Daily Archive : Wednesday January 29, 2014



    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Thieves stole $500 around 5:35 p.m. Jan. 20 out of an office assistant’s mailbox at Oral Maxillofacial & Implant Surgery, 800 Biesterfield Road, Elk Grove Village. The deposits were to be taken to the bank.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Christopher B. Nelson, 34, of North Aurora, was charged with driving under the influence, DUI with a blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more, and no insurance after a head-on crash at about 12:13 a.m. Saturday at Route 25 and Banbury Road near Batavia, according to a sheriff’s report.

    Renato V. Velasquez, center, was released Wednesday evening from the DuPage County jail where he had been held after a fatal accident that killed a tollway worker Monday night along I-88 near Aurora.

    Driver charged in fatal I-88 crash posts bond

    Renato V. Velasquez had slept for only 3½ hours during a 37½-hour shift when his truck rammed into a stopped squad car Monday night, triggering a chain-reaction accident that killed a tollway worker and seriously injured a state trooper, authorities said Wednesday. He was released late Wednesday from DuPage County jail on $150,000 bond.

    Children’s programmer Lisa Orsini enjoys the $1.1 million renovation at the Poplar Creek Public Library District’s Sonya Crenshaw branch in Hanover Park.

    Hanover Park library debuts $1 million facelift

    After shutting down for six months, the Poplar Creek Public Library District’s Sonya Crawshaw branch is showing off a $1 million makeover. The Hanover Park facility has been kept under wraps while crews worked on a long-overdue project at the 22-year-old building at 4300 Audrey Lane. “It feels happy and attractive,” board President Susan Spooner said Wednesday. “It used to...


    Few attend Elgin planning meeting in Spanish

    Despite efforts to reach out to Elgin's Spanish-speaking community, attendance was dismal at a meeting about the making of the city's new comprehensive plan. Those in attendance agreed that the most pressing issues in Elgin are filling empty spaces downtown, distributing services equally across the city, improving east-west transportation, and continuing to combat crime.

    Gurnee’s Spaulding School held an all-school dance on Wednesday at Warren Township High School’s O’Plaine campus. Students have been learning dances in gym class and had a chance to show off their moves to classmates and family members.

    Spaulding School’s dance night

    Gurnee’s Spaulding School held an all-school dance Wednesday night at Warren Township High School’s O’Plaine Campus.

    The DuPage County coroner’s office determined Tom and Jan Lambert of Naperville died from “thermal inhalation issues due to a house fire,” after their home on Field Court caught fire the morning of Dec. 18.

    Coroner: Inhaling fire-heated air killed Naperville couple

    Inhaling hot, smoky air from a fire that burned through their home last month has been identified as the official cause of death of Tom and Jan Lambert of Naperville, whose lives were celebrated over the weekend during a memorial service at their church. Tom, 57, and Jan, 56, both died of what the DuPage County coroner’s office determined to be “thermal inhalation injuries due to a...


    Plainfield charity helps children who lose parents in vehicle crashes

    A Plainfield-based group, the Little Footprints Foundation, tries to help children ages 4 to 14 who have lost parents in auto accidents by providing money over an 18-month period to buy clothes. The group's founder says she now wants to reach out to the children of the tollway worker killed in Monday's crash along I-88.

    Homecoming queen Anne Wagner, who has Down syndrome, along with her lifelong friend Mary Doro, sing during an assembly at Downers Grove North High School in October.

    Quinn honors Downers Grove senior Wagner

    Gov. Pat Quinn took a minute of his State of the State address to honor Downers Grove North High School senior Anne Wagner and the classmate who nominated her to be homecoming queen, Mary Doro. Wagner, who has Down syndrome, missed part of her sophomore year and full junior year of high school while suffering from leukemia.

    Rick O’Shea, with the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship behind him after it docked in Bayonne, N.J., Wednesday, said his company is preparing to disinfect the ship. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday its latest count puts the number of those sickened aboard the Explorer of the Seas at 630 passengers and 54 crew members.

    Cruise ship passengers recall days of misery

    Passengers aboard a cruise ship on which hundreds fell ill recalled days of misery holed up in their rooms as it returned to its home port Wednesday from a Caribbean trip cut short by what is suspected to be among the largest such norovirus outbreaks in the last 20 years.

    This handout photo provided by the Brookings Institution, taken Jan. 13, shows Gary Burtless of the Brookings Institution speaking in Washington. New research shows Obama’s health care law will significantly boost the economic fortunes of people in the bottom fifth of the income ladder.

    Big impact on income gap is health law’s new angle

    Maybe the health care law was about wealth transfer, after all. New research shows the Affordable Care Act will significantly boost the economic fortunes of those in the bottom one-fifth of the income ladder while slightly reducing average incomes on the rungs above.


    Hawthorn Woods’ inaugural winter carnival rescheduled due to weather

    Too much winter has caused Hawthorn Woods to reschedule its inaugural winter carnival from Friday to Feb. 22. “It’s really unusual to have to cancel a winter carnival because of winter,” said Pam Newton, the village’s chief operating officer.

    A teacher at E. Rivers Elementary school covers sleeping children in the gym Wednesday in Atlanta. A rare snowstorm left thousands across the South frozen in their tracks, with workers sleeping in their offices, students camping in their schools and commuters abandoning cars along the highway to seek shelter in churches or even grocery stores.

    Snow, ice send South’s flagship city reeling

    Thousands of Atlanta students stranded all night long in their schools were reunited with their parents Wednesday, while rescuers rushed to deliver blankets, food, gas and a ride home to countless shivering motorists stopped cold by a storm that paralyzed the business capital of the South with less than 3 inches of snow.

    Debbie Miller

    65th House candidates address state’s financial woes

    If the state doesn't keep the temporary income tax hike in place, what will it do to make expenses and income meet? The three people seeking the Republican nomination for the 65th District state house seat cite spending cuts and getting more people working as ways to go.


    Eulogy for Dora Betancourt
    The transcript of the eulogy delivered by the Rev. Kevin Raddatz at the funeral of Dora Betancourt. The text was published on the St. John Lutheran Church website.

    Dora Betancourt was remembered Wednesday for her smile, and her love of art and cheerleading.

    Funeral held for 11-year-old murder victim Dora Betancourt

    Mourners packed a Libertyville church Wednesday morning for the funeral of an 11-year-old Mundelein girl who authorities say was slain by her half-sister last week.


    Bartlett High speech team wins conference, a first for U-46

    It’s a first for Bartlett High School, in fact, a first for any school in Elgin Area School District U-46: Bartlett’s speech and drama team took first place at the Upstate Eight Conference Tournament for competitive public speaking and acting. “We’ve never taken home the tournament championship,” said Anthony Zoubek, the school’s speech and drama coach.

    Gov. Pat Quinn delivers the State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday in the House chambers at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

    Quinn says he’s worked to ‘rebuild Illinois’

    Teasing out his 2014 re-election platform, Gov. Pat Quinn presented his plan Wednesday to reverse Illinois’ stubborn unemployment over the next five years. The governor proposed adding a small-business advocate to his staff, reducing a business fee, more scholarships for college students, doubling the earned income tax credit and investing in medical technology startups.

    Brian Reaves

    Metra CEO decision possible Friday

    Metra could have a permanent CEO by the end of the week. The board of directors is expected to interview candidates, including interim Executive Director Don Orseno Friday and may vote. The new chief replaces Alex Clifford who left in a blaze of publicity.


    Blackhawks alumni to play outdoor hockey in Rosemont

    Chicago Blackhawks alumni and other celebrities will face off against each other in an outdoor hockey game Friday, Feb. 7, at Rosemont’s entertainment district. Organizers of the inaugural Winter Frost Face Off outdoor hockey series announced Wednesday their lineup for the Classic Puck Off game, which kicks off a 24-day schedule of games at MB Financial Park featuring local youth, high school,...

    Jim Blanche, Lombard Elementary District 44’s superintendent for the past 10 years, has decided to step down. His last day is June 30.

    Lombard District 44 superintendent stepping down

    Superintendent Jim Blanche has decided to step down after serving as the leader of Lombard Elementary District 44 for a decade.Blanche, 66, said he had one more year left in his contract, but decided 10 years — which he said is longer than most superintendents serve — was enough. His last day will be June 30. “It’s been a good place for me,” he said. “It was a great thing for me personally and...

    Otilia Delatorre

    Woman accused of torching ex-boyfriend’s van in Aurora

    A 53-year-old woman is accused of torching her ex-boyfriend's van in Aurora Tuesday morning. Otilia Delatorre, of Rochelle, was arrested in Geneva shortly after setting fire to a van in the 1200 block of North Lake Street (Route 31). Delatorre and her boyfriend argued, it got physical and he left her alone in the van, which she is accused of setting on fire while she was inside of it before...


    District 75 kindergarten:

    Mundelein Elementary District 75 host kindergarten information night at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4, at Washington School, 122 S. Garfield Ave., Mundelein.


    Mundelein honorees named:

    Mundelein’s human relations commission has announced the winners of its annual diversity awards.


    Arbor Day tree offer:

    Anyone from Illinois who joins the Arbor Day Foundation in February will receive 10 free Colorado blue spruce trees to plant when the weather turns warm, the organization said in a news release.


    Jackie Collins visit:

    Best-selling author Jackie Collins will be at Gurnee's Warren-Newport Public Library on Feb. 12.

    Elgin Area School District U-46 Superintendent Jose Torres is the new Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce board chairman. He took over from David Rock Wednesday at the chamber’s annual meeting at The Centre in Elgin.

    U-46’s Torres new chairman for Elgin Chamber

    Jose Torres, superintendent of School District U-46, is the new board chairman for the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce.

    Sarah Orleans

    DuPage Children’s Museum names next president

    The DuPage Children’s Museum has chosen its next president and CEO who will begin leading the museum when President Susan Broad steps down later this month.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Someone stole two Bluetooth-enabled music receivers from Radio Shack, 21 N. Randall Road, Batavia, it was reported to police at 3:04 p.m. Tuesday.

    A bill that would prevent Arlington International Racecourse’s live racing season from being cut in half was signed by Gov. Pat Quinn.

    Quinn signs bill to save Arlington season

    A bill that would prevent Arlington International Racecourse’s live racing season from being cut in half made it through the Illinois legislature today and is headed to Gov. Pat Quinn’s desk.

    Barrington plans to spend about $120,000 later this year upgrading the exterior of its downtown train station. Planned work includes replacing bricks and worn pavement, improving landscaping and adding accessibility features for disabled commuters.

    Renovations on track at Barrington Metra station

    The exterior of the Barrington Metra station will undergo renovations later this year that include replacing weatherworn, cracked walkways with fresh concrete and new bricks and landscaping upgrades. The village has budgeted about $120,000 for the project.


    Hoffman Estates hosts senior driving class

    The Village of Hoffman Estates Commission for Senior Citizens will host a “Rules of the Road” course for seniors from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 3 in the Department of Health and Human Services’ conference room at village hall. Review safe driving techniques and learn what to expect when you go to renew your license.

    Myriah R. Rogers

    Woman charged in downtown Batavia robbery

    A 23-year-old woman has been charged with luring a male acquaintence to downtown Batavia so another man could rob him. Myriah R. Rogers was arrested on aggravated robbery charges after the victim scuffled with his attacker Jan. 10 but lost his jacket and cellphone. Rogers is free on bond and due in court Feb. 6.


    Barrington fire district buys new fire engine

    Barrington Countryside Fire Protection District trustees this week authorized the $425,000 purchase of a new fire engine they say will improve firefighters’ ability to protect residents. The purchase is part of a long-planned effort to upgrade the BCFPD’s fleet of emergency vehicles without raising taxes, officials say. The new engine, made by Florida-based E-One, will be delivered in the fall.


    Dist. 54 wins 17th Meritorious Budget Award

    For the 17th year in a row, Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 has received a Meritorious Budget Award from the Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International for its 2013-14 annual budget.


    Hanover Township tutoring returns

    Hanover Township will offer affordable tutoring each week for students living in the township’s boundaries beginning Feb. 18. Certified teachers will provide small group tutoring for elementary and high school students based on their age and learning needs.

    Kathy Birkett

    Superintendent search ‘on schedule’ in Dist. 204

    Indian Prairie District 204’s search for a superintendent to succeed Kathy Birkett is progressing on schedule, and board members plan to choose the right candidate for the job by late February or early March. School board President Lori Price said board members who reviewed resumes during a recent closed meeting “were very impressed with the candidates” that poured in from across the country...

    Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 science teacher Michelle Burke, right, was a guest of 8th District Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth for the State of the Union in Washington D.C. Tuesday.

    Schaumburg teacher awed at State of Union

    Even as Schaumburg science teacher Michelle Burke was waiting to take off from Washington D.C. Wednesday morning, she was still coming down from her once-in-a-lifetime experience of watching President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in person the night before. “I just sat there the whole time awe-inspired,” Burke said.

    This is a replica of a Neanderthal man at the Neanderthal museum in Mettmann, western Germany. Much of the genes that help determine most people’s skin and hair are much more Neanderthal than not, according to two new studies.

    Fossils of Neanderthal DNA clump in human genome

    Next time you call someone a Neanderthal, better look in a mirror. Many of the genes that help determine most people’s skin and hair are more Neanderthal than not, according to two new studies that look at the DNA fossils hidden in the modern human genome.

    Kevin Myers

    New Mundelein High superintendent has suburban ties

    The Mundelein High School board has chosen a downstate administrator to lead the district for the next five years. Kevin Myers will replace Jody Ware as Mundelein’s superintendent.

    Geoff Deigan

    Grayslake’s Prairie Crossing Charter School ends subzero recess

    Students at Prairie Crossing Charter School in Grayslake no longer will have a shortened outdoor recess in subzero weather, under an amended policy enacted Wednesday.

    Rep. Michael Grimm, R-N.Y., has apologized for his actions after he physically threatened a reporter at the Capitol after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday.

    Reporter: NY congressman apologized for threat

    A reporter for a New York City cable news station said Wednesday that U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm called him to apologize for physically threatening him at the end of an interview about President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address.

    Chris Burrichter

    Movin’ on up: Batavia grads make their mark on the world

    Not long ago, I spoke with Chris Burrichter, a 2004 graduate of Batavia High School. Burrichter had recently joined the prestigious law firm of Kirkland Ellis LLP in Chicago. “There were 50 new lawyers joining the firm in the Chicago office,” said Burrichter. “I looked around and there were two other new associates from Batavia; Billy Foster and Shane Mulrooney.”

    Weronika Zeliszczak, a 7-year-old Carpentersville girl battling leukemia, holds one of the more than 200 cards she received in the mail Tuesday from well wishers. Her mother, Katarzyna Zeliszczak, started a campaign on Facebook encouraging her friends to mail cards to her daughter that congratulate her for completing an intense round of chemotherapy. Weronika hopes to return to school in March.

    Facebook campaigns rallying for Carpentersville girl with cancer

    Weronika Zeliszczak, a 7-year-old girl battling leukemia, is the subject of a pair of Facebook campaigns her mother and teacher have launched to support her. One campaign aims to send cards to the girl for completing chemotherapy, while the other encourages people to support her by "liking" her picture.

    Crowds gather on the Square to hear Woodstock Willie’s prognostication at last year’s Groundhog Days festival.

    Celebrate winter at Woodstock Groundhog Days

    This weekend, visitors to Woodstock can celebrate winter — and find out if we’re in for another six weeks of it — at the city’s annual Groundhog Days festival. The festival, which began Jan. 26 and continues through Sunday, Feb. 2, is based on the 1993 comedy “Groundhog Day,” which was shot in Woodstock.


    Barbecues and picnics – reserve your summer site

    It may be cold outside, but the Fox Valley Park District is already looking ahead to spring and summer. On Monday, Feb. 3, the outdoor party season begins — at least the planning part — when picnic shelter reservations become available on a first-come, first-served basis.


    Now is a great time to start studying the Bible

    The beginning of each year is a great time to start studying the Bible. Why not start now? asks columnist Annettee Budzban.

    Gov. Pat Quinn wants to again double an income tax credit aimed at helping poor Illinois families keep more of the money they earn.

    Quinn wants to double earned income tax credit

    Gov. Pat Quinn wants to again double an income tax credit aimed at helping poor Illinois families keep more of the money they earn. Quinn spoke Wednesday during the annual State of the State address. He says the tax credit should be increased over five years.

    Michael Kowalski of Lisle

    Metra commuters share their dream trip

    As the potential Powerball and Mega-Millions winnings climb higher and temperatures seem to get lower, we asked commuters at the Lisle Metra Station a simple question: “If you win the lottery, where would you wish to ride the train?” Here's what they said on video.

    Mike Riopell

    Follow Mike Riopell's tweets during State of the State speech

    Daily Herald State Government Editor will be tweeting about the State of the State speech as it happens. You can follow his and other related tweets on Gov. Pat Quinn's big speech.

    Two Norwegian lawmakers said Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 that they have jointly nominated former NSA contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize.

    Norway lawmakers nominate Snowden for Nobel

    Two Norwegian politicians have jointly nominated former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, saying his disclosures of secret U.S. documents have contributed to making the world more peaceful.

    Federal health officials say the pain reliever in Aleve may be safer on the heart than other popular anti-inflammatory drugs taken by millions of Americans.

    FDA: Aleve may be safer on heart than rival drugs

    Federal health officials say the pain reliever in Aleve may be safer on the heart than other popular anti-inflammatory drugs taken by millions of Americans. A Food and Drug Administration review posted online Tuesday said naproxen — the key ingredient in Aleve and dozens of other generic pain pills — may have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke than rival medications like...

    A Russian police officer searches a driver as his vehicle is also screened at an entrance to the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games park, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia. The Olympics begin on Feb. 7.

    Sochi chief: City is world’s ‘most secure venue’

    The chief organizer of the Sochi Olympics says the Russian city is the “most secure venue on the planet” and promises the tight security measures will not detract from the atmosphere of the games.

    The Canadian family of former University of Missouri school swimmer Sasha Menu Courey says the school and its athletics department failed to properly investigate her alleged off-campus rape by as many as three football players in 2010. Menu Courey struggled with mental illness and committed suicide 16 months later.

    Swimmer’s death casts light on campus sex assaults

    The case of a former University of Missouri swimmer who said she was raped in an episode that her parents say led to her suicide underscores the problems higher education institutions in the U.S. face in cracking down on sexual assaults. The parents of Sasha Menu Courey say the university and its athletics department by now should have investigated her alleged off-campus rape by as many as three...


    Hawaii school to open day after officer shot teen

    A Hawaii high school is expected to resume normal operations Wednesday after a police officer shot a 17-year-old runaway on campus, prompting a lockdown and canceling classes. The teen was shot in the wrist Tuesday after cutting one officer with a knife and punching two others, authorities said.

    Jennifer Rogers is formerly Jennifer Doan, a Plaza Towers schoolteacher who was the subject of what became an iconic photograph of the Moore, Okla. tornado as firefighters are shown freeing a debris-covered Doan from the rubble of a collapsed wall. Doan was pregnant with Jack Nicolas at the time. Jack’s middle name, Nicolas, is in memory of one of her students, who died in the tornado.

    Teacher names son after student killed in tornado

    The school’s wall collapsed onto Jennifer Doan Rogers as she desperately tried to protect her third-grade students as a tornado ripped through their Oklahoma community. The young teacher had laid one of her hands on Nicolas McCabe, a 9-year-old with an infectious grin. But it wasn’t enough to protect him. Seven months later, Rogers gave birth to a boy. She named him after Nicolas.

    The U.S. Supreme Court has granted a stay of execution for Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014. Justice Samuel Alito signed the order that was sent out Tuesday night after President Barack Obama’s State of the Union speech.

    Scheduled Missouri execution temporarily stayed

    he U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule Wednesday on two petitions regarding Missouri death row inmate Herbert Smulls, the Missouri Attorney General’s office said. Smulls’ execution was temporarily stayed late Tuesday with an order from the high court signed by Justice Samuel Alito. It was sent about two-and-a-half hours before Smulls was scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

    Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky. arrives for President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday Jan. 28, 2014.

    Republicans say Obama can’t do much without them

    Congressional Republicans swiftly and sharply rejected President Barack Obama’s vow to act on his own if lawmakers won’t help him create jobs and narrow the nation’s yawning income gap, insisting he’ll accomplish little in a divided government without them. “The authority he has doesn’t add up to much for those without opportunity in this economy,” House Speaker John Boehner said.

    President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to make his pitch that the nation must come together to address persistent problems, from the wealth gap between rich and poor to economic mobility to lagging schools.

    Americans react to Obama’s address to nation

    President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address Tuesday night to make his pitch that the nation must come together to address persistent problems, from the wealth gap to economic mobility to lagging schools. The Associated Press spoke with a sampling of viewers from around the country to gauge whether the president succeeded in convincing them of the need for his proposals.

    Grant Wehrli

    Part-time elected officials can't undo pensions

    Grant Wehrli doesn't want a pension for serving as a Naperville city councilman, but thanks to his fellow council members it looks like he'll get one. And he won't be alone. Some 42 former suburban aldermen, mayors and clerks together receive more than $200,000 a year combined for once holding elected office.

    Joseph “Joe” Biden, U.S. vice president, left, holds onto House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, as U.S. President Barack Obama, not pictured, delivers the State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014.

    Biden says he could be president, ‘in my heart’

    Vice President Joe Biden said Wednesday that “in my heart” he could be a good president. But Biden emphasized, “I haven’t made a decision to run and I haven’t made a decision not to run.”

    Snow drifts blocking street parking are dealt with Tuesday on Millview Drive in Batavia. Public works crews say they've been going virtually nonstop since early December.

    Worst winter ever in the suburbs? Not just yet

    Is this the worst winter ever? Not exactly. But it has been the fourth-snowiest month since the National Weather Service began measuring. The frequency of snowfall, and the number of super-cold days, may be making us think it is extra bad. “This is extremely unique as far as weather patterns and anything I've faced in 30 years,” Libertyville Public Works Director John Heinz said.


    Dawn Patrol: Trucker charged in I-88 crash; suburban Obama reaction

    Truck driver charged in fatal crash on I-88 in Aurora; Wheeling tollway worker is remembered; suburbanites give mixed reactions to the State of the Union address; charges are pending against an Aurora woman accused of setting her ex-boyfriend's car on fire.

    Bill Howard, owner of Naperville Towing Service Inc, said fatal accidents could be reduced if drivers better heeded the flashing lights of emergency vehicles and tow trucks.

    Tow operator at fatal I-88 crash urges caution

    The chain-reaction crash on I-88 in Aurora that killed a tollway worker and injured a state trooper can serve as a reminder that motorists should pay better heed to emergency vehicles at the side of the road. “Those huge bright amber and red and white lights are not on for our enjoyment. They're to warn you something's going on and tell you to slow down and get over,” said Bill...


    District 220 board supports laptop plan

    A majority of the Barrington Area Unit District 220 board members on Tuesday agreed to support a plan to put a laptop into the hands of every student at Barrington High School next year. Board member Joe Ruffalo said the district was falling behind other suburban districts in the area of digital age learning and that the board needed to act now. “It's the way these things are going,”...


    Five Schaumburg businesses seek tax incentive

    Five industrial businesses in Schaumburg simultaneously seeking the granting or renewal of Class 6B property-tax incentives from Cook County were recommended for approval by the village board Tuesday. While this is an unusually high number to be applying all at once, there’s been an upswing in renewal requests from businesses first granted the incentive in the early 2000s, Schaumburg...


    Hannah Frazier

    Girls basketball: Week 8 MVP

    Batavia sophomore forward Hannah Frazier has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent basketball performances.

    Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad celebrates his goal against the Canucks during the second period of Wednesday’s game in Vancouver.

    Toews, Sharp, Saad lead Blackhawks past Canucks

    Jonathan Toews, Patrick Sharp and Brandon Saad each had a goal and an assist in the second period as the Chicago Blackhawks scored in quick succession to beat the Vancouver Canucks 5-2 on Wednesday night. Corey Crawford made 29 saves as the Blackhawks grabbed sole possession of first in the Central Division.


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


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


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


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

    Connor Cashaw

    Boys basketball: Week 8 MVP

    Stevenson junior guard Connor Cashaw has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent basketball performances.

    The Bulls’ Joakim Noah jumps over the Spurs’ Othyus Jeffers, center, for a loose ball during the first half of Wednesday’s game in San Antonio.

    Noah’s return sparks Bulls to easy win

    There haven’t been many times when the Bulls have held a health advantage over an opponent during the past three years. But it finally happened Wednesday in San Antonio. Joakim Noah returned from an illness, Kirk Hinrich was back on the floor after missing four games with a hamstring strain, and the Bulls beat the Spurs 96-86.

    Wisconsin’s Frank Kaminsky, left, knocks the ball away from Northwestern’s Alex Olah during the first half of Wednesday’s game in Madison, Wis.

    Northwestern upsets No. 14 Wisconsin 65-56

    Drew Crawford scored a season-high 30 points, JerShon Cobb added all 10 of his points in the second half and Northwestern upset cold-shooting No. 14 Wisconsin 65-56 on Wednesday night. It was Northwestern’s first win over the Badgers in Madison since 1996.


    Southern buck is nothing to sneeze at

    Mississippi hunter Ron Manning unintentionally found an interesting way to draw in a buck from his tree stand.


    North Chicago turns back Grant

    Grant’s boys basketball team flirted with an upset Wednesday night. The Bulldogs were tied with host North Chicago 60-60 with less than four minutes left in the fourth quarter, but the Warhawks prevailed 85-79.

    St. Charles North’s Erik Miller, pictured in the season-opener against Plainfield East, said practices have been more intense since giving up 90 points to St. Charles East in their last game.

    St. Charles North eager to bounce back

    Hopefully practice made St. Charles North’s zone defense closer to perfect.

    Warren’s Eric Gillespie, left, goes in for an easy layup past Mundelein’s Sam Nelson on Wednesday night at Warren.

    Swane’s right at home at Warren

    An admiring toddler, secured in the arms of her mommy, just had to give it up to Warren basketball player Gregory Swane before she headed home to bed. “Greg. Greg,” she said, trying to get the 6-foot-6 senior’s attention. Swane paused and acknowledged his young fan with a wide smile. "Good game,” she said. The truth? Swane has been receiving that kind of love since last summer, when he transferred from Zion-Benton to Warren. And why not? Swane’s effort of 15 points and 13 rebounds in the Blue Devils’ 89-71 win over visiting Mundelein on Wednesday night was typical.


    Egekeze unstoppable in Huntley win

    There’s a bit of Dr. Bruce Banner in 6-foot-8 Huntley senior Amanze Egekeze, so it’s not wise to make him angry. The Crystal Lake South student section did its best to irritate the Belmont-bound Egekeze by serenading him with chants of “over-rated, over-rated” throughout the first half, but Egekeze kept his cool while registering 10 points and 10 rebounds by halftime. “I don’t think the crowd affects him as much as he gets upset when the officials aren’t calling fouls when he’s getting fouled,” Huntley coach Marty Manning said. “Then he gets his angry face on and he really starts attacking the basket.” Rather than turn into the Incredible Sulk because he wasn’t getting calls, Egekeze channeled his anger in the second half and morphed into an unstoppable force. He began driving to the basket with regularity, taking his defender off the dribble. He scored 7 of Huntley’s points during a 12-3 third-quarter run that allowed the Red Raiders to gain separation in an eventual 58-48 win at The Swamp in Crystal Lake.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Bartlett 79, Elgin 36: The Hawks (15-9) jumped out to an early lead and cruised to a commanding victory over the Maroons in this Upstate Eight Conference crossover game. Liz Arco paced the Hawks as she recorded a double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds while Kelly Harris (16 points) and Ally Giampapa (13 points, 4 assists) scored double figures. The Maroons (6-14) were led by Maggie Powers and Abby Pierre-Louis with 8 and 7 points, respectively.Morgan Park Academy 47, Elgin Academy 16: The Hilltoppers could not get the offense rolling as they fell to Morgan Park Academy on the road. Kaitlyn Pearson led the Hilltoppers with 8 points, 6 steals, and 1 block.Prairie Ridge 50, Cary-Grove 48 (2 OT): The Trojans (13-10, 4-5) fell just short in double overtime as they dropped this Fox Valley Conference Valley Division game at home. Sarah Kendeigh led the way for C-G with 11 points while Jen Pilut added 10 points in the loss.


    Fremd able to take Conant’s best shot

    Fremd’s 45-34 over win over Conant on Wednesday night wasn’t easy — but then, the host Vikings knew it wouldn’t be. “Conant always gives everyone its best shot,” said Vikings senior forward Erica Simios, who had a few big shots herself, one a layup midway through the fourth quarter when Conant was threatening to take the game down to the wire. Instead, Simios’ layup made it 39-32 and the Vikings were able to pull away for their 19th win in 21 games. The No. 4-ranked team in Class 4A improved to 7-0 in the Mid-Suburban West; Conant is 4-3 with a 14-9 overall record.


    Maine West gets past Wheeling

    Maine West climbed above the .500 mark by topping visiting Wheeling 72-64 in nonconference play Wednesday. The Warriors led by as many as 9 points before Wheeling rallied to take the lead by a point with 1:47 left. But a pair of free throws from Anthony Dones and a 3-pointer from Matt Acevedo helped the Warriors regain control down the stretch.

    Geneva’s Grace Loberg shoots over a block by Fenwick’s Kelly Canoy in the second quarter on Wednesday, January 29.

    Geneva starts fast, blows out Fenwick

    Concerned about Geneva’s slow starts recently, Sarah Meadows watched her team ease her mind by scoring the first 10 points of a nonconference game with Fenwick Wednesday night in Geneva. The Vikings raced to leads of 19-2 after one quarter and 40-9 at halftime on their way to a 66-36 victory over a Fenwick team in the midst of its worst season in 20 years.


    Downers North pulls away from Montini in final quarter

    A big fourth quarter broke the deadlock for the Downers Grove North boys basketball team as it was able take down the Montini Catholic Broncos 51-35 on Wednesday at Montini in nonconference action.

    Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is bundled against the cold as he supervises a practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J.

    Bringing elements into play fine for Super Bowl

    Maybe a cold-weather Super Bowl isn't such a bad idea after all. Rule changes threaten to take the macho out of the NFL, so battling the climate represents the last frontier of players proving their manhood.

    Niki Lazar of Neuqua and Anna Tracy of South Elgin move the ball during the South Elgin at Neuqua Valley girls basketball game Wednesday.

    Neuqua Valley handles South Elgin

    The third time was a charm, and now Neuqua Valley is hoping the fourth time come Saturday also will bring good results. After two weather cancellations this month, South Elgin finally was able to come to Naperville and take on the Wildcats in a battle of Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division front-runners Wednesday night. Neuqua Valley stayed perfect in league play with a 53-46 win and now has a two-game lead on the Storm (15-7, 7-2)

    Kenton Mack of Jacobs glides between three Dundee-Crown defenders en route to a layup during Wednesday’s game in Algonquin.

    Murray, Jacobs cruise past Dundee-Crown

    Jacobs senior guard Ben Murray, known as one of the best defensive players in the Fox Valley Conference, displayed his offensive skills during Wednesday’s battle against District 300 rival Dundee-Crown. Connecting on 4 3 pointers, Murray poured in 14 points in the Golden Eagles’ 52-40 boys basketball win over the Chargers.


    For tackling shore fishing, light is right

    Shore fishing is a lot more fun when you have a specific tackle box dedicated to the essential stuff. It puts the fun back in the pursuit, and makes it a whole lot easier to get around, too.


    Harper steps up against Madison

    It could have been tempting for the Harper College men’s basketball team to look past an opponent with a 4-17 record, especially with a matchup against North Central Community College Conference leader Joliet looming on Saturday night. It turns out the Hawks had no problem resisting that tempation. Harper earned a 92-62 victory over visiting Madison Area Technical College on Wednesday.


    Southern Illinois defeats Indiana State 79-60

    Anthony Beane had 22 points while Sean O’Brien and Bola Olaniyan each had double-doubles to lead Southern Illinois past Indiana State 79-60.


    Hot Lemon leads Bradley past Illinois St. 64-45

    Walt Lemon, Jr. hit his first field goal with less than 10 minutes to play and scored 16 of his 20 points down the stretch as Bradley broke away late in the game to defeat Illinois State 64-45 on Wednesday night.

    Miami Heat small forward LeBron James (6) puts pressure on Oklahoma City Thunder small forward Kevin Durant (35) during the fourth period of an NBA basketball game in Miami, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The Thunder won 112-95. (AP PhotoAlan Diaz)

    No slowing Durrant; Thunder rout Heat 112-95

    Kevin Durant remained sizzling with 33 points, Serge Ibaka added 22 and the Thunder roared back from an abysmal start — they trailed 22-4 early — to embarrass the Miami Heat 112-95 on Wednesday night, erasing that big deficit out of the gate by outscoring the two-time defending champions by 43 points over a 33-minute span.


    Schmid looking for change in hall of fame career

    President. Principal. Dean. Chair. Director. Facilitator. Coach. Metea Valley principal Jim Schmid’s resume is peppered with titles of authority. It’s no wonder he played catcher and point guard at Aurora Central Catholic — athlete of the year in 1972 as a senior — and won 514 games as baseball coach at ACC, Aurora University and Waubonsie Valley. The man is a leader.

    St. Viator’s Ore Arogundade, left, drives along the baseline against Hersey defender Alex Mueller during Wednesday’s game in Cahill Gymnasium.

    Canella, St. Viator stand tall against Hersey

    The bragging rights in Arlington Heights went to St. Viator after the Lions delivered an 88-54 win over Hersey at Cahill Gymnasium on Wednesday night in nonconference action. Ore Arogundade led the 16-3 Lions with 20 points, 6 rebounds, 7 assists and 2 blocked shots. Roosevelt Smart added 13, Patrick McNamara had 12 and Sal Canella had 11 points and 6 rebounds.


    Wille, Hawks lead the way

    Mid-Suburban League competitors weren’t just challenging the lanes and each other Wednesday night. They were also bowling for a cure. In an event spearheaded by Hoffman Estates and senior Sarah Wille, the MSL hosted a “Strike Out Cervical Cancer” fundraiser at the next to last conference meet of the season at Arlington Lanes. “I felt that was important to give back,” said Wille. “I’ve seen a lot of awareness initiatives in other sports over the years, but never one in our sport.” Wille led the way for the first-place Hawks in their match against Elk Grove as well, rolling the best game of the night, a 255, in their win over Elk Grove.

    Geneva’s Janie McCloughan and Madeline Dunn scramble for a loose ball with Fenwick’s Katie Dvorak and Megan Hussey in the second quarter.

    Images: Fenwick vs. Geneva girls basketball
    Geneva hosted Fenwick in a girls basketball matchup Wednesday night in Geneva.

    FILE - In this July 30, 2010, file photo, Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman, left, reaches to clubhouse attendant Eddie Gonzales as he walks toward the clubhouse during batting practice before a baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers in Houston. Six-time All-Star Berkman is retiring after 15 seasons in the major leagues. The Astros said in a release Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that Berkman was one of the greatest players in team history. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)

    6-time All-Star Berkman retiring from baseball

    Six-time All-Star Lance Berkman is retiring after 15 seasons in the major leagues.Berkman almost left the game last offseason before signing with the Texas Rangers. He then had another injury-plagued season and was limited to 73 games.


    Detroit tops Illinois-Chicago 74-68

    Juwan Howard, Jr., scored 25 points and Detroit beat Illinois-Chicago 74-68 on Wednesday night.Trailing 54-52, Howard scored eight points during a 9-1 run by Detroit (10-13, 3-5 Horizon League), which took a 61-54 lead with 8:20 to play. The Flames immediately answered with a 9-3 spurt of its own, pulling within one with 4:11 left. Marc Brown scored UIC’s final seven points during that stretch.


    Baker lifts Northern Illinois over Kent St. 50-49

    Travon Baker made two free throws with 5.2 seconds left to lift Northern Illinois to a 50-49 victory over Kent State Wednesday night.Devareaux Manley made two free throws with 11.2 seconds remaining to put the Golden Flashes (11-9, 2-5 Mid-American) up by a point. But Baker was then fouled attempting a layup.

    Photos from the St. Viator vs. Hersey boys basketball game on Wednesday, January 29, in Arlington Heights

    Images: St. Viator vs. Hersey boys basketball
    The St. Viator High School boys basketball team hosted the Hersey High School boys on Wednesday, January 29, in Arlington Heights.

    Mundelein’s Sam Nelson, left, and Warren’s Adrian Deere scramble for a loose ball.

    Images: Warren vs. Mundelein boys basketball
    The Warren Blue Devils hosted the Mundelein Mustangs for boys basketball action on Wednesday, January 29 in Gurnee.

    Photos from the South Elgin at Neuqua Valley girls basketball game in Naperville.

    Images: South Elgin at Neuqua Valley girls basketball
    Neuqua Valley hosted South Elgin Wednesday, Jan. 30 for girls basketball

    Images from the Dundee-Crown vs. Jacobs boys basketball game Wednesday, January 29, 2014 in Algonquin.

    Images: Dundee-Crown vs. Jacobs boys basketball
    Jacobs hosted rival Dundee-Crown in a boys basketball matchup Wednesday night in Algonquin.

    In this Jan. 17, 2014 photo is a model of The University of Notre Dame's new football stadium. Notre Dame announced plans Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 to expand the schoolís 84-year-old football stadium, adding up to 4,000 premium seats and spending about $400 million to add buildings on three sides of the ìHouse that Rockne Built.î (AP Photo/The University of Notre Dame, Barbara Johnston)

    Notre Dame shows off planned stadium revamp

    The University of Notre Dame’s iconic football stadium will be flanked by three massive buildings under a $400 million project that will also create nearly 4,000 premium seats at the “House that Rockne Built.”

    Denver Broncos head coach John Fox is bundled against the cold as he supervises a practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    Even if no snow, players prep for cold Super Bowl

    So much for all the hand-wringing about a snowed-in Super Bowl.How would freezing spectators deal with the cold at MetLife Stadium? What sort of havoc would a big storm wreak on transportation and other game-day logistics? What if the NFL decided to postpone its championship game between the Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks for 24 hours? If the National Weather Service’s forecast is correct, the buzz about a blizzard at the first cold-weather, outdoor Super Bowl — the official host committee logo features a snowflake — will turn out to be just talk. As of Wednesday, no snow, or even rain, was being predicted for Sunday.

    Houston Rockets' Chandler Parsons (25) is double-teamed by Memphis Grizzlies' James Johnson (3) and Ed Davis during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, Jan. 24, 2014, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

    Ginobili out 3-4 weeks with hamstring strain

    Those 36-year-old legs of Manu Ginobili’s have been feeling pretty spry this season. That spring in his step that had been missing for so much of last season was back, helping the Argentine magician become a game-changer again for the San Antonio Spurs. So when the lane opened up in the third quarter Tuesday night against the Houston Rockets, Ginobili decided to go for it. He rose up, cradled the ball in his left hand and threw down a solid, one-handed dunk. And with that, Ginobili joined the growing list of injured Spurs.

    Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll watches his team warm up for NFL football practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in East Rutherford, N.J. The Seahawks and the Denver Broncos are scheduled to play in the Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

    At one time, Seattle tried landing Peyton Manning

    They sat on the tarmac just hoping for the chance at a meeting.Pete Carroll and John Schneider waited in the private plane in Denver, wondering if Peyton Manning would accept a request to meet with the brain trust of the Seattle Seahawks to see if that could be a potential landing spot for the free agent quarterback.This was March of 2012, before Manning decided Denver would become his permanent address and before Russell Wilson took up residency in Seattle.

    Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning stretches during practice Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in Florham Park, N.J. The Broncos are scheduled to play the Seattle Seahawks in the NFL Super Bowl XLVIII football game Sunday, Feb. 2, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

    Elway: Manning can’t really seal legacy Sunday

    John Elway says Peyton Manning cannot stamp himself as the greatest quarterback in NFL history even if he wins the Super Bowl on Sunday.Elway told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he’s come to realize the argument over who’s the best QB ever is a lot like beauty: It’s in the eye of the beholder.


    Cubs, Ruggiano agree to 1-year deal

    The Cubs on Wednesday agreed on a one-year, $2 million contract with outfielder Justin Ruggiano, avoiding salary arbitration. Two arbitration-players remained unsigned for the Cubs: second baseman Darwin Barney and pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

    Kaneland’s Justin Diddell defeated DeKalb’s Alex Roach to win the Northern Illinois Big XII 285-pound title Saturday.

    Kaneland’s Diddell wins conference in powerful fashion

    Kaneland finished in the middle the Northern Illinois Big XII Conference tournament last weekend at Sterling. “Nothing earth-shattering,” said Kaneland coach Monty Jahns, who is retiring at the conclusion of the season. “I think we wrestled where we thought we would as a team.” Longtime conference rival Yorkville won the tournament, with the Knights finishing in sixth place in the 12-school field. But the Knights did have the satisfaction of crowning at least one champion as senior Justin Diddell had nothing but falls in storming to the heavyweight title.


    Mike North video: Should D-Rose play in the Olympics?
    Derrick Rose is considering playing in the Olympics. As patriotic as that might be, Mike North wonders why Rose isn’t playing a game for the Chicago Bulls before the USA?

    The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, left, celebrates his goal with teammate Michal Rozsival during the first period Tuesday night in Calgary. However, the Flames scored in OT and won 5-4 over the slumping Blackhawks.

    Brodie scores in OT, leads Flames over Blackhawks

    T.J. Brodie scored at 2:26 of overtime, lifting the Calgary Flames to a 5-4 win over the slumping Chicago Blackhawks on Tuesday night. Mikael Backlund scored twice for the Flames (19-27-7), who won three straight games for the first time this season. Matt Stajan had a goal and an assist, Lance Bouma also scored and Lee Stempniak set up three goals.


    Motorola Mobility in Libertyville

    Motorola Mobility sold for $2.9 billion to Lenovo

    Google is selling Motorola's smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, a price that leaves little doubt that Google's biggest acquisition turned out to be an expensive mistake. The deal announced Wednesday will rid Google Inc. of a financial headache that has plagued the Internet company since buying Motorola Mobility for $12.4 billion in 2012.


    Report: Patch lays off employees

    Patch, an online local news organization with a number of sites in Chicago and the suburbs, faces a significant number of layoffs today under new majority owner Hale Global.

    Disappointing earnings from some big U.S. companies, ongoing jitters in emerging markets, as well as a further reduction to the Federal Reserve’s economic stimulus all combined to push stocks lower for a fourth day out of the last six. The DJIA closed at 15,738.79, down 189.77 points.

    Stocks slide on weak earnings; Fed cuts stimulus

    Stock investors had plenty to dislike on Wednesday. Disappointing earnings from big U.S. companies, ongoing jitters in emerging markets and more cuts to the Federal Reserve’s economic stimulus combined to push stocks lower for the fourth day out of the last five.

    A television screen on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the decision of the Federal Reserve Wednesday, when the central bank said it will cut its monthly bond purchases by an additional $10 billion to $65 billion because of a strengthening U.S. economy.

    Fed to reduce pace of bond buying by another $10B

    Given the U.S. economy’s growing strength, the Federal Reserve pushed ahead Wednesday with a plan to shrink its bond-buying program, even though the prospect of reduced stimulus and higher interest rates has rattled global markets.

    Abbott Labs headquarters facility in North Chicago.

    Abbott Laboratories makes job cuts

    Abbott Laboratories is trimming its workforce in an effort to reduce expenses. The Libertyville Township-based global health care company would not say how many employees are being laid off. “We continuously assess our operations to ensure we have the right resources in the right locations,” Abbott spokesman Scott Stoeffel said Wednesday morning.

    The U.S. House passed and sent the Senate a much-delayed bill to set agricultural policy for five years Wednesday, as a coalition of rural Republicans and urban Democrats overcame objections about farm subsidies and food-stamp cuts.

    Farm bill passes House after years of disagreement

    After years of setbacks, a nearly $100 billion-a-year compromise farm bill cleared the House on Wednesday despite strong opposition from conservatives who sought a bigger cut in food stamps.

    Cancer Treatment Centers of America’s Midwest Regional Medical Center in Zion will expand while the firm’s headquarters is leaving Schaumburg for Florida.

    Cancer Centers moving HQ from Schaumburg to Florida

    Cancer Treatment Centers of America plans to move its corporate headquarters from Schaumburg to Florida. The company and Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Cancer Treatment Centers made the decision to leave Schaumburg for Boca Raton, Fla., based on Florida’s “favorable business climate.”

    President Barack Obama’s plan to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers is winning praise from unions and labor activists. But it could take a year or more before any hikes occur. And the impact may not be as widespread as advocates hoped.

    Wage hike for federal contract workers limited

    President Barack Obama’s plan to raise the minimum wage for federal contract workers is winning praise from unions and labor activists.But it could take a year or more before any hikes occur. And the impact may not be as widespread as advocates hoped.

    Flood insurance rate increases for hundreds of thousands of people would be put off under a bill on track to pass the Senate. Its future remains uncertain in the House, where a more modest plan is under consideration.

    Senate may delay flood insurance rate hike

    Flood insurance rate increases for hundreds of thousands of people would be put off under a bill on track to pass the Senate. Its future remains uncertain in the House, where a more modest plan is under consideration. The legislation, which could pass the Senate as early as Wednesday, would delay for up to four years premium increases set to phase in next year on homeowners facing whopping premium increases under new flood maps.


    Work continues on record-setting Six Flags coaster
    Recent sub-zero temperatures have slowed commuter trains and left car batteries dead. But it hasn't stopped construction of what a suburban Chicago amusement park says will be the fastest wooden roller coaster in the world.

    Illinois lawmakers could consider legislation that would help limit property tax increases for business owners who rebuild from last year's tornadoes.

    Measure would ease some Illinois property taxes

    Illinois lawmakers could consider legislation that would help limit property tax increases for business owners who rebuild from last year's tornadoes. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises newspapers reports the bill is sponsored by Rep. Chad Hayes, a Catlin Republican.

    Pushing anew to finally expand Illinois gambling, state Rep. Robert Rita figured staging his first public hearing in East St. Louis — home to a casino and a horse track nearby — would elicit feedback that would make his measure more inclusive and transparent.

    Both sides voice opinions at gambling hearing

    Pushing anew to finally expand Illinois gambling, state Rep. Robert Rita figured staging his first public hearing in East St. Louis — home to a casino and a horse track nearby — would elicit feedback that would make his measure more inclusive and transparent. In a packed conference hall at the Casino Queen Tuesday night, the Democrat from Blue Island got plenty of different opinions and a hometown taste of the debate.

    Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer insists the long-stumbling Internet company has finally regained its stride, even though its revenue is still stuck in reverse.

    Yahoo’s 4Q results dragged down by revenue drop

    SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer insists the long-stumbling Internet company has finally regained its stride, even though its revenue is still stuck in reverse.The latest evidence of the challenges facing Mayer emerged Tuesday with the release of Yahoo’s fourth-quarter results.While Mayer hailed product improvements that have helped attracted more traffic to Yahoo’s services, investors focused on a drop in revenue that underscored the difficulty that the company is having competing for online advertising against Google Inc., Facebook Inc. and other rivals. Yahoo Inc. had hoped to shift the financial tide when it lured Mayer away from a top job at Google 18 months ago.Mayer, 38, has succeeded in creating a bigger buzz around Yahoo with her panache and a series of acquisitions aimed primarily at the mobile device market. But the signs of a sustainable turnaround remain elusive. She has repeatedly said it may take several years for Yahoo’s ad sales to surge, though on Tuesday she promised a “modest acceleration” in revenue growth during the second half of this year. Revenue dropped 6 percent in the fourth quarter, the same rate of decline experienced for all of 2013.Yahoo’s earnings have been steadily rising under Mayer’s leadership because of cost-cutting measures and lucrative investments in two Asian Internet companies: China’s Alibaba Group and Yahoo Japan. Both investments were made before Mayer’s arrival. The income from those two investments accounted for nearly two-thirds of the company’s earnings during the final three months of last year.Yahoo Inc., based in Sunnyvale, Calif., earned $348 million, or 33 cents per share, a 28 percent increase from $272 million, or 23 cents per share, a year earlier.Excluding certain one-time items, Yahoo earned 46 cents per share. That figured topped the average estimate of 39 cents per share among analysts surveyed by FactSet.Revenue fell 6 percent to $1.27 billion. After subtracting commissions paid to Yahoo’s ad partners, revenue totaled $1.2 billion, in line with analysts’ projections.Yahoo’s 24 percent stake in Alibaba has been particularly valuable because the Chinese company is still growing rapidly as it prepares for an initial public offering of stock. Numbers released Tuesday by Yahoo revealed that Alibaba’s revenue surged 51 percent in the third quarter. There is a one-quarter lag between when Alibaba closes its quarter and Yahoo collects its share of Alibaba’s earnings.Alibaba’s allure is the main reason Yahoo’s stock has more than doubled since Mayer became CEO. Some of those gains evaporated Tuesday as Yahoo’s shares slipped $1.12, or nearly 3 percent, to $37.10 in extended trading after the fourth-quarter numbers came out. Mayer appears to be getting frustrated, too. Earlier this month, she dismissed Chief Operating Officer Henrique de Castro, who was in charge of the company’s advertising. Mayer had enticed him away from Google in late 2012 with a pay package valued at $58 million at the time. “Ultimately, Henrique was not a fit,” Mayer said Tuesday during an online video review of the company’s fourth-quarter performance. She added she doesn’t plan to replace de Castro in order that she can become more deeply involved Yahoo’s ad sales.

    Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment Ltd. says the popular game’s home pages have been hacked, two days after reports that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies.

    Angry Birds site hacked after surveillance claims

    Angry Birds creator Rovio Entertainment Ltd. says the popular game’s home pages have been hacked, two days after reports that the personal data of its customers might have been accessed by U.S. and British spy agencies. Rovio spokeswoman says the hacking lasted a few minutes early Wednesday and that end-user data “was in no risk at any point.”

    Profit at Nintendo Co. fell 30 percent in the first nine months of the fiscal year as sales of Wii U home consoles, 3DS devices and game software languished. Top executives announced they would take pay cuts.

    Nintendo profit falls on sluggish Wii U sales

    Profit at Nintendo Co. fell 30 percent in the first nine months of the fiscal year as sales of Wii U home consoles, 3DS devices and game software languished. Top executives announced they would take pay cuts. The Japanese maker of Super Mario and Pokemon video games reported Wednesday a $99 million profit from April to December, down from 14.55 billion yen a year earlier. It did not break down quarterly numbers.

    AT&T is posting stronger-than-expected earnings for the final quarter of 2013, helped by higher revenue from mobile and Internet service subscribers.

    AT&T posts 4Q profit, higher revenue

    AT&T is posting stronger-than-expected earnings for the final quarter of 2013, helped by higher revenue from mobile and Internet service subscribers. AT&T Inc. said Tuesday that it earned $6.9 billion, or $1.31 per share, in the October-December period. That’s up from a loss of $3.8 billion, or 68 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier.

    Chrysler Group’s fourth-quarter net income more than quadrupled to $1.62 billion, aided by $962 million in one-time tax benefits.

    Tax benefits drive up Chrysler 4Q net earnings

    Chrysler Group’s fourth-quarter net income more than quadrupled to $1.62 billion, aided by $962 million in one-time tax benefits. Without the benefits, the company made $659 million, still 74 percent more than a year ago. Chrysler’s performance helped to prop up Fiat, its Italian owner, which made $345 million excluding one-time items.


    Saudi airline to fly to Los Angeles in March

    Saudi Arabian Airlines says it will begin operating direct flights to Los Angeles’s LAX airport by March 31. Saudia, the kingdom’s national carrier, already operates 14 flights a week to the Washington D.C. area and New York City.

Life & Entertainment

    If you haven’t tried persimmons before, you’ll want to try them in this lean quick bread.

    Lean and lovin’ it: Get acquainted with persimmons

    The other day a friend gave Don Mauer a fresh persimmon and asked if he’d ever eaten one before? A look of surprise spread across the friend's face when he answered no, so he gave it a try. Now he loves them and wonders how they flew under his radar for long. Today he shares some facts about persimmons and a recipe for persimmon bread.

    Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Devin DeSantis), center, brings his monster (Travis Taylor) to life with help from Frau Blucher (Paula Scrofano), left, Igor (Jeff Dumas) and Inga (Allison Sill) in Drury Lane Theatre's production of “Young Frankenstein.”

    Drury Lane's 'Frankenstein' packed full of life, fun

    Drury Lane Theatre stitches together a talented cast of deliciously demented characters for the Mel Brooks musical "Young Frankenstein." You might not walk away singing the show's songs, but you'll likely leave smiling thanks to a cast that gleefully embraces Brooks' deliciously demented characters — humps and all.


    Vacant unit causes damage, leaves liability mess

    Q. A second floor unit in our condominium association is owned by an off-site investor. The unit is managed for the off-site owner by a rental agent. The unit was vacant during the recent cold spell, and a water line burst when the furnace was off because batteries in the thermostat were dead.

    Tim McGraw and Miranda Lambert are the top nominees for this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Lambert and McGraw are up for seven awards apiece at the April 6 awards show.

    Lambert, McGraw lead ACM nominations with 7 each

    Miranda Lambert and Tim McGraw are the top nominees for this year’s Academy of Country Music Awards. Lambert and McGraw are up for seven awards apiece at the April 6 awards show. The nominations were announced Wednesday morning. Keith Urban is up for six awards and Taylor Swift, Blake Shelton, Kacey Musgraves and Lee Brice have five apiece.

    Madonna has signed on to introduce members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International’s human rights concert in New York.

    Madonna to join Pussy Riot at human rights concert

    Madonna’s not done with her recent string of public appearances — she also has signed on to introduce members of Pussy Riot at Amnesty International’s human rights concert in New York. The pop singer made the announcement Wednesday morning on social media.

    Miley Cyrus performs with Madonna for an “MTV Unplugged” special that is set to air Wednesday.

    Miley Cyrus duets with Madonna for MTV special

    Miley Cyrus is mashing things up with Madonna for MTV. The “MTV Unplugged” special that closes with the duet is set to air on Wednesday.

    Rick Nielsen and his band, Cheap Trick, have performed numerous times in Rockford. This weekend they come a little closer to home for a gig at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.

    Music notes: Cheap Trick rocks the Arcada

    California indie-rock band Local Natives will bring its folk-tinged pop sound to Wheaton this weekend, and next week the power-pop legends from Rockford, Cheap Trick, will play in St. Charles.

    Visitors fan themselves with holy scented smoke from incense burned near the fire god shrine at the Kiyoshikojin Seicho-ji temple complex north of Osaka, Japan.

    Making a pilgrimage to fire god at a temple near Osaka, Japan

    With its bullet trains, electronic toilets that warm, clean and dry, and hyper-efficient delivery systems that bring online orders to the doorstep within hours, it’s easy to forget that Japan is also a nation of ancient spirits — unless, that is, you’ve witnessed the annual pilgrimage to the fire god shrine, nestled on a wooded mountain just north of Osaka, Japan.

    New restaurant Muscle Maker Grill offers the Arizona, a grilled chicken breast with turkey bacon over brown rice with tomatoes, scallions and the signature zero-carb, gluten-free sauce, for $9.99.

    Dining events: Muscle Maker Grill opens in St. Charles

    Muscle Maker Grill, a health-conscious restaurant, recently opened in downtown St. Charles with lifelong resident Jose Venegas and Jeff Cade at the helm. Catering to active lifestyles, the restaurant’s menu boasts many lean, protein-based options.

    Red Hook Brewery makes Audible Ale, which refers to the term when a team changes its play at the line of scrimmage, is a medium-bodied beer with a mild hop bitterness.

    Craft beer playbook open wide for Super Bowl

    The Super Bowl is all about the spectacle. Whether it’s the food, the commercials, the half-time show, the game itself, it’s got to be big and brash. Which is why you have no excuse for drinking some watered down, mass market beer this year. We live in an age of seemingly limitless craft beer choices, making it easy to find truly fine brews worthy of drinking during the Feb. 2 showdown between Seattle and Denver. And for inspiration, you need look no further than the teams’ home states.

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

    The many flavors of the foods of Chinese New Year

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

    The broadcast team of Super Bowl XLVIII includes Joe Buck, left, Erin Andrews, Troy Aikman and Pam Oliver.

    Fox warms up to cold-weather Super Bowl

    Yes, Super Bowl XLVIII is being played in East Rutherford, N.J., the first modern-era NFL championship game to be held outdoors in a cold-weather locale. And yes, if it snows, rains, blows or ices, those on the field and in the stands will get cold and wet. But if you’re the people at Fox, you’re also looking at this location as a tremendous opportunity.

    Cilantro pesto and lemon perk up red lentil soup, which, oddly enough, isn’t red at all.

    Soupalooza: Super versatile lentils a super food

    While lentils come in a variety of colors, M. Eileen Brown is partial to red lentils, which seems to be the nuttiest in terms of flavor. However, they are not always the easiest to find so feel free to substitute whatever lentils you have on hand or come across at the store for Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro Pesto and Lemon.

    Cilantro pesto and lemon perk up red lentil soup, which, oddly enough, isn’t red at all.

    Red Lentil Soup with Cilantro Pesto and Lemon

    Theresa Zagnoli and her son, Joe, 10, mix spices for shrimp that will top their arugula salad.

    Cook of the Week: Banockburn mom incorporates Italian favorites into modern meals
    Living a block away from her Italian grandmother, Theresa Zagnoli remembers that whenever anyone came to visit the greeting was rarely, “how are you?” Rather visitors were more likely to hear, “What do you want to eat?” As the only grandchild in town, Theresa spent many hours with her grandmother in the kitchen, garden and cellar.


    Trimmed Down Persimmon Bread
    Trimmed Down Persimmon Bread: Lean and Lovin' it

    A carnival backgammon set from Alexandralldesign.com. Alexandra Llewellyn’s sets feature unusual visuals like pheasant feathers, antlers and vintage carnival imagery.

    Leisure at the high-end

    For those with means, pursuing leisure can involve the finest components. Beautiful materials and craftwork can take these items into the realm of art.



    Editorial: Conservation efforts start at home

    A Daily Herald editorial takes a break from the frigid temperatures to look ahead to spring and encourages homeowners to get involved in their own yards in conservation efforts.


    Our quagmire in Afghanistan

    Columnist Richard Cohen: In the movie theater, I watched two films at once — “Lone Survivor” on the screen and Vietnam in my head. On the screen as in reality, men fought and died — and, as with Vietnam, I no longer knew why. One man survived the battle. The rest were lost — as is the reason for the war itself.


    Rights and realities for concealed guns
    A Round Lake Beach letter to the editor: Please take a moment to envision an almost certain scene in our future.


    Report on pitfalls of health care law
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Everyone is not insured even though he or she may have a policy, since low-income people cannot meet a deductible that is more than half their yearly income.


    Catholic schools are a source of pride
    A letter to the editor: This week is Catholic Schools Week. I can only hope that the news media will give the same attention to the good the church has accomplished as it continues to struggle with the sins of a few.


    Church must take stronger action this time
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Painting the rectory the wrong color is a mistake. Child rape, knowingly transferring pedophile priests, not telling the sending and receiving parishes about the priest, allowing pedophiles to stay in ministry close to children, covering up for the “institution” placing children at risk, buying silence from victims, not reporting sex crimes to police; these are not mistakes.


    Don’t let Congress trade off our future
    An Elgin letter to the editor: A secret trade deal has been in the works for four years now. More than 600 corporate lobbyists have had daily input into the “agreement” between 11 other countries. Our Congress has had no input, no oversight and no ability to protect the public’s interests or rights. I’m referring to the TPP, Trans Pacific Partnership. This trade deal will literally rewrite trade policies and affect every aspect of our lives.


    Thanks for the peppermint mocha
    A Carol Stream letter to the editor: This is a thank you to the individual who paid for the peppermint mocha Friday, Jan. 17 at 7:55 a.m. at the Stratford Bloomingdale McDonald’s for the green Tucson.


    Letter writer wise beyond her years
    An Aurora letter to the editor: Amy Grasso’s letter, in Opinion, Jan 21, was very moving and shows that Amy is wise beyond her years.


    (No heading)
    Columnist takes the “I” out of columnCongrats to Jim Slusher for his column of Jan. 16, which totally avoids use of the “I” pronoun or its derivatives. I had chided him in a Dec. 26, letter for an earlier column in which he had used “I,” “I’m” or “I’ll” 36 times and “my” six times. I love the Daily Herald. Sure, it makes a few typos now and then and occasionally trips on a headline, but, hey, overall it’s awesome!Joe SchrantzVilla Park


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