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Daily Archive : Friday January 31, 2014


    The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 board of directors gather at last week’s Celebrations of Excellence dinner.

    Hoffman Chamber names president, award winners

    The Hoffman Estates Chamber of Commerce named Tricia O’Brien as its new executive director — in addition to the winners of six awards — at its third annual Celebrations of Excellence dinner last Thursday night.O’Brien, a former employee of the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce, succeeded the retiring Cheri Sisson on Monday.

    Part of the performance by St. Francis High School in Wheaton that earned the team a spot in Saturday's finals.

    Stage is set for Saturday's state dance championships

    Plenty of suburban high schools have made the finals of the IHSA state competitive dance championships, which will be held Saturday in Bloomington. Ninety teams qualified to go downstate, but now only 30 remain.

    Wind blows snow across Plank Road just East of Route 47 Thursday. The snow forecast for Saturday is leading some event organizers not to chance it.

    Suburban events Saturday being canceled due to snow

    With a major winter storm looming Friday night, many local events planned for Saturday were being canceled. Among the cancellations announced Friday afternoon were the IHSA cheerleading sectional competitions, which have been moved to the same time Sunday in Grayslake and Rolling Meadows.

    Naperville police investigate an armed robbery Friday at the Stardust Motel on Ogden Avenue.

    Naperville motel robbed at knifepoint

    Naperville police are searching for a man who committed an armed robbery Friday afternoon at the Stardust Motel, 890 E. Ogden Ave. The thief entered the lobby area, displayed a knife and demanded money. He fled after taking an undisclosed amount of cash. No one was injured.


    Antioch man killed in crash

    Illinois State Police reported that a 42-year-old Antioch man died Friday afternoon after a crash on Interstate 94 in Gurnee. Police said the family has been notified, but because the accident is under investigation, the man’s name has not been released.

    St. Charles Public Works crew members help at the site of a water main break Friday on Riverside Avenue. The main burst around 7 a.m., and a second break occurred about 45 minutes on Route 25 in the area between State and Park avenues. The breaks resulted in road closures and, for some residents, loss of water pressure and/or rusty water.

    St. Charles streets reopen after water main breaks

    Two water main breaks in St. Charles Friday morning resulted in road closures and, for some residents, loss of water pressure and/or rusty water.


    Three hurt in Algonquin crash

    Three people were taken to the hospital with injuries not considered life-threatening after a four-car accident Friday night in Algonquin, officials said. Firefighters said the three were taken to Sherman Hospital in Elgin as a precaution.

    Matthew J. Harder

    Church youth leader accused of sex assault

    A Lake Villa youth worship leader was charged with criminal sexual assault by Lake County authorities.On Friday, sheriff’s deputies arrested Matthew J. Harder, 18, of the 1000 Block of Barberry Lane in Round Lake Beach.

    Don Orseno

    Metra gives CEO job to its interim chief

    Metra officials today picked an experienced railroader to lead the agency at a pivotal moment in its history. Interim CEO Don Orseno, former chief of operations and a train engineer early in his career, won what some might consider the dubious honor of moving Metra forward. Orseno will be paid $262,000 a year. He was among four candidates being considered.

    David Earl Williams III

    9th District candidate won’t say where he works

    Republican David Earl Williams III, a Chicago candidate in the 9th District, is refusing to disclose where he works, and up until this week, he had not told his employer that he was running for Congress

    Illinois Treasurer and Republican candidate for governor Dan Rutherford holds up a copy of gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner’s recent campaign finance report Friday after announcing his office is investigating allegations against him made by an employee he suspects was put up to it by Rauner.

    Rutherford says Rauner is behind allegations

    The Republican race for Illinois governor took a nasty turn Friday, with Treasurer Dan Rutherford accusing venture capitalist Bruce Rauner of being behind a “fishy” scheme to taint his image ahead of the primary.

    Richard Vanecko, middle, leaves the Rolling Meadows Courthouse Friday after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the death of David Koschman of Mount Prospect.

    Daley nephew gives guilty plea and an apology

    A nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter Friday in connection with a 2004 fight outside a downtown Chicago bar that resulted in the death of 21-year-old Mount Prospect man. “I apologize. If I could undo what was done, I would,” Richard Vanecko said after his guilty plea. “I extend my sincerest apologies.”


    DuPage-based Cadence breaks off merger with Rockford Health

    Two months after Cadence Health released plans to add the Rockford Health System to its organization, the two sides have announced the deal is off. In a statement Friday, Cadence said it was discontinuing discussions about an affiliation with Rockford.

    Eli Lilly & Co. corporate headquarters in Indianapolis. Eli Lilly’s Axiron is an underarm gel that rolls on like deodorant and slowly releases testosterone.

    FDA reviews safety of testosterone therapy

    Drugmakers and many doctors claim testosterone therapy can reverse some unpleasant of the signs of aging — ranging from insomnia to erectile dysfunction. Those claims are mostly based on short-term studies.


    Hoffman Estates Citizen Police Academy to start

    The Hoffman Estates Police Department is accepting applications for its 25th annual Citizen Police Academy. A new class will be starting with an orientation from 6:30 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 11, in the training room of the department at 411 W. Higgins Road.


    Anderson to speak at Schaumburg volunteer lunch

    Local Purple Heart recipient Bryan Anderson, extensively injured during two tours of duty in Iraq, will be the keynote speaker at Schaumburg’s Volunteer of the Year luncheon at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, April 17, at Chandler’s Chop House, 401 N. Roselle Road in Schaumburg. Nominations for adult, youth and organization voluteers of the year are being sought through March 28.

    Robert Taglia

    VIlla Park trustee guilty of disorderly conduct

    Villa Park Trustee Robert Taglia admitted he was angry when he arrived home from work on Sept. 6 to learn his 4-year-old son had been struck with a plastic baseball bat. But a DuPage County judge ruled Friday that Taglia, 42, of the 100 block of North Washington Avenue, took it too far when he got in his female neighbor’s face over the incident. Judge Robert Douglas found Taglia guilty Friday of...

    President Barack Obama and the first lady will make the final decision on the site of his presidential library.

    Obama presidential library search begins

    The formal process to build a library housing President Barack Obama’s presidential records and artifacts began Friday with the formation of a new foundation that will develop and build the monument to his legacy. With so many of Obama’s aides and supporters calling Chicago home, the focus has increasingly turned to the Windy City.


    Landfill ordered to take steps to prevent leaks

    A court ordered a northern Illinois landfill where strong-smelling gases leaked and blew to a nearby school to take steps to ensure similar leaks don’t happen again, the state attorney general’s office announced Friday.

    A huge boulder is seen after it missed a farm house by less than a yard, destroying the barn, and stopped in the vineyard, while the second giant boulder, at left, which detached during the same landslide on Jan. 21, stopped next to the house.

    Boulder nearly wipes out Italian farmhouse

    A huge boulder unleashed by a landslide in northern Italy narrowly missed a farmhouse, destroyed a barn and came to a stop in vineyards. A second boulder stopped just feet behind the traditional stone farmhouse in the rocky region of Alto-Adige.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Isis A. Kunas, 22, of Hampshire, was charged with improper lane usage and possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop at 1:30 a.m. Jan. 22 at North McLean Boulevard and Larkin Avenue in Elgin, according to a sheriff’s report.


    Strike authorization disappoints Dist. 57 teachers, board

    School board members and teachers union representatives in Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 expressed disappointment Friday that a declaration of intent to strike made by the union Thursday night had to come so soon after a cordial face-to-face meeting between the two sides.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Elizabeth S. Rippinger, 49, of North Aurora, was charged with unlawful use of a cellphone at 5:29 p.m. Wednesday in the 900 block of West Fabyan Parkway, according to a police report. She was also arrested on a Kane County warrant for failure to appear in court on charges of violation of probation in a forgery case.

    Republican Robert Dold, left, and Democrat Brad Schneider.

    Schneider, Dold cross $1 million threshhold in 10th District race

    With their 10th District rematch still nine months away, Democratic U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider and Republican challenger Robert Dold both have crossed the million-dollar fundraising mark, new records show.

    Eighth-graders at Hawthorn Middle School North participate in skit contest for fire safety and burn prevention during an all-school assembly Friday in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills students get creative to promote fire safety

    Eighth-graders at Hawthorn Middle School North teamed up with their student advisory groups to perform fire safety and prevention skits Friday in Vernon Hills.


    District 95 kindergarten session:

    Lake Zurich Unit School District 95 will host a kindergarten information and registration night on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at each of the five elementary schools, a district news release said.


    Antioch opens ice rink:

    The village of Antioch has opened an ice rink in the municipal lot behind Hannah’s downtown, officials said in a news release Friday.


    CLC offers Alzheimer’s info:

    The College of Lake County will offer a free class called “The 10 Warning Signs of Alzheimer’s” from 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 4, in Room T323, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake.


    Chambers to merge:

    The Greater Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce and the Buffalo Grove Area Chamber of Commerce are merging, officials announced Friday.


    Sugar Grove saving salt for busiest streets

    As its road salt supply dwindles, Sugar Grove officials are cutting back on areas where it will be applied.

    Euna Freeman jokingly compares husband Wayland’s head to Polyester the clown’s full head of curly, red hair. Polyester, who is Jack Kramer of Lily Lake, laughed and admitted to Euna he doesn’t have much real hair under the wig. The Freemans are residents at The Holmstad retirement home in Batavia.

    Moving Picture: Lily Lake retiree becomes Polyester the clown

    Jack Kramer has thought about being a clown since he was a kid, and the 74-year-old Lily Lake retiree is proving you're never too old to try something new. “The vast majority of clowns are in it for the sheer pleasure of making people laugh," Kramer says."They’re not scary, they’re not demented, they’re just normal people who enjoy making people laugh.”

    Gov. Pat Quinn asks Anna Munoz her age as she replies enthusiastically, 4, on Thursday at the Edwards Center for Young Learners in Chicago.

    It’s unclear how Quinn would pay for early education

    Gov. Pat Quinn detailed an ambitious early childhood education plan during his State of the State address this week, but left out of the annual speech was any mention of how to pay for it in a state beset by financial troubles. While Quinn’s “Birth to Five” initiative may serve as a cornerstone of his re-election campaign, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say implementing a costly new program...

    Traffic heads south last week on Randall Road Friday in Carpentersville as wind-blown snow creates only narrow strips of exposed pavement on which to drive. Will it be like this again this weekend?

    Snowy-travel warnings issued for tonight, Saturday

    The bitter cold is gone for now, but this weekend could usher in the potential for significant snowfall — perhaps 10 inches by the time it’s over, forecasters say. The National Weather Service's office in Romeoville has issued a winter storm watch for the entire Chicago area, effective from late today through Saturday evening.


    Police object to fraction of gun-carry permits

    Police across Illinois have objected to just 236 applications from people seeking to carry concealed weapons out of 33,631 submitted to the state police.

    The Kane County morgue is a repurposed facility that dates back to the days when the government center was a monastery. Coroner Rob Russell wants to build a new morgue.

    Russell wants part of $8.8 million surplus to buy new morgue

    With Kane County now expecting a budget surplus of more than $8 million, Coroner Rob Russell said the political beating he took for running $19,000 over budget was totally unnecessary. In fact, he’s calling on some of the surplus money to be used to construct a new facility for him. The board has not yet decided what to do with the extra cash.


    Flu season shows signs of slowing

    Health officials say influenza activity is starting to show signs of subsiding in Chicago. But the virus is still considered widespread in Illinois, and health officials recommend flu shots to anyone who hasn’t been vaccinated this season.

    Rebecca Olson

    Schaumburg 19-year-old gets in deferred prosecution program

    A 19-year-old from Schaumburg admitted to her role in a series of vehicle break-ins this summer in Geneva and entered into the county's deferred prosecution program. Rebecca Olson must pay fines, restitution and complete 140 community service hours. Her codefendant, Christopher Mentenick, 25, of South Elgin, is due in court Thursday.

    Avery Palmore, center, hops through a jump band, while Cecilia Marello, left, holds the band, and parent volunteer Theresa Ferguson watches. Students at Longfellow School in Wheaton were jumping around Friday in gym classes to raise money for the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart program.

    Longfellow students join Jump Rope for Heart campaign

    When Longfellow Elementary School gym teacher Barb Williams lost her 28-year-old son to a heart attack, she decided to educate her students about the importance of heart health. So in 2006, she brought the American Heart Association’s Jump Rope for Heart program to the Wheaton school.

    Director of National Intelligence James Clapper

    NSA leaks worst intelligence breach?

    The U.S. intelligence chief, James Clapper, said this week that the loss of state secrets as a result of leaks by former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden was the worst in American history. Clapper backed up his assertion with dire forecasts about emboldened enemies abroad, but some historians and researchers said the U.S. has struggled with even more devastating intelligence...

    Plans are in the works to close the Illinois Department of Employment Services office on the campus of College of Lake County in Grayslake.

    State to close Grayslake unemployment office

    The state is closing the Grayslake unemployment office, plans to close some services in Lombard and is considering closing or consolidating similiar offices in Elgin and North Aurora. Illinois Department of Employment Security spokesperson Greg Rivara said the state wants to move unemployment services online, and effort that started in 2006 but picked up momentum this past summer.


    Mundelein teen pleads not guilty in death of her half-sister

    A Mundelein teen accused of stabbing her 11-year old half sister to death pleaded not guilty Friday in Lake County juvenile court to three counts of first-degree murder. The case remains in juvenile court.

    Plows have cleared streets nine times this winter in Naperville and applied salt 20 times to help de-ice roads that have been coated with 37.85 inches of snow. The city already has spent $1.9 million on winter operations, and the city council is set to vote on increases to contracts for extra snow plows and road salt during its meeting Tuesday night.

    Snow plowing, salt costs piling up in Naperville

    Naperville’s public works department started the winter with a snow plowing contractor budget of $383,250 and salt stockpiles more than 16,000 tons deep — enough to make it through an “average winter season.” But as the city council will see during its meeting Tuesday night, neither amount has proved sufficient this winter, which has brought above average snowfall and below average temperatures...

    The Des Plaines Theatre was forced to close its doors this month after its owner, Dhitu Bhagwakar, failed to meet a city-imposed deadline to fix building code compliance problems.

    Des Plaines Theatre forced to close again

    The Des Plaines Theatre has closed its doors after its owners failed to meet a city-imposed deadline to fix building code issues — a closing that's forcing promoters with scheduled events to scramble to find alternate venues so their shows can go on. “There can't be people in there,” said George Sakas, the city's director of community and economic development. “At a...

    A motorcyclist is reflected in the mirror of a bike as he waits for the start of a protest Friday against a proposed nighttime curfew for two-wheelers in Caracas, Venezuela.

    Motorcycle ban revs up protests in Venezuela’s capital

    Venezuela’s murder has quadrupled in the 15 years since Chavez came to power, with more than 24,000 killings last year alone, according to the Venezuelan Observatory of Violence. While the government disputes those statistics, it says the vast majority of the slayings are carried out by motorized assassins.

    Erik Bush

    Hampshire hires new village administrator

    A new village administrator whose vision is planning for Hampshire's growth while keeping its rural flavor, has taken the reins. Erik Bush, 45, began his first full week on the job Monday and he's excited about diving into his work. “Hampshire’s a great community and I’m really honored that I get the opportunity to come in and serve them,” Bush said. “Hopefully, I...

    Jeri Atleson

    Lake County Treasurer candidate feted at Walsh home

    A recent shindig at a former Tea Party congressman’s home has given Lake County treasurer candidate Jeri Atleson’s campaign a big financial push, state records show. On Sunday, Atleson was the beneficiary of a fundraiser at the Mundelein-area home of former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh. The event was promoted on Atleson’s campaign website and on social media.


    Skydive accident survivor to leave hospital

    OKLAHOMA CITY — A 16-year-old Texas girl who survived a fall of more than 3,000 feet in a skydiving accident last weekend will be discharged from an Oklahoma City hospital on Friday, a hospital spokesman said.


    District 57 teachers file intent-to-strike notice

    The union representing teachers in Mount Prospect Elementary District 57 voted overwhelmingly Thursday night to declare an intent to strike — a formal declaration that legally paves the way for an actual strike as soon as 10 days from now. During a closed-door meeting of the Mt. Prospect Education Association, 97 percent of members present voted in favor of declaring their intent to strike.


    U.S. seeks death penalty for marathon suspect

    The announcement by federal prosecutors that they will seek the death penalty against the man accused in the Boston Marathon bombing came as no surprise to people who lost limbs or suffered other injuries in last year’s attack. But the victims and their families expressed a range of emotions about the decision Thursday to seek the execution of a 20-year-old man prosecutors accuse of committing...


    North Aurora offers volunteer disaster-response training

    North Aurora is joining the list of towns training volunteer response teams to be used if disaster strikes. Community emergency response training will start in April 1, and graduates will be able to join the village's first CERT.

    Nancy Morgan

    Mount Prospect's “caretaker” retiring Feb. 20

    Nancy Morgan, leader of Mount Prospect's human services department for nearly 30 years, plans to retire in late February. Mayor Arlene Juracek praised Morgan's contributions to the village, referring to her as "our caretaker." “With something like this, you just know when the time is right,” Morgan said Thursday. “I'm healthy, and I still have so many interests I want to pursue...

    Donald Kramer, left, and Kevin Williams, right, are candidates in the race for Kane County sheriff in the 2014 primary election.

    Kane sheriff candidates would take different first steps

    The two candidates for the Republican nomination for Kane County sheriff have more than five decades of experience between them. If elected, Kevin Williams and Donald Kramer would have different courses of action in their first steps.

    Federal health officials are investigating after an outbreak of illness has caused Caribbean Princess cruise ship to ends its trip early and returned to port in Houston late Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 more than a day ahead of schedule after more than 170 passengers and crew members aboard became sick.

    Cruise ship returns to Texas with 170 sick aboard

    More than 170 passengers and crew members have fallen sick aboard a cruise ship, prompting it to return two days early to a Houston-area port.

    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James and Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, who heads Global Strike Command hold a news conference at the Pentagon, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014 in Washington. James said Thursday that at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana, roughly half of the 183 missile launch officers have been implicated in the cheating.

    Air Force brass: Culture of fear led to cheating

    Air Force officials say a culture of fear that made launch officers believe they had to get perfect test scores to be promoted fueled a widening cheating scandal within the military’s nuclear missile corps. Half of the 183 launch officers at Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana have been implicated and suspended.

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio will not travel across the Hudson River to MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday for the Super Bowl that will be broadcast to a television audience expected to top 100 million people. De Blasio said Thursday, Jan. 30, that he has “decided to watch the game on TV, just like the vast majority of New Yorkers.”

    NYC mayor won’t attend high-priced Super Bowl

    New York City is co-hosting the Super Bowl this weekend but its mayor will not attend the nation’s biggest sporting event. Bill de Blasio said he would stay home to watch with his teenage son, but the decision not to buy tickets to the high-priced event and to publicly say so is in line with the image he crafted during his campaign: that he was a middle-class family man focused on fixing the...

    Amanda Knox said she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to “never go willingly” to face her fate in that country’s judicial system . “I’m going to fight this to the very end,” she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

    Knox says she will not willingly return to Italy

    Amanda Knox said Friday she will fight the reinstated guilty verdict against her and an ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of a British roommate in Italy and vowed to “never go willingly” to face her fate in that country’s judicial system . “I’m going to fight this to the very end,” she said in an interview with Robin Roberts on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

    Alan Gregory, with the Kentucky Fire Marshal’s office, at bottom, digs through debris Thursday Jan. 30, 2014, from a house fire that killed nine members of an 11-member family.

    9 killed in Ky. fire described as a loving family

    Chad and Nikki Watson moved around western Kentucky over the years before returning to Muhlenberg County — the coal-laden ground where they both grew up — to raise their nine children in a home owned by a relative. Eight of those children and their mother died in that house early Thursday morning after a blaze tore through the structure. Only the father, 36-year-old Chad Watson and an 11-year-old...


    Indiana AG: Tree trimmer must pay $140,000 to consumers

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indianapolis tree trimmer must pay more than $140,000 after a judge found the company performed shoddy work for three seniors.


    Wisconsin DNR asks public to report dead deer

    MADISON, Wis. — The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is asking people to report any dead deer they see as the agency works to track the harsh winter’s toll on the state herd.


    Aid for veteran teaching degrees gains support

    INDIANAPOLIS — Veterans could have easier access to a teaching degree in Indiana if legislation passed by the state Senate continues to gain support.State senators unanimously passed a bill Thursday to create the Second Service program. The program would require state colleges and universities to give education credit to veterans or members of the Indiana National Guard.


    Snow drifting over rural roads in Northeastern Indiana

    COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. — Officials in northeastern Indiana are warning drivers again about snow drifts on rural roads.Parts of the area received about an inch of new snowfall overnight, along with winds gusting to about 20 mph at times.


    Notre Dame officials meet with Pope Francis

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The University of Notre Dame’s president told Pope Francis he hopes the school’s new center in Rome will help the university expand its service to the Vatican.The Rev. John Jenkins, his leadership team and Notre Dame board of trustees members met with the pope Thursday during an hour-long private audience in the Apostolic Palace in Vatican City.


    Testimony ends in trial over burned concert hall

    NASHVILLE, Ind. — Testimony has concluded in the trial of the former manager of a southern Indiana concert hall on charges he set the fire that destroyed it. Closing arguments are expected Friday on the arson charges against 78-year-old James Bowyer of Morgantown for the September 2009 fire at the Little Nashville Opry.


    Wisconsin correctional officer accused of using spycam

    MILWAUKEE — Milwaukee County authorities say a male correctional officer is suspected of planting a hidden camera in his female colleagues’ changing area.The sheriff’s office said Thursday the man has been arrested and his case forwarded to the district attorney’s office.


    Foes of quarry near Lafayette eye permit appeal

    AMERICUS, Ind. — Opponents of a proposed stone quarry in a rural area near Lafayette say they’re considering whether to appeal a state agency’s decision to grant a permit for the project.The Tennessee-based Rogers Group is planning the quarry on 524 acres bordering the Wabash River near the Tippecanoe County community of Americus.


    Agency makes school-security grants available

    State officials say $25 million in grants are being made available to improve security at public schools, from kindergartens to state universities. The Illinois Emergency Management Agency is managing the grants and has begun accepting applications for the funds.


    Decatur mom unveils childhood cancer license plate

    SPRINGFIELD — A new license plate in Illinois to raise money for childhood cancer research will go into production if at least 1,500 orders are made.A Decatur mother helped unveil the design for the specialty license plate Thursday in Springfield. It features a gold ribbon to symbolize childhood cancer awareness with colorful letters spelling out “Curing Childhood Cancer.”


    Illinois tax season starts Friday

    SPRINGFIELD — The state of Illinois is now accepting and processing tax returns. The Illinois Department of Revenue is urging taxpayers to file their returns electronically. Officials say last year 80 percent of taxpayers filed electronically and many received refunds through direct deposit in about a week.


    Durbin lauds flood-insurance bill’s Senate passage

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — Illinois Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin says the Senate’s passage of a bill that would delay premium hikes for years for buyers of federal flood insurance is good news for areas along the Mississippi River.


    Beaman appeals dismissal of lawsuit in ISU case

    PEORIA — An Illinois man who was imprisoned before DNA evidence cleared him of murder has appealed the dismissal of his federal lawsuit against officials in the town of Normal.


    Dawn Patrol: Feds examine I-88 crash; Mt. Prospect teacher strike?

    Federal agencies investigate I-88 crash. Mount Prospect teachers file intent-to-strike notice. Carol Stream cop gets disability pay. Arlington Heights man sentenced for killing mother. Carry permits could come out in March. West Dundee native battles rare cancer. Two suburban women to work with NASA. Super Bowl preview. Noah named to all-star team.

    Peter Roskam

    Kirk thinks 'Petey' Roskam could be a fine U.S. House speaker

    U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk of Highland Park thinks his fellow Republican, U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam of Wheaton, could have a shot at being speaker of the U.S. House one day. “I think Petey has a great career ahead of him,” Kirk says. “I thought when he got elevated to the position, with the normal churning of leadership, that someday Roskam could be speaker.” Petey?

    Kelly Schultz, nursery coordinator for the Lake County Forest Preserve District, shows volunteer Jim Jobes of Grayslake seeds from purple coneflowers. Volunteers process native seeds at the facility at the Rollins Savanna for use in restoration projects.

    Volunteers thinking spring by processing native seeds

    Winter has been harsh, but volunteers processing native seeds at the Rollins Savanna Forest Preserve in Grayslake envision colorful fields filled with the flowers and grasses of spring. The work will produce millions of seeds that will be sown throughout the Lake County Forest Preserve District's holdings. “It's not for the here and now; it's for posterity,” volunteer Ann Kohler said.


    District 25 parents confront board on transparency, gifted program

    Parents spoke out at Thursday night's Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board meeting about what they said is a lack of transparency and unwillingness to listen to their concerns about the eliminated gifted program, but district officials said they will not be making any changes.

    Kindergarten students move to “Dance Your Sillies Out” as teacher Tim Gapp plays guitar at North Barrington Elementary School in 2012. Barrington Unit District 220 is considering offering full-day kindergarten.

    Barrington school board discusses full-day kindergarten

    The Barrington Unit District 220 leaders began discussions this week on offering full-day kindergarten for the students of parents who choose it. While details are scarce at this early stage of the district’s budget planning process, board members agreed that any full-day kindergarten would have to pay for itself, possibly through an additional tuition charge.

    Two people watch the jellyfish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Jellies exhibit last December.

    Images: Photo contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of January, 27th.



Life & Entertainment


    Super Sunday: Football funday is finally here

    The biggest day on the NFL calendar is here, the virtual holiday known as Super Bowl Sunday. This year’s championship game, airing at 5:30 on Fox, pits veteran QB Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos against controversial loudmouth Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks, but the on-field fireworks may once again take a backseat to the expensive commercials and another lavish halftime show.

    The Chicago Curling Club offers introductory classes for those wanting to learn the Olympic sport.

    Suburban spots, city events help you get in the Olympic spirit

    Not able to travel to Russia to see the Winter Olympics? Join (most of) the rest of us. But tuning in to watch the games on TV when they begin Feb. 6 in Sochi isn't the only way to get into the Olympic spirit. In fact, we've brainstormed 10 relatively easy ways for you to show your support closer to home.

    The Farmington neighborhood has an active homeowners association.

    Naperville’s Farmington in neighborhood profile

    Anne and Mike O’Malley have resided in Naperville’s Farmington subdivision for 17 years. During that time they wanted a larger kitchen, and began looking at homes in other areas. But the couple decided to keep their house, remain in their neighborhood, and add more square footage.

    Justin Bieber’s court cases on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border might not just lead to more scrutiny by judges and prosecutors, but could also complicate the pop star’s jet-setting ways. Legal experts said the decision by Toronto authorities to charge Bieber with assault on Wednesday makes the singers legal situation more complicated and difficult to untangle.

    Cases may mean more than legal woes for Bieber

    Justin Bieber’s court cases on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border might not just lead to more scrutiny by judges and prosecutors, but could also complicate the pop star’s jet-setting ways. Legal experts said the decision by Toronto authorities to charge Bieber with assault on Wednesday makes the singer’s legal situation more complicated and difficult to untangle. He is already facing a driving under the influence case in Florida, and remains under investigation for felony vandalism in Los Angeles County. Bieber’s cases are in the early stages and there are no guarantees that the Grammy-nominated singer will be convicted of any charges.

    Actress Helen Mirren holds the Hasty Pudding Pot aloft and sticks her tongue out during her roast as woman of the year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals in Cambridge, Mass., Thursday.

    Mirren honored with Harvard’s Hasty Pudding award

    Helen Mirren has been honored as woman of the year by Harvard University’s Hasty Pudding Theatricals, twerking as part of the traditional spoof roast on Thursday. Mirren at first tried to sign the word “twerk,” then let slip a curse word and danced. She said she’s tried to twerk privately in her bedroom and having to do it in public was humiliating.

    Mary Beth Fisher is marvelous as a social worker whose recommendation can determine the fate of an infant in Rebecca Gilman’s “Luna Gale,” in its world premiere at Goodman Theatre.

    More at stake than custody in engrossing ‘Luna Gale’

    Between a rock and a hard place. That is where playwright Rebecca Gilman’s veteran social worker Caroline finds herself in Gilman’s exceptional, engrossing new play “Luna Gale,” in a perfectly-cast, superbly acted world premiere at Goodman Theatre.

    Tom (Sam Ashdown) romances his true love Sophia (Nora Fiffer) in director William Brown’s rousing, rollicking production of Jon Jory’s adaptation of “Tom Jones” for Northlight Theatre.

    Northlight’s rollicking ‘Tom Jones’ offers many delights

    Watching Northlight Theatre’s Chicago-area premiere of “Tom Jones” opening weekend, I found it hard to tell who was having a better time: the audience or the actors. The laughter from the house suggested William Brown’s sexy, high-spirited romp might have been the remedy audience members needed to cure the midwinter blues. As for the actors who make up Brown’s first-rate ensemble, they appear to be having the time of their professional lives.

    Chicago comedian Pat McGann performs at Zanies Comedy Club locations in St. Charles and Rosemont.

    On stage: Chicago native Pat McGann headlines Zanies

    Suburban performers Lorenzo Rush and Lina Kernan-Wass perform in "Ain't Misbehavin'" at Porchlight Music Theatre, while Broadway veteran Louise Pitre makes her Chicago Shakespeare Theater debut as Mama Rose in Gary Griffin's "Gypsy" this week in Chicago area theater.


    Night life events: 9 ball and drink specials at Shark City

    9 ball tournament Tuesdays at Shark City in Glendale Heights. Get your Super Bowl on at Wickets in Schaumburg. Drinks with a side of bacon on Mondays at Barbakoa.

    Watch the Super Bowl with Ultimate Nachos, Sudden Death Wings and 16-ounce prime rib at Real Time Sports in Elk Grove Village.

    Suburban bars amping up for Super Bowl viewing

    This is the first year that the Super Bowl has been held outdoors in cold weather, and this brutal winter has made the very date subject to change. Luckily you only need to brave the elements long enough to get to a suburban sports bar, where you can warm up with some energetic cheering, hot wings and plenty of drinks.

    On Feb. 9, 1964, the Beatles performed on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in New York. A number of concerts and other events this week will mark that moment in music history.

    'A turning point:' Events mark Beatles' anniversary

    Louise Harrison is among the lucky few who can say she was there when her “kid brother's band” (better known as the Beatles) made its smashing debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. And next week, when fans mark the 50th anniversary of that iconic moment, she'll be in the suburbs to make sure they can get a glimpse of what it was like. “The excitement was tangible, really,” recalled the sister of late guitarist George Harrison. “You could almost touch it.”

    A Sotheby’s employee poses for photographers with “Wand” by Gerhard Richter, center, “Mao” by Andy Warhol, left, and “Rosso Plastica” by Alberto Burri on display at the auction house in London Wednesday.

    A touch of red helps global art market boom

    Want to sell that masterpiece for a fortune? It might help if it’s red. That’s just one trend from an art market that has come roaring back from the global financial crisis, with buyers from emerging markets such as China molding tastes and driving top-end prices ever higher.

    A Monarch butterfly perches on a tree at the Sierra Chincua Sanctuary in the mountains of Mexico’s Michoacan state. The number of Monarch butterflies wintering in Mexico has plunged to its lowest level since studies began in 1993.

    Monarch butterflies' migration to Mexico disappearing

    The stunning and little-understood annual migration of millions of Monarch butterflies to spend the winter in Mexico is in danger of disappearing, experts said Wednesday, after numbers dropped to their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1993. Their report blamed the displacement of the milkweed the species feeds on by genetically modified crops and urban sprawl in the United States, extreme weather trends and the dramatic reduction of the butterflies’ habitat in Mexico due to illegal logging of the trees they depend on for shelter.

    With her life story now the subject of an Oscar-nominated film, Philomena Lee is calling for government reforms in Ireland that would grant adopted people access to their adoption files. She met with Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., right, on Capitol Hill in Washington Thursday.

    Philomena Lee, U.S. lawmaker push adoption rights

    Philomena Lee wistfully described losing her son to adoption and her search for him 50 years later, a quest depicted in the Oscar-nominated film starring award-winning actress Judi Dench. Her experience is a powerful argument for Ireland to open the adoption records for thousands more mothers whose children ended up in U.S. cities such as St. Louis, Philadelphia, Boston and New York, Sen. Claire McCaskill said Thursday after a meeting with Lee.

    This time of year, there’s nothing better than curling up with a hot cup of tea. Tea gardens are becoming a popular way for brew lovers to bypass the store and enjoy tea’s benefits without additives or preservatives.

    Hot stuff: Grow your own tea from your garden

    When temperatures fall, there’s nothing better than a piping hot cup of tea. And as craft and organic tea seeps into the mainstream, tea gardens are becoming a popular way for brew lovers to bypass the store and enjoy the benefits of herbal tea without additives or preservatives. “It just tastes and smells better,” says chef Kimmy Tang, who snips mint, lavender and lemongrass from her garden for herbal teas at her 9021PHO restaurants in Los Angeles.

    Twilight Turtle pillow lights up a bedroom’s ceiling with a starry pattern. Parents can download lullabies and stream them through the turtle via Bluetooth technology.

    Right at home: Products aim to help kids sleep

    Do your young ones balk at bedtime? Get gnarly at naptime? There are plenty of products aimed at parents looking to create the right mood in the nursery to send little ones off to sleep.


    The long reach of identity theft may reach homebuyers

    The numbers of affected Americans are impossible to predict. However, mortgage credit experts warn that the recent massive data breaches at Target, Neiman Marcus and other retailers could have significant side impacts on some real estate transactions in the coming months, as damaged credit files depress scores and jeopardize loan applications and home sales.


    Strong year for home sales in Illinois
    Statewide home sales, which include single-family homes and condominiums,) totaled 11,279 homes sold in December, up from 10,454 in December 2012. Year-end 2013 home sales totaled 153,492 — up 18.9 percent from 129,092 in 2012.


    Real estate advertisements becoming more ‘politically correct’

    A growing number of builders and realty agents are avoiding some traditional marketing words or phrases, fearing their use could offend a sensitive homebuyer and trigger a lawsuit.


    A room without a closet can still be called a bedroom

    Q. Our house was built in 1970. We are about to put it on the market, but one of our bedrooms has no closet. According to our Realtor, a room without a closet cannot be advertised as a bedroom.


    Des Plaines resident and Meals on Wheels driver Samuel Grimes, 88, waits in the doorway of a Des Plaines apartment complex for a client to show up for a hot lunch.

    Editorial: Volunteerism at any level is valuable

    A Daily Herald editorial says the inspirational work of an 88-year-old Meals on Wheels driver emphasizes the value volunteers play throughout our communities.

    Bob Inglis

    A different kind of carbon tax

    Guest columnist Bob Inglis: It will take some convincing, but what if the environmental left could be persuaded to go along with an income tax-cutting, EPA-shrinking, China-in carbon tax? If persuasive, conservatives could head off President Obama’s EPA-growing, command-and-control regulation of CO2 through the Clean Air Act — an approach that will cost American jobs and increase global emissions.


    NFL players know the risks
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: In response to the decision by the judge overseeing the settlement agreement between the NFL and the former players over concussions, I am absolutely perplexed.

    Matt Woodley

    Human trafficking is fast-growing problem
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: As National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month comes to a close, we at Church of the Resurrection would like to bring attention to the growing plague of human trafficking.


    Boundary decision was unfair
    A Round Lake Beach letter to the editor: This is an excerpt from a letter I sent to the school District 41 in Lake Villa regarding the boundary lines. I haven’t heard back from them.


    Tough to shield kids from video gambling
    A Palatine letter to the editor: For those communities considering overturning their local ordinance prohibiting video gambling, I suggest their local elected officials first go to several towns that offer it, visiting each establishment that is up and running.


    Be fair when citing party affiliations
    A Prospect Heights letter to the editor: It seems to me, the Daily Herald always cites the party of any Republican who has done something wrong. Two stories in the paper just the other day are a perfect example of this.


    Glad to have grown up in free nation
    An Elgiin letter to the editor: Since the president has modified laws, bypassed Senate confirmation of controversial nominees, altered work requirements under welfare reform, expanded his war making powers, surveillance of Americans, drone strikes on Americans outside the United States (for now) and the list goes on and on of him circumventing Congress, I ask, what do we need Congress for?


    100 percent increase in prescriptions
    A Huntley letter to the editor: In 2012, my drug plan premium was $290. In 2013, it was $385. For 2014, it is $500 plus new tier one surcharges. My 2014 cost is $693. Thank you, First Health and Obamacare for more than a 100 percent increase in two years for the same prescriptions.


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