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Daily Archive : Thursday January 30, 2014

News

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    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Vandals kicked open a rear door Jan. 27 on the 200 block of Wayne Court in Bartlett and sprayed black paint in every room at two units. Damage was estimated at $19,000.

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    Kayleigh Iatarola, 24, who played soccer at Princeton University, is battling a rare form of renal cancer. The West Dundee native is working to raise awareness about her type of cancer.

    West Dundee native battling rare cancer

    Kayleigh Iatarola, a 24-year-old West Dundee native, is battling renal medullary carcinoma, a rare and aggressive form of kidney cancer. “I do think about it every day,” she says. “I think the scariest part is probably the uncertainty. You just don't know until the next scan what might show up.” She also refuses to let the disease define her, as she's raised $113,000 to...

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    Illinois gun owners could get permits to carry concealed weapons by March.

    Concealed carry permits could come out in March

    The first applicants to carry concealed handguns in public could have their permits by mid-March, Illinois State Police spokeswoman Monique Bond said Thursday. “We’re probably looking at some permits being issued after the first couple weeks in March,” Bond said. “It’s a possibility.”

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    Wayne Weinke

    Man gets 40 years in prison for his mother's 2006 death

    Wayne Weinke Jr. was sentenced Thursday to 40 years in prison for the 2006 death of his mother, Gloria Weinke, of Arlington Heights. Judge William Lacy's decision amounts to a life sentence for the 58-year-old Park Ridge man who was convicted of first-degree murder last May. “I feel the sentence was fair,” said Gail Deadwyler, Gloria Weinke's daughter. “I'm relieved he's paying...

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    Bryan Pece

    Carol Stream cop facing DUI charge awarded disability

    Carol Stream Police Sgt. Bryan Pece, who faces charges of driving under the influence for an off-duty traffic accident last May which left him unable to return to work since, has been awarded non-duty related disability leave.

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    Vincent Petrella

    Two federal agencies join probe of fatal I-88 crash

    Two federal agencies have launched a joint investigation into the Monday crash that killed Wheeling tollway worker Vincent Petrella and seriously injured a state trooper along I-88 in Aurora. The probe by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was announced Thursday after U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin called for an investigation. Both agencies said...

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    Jim Oberweis

    Oberweis gives own Senate campaign $500,000

    Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis has given his campaign for U.S. Senate $500,000 of his own money as he tries to win a statewide primary election for the first time.

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    From left; Italian student Raffaele Sollecito, slain 21-year-old British woman Meredith Kercher, her American roommate Amanda Knox. Few international criminal cases have cleaved along national biases as that of American student Amanda Knox, who was awaiting half world away her third Italian court verdict in the 2007 slaying of her British roommate, 21-year-old Meredith Kercher.

    Amanda Knox’s murder conviction reinstated

    More than two years after Amanda Knox returned to the U.S. apparently home free, an Italian court Thursday reinstated her murder conviction in the stabbing of her roommate and increased her sentence to 28½ years in prison, raising the specter of a long extradition fight.

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    The plaque at Forest View Educational Center.

    A passionate advocate for women and education

    Catherine M. Lee, a sitting board member of District 214’s Continuing Education Foundation and the driving force behind its ESL training and literacy for immigrant women, has died. Mike Field, executive director of District 214’s continuing education foundation, said Lee was the catalyst of the Women and Children’s Center. “Catherine Lee was truly a citizen of the world who believed that when one...

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    No injuries in Pingree Grove shed fire

    A shed near Pingree Grove became engulfed in flames Thursday afternoon when a Bobcat truck inside it caught fire, authorities said. Firefighters were dispatched to a property on the 13N 300 block of Marshall Road at 4:21 p.m., and were able to quickly extinguish the blaze after arriving on scene, according to the Pingree Grove & Countryside Fire Protection District.

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    About 30 elementary students in Salt Lake City had their school lunches thrown out because money was owed on their food accounts.

    District apologizes after taking student lunches

    Parents say about 50 elementary students in Salt Lake City had their school lunches thrown out because money was owed on their food accounts.

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    Archdiocese settles sex abuse lawsuit

    The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago and a lawyer for an alleged sexual abuse victim of a former priest announced Thursday that they have reached a $3.2 million settlement. The lawsuit accused the archdiocese of failing to promptly remove Daniel McCormack after claims he abused children had emerged.

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    Bill Wyllie received four Purple Hearts and a Bronze Star while serving in the Army in World War II and the Korean War.

    Batavia WWII, Korean War officer Wyllie was dedicated to helping others

    Bill Wyllie of Batavia relied on faith to see him through military service in World War II and the Korean War. And his support for veterans and his community never flagged, whether it was leading the annual Memorial Day ceremony, selling paper poppies to raise money for veterans in hospitals and shelters, volunteering at Hesed House homeless shelter or volunteering with the American Red Cross...

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    1 hurt in Hampshire crash caused by weather

    Treacherous winter weather driving conditions may be to blame for a crash between a semi-truck and a pickup truck that snarled traffic late Thursday afternoon in Hampshire, authorities said. Drivers were experiencing white-out conditions, with blowing snow and black ice on roadways at the time of the crash, which occurred at 4:46 p.m. on Route 20 north of the intersection with Big Timber Road,...

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    Hanover Park Chamber of Commerce unveils new award

    Despite its diverse population, the Hanover Park business community has never celebrated local companies who work to hire minorites. The village's chamber of commerce executive director wanted to change all that. Andrea Fox has unveiled a new award recognizing businesses run by immigrants or first-generation families.

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    Claude Bouteille, left, owner/chef of Taste of Paris Restaurant in Mundelein, teaches kids how to make chocolate mousse Thursday during a demonstration for sixth-, seventh- and eight-graders in Maureen Fischer Rivkin’s French class at Thomas Jefferson School in Waukegan.

    French chef shares skills with Waukegan middle school students

    Claude Bouteille, owner/chef of Taste of Paris Restaurant in Mundelein, shared his skills Thursday with middle school students in Waukegan. “It makes me feel good,” he said. “If we can take one kid out and he or she becomes a chef, my job is done.”

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    Lake in the Hills to annex land for recreation, aquatic center

    Lake in the Hills is poised to annex roughly 27 acres along southern Ackman Road that Crystal Lake Park District plans to develop into a community recreation center and outdoor aquatic center. The village board recently directed its staff to begin negotiating an annexation agreement with the park district. A hearing is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. Feb. 11, before the village’s regular committee of the...

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    A steam-powered train passes by a grain mill along eastern Bartlett Avenue in this 1900s-era photo. The Bartlett Depot Museum is ushering in its spring season with exhibits devoted to steam engines.

    Bartlett shutterbug featured in village’s depot museum

    The Bartlett Depot Museum opens for the spring season with two exhibits devoted to steam engines. One features the photography of Bartlett shutterbug Tom Cerwin, who's captured old railroad lines from Nevada to West Virginia. "His photos are very artistically beautiful," the museum's director says.

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    President Barack Obama speaks at General Electric’s gas engine facility in Waukesha, Wis., Thursday. The visit is part of a four-state tour the president is making following his State of the Union speech on Tuesday.

    Obama hopes myRA will be first step on retirement

    Even proponents of President Barack Obama’s new retirement savings program readily concede it won’t be a cure-all for a nation of people who are saving far too little for their golden years. Many Americans won’t be able to participate initially, and those who do may find the benefits are modest.

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    42nd House incumbent Jeanne Ives of Wheaton is being challenged by Adam Johnson of Warrenville in the March 18 Republican primary. The winner will advance to the November general election.

    Candidates tussle over incumbent’s ‘effectiveness’ in 42nd primary

    The two candidates running for the 42nd state House seat in the March 18 Republican primary — incumbent Jeanne Ives of Wheaton and challenger Adam Johnson of Warrenville — strongly disagree about how much Ives has accomplished during her first year in office. During a Daily Herald endorsement interview, Johnson said he is challenging Ives for their party’s nomination because...

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    Arlington Hts. looking for input on two neighborhood parks

    The Arlington Heights Park District will be upgrading two neighborhood parks, and is looking for residents to share their ideas about what kind of improvements or renovations they would like to see. Carousel Park and Ravel Park will both be upgraded in the near future, the park district recently announced.

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    Celebrate Gurnee’s FitNation Gym:

    Gurnee Park District’s FitNation Gym hosts a grand opening for the community from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

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    Citizens police academy:

    The Lake County Sheriff’s Office is accepting applications for the semiannual Citizens Police Academy scheduled from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays from April 3 to June 5.

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    Batavia drops out of online learning cooperative

    The Batavia school district is dropping out of the effort to create a multi-district online and blended learning cooperative.

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    Vocal group to perform at Stevenson:

    The vocal group Chapter 6 will return to Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire for a performance on Feb. 8.

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    An ambulance leaves the site of an explosion after a bomb blast tore through a trolley bus, background, in the city of Volgograd on Dec. 30, 2013. Russia’s counter terrorism agency on Thursday identified the two suicide bombers who struck Volgograd and announced the arrest of two suspected accomplices.

    Russia: 2 suspects arrested in suicide bombing

    Russia’s counterterrorism agency on Thursday identified the two suicide bombers who struck the southern city of Volgograd and announced the arrest of two suspected accomplices. The bombings of a train station and trolley bus in Volgograd in late December, which killed 34 people, heightened security fears before the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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    Ukraine’s embattled president Viktor Yanukovych began taking sick leave on Thursday, as the country’s political crisis continues without signs of resolution. A statement on the presidential website Thursday said Yanukovych has an acute respiratory illness and high fever. There was no indication of how long he might be on leave or whether he would be able to do any work.

    Ukraine leader’s sick leave prompts guessing game

    Amid the deepest turmoil since the Orange Revolution, President Viktor Yanukovych’s announcement Thursday that he was taking indefinite sick leave prompted a guessing game among Ukrainians about what was happening to their country.

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    This April 20, 2010 photo shows the bay of a modified Boeing 747SP jetliner containing the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) telescope at a NASA Dryden Flight Research Center test facility in Palmdale, Calif. Two Northwest suburban woman have been selected to participate in the program as airborne astronomy ambassadors.

    Two suburban women to work with NASA on astronomy program

    Going where few have gone before, two Northwest suburban women will spend a week working with NASA on scientific missions this spring. Mundelein's Marcella Linahan and Long Grove's Lynne Zielinski will participate in the space agency's Airborne Astronomy Ambassadors program. “Excited” doesn't begin to describe how Linahan and Zielinski feel about the opportunity. “Being selected...

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    Lake Zurich woman killed in two-vehicle crash in Barrington

    A 21-year-old Lake Zurich woman was killed early Thursday morning in a two-vehicle crash in Barrington. Police said Hannah McPartlan was driving north on Ela Road near Hillside Road at 1:37 a.m. Thursday when she lost control of her vehicle and collided with an oncoming vehicle.

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    Rhett Taylor

    Grayslake has new massage regulations on the table

    A temporary halt in new massage business licenses has been extended through February in Grayslake.

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    Quinn says capital construction discussion ahead

    Gov. Pat Quinn says there’s still time to address another capital construction program. Quinn has often celebrated the state’s $31 billion Illinois Jobs Now as one of his top achievements. He signed the six-year capital construction project in 2009.

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    Suburban woman dies from exposure

    An 86-year-old woman found dead outside her South suburban home has become the 17th person in Cook County to succumb to the region’s especially cold winter.

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    Suspect in teacher’s murder held without bond

    A 20-year-old Ohio woman has been ordered held without bond in the stabbing death of a Chicago-area high school teacher. Alisha Walker of Akron, Ohio, appeared Thursday before a Cook County judge.

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    High winds Thursday created near whiteout conditions on rural roads in Kane County, as pictured here on Huntley Road east of Square Barn Road near Gilberts. Several accidents Thursday were also blamed on snow-covered or icy roads.

    Five accidents in Kane County due to weather conditions

    The Kane County Sheriff’s Department has its hands full today with multiple accidents an official said are related to drifting snow. Three separate accidents Thursday morning at Square Barn and Huntley roads near Carpentersville and two others happened at Route 20 and Plank Road in unincorporated Kane County near Elgin, Lt. Pat Gengler said.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    George J. Campos, 36, of Hanover Park, was charged with driving while license suspended, improper lane use, and disobeying a red light after a traffic stop at 4:39 a.m. Saturday at Route 20 and Plank Road near Elgin, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Illinois Speaker of the House Michael Madigan, left, looks on as Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, right, delivers the State of the State Address to a joint session of the General Assembly at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield on Wednesday.

    Madigan proposes cutting Ill. corporate income tax

    House Speaker Michael Madigan on Thursday proposed cutting Illinois’ corporate income tax in half in an effort to improve the state’s business climate, a move that also could help blunt election-year criticism that Democrats’ policies are to blame for a sputtering economy and stubbornly high unemployment.

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    Daniel Ortiz

    Two charged in Ingleside, Lake Villa home burglaries

    Two men are in custody on charges related to several residential burglaries in Ingleside and Lake Villa. Arrests were made after police developed information on a man who visited area pawn shops and attempted to sell items matching those taken during one of the burglaries.

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    Meeting to discuss possible Batavia food co-op

    A community meeting is being held Saturday to explain the proposed Green Tomato grocery co-operative in Batavia.

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    Coach Tim Shaw, jumping rope with the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team, demonstrates a trick Thursday at St. James the Apostle School in Glen Ellyn.

    St. James the Apostle celebrates Catholic Schools Week

    Students from St. James the Apostle School in Glen Ellyn got a nice break from classes Thursday when four members of the Chicago Boyz Acrobatic Team paid a visit and showed off their gymnastics skills. Members of the acrobatic team, semifinalists last year on TV's “America's Got Talent,” performed for students in kindergarten through eighth grade during an assembly as part of the...

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    Indian Prairie considering referendum to add air conditioning at 20 schools

    Indian Prairie Unit District 204 might look to voters for additional money to pay for air-conditioning units for 20 of its schools that don't have cooling systems. The school board this week began considering ways to pay the estimated $13.6 million cost of installing units called ductless air conditioners to cool roughly 650 classrooms.

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    When he turned 75, Cardinal Francis George of Chicago did what the church expects of an archbishop. He submitted his resignation so the pope could decide how much longer the cardinal could serve. But two years and one stunning papal retirement later, the decision now belongs to Pope Francis, in what will be his first major appointment in the United States.

    Pope will make mark on US church through Chicago

    When he turned 75, Cardinal Francis George did what the Roman Catholic Church expects of its bishops. He submitted his resignation so the pope could decide how much longer the cardinal would serve. Two years and one surprise papal retirement later, the decision of his successor now belongs to Pope Francis. The pontiff’s choice will be closely watched as his first major appointment in the U.S.,...

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    Fred Drake helps prepare food supplies to be distributed to people and families in need at the Grace Lutheran Church Food Pantry in Springfield, Ill. According to a report released Thursday, the overall Illinois poverty rate is the same as it was a half century ago, despite scores of state and federal aid programs and a dramatic drop in the number of elderly considered poor.

    Report: Illinois poverty remains stubbornly high

    Illinois’ overall poverty rate is the same as it was a half-century ago despite scores of state and federal aid programs and a steep drop in the number of older people struggling to get by, according to a new report that examines how the state has fared since President Lyndon Johnson declared a national War on Poverty.

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    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said Thursday the number of nuclear force officers implicated in a proficiency test cheating scandal has grown to 92 out of a force of 500.

    Air Force: 92 implicated in nuke cheating scandal

    Top Air Force officials described a persistent culture of “undue stress and fear” that led 92 out of 550 members of the military’s nuclear missile corps to be involved in cheating on a monthly proficiency test on which they felt pressured to get perfect scores to get promoted.

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    Lila Gunter waits next to a Georgia National Guard vehicle before they take her to pick up her car after it was towed in the winter storm that swept across the state Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Atlanta. The Guard and the Georgia State Patrol are offering rides to motorist who had in abandon their cars.

    Ga. governor takes blame for storm preparations

    Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal took responsibility Thursday for the poor storm preparations that led to an epic traffic jam in Atlanta and forced drivers to abandon their cars or sleep in them overnight when a storm dumped a couple of inches of snow.

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    Jason Patt

    Democrats in Lake County sheriff primary critical of Curran

    Democrats vying for Lake County sheriff have a history in law enforcement and share a similar, critical belief that the office needs new leadership. Jason Patt, 35, of Zion, is running against John Krempotic, 56, of North Chicago. The winner will face incumbent Republican Mark Curran in November.

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    Naperville students with copies of R.J. Palacio's book “Wonder” await an appearance by the author last year as part of the Naperville READS program. This year's program is bringing 12 authors — the most ever featured in 13 years of Naperville READS — to town for presentations in schools and for the public.

    Naperville READS set to excite with 12 authors

    Technology may be changing the way people read, but it doesn't make the skill, or the pastime, of reading obsolete, say the librarians, bookshop employees, educators and publishers behind Naperville READS 2014. The four-day program will give more than 9,000 local students the chance to hear author presentations and participate in book-themed pep rallies. “We want to make sure we capture...

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    From left; Italian student Raffaele Sollecito, slain 21-year-old British woman Meredith Kercher, her American roommate Amanda Knox.

    Key dates in Amanda Knox prosecution

    Key dates in case of American student Amanda Knox, convicted then acquitted in slaying of British roommate Meredith Kercher.— Nov. 2, 2007: Kercher, 21, is found dead in Perugia apartment. Investigators say she was killed the night before.

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    Republicans running in the March 18 primary for the 45th House seat are, from left, Seth Lewis, Daniel Brinkman, Christine Winger and T.J. Lewis.

    45th House candidates want to improve business climate

    The four Republicans running for the 45th state House seat agree Illinois' path back to prosperity begins with creating a business-friendly climate. Four candidates -- Seth Lewis, Daniel Brinkman, Christine Winger and T.J. Lewis -- are vying in the March primary for the seat vacated by Rep. Dennis Reboletti, who is running for the state Senate seat Kirk Dillard is leaving in his bid for governor.

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    A home on Orchard Court in Round Lake Beach is demolished. Foreclosures and a continued uptick in rentals have prompted officials to seek help in assessing the village's real estate landscape.

    Lack of single-family home investment concerns Round Lake Beach officials

    Round Lake Beach officials have commissioned a study to determine how best to improve the real estate landscape. "We appear to be in a phase or mode of not a lot of reinvestment going into our single family housing stock,” said John Wildenberg, economic development director.

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    President Barack Obama is greeted by Wis. Gov. Scott Walker, right, and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett as he steps from Air Force One upon his arrival at the Wisconsin Air National Guard 128th Air Refueling Wing in Milwaukee. He will speak at General Electricís Waukesha Gas Engines facility in Waukesha, Wis., about job training.

    In Wisconsin, Obama to focus on job training

    President Barack Obama is focusing on training workers for in-demand jobs, another theme from his State of the Union address. Obama was in Wisconsin Thursday to tour a General Electric facility near Milwaukee that for many years has relied on a regional program to train its workers.

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    Photo courtesy of Bill Howard The wreckage of the State Trooper patrol car that was destroyed after being hit by a passing simi-truck, during the fatal crash on I-88 that claimed the life of a tollway worker and injuring a State Trooper.

    Trucking experts say rules in place to prevent accidents

    Numerous federal regulations are in place to prevent tragedies similar to the fiery crash on I-88 in Aurora that killed a tollway worker and severely injured a state trooper, according to trucking experts.

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    Elgin police: crime down, focus on youth

    As serious crime in Elgin continues to decrease, police say this year they will focus on positively engaging youth in order to prevent future crimes. There were 2,146 serious crimes in Elgin last year, a 6 percent decrease from 2012, Elgin Police Chief Jeff Swoboda said. “Our (crime rate) is consistently on a downward trend. We believe we have the strategies in place and they're...

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    Hoffman Estates ends vehicle sticker program

    As of this week, the vehicle sticker is officially extinct in Hoffman Estates. Of course, most residents haven’t had a need for one since 1996. But at the village board’s finance committee meeting Monday, trustees agreed to eliminate the last kind of vehicle sticker — those required for large, construction-type vehicles over 8,000 pounds.

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    Navigating the challenges of being a single parent

    As many as half of today's children will someday live in a single-parent house. Our Ken Potts offers some tips for single parents to help make it all work.

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    Bartlett HS financial aid seminar Feb. 1

    Spanish-speaking parents of Bartlett High School students can learn how to obtain financial aid for college at an event from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 1, at the school, 701 W. Schick Road, in Bartlett.

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    Dist. 54 kindergarten registration Feb. 13

    Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 will hold kindergarten registration for the 2014-15 school year on Thursday, Feb. 13. Registration will take place from 9 to 11 a.m., 1 to 2:30 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. at all elementary schools.

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    Rocio Sanchez celebrates after adding weight during the recent Mooseheart Bridge Breaking Contest. Sanchez´s bridge broke shortly after, having withstood 9 pounds, and earning the senior second place.

    Mooseheart senior wins annual Bridge Breaking Contest

    As the great German physicist Albert Einstein said, “Time is relative.” Taking time into consideration, however, Mooseheart senior Chris Schwartz certainly made the most of his efforts toward the 2014 Mooseheart Bridge Breaking Contest, which took place Jan. 17

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    Lake County Health Department hosts National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day

    The public is invited to join the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center for the 14th annual observance of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Friday, Feb. 7.

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    Arlington Heights conserving salt to get through rest of winter

    Arlington Heights public works officials will conserve salt to ensure they have enough to get through the rest of winter. The village has 1,500 tons left of salt in its dome and is expecting another 700 tons to be delivered soon, but that will have to last until spring, said Scott Shirley, public works director.

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    Chicago science museum free for kids in February

    The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago is offering free admission for children during the month of February.

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    The city of San Francisco has contradicted a coroner’s finding that Meng Yuan survived the crash only to be run over and killed by rescuers. Instead, the city said in a report obtained Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, that Meng Yuan died when she hit the ground after she was thrown from the back the jet after its tail ripped off.

    San Francisco: Rescuers didn’t kill Asiana victim

    The coroner who concluded a girl died after she was twice run over by rescue trucks racing toward a burning plane disputes a different conclusion from city officials who say she was already dead from the impact of falling out of the crashing jet. “We did our examination and we determined that the young lady was alive when she was struck by the fire trucks,” said San Mateo County coroner Robert...

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    Terror suspect challenges NSA surveillance program

    A terror suspect is challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance program, saying in a court document filed Wednesday that spying by the federal government has gone too far.

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    Herbert Smulls was put to death late Wednesday night with a lethal dose of pentobarbital, Missouri’s third execution since November and the third since switching to the new drug that’s made by a compounding pharmacy the state refuses to name.

    Missouri executes man after appeals denied

    Late Wednesday night, Herbert Smulls was put to death with a lethal dose of pentobarbital, Missouri’s third execution since November and the third since switching to the new drug that’s made by a compounding pharmacy the state refuses to name.

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    Workers wear protective masks as the remove cargo from the Explorer of the Seas cruise ship after it docked at a berth in Bayonne, N.J., Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. The number of passengers and crew reported stricken ill on the cruise ship has risen to nearly 700.

    Ship where nearly 700 fell ill being sanitized

    Nearly 700 passengers and crew members became ill during a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Explorer of the Seas. The voyage was cut short and the ship returned to port Wednesday in New Jersey, where it was being sanitized in preparation for its next voyage. Long lines of weary travelers arrived to freezing temperatures after days holed up in their rooms with extreme stomach cramps, vomiting and...

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    Smirnoff

    Get the scoop on different kind of cat litter

    Lately, I have been hearing debates about the environmental impact of the manufacturing process of cat litter and the impact upon disposal. The people having these discussions are either not cat caretakers or they only have one feline. The real debate is: “Will your feline adjust to a new product?”

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    Super Bowl sex, drug arrests under way in NYC

    Police were rounding up 18 people in New York City on Thursday on allegations they sold “party packs” of cocaine and sex to high-end clients and texted their customers to advertise ahead of this week’s Super Bowl festivities.

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    Indiana, Kentucky choose bridge tolling contractor

    JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Indiana and Kentucky officials have chosen a Virginia-based company to operate the tolling system for the new Ohio River bridges being built between Louisville, Ky., and southern Indiana.

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    $1 million to $2 million damage in Madison warehouse fire

    MADISON, Wis. — Preliminary damage estimates from this week’s warehouse fire in Madison are $1 million to $2 million. Windsor Buildings Systems was destroyed by fire Tuesday. Investigators say the fire apparently started in a maintenance room at Windsor, a company that makes wooden trusses and other building components.

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    Indiana House backs bill for tougher day care rules

    INDIANAPOLIS — Church and home day cares in Indiana that accept taxpayer funding would have to meet new safety regulations under a proposal advancing in the state Legislature.The Indiana House voted 71-24 on Wednesday to approve the bill covering unlicensed day care providers. Its provisions would limit the number of children per caregiver and at each operation.

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    Bikes may not be allowed on Wisconsin snowmobile trails

    MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is warning cycling enthusiasts that so-called “fat” bikes may not be allowed on snowmobile trails.Fat bikes have wide, low-pressure tires designed for pedalling on snow and sand. Cyclists can use them on DNR state trails that allow biking at other times of the year unless that trial is open for cross-country skiing.

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    Chicago greenhouse Fern Room to close for repairs

    Chicago’s Garfield Park Conservatory is inviting visitors to see the historic Fern Room and its tropical plants before it closes for repairs on Sunday.The Fern Room’s glass roof was damaged by hail during a 2011 storm. It has a temporary roof made of polycarbonate.

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    UIC to offer accelerated MBA program in May

    The University of Illinois at Chicago says it plans to offer an accelerated master’s in business administration degree beginning in May.Students will be able to go full-time for 12 months and get an MBA concentration in financial markets and risk management or international management.

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    Illinois county settles lawsuits by 3 former inmates

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A southwestern Illinois county says it’s not admitting any wrongdoing but will pay up to $2,000 to each of three former county jail inmates who sued over alleged guard abuse.

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    ‘Bureaucracy’ blamed for missed psychiatric exam

    It has yet to be determined if a suburban Chicago woman is fit to stand trial in the death of her infant granddaughter because the ordered psychiatric exam hasn’t been done.

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    WIU fundraising campaign raises $62.1 million

    MACOMB, Ill. — Western Illinois University says it raised just over the $60 million it set out to generate during a recently completed fundraising campaign.University President Jack Thomas said Wednesday the Higher Values in Higher Education campaign pulled in $62.1 million by the time it ended on Dec. 31.

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    Farmer, elevator manager sentenced for fraud

    PEORIA, Ill. — An Illinois farmer and a former grain elevator manager were sentenced to prison for a scheme to defraud the elevator and creditors.The farmer, Robert James Printz of Fairbury, was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay $7 million in restitution. Timothy Boerma was sentenced to six years in prison and ordered to pay $6.7 million in restitution.

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    Southern Indiana woman pleads guilty to post-sex shooting

    NEW ALBANY, Ind. — A southern Indiana woman has pleaded guilty to murder charges in a Kentucky man’s shooting death that authorities say happened soon after they had sex.

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    Ball State to stop burning coal at campus plant

    MUNCIE, Ind. — Ball State University officials are planning to stop burning coal at the campus steam plant sometime in March.

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    Indiana authorities: Speedway stores sold beer on Christmas

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana State Excise Police have cited 109 Speedway convenience stores, accusing them of illegally selling beer on Christmas.

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    Indiana Senate approves ban on local gun buy-backs

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate has approved a measure banning gun buy-back programs. The measure would ban local governments and police departments from conducting the buy-backs. Republican Sen. Jim Tomes said he proposed the ban because guns that would be bought through the programs could be sold for more money on the open market.

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    Indiana Senate panel OKs study to help veterans with PTSD

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injuries could get help from the state if support for a Senate bill continues.

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    Dawn Patrol: Truck driver posts bond; coroner says heated air killed couple

    Driver in fatal crash posts bond. Coroner says fire-heated air killed Naperville couple. Metra CEO decision could come by Friday. Hanover Park shows off library facelift. Motorola Mobility changes hands. Noah gives Bulls a spark in return.

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    The underpass option for the proposed grade separation of the Canadian National railroad crossing of Route 14 in Barrington.

    Barrington unveils changes to underpass plan

    Hundreds of residents attended the final public meeting Wednesday night at the Barrington High School for the proposed Route 14 underpass designed to keep freight traffic on the Canadian National railroad tracks from causing gridlock. “Making a left-hand turn from Lake Zurich onto the 14 is like taking your life in your hands,” Barrington Village President Karen Darch said at the...

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    Buying the first Rolling Meadows house that offered a basement, 85-year-old retired engineer Ed Evenson has used his workshop to make everything from pocket sundials to educational children’s toys.

    Inventor’s crusade against fractions may be 5/16ths done

    An engineer, author, inventor, historian, toymaker and activist when called, 85-year-old Ed Evenson is on a new quest: to rid our schools of fractions. “What I do now is write for the grandkids — things I think they should know about, but don’t,” says the grandfather of nine. “This campaign I’m on now is because of my engineering background. As far as...

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    Jack Cunningham

    Cunningham, Davoust see differing roles for office

    Two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for Kane County clerk have differing views of the clerk's office's role. Challenger Mark Davoust believes the clerk's office should not only register people to vote, but also must encourage them to care about local elections. Incumbent John Cunningham believes political parties are mainly responsible for getting people to register, and says his...

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    Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens has offered the Chicago Cubs 25 acres of land at no charge for a potential new stadium, including 10 acres north of Balmoral Avenue and west of the Tri-State Tollway.

    Rosemont mayor says door is still open to Cubs

    As the Chicago Cubs battle with Wrigleyville rooftop club owners over plans to renovate the 100-year-old ballpark, Rosemont Mayor Brad Stephens says his door remains open to Cubs brass to move the team to his town. “Obviously we’d listen to anything. We don’t have any redevelopment agreement on that site, so if they’d call, we’d talk to them,” Stephens said.

Sports

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

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

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

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

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

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    Vernon Hills snaps streak, tops Antioch

    Matt Weaver’s 19 points led five players in double figures, and Vernon Hills’ boys basketball team got back on the winning track Wednesday night. The Cougars defeated visiting Antioch 66-55 for their first win since Dec. 27, snapping a season-worst five-game losing streak.

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    Bryson Oliver of Metea Valley takes one to the net around Jonathan Villezcas of East Aurora during the East Aurora at Metea Valley boys basketball game Friday.

    Metea Valley battles past East Aurora

    When the Metea Valley boys basketball team battled at East Aurora in early December and lost, Mustangs coach Bob Vozza talked of the team’s inexperience as it stood at below .500 and winless in conference after the game.

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    Vernon Hills prevails on senior night against Wauconda

    Vernon Hills’ girls basketball team didn’t need any added motivation on senior night, but the Cougars had it. Kasey Firnbach had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 4 steals, and Vernon Hills used a big second half to defeat visiting Wauconda 44-32 on Thursday, avenging an upset loss on Dec. 17.

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    Geneva shatters school record, wins UEC

    It was a night of bests for one of the best girls gymnastics teams in the state, as well as others, during Thursday’s Upstate Eight Conference Meet at Neuqua Valley in Naperville. Geneva’s Claire Ginsberg, Dominique Brognia, Grace Ginsberg, Megan Beitzel, McKenna Merges and Claire Scatterday made school history with, by far, the best gymnastics performance in Vikings history. They shattered the previous school scoring record of 146.275, established at last year’s Geneva regional, with 149.15 points to easily win the conference meet.

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    Round Lake guard Robert Pisarski goes up for a shot surrounded by Northtown Academy players during Thursday’s game at Round Lake.

    Wright, Round Lake get it right

    The smile that Karnell Wright gave to Round Lake coach Jeremy Fisher at halftime probably paled in comparison to the one the senior guard wore at game’s end. Not that it lacked sincerity, but Wright couldn’t stop smiling after the Panthers’ 85-48 win over visiting Northtown Academy on Thursday night. And for good reason. He had just put on a third-quarter display that few high school basketball players pull off.

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    Harvest Christian Academy’s John Vislisel goes up to score his 1,000th career point Thursday against Faith Lutheran in Elgin.

    Finally, Harvest Christian’s Vislisel gets to 1,000

    Harvest Christian Academy senior John Vislisel’s frustration with the area’s unrelenting cold, snowy winter was warranted. For 13 days the senior basketball player sat on 989 career points, patiently waiting for his chance to reach 1,000 in his fourth varsity season. A snow day postponed one game. Blowing snow and high winds wiped out the next one. The Polar Vortex swallowed yet another.

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    Mundelein’s Derek Parola, left, drives to the hoop against Grant’s Steve Dunning.

    Persistence paying off for Mundelein’s Parola

    Derek Parola is a classic case study in persistence. He could have quit basketball after playing just four minutes a game last year so that he could concentrate on his best sports, golf and baseball. But he stuck around, and now he's arguably the best 3-point shooter in Lake County.

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    Larkin's Kendale McCullum (10) slices through a pair of St. Charles East defenders during Thursday's game in St. Charles.

    Larkin frustrates St. Charles East, stays perfect in River

    Larkin continued playing unselfish basketball Thursday night at St. Charles East, placing four players in double figures in a 64-55 victory to stay unbeaten in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division and end the Saints' title hopes.

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    Wheaton Warrenville South’s Meghan Waldron ball down the court against Naperville North at home.

    WW South happy to be home again

    It took Wheaton Warrenville South four minutes to warm up to its home court in Thursday’s girls basketball game. Playing just their third home game of the season, the Tigers overcame a slow start to roar past Naperville North 66-42 in Wheaton.“Yeah, it was weird,” Tigers coach Rob Kroehnke said. “Where are we going? Oh, we’re going home. Yeah, it’s nice to play at home. The kids are comfortable playing here, and you protect your home floor.”

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    Neuqua Valley handles South Elgin

    Neuqua Valley may have had a different coach running the team Thursday night, but it was the usual Wildcats effort and yet another Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division win.

  •  

    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Jacobs 56, Marian Central 48: The Golden Eagles (5-17) snapped a 2-game skid with 9 3-pointers (out of 18 shots made) in a nonconference win over the Hurricanes. Nicole Cook, Glenita Williams and Carly Sidor each scored 12 points for Jacobs. Cook drained 4 from behind the arc and Williams nailed 2 as well. Jacobs drained 4 3-pointers in the second quarter alone. Westminster Christian 52, Wheaton Academy 42: The Warriors (19-2) used three double-digit scorers and a 17-11 third quarter to distance themselves for their fifth-straight win a nonconference action. Sophomore Maddie Versluys scored a game-high 17 points to go with 5 rebounds while Claire Speweik added 15 points and 5 steals. McKaila Hays dropped in 3 3-pointers and finished with 13 points. Bishop McNamara 52, St. Edward 41: The Fightin’ Irish climbed out of a 4-point hole at the half with a 23-8 third quarter to snap the Green Wave’s 2-game winning streak in nonconference action in Kankakee. Cecile Rapp, in her first game back from injury, led the Wave (13-8) with 11 points and Clarissa Ramos chipped in 10. Harvest Christian 40, Faith Lutheran 4: A 10-point first quarter was all the Lions (12-8, 6-1) needed in a Northeastern Athletic Conference blowout. Kylee Knox registered a game-high 17 points on 8 of 16 shooting to go with 5 rebounds, 5 assists and 3 assists. Gabi Rodriguez added 4 points but managed 11 rebounds.

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    St. Charles North holds off Elgin

    Just under two weeks between games looked like it was going to be too much for St. Charles North. While the North Stars were leading by 11 at the half, they struggled to hang onto the ball in the second half, turning it over a total of 12 times and almost let the game go as well. But a big fourth quarter from junior Jake Ludwig shut the door on an Elgin comeback and gave the North Stars a much needed win in the Upstate Eight Conference River Division, defeating the Maroons 70-61 Thursday night at Elgin’s Chesbrough Field House.

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    Quentin Jammer (far left), Champ Bailey (above) and Paris Lenon (left) have all been in the NFL at least eight seasons and are making their first Super Bowl appearance. Lenon is the only remaining player from the defunct XFL still playing in the NFL.

    Super Bowl a long time coming for these players

    At least a dozen first-time Super Bowl participants have been in league 8-plus years.

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    San Antonio Spurs' Tim Duncan (21) goes to the basket against Chicago Bulls' Joakim Noah (13) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, in San Antonio. Chicago won 96-86. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    From this view, Bulls’ record look pretty good

    Even though Jerry Reinsdorf called the Chicago Bulls a mediocre team at the moment, Mike North agrees with the chairman that "you have to be proud" of the way they’ve played this year for head coach Tom Thibodeau.

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    High school sports coverage? Frisk heads the class

    Bob Frik's ambition turned into a devotion to high school sports that continues to this day, so it's fitting that he’ll be recognized between the Hersey and Prospect boys and girls basketball games Friday as one of the inaugural winners of the Illinois High School Association’s Distinguished Media Service Award.

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    Joakim Noah (13) celebrates after a dunk against the Charlotte Bobcats during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Charlotte, N.C., Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. The Bulls won 89-87.

    Surging Noah named to all-star team

    Joakim Noah has become the NBA's best passing big man this season. And when talking about his second straight All-Star Game selection, his focus was on sharing the experience with loved ones.

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    Time again to talk about conferences

    The conference basketball races will come to a close in the next few weeks, but not without a little excitement. Eyes on Five looks into some of what’s going on in area conferences.

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    Harvest Christian Academy Athletic Director David Lockwood hands the game ball to John Vislisel after Vislisel scored his 1,000th career point Thursday.

    Images: Harvest Christian vs. Faith Lutheran boys basketball
    Harvest Christian hosted Keith Country Day in boys basketball Thursday night.

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    Seattle Seahawks' Marshawn Lynch (24) breaks away from San Francisco 49ers' Tramaine Brock (26) for a touch-down run during the second half of the NFL football NFC Championship game, Sunday, Jan. 19, 2014, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

    Breaking down the big game

    While everyone wants to talk about the weather, there are plenty of other talking points regarding Sunday’s game between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks at MetLife Stadium in Newark, N.J. Bob LeGere talkes a closer look at some key numbers, key players, the marquee matchup, a local connection and more, with a little forecast for the outdoor game and a prediction.

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    Images from the Northtown Academy at Round Lake boys basketball game on Thursday, January 30.

    Images: Round Lake vs. Northtown Academy boys basketball
    The Round Lake Panthers hosted Northtown Academy for boys basketball action on Thursday, January 30.

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    Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas is seen between lights and cameras as he talks with reporters during a news conference Monday, Jan. 27, 2014, in Jersey City, 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.

    Broncos' Thomas had to push through trying times

    Broncos WR Thomas flourishing despite watching his mom and grandma go to jail when he was 11.

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    Having fun with prop bets

    Linemen still score touchdowns only rarely. But betting on the so-called “props” put up by Las Vegas sports books has become big.

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    Hersey’s Connor Reynolds, left, is congratulated by Prospect’s Carter Mau after Hersey edged the Knights in the 200-yard medley relay Thursday.

    Prospect basks in Mid-Suburban East title

    In deepest, darkest January, Prospect’s boys of summer reveled in the bright glow that accompanies a conference champion. The Knights, bleached blonde to signify the beginning of the end of the boys swimming season, topped Hersey 105-81 on Thursday at Olympic Pool to complete an unbeaten run through the Mid-Suburban East and claim the school’s first divisional championship since the 2002-03 season.

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    Photos from the Naperville North at Wheaton Warrenville South girls basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 30.

    Images: Naperville North at Wheaton Warrenville South girls basketball
    Wheaton Warrenville South hosted Naperville North Thursday, Jan 30 for girls basketball

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    Recently retired Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher has been in a medically induced coma in a French hospital since he suffered a serious brain injury Dec. 29 after hitting his head in a skiing accident.

    Doctors trying to bring Schumacher out of coma

    Michael Schumacher’s doctors have started trying to wake up the Formula One great from the medically induced coma he’s been in since a skiing accident last month, his manager said Thursday.

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    Hampshire grad Vietinghoff lighting it up in Iowa

    Karla Vietinghoff did not have a sophomore season to remember. Vietinghoff, now a junior guard at Iowa Wesleyan College in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, played in only 9 games last season after suffering an ACL injury while playing at Waubonsee Community College in Sugar Grove.

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    Photos from the East Aurora at Metea Valley boys basketball game Thursday, Jan. 30 in Naperville.

    Images: East Aurora at Metea Valley boys basketball
    Metea Valley hosted East Aurora Thursday, Jan. 30 for boys basketball

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    Larkin’s Kendale McCullum slices through a pair of St. Charles East defenders.

    Images: Larkin vs. St. Charles East boys basketball
    Larkin traveled to St. Charles East for a boys basketball matchup Thursday night in St. Charles.

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    Blackhawks left wing Brandon Saad (20) celebrates his goal against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of NHL action in Vancouver, British Columbia Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

    Nice bounce-back effort by Hawks

    There was a lot to like about Tuesday’s 5-2 win by the Blackhawks over the Vancouver Canucks that snapped a four-game winless streak.

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    Chicago Fire midfielder Marco Pappa signed a Major League Soccer contract again this week after leaving Heerenveen in the Netherlands. But Because the Fire accepted a transfer fee for Pappa when he left town in 2012, the club lost his MLS rights. Seattle has the top pick in the allocation order and the Sounders aren’t giving up it cheaply,

    Fire not likely to regain Pappa

    Former Fire midfielder Marco Pappa signed a Major League Soccer contract again this week after leaving Heerenveen in the Netherlands, but that doesn’t mean he’s returning to Chicago.

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    Conant’s Bobby Alexander, top, leads a team with MSL title hopes in the conference meet at Hersey this weekend.

    Wrestling: Scouting MSL, FVC and ESCC tourneys

    Here's a look at some of the conference wrestling touranments this weekend, including the Mid-Suburban League, the Fox Valley Conference and the East Suburban Catholic Conference.

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    Lake County’s coaches counter with contact inclusion

    Lake County football coaches aren't fond of an IHSA proposal that could put strict limits on summer practices. They've come up with some proposals of their own.

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    Mike North Video: Super Bowl prediction
    Mike North hopes this year's outdoor cold weather Super Bowl between the Denver Broncos and the Seattle Seahawks is the last and he gives his prediction.

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    Photos from the Wheaton North at Addison Trail boys basketball game on Monday, Dec. 9.

    Addison Trail takes a leap forward

    Addison Trail boys basketball coach Brendan Lyons talks often about the process of becoming a better team. Last weekend he was able to talk about the rewards of the process.

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    Vainisi helps Hersey steal a win

    When the girls basketball game between Hersey and Elk Grove began Wednesday night, Juliette Vainisi was not on the floor. By game’s end, she’d lit up the gym. The 5-foot-7 junior guard came off the bench to toss home a career-high 18 points and tie a school record that had stood since 2004 (with 10 steals) as the Huskies rallied past the Grenadiers 55-43 at the Ken Carter Gymnasium in Arlington Heights.

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    Detweiler delivers as Grayslake North rolls

    Kendall Detweiler scored 25 points, knocking down five 3-pointers, and Grayslake North’s girls basketball team defeated Woodstock 62-44 Wednesday night.

Business

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    Denver Broncos Executive VP of Football Operations John Elway walks the trading floor before New York Stock Exchange opening bell ceremonies Thursday.

    U.S. stocks move higher, helped by Facebook, GDP

    It was a stock market reversal. Stocks rose sharply Thursday, with large parts of the market erasing Wednesday’s losses, as investors cheered a batch of strong earnings and data that showed the U.S. economy grew at a robust annual rate of 3.2 percent in the fourth quarter.

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    Google said Wednesday it is selling Motorola Mobility’s smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion, a price that makes Google’s biggest acquisition look like its most expensive mistake.

    Google’s Motorola misstep could be Lenovo’s boon

    An expensive mistake by Google could turn into a golden opportunity for China’s Lenovo Group as it expands beyond its success in the personal computer industry. Google is ridding itself of a financial headache by selling Motorola Mobility’s smartphone business to Lenovo for $2.9 billion.

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    The U.S. economy grew at a 3.2 percent annual rate in the October-December quarter on the strength of the strongest consumer spending in three years, an encouraging sign for 2014.

    Solid growth brightens economic outlook for 2014

    Consumers will spend more. Government will cut less. Businesses will invest more. And more companies will hire. Add it all up, and you can see why expectations are rising that the 2014 U.S. economy will be the best since the recession ended 4½ years ago. It’s why the Federal Reserve is pressing ahead with a plan to scale back its economic stimulus.

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    A Wheaton-based developer wants to raze the McChesney & Miller grocery store in downtown Glen Ellyn, combine the property with a village-owned commuter parking lot and construct a 185-unit apartment complex and a three-story public parking deck.

    Developer targets longtime downtown Glen Ellyn grocery store

    A Wheaton-based developer wants to knock down the McChesney & Miller grocery store — in business in downtown Glen Ellyn since 1862 — and construct a 185-unit apartment complex and village-owned three-story public parking deck. The three-story parking garage, which would be owned by the village, would have two levels underground and one at grade level with 502 parking spots.

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    Altria Group Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit dropped 56 percent as the Marlboro maker sold fewer cigarettes and recorded charges related to paying off debt early.

    Marlboro maker Altria 4Q profit falls

    Altria Group Inc.’s fourth-quarter profit dropped 56 percent as the Marlboro maker sold fewer cigarettes and recorded charges related to paying off debt early.

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    Harley-Davidson’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 6.8 percent as motorcycle sales continued to rise worldwide.

    Harley-Davidson 4Q earnings up 6.8 percent

    Harley-Davidson’s fourth-quarter earnings rose 6.8 percent as motorcycle sales continued to rise worldwide.

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    Coal miner Peabody posts narrower 4Q loss

    ST. LOUIS — Cost cutting at Peabody Energy helped trim its losses by almost 44 percent in the fourth quarter.The St. Louis coal miner on Thursday reported a loss of $565.7 million, or $2.12 per share during the October-December period. That compares with a loss of $1.01 billion, or $3.78 per share, a year ago.Revenue fell to $1.7 billion, from $2.01 billion.For all of last year, Peabody posted a net loss of $524.9 million, or $1.97 per share, on revenue of $7.01 billion. That compares with a 2012 loss of $585.7 million, or $2.19 per share.Peabody Energy Corp. says it expects adjusted diluted earnings in this year’s first three months of a loss of 10 cents to a profit of 14 cents per share.

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    Exxon Mobil’s fourth-quarter profit fell 16 percent as the company produced slightly less oil and gas and its refining business weakened, the company announced on Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014.

    Exxon’s 4Q profit dips 16 percent to $8.35B

    Exxon Mobil’s fourth-quarter profit fell 16 percent as the company produced slightly less oil and gas and its refining business weakened.Exxon has been criticized for failing to boost production, but the CEO says that new projects now in the works will produce profits and lift the business.Exxon Mobil Corp. said Thursday that fourth-quarter net income was $8.35 billion, or $1.91 per share, matching Wall Street’s forecast. That compares with profit of $9.95 billion, or $2.20 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell 3.3 percent to $110.86 billion, below the $114.51 billion that analysts were expecting, according to a FactSet survey.Production of oil and gas dropped 1.8 percent.In a statement, Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson said disciplined investing and new projects were putting the company in position for sustained big profits.“Over the next two years, ExxonMobil will start up numerous major projects delivering profitable new supplies of oil and natural gas while strengthening our refining and chemicals businesses,” he said.The Irving, Texas-based company spent $26 billion last year on dividends and buybacks that reduced the number of shares — moves designed to please shareholders.As oil prices were stabilizing, Exxon’s shares gained nearly 15 percent during 2013, about on par with Chevron Corp. but trailing the broader indexes, including the Dow Jones industrial average.In trading before Thursday’s opening bell, Exxon shares were down $1.18 to $93.93.Exxon is the world’s biggest publicly traded oil company. It became the largest producer of U.S. natural gas with the 2010 acquisition of XTO Energy, a deal that has failed to produce immediate results due to stubbornly low gas prices amid a surge in drilling.In the fourth quarter, Exxon’s earnings from oil and gas production in the U.S. fell 26 percent to $1.19 billion; outside the U.S. — easily the company’s most profitable business — earnings dipped 9 percent to $5.6 billion.The sharpest decline came in refining and selling petroleum products, where earnings plunged 48 percent to $916 million on weaker refining margins.Exxon said it paid $23.11 billion in income, sales and other taxes, a decrease of 4.2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012.

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    Northrop Grumman’s profit exceeds estimates as sales drop

    Northrop Grumman Corp., the U.S. government’s fifth-largest contractor, said fourth-quarter profit beat analysts’ estimates as sales fell.Net income from continuing operations in the quarter declined 10 percent to $478 million, or $2.12 a share, compared with $533 million, or $2.14 a share, a year earlier. Northrop exceeded the $1.94-a-share average estimate of 18 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.Sales declined 4.9 percent to $6.16 billion in the quarter from a year earlier, the Falls Church, Virginia-based company said in a statement today. Electronic systems was the only unit reporting a gain.The company rose 2.3 percent to $114.70 at 9:42 a.m. in New York, the most since Oct. 24. It climbed 68 percent in the 12 months through yesterday, surpassing the 18 percent gain in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index during the same period.Northrop said its full-year profit from continuing operations will be $8.70 to $9.00 a share on sales of $23.5 billion to $23.8 billion, down from $24.7 billion in 2013. The average estimate of 16 analysts surveyed by Bloomberg was $8.51 a share.Defense contractors have struggled with the effects of automatic federal spending cuts and delays in passing budgets funding the U.S. government.“Although we are encouraged by progress toward a more normal budgeting process for our customers, we expect lower sales in 2014, particularly for our short-cycle businesses,” said Wes Bush, Northrop’s chief executive officer. “Despite this top-line pressure, we expect other positive trends, particularly the benefit of our planned share repurchases, to support continued earnings per share growth in 2014.”F-35 JetsThe military has protected large programs such as Lockheed Martin Corp.’s F-35 jet, the Pentagon’s most expensive weapons system, from automatic federal spending cuts. Northrop is a key subcontractor on the fighter, booking $1.3 billion in 2012 for F-35 work, according to a regulatory filing.Congress has helped, too, rebuffing the administration’s efforts to end funding for the company’s Global Hawk Block 30 surveillance drones.Lockheed, the top federal contractor, said on Jan. 23 that its fourth-quarter profit dropped 14 percent as U.S. budget cuts sapped its sales and contributed to a goodwill writedown and job-reductions charge.General Dynamics, BoeingGeneral Dynamics Corp.’s sales rose less than 1 percent in the quarter to $8.11 billion, a feat in an austere budget environment. The third-biggest U.S. government supplier announced it would buy back more of its stock and forecast higher sales of business jets.Boeing Co., the second-biggest federal vendor, dropped the most in more than two years yesterday after it forecast profit for 2014 that fell short of analysts’ estimates amid a slower pace of jet orders.Sales for Boeing’s defense, space and security unit increased 6.1 percent to $8.86 billion from a year earlier, as the company landed overseas contracts. The segment’s performance improved despite defense spending cutbacks in the U.S.

  •  
    Viacom Inc., the media company controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone, reported a 16 percent rise in net income, topping estimates as sales rose at cable- television networks such as Nickelodeon.

    Viacom earnings top views as Nickelodeon ratings rebound

    Viacom Inc., the media company controlled by billionaire Sumner Redstone, reported a 16 percent rise in net income, topping estimates as sales rose at cable- television networks such as Nickelodeon.Net income jumped to $547 million, or $1.20 a share, in the fiscal first quarter ended Dec. 31, the company said today in a statement. That topped the $1.16 a share average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Sales at the New York-based company fell 3.5 percent to $3.2 billion, including a 30 percent drop at the film unit.Viacom, owner of MTV, Comedy Central and the Black Entertainment Television networks, relies on its TV business for more than 90 percent of operating income. After struggling early last year as viewership declined, the cable networks posted higher ratings in the September quarter and increased fees from pay-TV operators carrying its channels.Analysts had predicted $3.29 billion in sales. At Viacom’s TV networks, revenue increased 6.1 percent, while operating profit surged 8 percent to $1.1 billion.In filmed entertainment, sales declined to $681 million, while the operating loss narrowed. Theatrical releases in the quarter included “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which has been nominated for a best picture Academy Award.The company, which bought back $1.1 billion of stock in the first quarter, plans to repurchase $850 million more this period, Chief Executive Officer Philippe Dauman said on a conference call.Viacom Class B shares rose 3.5 percent to $83.81 at 10:49 a.m. in New York. The stock advanced 66 percent in 2013.

  •  
    Visa’s fiscal first-quarter net income increased 9 percent, as higher card spending which boosted the number of payments it processed. Its performance beat analysts’ expectations.

    Card spending lifts Visa’s 1Q above expectations

    FOSTER CITY, Calif. — Visa’s fiscal first-quarter net income increased 9 percent, as higher card spending which boosted the number of payments it processed. Its performance beat analysts’ expectations.Foster City, Calif.-based Visa Inc. is the world’s largest processor of debit and credit card payments. As such, it benefits from heightened consumer spending and its results are closely watched because they can be a window into the buying habits and financial health of consumers. The holiday shopping season ended on a lackluster note, with U.S. retail sales rising only 0.2 percent in December, according to the Commerce Department. Even so, Visa, along with card issuers American Express Co. and Discover Financial Services, reported stronger cardholder spending and borrowing during the holiday season.All told, Visa processed 16 billion transactions during last three months of 2013, up 13 percent from a year earlier. Shares rose $3.82, or nearly 2 percent, to $220.94 in morning trading, touching $226.00 shortly after the opening bell. The stock has risen 42 percent in the past 12 months and hit a 52-week high of $235.50 last week.Referencing the latest hacks into systems at Target and Neiman Marcus, Visa said it continues to push toward adopting new chip technology to better safeguard card payments.Visa earned $1.41 billion, or $2.20 per share, for the three months ended Dec. 31. That’s up from $1.29 billion, or $1.93 per share, in the prior-year period, which included a tax gain of 11 cents per share.Analysts surveyed by FactSet predicted earnings of $2.16 per share.Operating revenue rose 11 percent to $3.16 billion from $2.85 billion, helped by higher revenue for service, data processing and international transactions. That topped the $3.13 billion expected by Wall Street. First-quarter payments volume climbed 11 percent to $1.2 trillion. Visa Inc. reaffirmed its fiscal 2014 guidance for mid-to-high-teens growth in earnings per share and a low double-digit increase in revenue.The company also declared a regular quarterly dividend of 40 cents per share, payable March 4 to shareholders of record on Feb. 14.

  •  
    UPS earned $1.2 billion in the fourth-quarter but a last-minute surge in holiday shipments drove up costs and hurt results.

    UPS 4Q results hurt by holiday shipping woes

    UPS earned $1.2 billion in the fourth-quarter but a last-minute surge in holiday shipments drove up costs and hurt results. The company announced two weeks ago that earnings would fall short of expectations because of higher costs to handle a crush of holiday shipments that crested several days later than the company expected. UPS had to hire an extra 30,000 seasonal workers to handle the rush.

  •  
    Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages slipped this week as new data showed a decline in home prices in November and a drop in new homes sales last month.

    Average U.S. rate on 30-year loan at 4.32 pct.

    Average U.S. rates for fixed mortgages slipped this week as new data showed a decline in home prices in November and a drop in new homes sales last month. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the 30-year loan fell to 4.32 percent from 4.39 percent last week. The average for the 15-year loan eased to 3.40 percent from 3.44 percent.

  •  
    Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low.

    Applications for jobless benefits rise to 348,000

    Weekly applications for U.S. unemployment benefits rose 19,000 last week to 348,000, the highest in about a month. But the broader trend in applications remains low. The Labor Department says that the four-week average, a less volatile measure, increased just 750 to 333,000. The increase follows three weeks of declines.

  •  
    Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in December, suggesting a slowdown in real estate. Pending home sales fell to the lowest point since October 2011.

    Fewer signed contracts to buy U.S. homes in December

    Fewer Americans signed contracts to buy previously occupied homes in December, suggesting a slowdown in real estate. Pending home sales fell to the lowest point since October 2011.

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    A woman enters Denver International Airport, passing a notice prohibiting marijuana possession at the airport, Monday, Jan. 27, 2014. Carrying marijuana through airport security in Colorado may get the pot confiscated, but there appears to be little danger of legal repercussions.

    Wash., Colo., have few ways to stop carry-on weed

    Among the many oddities that have arisen from marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado is this: It can be easier to get through airport security with a bag of weed than a bottle of water. At Washington’s airports, there’s nothing police can do to prevent travelers from flying with pot. But in Colorado, where the legal pot law gives property owners more authority, some airports have banned marijuana possession and enacted penalties.

Life & Entertainment

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    Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell and Chris Elliot stand on the Woodstock set of the 1993 supernatural comedy “Groundhog Day.” The script was written by Danny Rubin, who will be in Woodstock this weekend to celebrate the movie.

    ‘Groundhog Day’ screenwriter returns to Woodstock

    “Groundhog Day” screenwriter Danny Rubin said, “Many people draw different conclusions from the movie. That’s one of the reasons that it’s become so personal to so many people.” This weekend, Rubin comes to Woodstock where the 1993 comedy classic was filmed, and where the town’s annual “Groundhog Day” celebration takes place with tours, symposiums, chili cook-offs and pancake breakfasts.

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    Kevin Costner and his band Modern West will headline at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles on Monday, April 21.

    Kevin Costner among recently announced Arcada shows
    Kevin Costner, Vince Neil and others will be heading to the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles in the next few months. Tickets are now on sale for a number of new shows.

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    Henry (Gattlin Griffith), left, Frank (Josh Brolin) and Adele (Kate Winslet) work the dough for a perfect pie crust in “Labor Day,” a middle-aged extension of an adolescent girl's bad-boy fantasy.

    Reitman's 'Labor Day' a confusing, cooked-up affair

    The way Jason Reitman's period romance “Labor Day” presents its whirlwind captor/captive love affair, “Stockholm Syndrome” might be renamed “Josh Brolin Syndrome” any day now. He plays a prison escapee who holds up at the home of a single mother (Kate Winslet) and her adolescent son (Gattlin Griffith). There, the convict blossoms into the perfect husband, father and culinary master cook.

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    Canadian musician Justin Bieber is swarmed by media and police officers as he turns himself in to Toronto police for an expected assault charge Wednesday. A police official said the charge has to do with an alleged assault on a limo driver in December.

    Justin Bieber charged with assault in Canada

    Justin Bieber was charged with assault for allegedly hitting a Toronto limousine driver several times in the back of the head last month, just hours after his attorney entered a separate not guilty plea in Florida to drunken-driving and other charges. The baby-faced 19-year-old turned himself in to a Toronto police station Wednesday evening, arriving amid a crush of media and screaming fans. He was charged with one count of assault and is scheduled to appear in court in Toronto on March 10. Police allege Bieber was one of six people who were picked up by a limousine from a nightclub in the early morning hours of Dec. 30, and there was an altercation while en route to a hotel.

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    Five nuns from Hoboken, N.J., perform in a fundraising revue in Fox Valley Repertory's “Nunsense,” featuring Sister Mary Leo (Kristine Burdi), left, Sister Mary Hubert (Missy Aguilar), Sister Mary Regina (Patti Roeder), Sister Mary Robert Anne (Jane Brewer) and Sister Mary Amnesia (Monica Szaflik).

    Sister act stirs laughs for Fox Valley Rep's 'Nunsense'

    Dan Goggin's hit 1985 musical comedy “Nunsense” has rarely seen much love from theater critics. Many of the Catholic puns are groaners, and there's little-to-no dramatic tension in the haphazardly structured show. Yet “Nunsense” consistently proves to be crowd-pleasing catnip for audiences. Two phrases I consistently overheard during intermission at Fox Valley Repertory's current production of “Nunsense” in St. Charles were along the lines of: “The nuns I grew up with weren't like this!” or “I wish the nuns who taught us could have been like this!”

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    The guys at TomandLorenzo.com (Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez) have their first book, “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me,” out Feb. 4.

    Tom & Lorenzo’s pro tips for Valentine’s Day

    The way Tom & Lorenzo see it, you’ve got lots of choices come Valentine’s Day. How about having some fun playing rich and famous, or you could stay true to yourself, whether that means handing over carnations instead of Cartier. The fabulously funny but sometimes snarky blogging team known as TLo have been blogging celebrity style and fashion for over a decade. Now, the guys at TomandLorenzo.com have their first book, “Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me,” out Feb. 4 from Penguin.

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    Visitors take advantage of free admission to tour The Breakers mansion in Newport, R.I. The Preservation Society of Newport County proposed building a visitor center in 2014 that would sit on the mansion’s grounds. The society said it would be unobtrusive and would provide necessary services that currently are lacking at the popular tourist attraction. Some nearby residents are fighting the plan.

    Welcome center roils tourist destination Newport

    A proposal to build a visitors center on the grounds of The Breakers, the Gilded Age Vanderbilt family mansion and national historic landmark, is dividing Newport’s preservationists, neighbors, and even some family members in this seaside city where tourism is a lifeblood. The Preservation Society of Newport County, the nonprofit group that owns the 70-room mansion, says the center is badly needed to serve The Breakers’ 400,000 annual visitors. Many opponents agree something is needed, but they want it across the street in the parking lot or elsewhere, not on the 13-acre grounds of the property, which they say would be irreparably damaged.

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    George (Andy Garcia), a heart surgeon, shares an affair of the heart with Edith (Vera Farmiga) in the literate and witty romance "At Middleton."

    ‘At Middleton’ an honest, moving romance

    Here comes a witty, smart, perfectly cast and delicately executed romance of the heart between two unhappily married strangers who meet for one day on a college campus. That’s before the story dives into clichés and ridiculous theatrics involving parents gone wild. Adam Rodgers’ movie takes place on the fictional campus of Middleton College where stuffy George (Andy Garcia) drags his unsure son Conrad to orientation at the same time a sassy Edith (Vera Farmiga) has her testy daughter in tow. After some initial probes of each other’s personalities, George and Edith veer off on their own campus tour, slowly and joyfully discovering they share the same sense of humor.

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    Miles Teller, left, Michael B. Jordan and Zac Efron play three New Yorkers who pledge to give up relationships in “That Awkward Moment.”

    Bromance is anything but that awesome ‘Moment’

    Some excessive best-bud banter gives “That Awkward Moment” an improv feel, not in a good way, and its transition from light comedy to dead-earnest drama possesses the subtlety of a malfunctioning gearshift clutch. Nonetheless, the rom-com builds its characters and plot around the hard truth about young guys struggling to fend off maturity against the overpowering forces of time and experience.

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    Actor Crispin Glover premieres 10 minutes of his new movie with his actor father Bruce Glover at Chicago's Music Box Theatre.

    Glover shares his love for Music Box

    Dann Gire interviews actor Crispin Glover on his way to Chicago's Music Box Theatre this weekend. (“I always get a little nervous,” Glover confessed, “that I'll get there and no one will show up!”) Dann also previews Dann & Raymond's Movie Club Oscars show.

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    Visitors dodge birds in the piazza outside of the Duomo cathedral in Milan, Italy. The ornate white facade of Milan’s Duomo is the single most recognized symbol of the Lombard capital, taking centuries to complete.

    5 free things in Milan from cathedral to canals

    Milan is Italy’s finance and fashion capital, with hundreds of billions of euros invested on the Italian Stock Exchange and tens of billions more spent yearly in the city’s luxury boutiques. While Florence attracts art-lovers, Venice the romantic and Rome the faithful, most travelers to Milan come to broker deals and indulge in the latest Italian fashion trends. Nonetheless, there is plenty to see for those whose pockets are not so deep — be it by style choice, or not.

Discuss

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    Metra police future needs public airing

    A Daily Herald editorial credits Metra for commissioning a report on its police force but insists the agency should deal more openly with its conclusions.

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    College’s diminishing returns

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: President Obama is correct in wanting to make higher education more affordable and accessible, but Americans would also be correct in wondering just what they’re paying for.

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    State not doing its job to keep companies here
    A Palatine letter to the editor: I just read that Illinois has lost another business, this time to Boca Raton, Fla. Cancer Treatment Centers of America is moving its headquarters to Florida from Schaumburg. This move will cost Illinois 225 jobs averaging $90,000 annual salaries.

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    Independent colleges deserve funding, too
    A letter to the editor: These are trying times for higher education as colleges and universities must provide higher quality educational opportunities with limited resources and pressure of controlling student debt. Illinois’ independent colleges and universities are stepping up to meet the challenge, and the results are encouraging.

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    Killer deserved death penalty
    A Vernon Hills letter to the editor: I couldn’t agree more with the comments of Joe Miller from Carpentersville about Dennis McGuire.

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    Holidays were bright in Schaumburg Twp.
    Letter to the editor: During the holidays, the Schaumburg Township community once again demonstrated how remarkable they truly are, says Supervisor Mary Wroblewski. "Donors generously delivered food and personal items to keep the pantry shelves, refrigerators and freezers well stocked during our busiest months."

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    Join Autism Speaks and help the cause
    Letter to the editor: Mike Baker of Autism Speaks encourages volunteers to step forward who will help lobby congressmen and women to improve services for autistic residents.

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    Can’t we make our local roads stronger?
    Letter to the editor: James Miller of Arlington Hts. says the cold weather is causing the local roads to buckle, a problem he doesn't see on Arlington Heights Road.

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    Let’s change name to ‘Vacant’ Meadows
    Letter to the editor: Grace Reiland is disappointed that the Rolling Meadows council may have chased away the Walmart grocery store. "If Walmart walks away from this venture it won’t be due to a traffic light issue, but due to the disagreement of our city fathers," she said.

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    D57 school board should stay tough
    Letter to the editor: Ben Nejdl encourages the District 57 school board to stay tough in negotiating with the teachers union.

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    Don’t blow Walmart deal, aldermen
    Letter to the editor: Brian DeValk of Palatine is upset that in his view, Rolling Meadows is driving Walmart out of town. "Any traffic issues real or imagined can be ironed out after the grand opening using the millions in revenue for years to come," he writes.

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    Need more like Sente in Springfield
    Letter to the editor: David Hochberg of Northbrook says it's hard to discredit state Rep. Carol Sente when she has established such a good record of performance in Springfield.

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    Spending bill shows wrong prioritie
    A letter to the editor: If you were a member of Congress trying to cut the budget, would you cut subsidies that go to large, profitable agribusinesses, or funding for food safety inspectors? Believe it or not, the spending bill just cleared by Congress does the latter, not the former.

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    Check claims about jobless benefits
    A Des Plaines letter to the editor: This administration is now in its sixth year. They claimed the recession was over years ago but still label the unemployment benefit extension as an emergency. Exactly when does the emergency end? They have run out of excuses but they continue to serve Kool-Aid for the clueless.

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    Be humane to suffering humans, too
    A Wheeling letter to the editor: I realize euthanasia is against the law in our state. I consider that a shame when I read articles like the one regarding Princess the New Jersey camel who was put down painlessly due to arthritis. It’s fine and dandy to put zoo animals or sick and old household pets down when they become afflicted, but can’t do the same for suffering human beings.

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    Bittersweet farewell to state government
    A Batavia letter to the editor: As I begin my 16th and final legislative session, I find the moment bittersweet. On the one hand, I am extremely excited about the opportunities ahead; on the other hand, I continue to be nervous for our future. Maybe it’s the parent in me, maybe it’s the realist developed by what I’ve witnessed in government or maybe it’s just healthy to be nervous about change.

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    Pay us more money, kids will get smarter
    A Naperville letter to the editor: I was most intrigued when I saw a half page ad/letter from Cinda Klickna, president of the Illinois Education Association, titled “The Ingredients for Better Schools.” After reading her letter for a second time, I am at a loss in trying to understand what she is actually proposing in order to improve things (other than we need more money).

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    (No heading)
    As I begin my sixteenth and final legislative session, I find the moment bittersweet. On the one hand, I am extremely excited about the opportunities ahead; on the other hand, I continue to be nervous for our future. Maybe it’s the parent in me, maybe it’s the realist developed by what I’ve witnessed in government or maybe it’s just healthy to be nervous about change. Government service is a difficult venue for “Type A” personalities like myself. We want results quickly and if it doesn’t work, we immediately want to implement changes.For better or worse, government doesn’t work that way. It’s a much more slow and deliberate process. Many times I warned concerned constituents that it can be good a bill takes so long. Ideas that change our way of life need to be vetted. It seems the quicker government reacts, the more unintended consequences that occur.Even though I am leaving elected office, I highly encourage involvement. Keeping up with public policy is not a part-time venture; it starts with an election and carries through to the last day in office. There are good people who will run for office. It’s up to each of us to make our state a better place by being informed voters, so take the time to call a candidate or two. Don’t just rely on glossy mailers or robo-calls when you are making a decision as important as who is going to represent you in government.My thanks to you for a great ride on this rollercoaster. I wouldn’t change one moment of the ups and downs of the legislative process. There will be a few more ups, downs, and twists ahead, but I do see the platform and others waiting for their turn. In the meantime, please let me know if I can be of service and my sincere thanks to you for the opportunity and the trust you bestowed upon me while serving our community in Springfield.Timothy Schmitz, State Legislator, District 65

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