that Wall Street was looking for.

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    ** FOR RELEASE WEEKEND SEPT. 6-7 -- FILE** In this Sept. 25, 2007 file photo, a visitor passes a Google exhibition in Duesseldorf, western Germany. When Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google Inc. on Sept. 7, 1998, they had little more than their ingenuity, four computers and an investor's $100,000 bet on their belief that an Internet search engine could change the world. (AP Photo/Rene Tillmann, file)

    Google Plays Smart Defense With Nest Acquisition: Barry Ritholtz c.2014 Bloomberg View

    Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- I have been thinking about Google’s acquisition of Nest Labs last week for the eye-popping sum of $3.2 billion. There have been numerous criticisms of the acquisition in terms of cost, with some chatter of this as evidence of a bubble in Silicon Valley. Perhaps it is worth considering this from a different perspective.If we look at some of the biggest tech errors of the past decade, we see a very specific risk arising to existing companies from new technologies. The two that come to mind are Blackberry ignoring the threat from touch-screen smart phones (Apple iPhone) and Microsoft ignoring the tablet as a threat to its basic Windows/PC business (Apple iPad).Note that Google’s Android acquisition allowed the company to be stay competitive with Apple’s disruptive technologies -- even as the two previous leaders fell dramatically from their prior spots. Android phones are ahead in market share (but not profitability) versus the iPhone; Android tablets are the default alternative to iPads. Blackberry saw its market share plummet. Microsoft is encountering a seismic shift in PC sales.Give credit to Google for having the tech foresight to see a potential threat to its main business -- selling advertising against search results -- from the mobile space. The Android acquisition gave Google a solid footprint in mobile search, preventing it from having to play catch-up as Blackberry and Microsoft are.Briefly consider the counter-factual -- what the future might look like had these purchases never occurred. We can only imagine the conversations that would be occurring in Mountain View, California, today had Google not purchased Android. And the vast traffic going to YouTube would be going elsewhere had Google not purchased the video site in 2006.Is Nest Labs the sort of acquisition that will look like a no-brainer years hence? It certainly has the potential. Most of Google’s other home-oriented technologies have failed to catch on in a major way. AndroidHome platform simply never caught on, and the Nexus Q streaming media device is not exactly lighting the world on fire. And please, don’t even ask about the Chromecast Dongle.Google has put together a pretty good track record of acquisitions. YouTube was a huge winner, giving Google a dominant position in online video. The company’s stock price increase after the YouTube acquisition was announced practically paid for purchase. Even the purchase of Motorola Mobility -- which, at $12 billion, also sounded pricey at the time, and looks like a bust in terms of sales -- was a clever patent acquisition; it has worked to mostly insulate Google from mobile patent-infringement lawsuits.Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Nest Labs is selling 100,000 smart thermostats a month -- that’s mighty good for a two-year-old product from a start up.While $3.2 billion is a lot of money to you or me, its barely 5 percent of Google’s cash, and a pittance (less than 1 percent) relative to its $388.8 billion market cap. The risk to Google is not the cost of making such acquisitions, but the potential risk to its core business down the road of failing to do so. If the “connected home” is a thing a few years hence, what new or existing company might be doing to Google what Apple did to Blackberry?I suspect that a decade from now, this may end up looking like another smart acquisition. Barry Ritholtz writes about finance, the economy and the business world for Bloomberg View. Follow him on Twitter Ritholtz.-0- Jan/22/2014 12:46 GMT For more columns from Bloomberg View, visit http://www.bloomberg.com/view

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    Bitcoin turns into art as Sweden rejects creative currency

    Bitcoin is making an art critic out of the Swedish taxman. The largest Nordic economy is set to reject Bitcoin and its competitors as a currency and instead give the software the same tax treatment it would an antique Persian rug or a painting by Andy Warhol.

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    It doesn’t surprise experts that some debit and credit card numbers stolen from Target’s computer systems may have surfaced among nearly 100 fake credit cards seized by police in Texas this week.Even so, they say the bust is unlikely to lead authorities directly to the hackers behind the breach, given the vast, labyrinthine nature of the global market for stolen data.

    Experts: Target hackers will be tough to find

    It doesn’t surprise experts that some debit and credit card numbers stolen from Target’s computer systems may have surfaced among nearly 100 fake credit cards seized by police in Texas this week. Even so, they say the bust is unlikely to lead authorities directly to the hackers behind the breach, given the vast, labyrinthine nature of the global market for stolen data.

Life & Entertainment

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    Tamar Braxton at the BET Awards in Los Angeles. Braxton is nominated for three honors at Sunday’s Grammy Awards, including best urban contemporary album for her first album in 13 years, “Love and War.” The title track is also nominated for best R&B song and R&B performance.

    Reality TV land helps Tamar Braxton get to Grammys

    Braxton, the singer-turned-reality star-turned-singer again, had been expecting more from them, and in her signature dramatic style, she let her sisters know they'd dropped the ball. Viewers watched the confrontation unfold on the hit WEtv reality series, "Braxton Family Values."

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    It doesn’t matter if she’s cooking for 20 or 200, Patty Nicpon puts her heart into her meals. Patty shares her recipe for grilled pork and vegetables at dailyherald.com/lifestyle/food.

    Cook of the Week: Arlington Hts. mom shows her love for cooking by feeding others
    Whether it’s feeding a group of her daughter’s college friends or a party of 20 neighbors, Patty Nicpon loves to entertain.“Whenever there is a chance to have a party, I guess I’m your girl,” the Arlington Heights mom says.

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    Sales for Salinger books jump after TV doc airs

    NEW YORK — The airing of a J.D. Salinger documentary has returned “The Catcher In the Rye” to the top of best seller lists.“Catcher” was No. 1 on Amazon.com and No. 20 on Barnes & Noble.com within hours of “Salinger” appearing Tuesday night on PBS stations. Rankings for other Salinger books also surged. “Nine Stories” was No. 77 on Wednesday morning, jumping from No. 6,639 the day before. “Franny and Zooey” rose from 6,191 to 172.The documentary directed by Shane Salerno was released in movie theaters last fall. It alleges that at least five new books by Salinger will be published. Salinger reportedly wrote steadily over the last 45 years of his life but permitted nothing to be released. He died in 2010 at age 91.

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    Louise Brealey, left, plays Molly Hooper and Benedict Cumberbatch is Sherlock Holmes in Season 3’s “The Empty Hearse” episode of Masterpiece’s “Sherlock,” which aired on Sunday on PBS. Steven Moffat, co-creator of “Sherlock,” said the show is a hit in China and many other countries.

    ‘Sherlock’ makers sticking to abbreviated seasons

    The makers of TV’s “Sherlock” say even a lobbying effort by British Prime Minister David Cameron wouldn’t persuade them to produce more episodes each season. But “Sherlock” co-creator Steven Moffat and producer Sue Vertue tweaked Cameron anyway for lack of effort. It’s been more than a month, they noted, since he visited China and was asked by fans there to press for more of the popular mystery series. He praised the drama and told Chinese viewers who submitted the request to him online that he would try. But Cameron has yet to contact them, Vertue said this week.

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    Dried beans or canned can be used in Penny Kazmier's Beef and Two Bean Chili, a recipe inspired by a class she took at Stonewall Kitchen in York, Maine.

    Culinary adventures: Incorporating cooking classes in vacation plans

    I am hooked on cooking classes and take a one whenever the opportunity presents itself. Like when I learned Stonewall Kitchen, the creator of those delicious gourmet jams, sauces and salsas, operates a cooking school in York, Maine, I knew a visit would be part of my vacation intinerary.

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    Cornbread and chili make a good pair.

    Super Easy Spicy Corn Muffins
    Super Easy Spicy Corn Muffins

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    Patty Nicpon pairs pork tenderloin with an onion-teriyaki glaze and serves it along with grilled vegetables.

    Onion-Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin with Grilled Vegetables
    Pork tenderloin with a red onion and teriyaki glaze served with grilled-roasted vegetable: Patty Nicpon

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    A half cup of hot sauce spices up Patty Nicpon’s Buffalo-style macaroni and cheese.

    Grilled Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese
    Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese: Patty Nicpon

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    Dining events: Cafe Amano trying out Mexican cuisine

    Cafe Amano in Elmhurst tackles Mexican cuisine; Devon Seafood + Steak offers a power lunch in Oakbrook Terrace; Hugo’s Frog Bar and Fish House’s restaurant week prix-fixe menu in Naperville.

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    This chili, inspired by Stonewall Kitchens, starts with beef stew meat and uses two kinds of dried beans.

    Beef and Two Bean Chili
    Beef and Two Bean Chili

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    Start your morning on a healthy note with maple bran muffins.

    Bananas make bran muffins pretty darn tasty

    Bran muffins have long been an emblematic “health food.” This is due in large part to a 1980s marketing campaign that attempted to convince Americans that eating oat bran would lead them to live forever. This was an exaggeration, but bran is still pretty good for you.

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    Maple Bran Muffins are a healthy way to start the morning.

    Maple Bran Muffins
    Maple Bran Muffins

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    National Pie Day is Jan. 23.

    From the food editor: Making someone’s day is as easy as pie

    You know the saying “as easy as pie” means the same thing “as easy as one, two, three,” but did you know 1/23 is also Pie Day? Well it is and the American Pie Council hopes you will celebrate by heading into your kitchen and baking a pie, or at least eat a slice of pie.

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    In Mary Jane Clark’s “That Old Black Magic,” cake designer-sleuth Piper Donovan fights off a murderer in the Big Easy.

    New Piper Donovan mystery is the best so far

    Piper Donovan doesn’t care about playing detective. She’d rather design wedding cakes and go to auditions for TV and film roles. To the delight of her fans, however, Piper has another close encounter with evil in “That Old Black Magic,” the fourth installment of the series by Mary Jane Clark. Piper goes to New Orleans to spend a few pleasant days as a guest baker in a renowned pastry establishment. Instead, she finds herself in the middle of a murder spree.

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    Raise a glass of Dunkel, left, or Lager at Hofbrauhaus in Rosemont.

    Night life events: Hofbrauhaus fetes turning 1

    Hofbrauhaus in Rosemont celebrates one year with a special party on Friday, Jan. 24. Head to House Pub in St. Charles to hear Beautiful Collision Saturday. Or check out Drink’s Temptation Tuesdays in Schaumburg.

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    Beginners take a group class at Elk Camp ski school at Snowmass in Aspen, Colo. Planning a ski vacation for couples can be tricky if one person is an expert and the other a novice. Making plans to ski separately with time for lessons, as well as some together time on intermediate slopes, can make the vacation work smoothly.

    Making a ski trip work when he skis, she doesn’t

    This winter I put my relationship to the ultimate test: a romantic ski vacation. Many couples ski together, but my fiancee, Sheri, is just learning while I’ve been skiing for more than two decades. We’d done group ski trips, but never skied alone. To make this trip work, we needed some advance planning and clear expectations. I wanted to ski with Sheri but also desired time to speed down the harder trails. We chose four days at Aspen/Snowmass in Colorado because it offered a little bit for each of us.

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    Bishop Paul Morton, background, and his son PJ Morton are nominated for best gospel album for “Best Days Yet,” the elder Morton’s album where PJ wrote and produced four songs. The Mortons are the first to accomplish the feat since Bob and Jakob Dylan did so in 1998.

    The Mortons: Father and son up for Grammy Awards

    The Grammy Awards are a family affair for the Mortons. Both Bishop Paul S. Morton and PJ Morton are nominated for best gospel album for “Best Days Yet,” the elder Morton’s album — PJ wrote and produced four songs. PJ’s song, the Stevie Wonder-featured “Only One,” is up for best R&B song. The Mortons are the first to accomplish this feat since Bob and Jakob Dylan in 1998.

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    Tom Borosak, Katie Rodgers, Dustin Clay and Nick Balazs, all of Lombard, play Jenga while enjoying some beers at the Beer House in Lombard. The bars has games available for patrons to use.

    It's beer heaven at Lombard's Beer House

    Plenty of bars focus on craft beers, but few do it as well as Beer House, which opened in Lombard's Yorktown Center in July. With 60 beers on tap, all of which are available in taster sizes, and more than 300 sold by the bottle, it's a great place to try some new brews, listen to some live music, play games and hang out with your friends.

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    Eating fruits and vegetables in a rainbow of colors helps ensure you get a variety of heathful nutrients into your system.

    Ask the Nutritionist: Does white produce have the same nutrient content as brightly colored fruit?

    Karen Collins with the American Institute for Cancer Research answers a reader's question about the color of vegetables and their nutrient content.

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    Owlet Wearable Baby Monitor tracks your baby's heart rate, oxygen levels, temperature and sleep habits all visible through an app on parent's phones or tablets. The data can been analyzed and charted to help parents notice trends in their baby or alert them in case of an emergency. An adjustable strap allows parents to use the wearable baby monitor from birth through about the first year of life. Cost: $250.

    Technology for even the youngest babies

    With new technology products being invented all the time, developers have a new audience to sell to — babies. For a few years parents have been handing their smartphones or tablets to their children to distract them with a movie or educational app, but now several companies are coming out with new products specifically targeted at children, even some under 1 year old.

Discuss

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    Editorial: University report is reminder, not rejection, on reform

    A Daily Herald editorial says a new university report on Illinois pensions emphasizes the diverse approaches still needed to correct the state's budget mess.

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    Does Obama finally own the economy?

    Columnist Byron York: For years, Republicans have marveled at President Obama’s success in blaming former President George W. Bush for the nation’s problems, particularly its economic problems. Now, as Obama begins his sixth year in office, that success may finally be coming to an end.

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    Industry of health horrors

    Columnist Richard Cohen: Tobacco is about the only product you can think of that, when used as directed, can kill you.

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    Let’s express ourselves more intelligently
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: For a lot of people the F-word dominates their speech. They use it as a noun, an adjective, an adverb and a verb. For so many it seems to be the only adverb they know.

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    Boycott countries where scammers operate
    A letter to the editor: I recently received a phone call informing me that I won an $850,000 prize. The man on the other end said he was a representative of P.C.H. and asked if I wanted my prize delivered in person or by special delivery.

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    Reasonable opinions needed on jobless benefits
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Over the last couple of days two letters have displayed a remarkable level of idiocy in order to justify not passing social legislation. Both were regarding extension of unemployment compensation.

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