Daily Archive : Wednesday February 12, 2014


    Phil Broxham, president of Elgin-based Grindstone Video Productions, left, is working with longtime Elgin resident Ernie Broadnax on a documentary about the history of blacks in Elgin.

    Documentary chronicles history of African Americans in Elgin

    They came to Elgin in two train boxcars as Civil War-era refugees, living for decades in a three-block area. And now lifelong resident Ernie Broadnax is telling their story. He has partnered with Phil Broxham, president of Elgin-based Grindstone Video Productions for the documentary “Project 2-3-1: 2 Boxcars. 3 Blocks. 1 City."

    Senior Olivia Koukol, right, lies on a table as junior Abbey Bond, left, leans on it during a rehearsal for Carmel Catholic High School’s Street Scenes.

    Carmel High set to kick off 40th Street Scenes

    Carmel Catholic High School is set to launch its annual fundraising and entertainment event called Street Scenes, an extravaganza that organizers say is a year in the making. From picking a theme to auditioning cast for its student-run production, Street Scenes requires countless hours by students and parent volunteers to ensure it runs smoothly.

    Prizewinning pianists and 15-year-old siblings Nicolas and Nova Xu will perform as part of the Waukegan Park District’s annual Young People’s Concert at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 22.

    Waukegan Park District hosts Young People’s Concert

    The Waukegan Park District – Cultural Arts Division invites children of all ages to the annual Young People’s Concert on Saturday, Feb. 22.

    In 2011, Rena Trevor talked about marching for voting rights in Selma, Ala.

    Rolling Meadows woman believed in justice for all

    Rena Trevor a longtime human rights advocate, whose passion stretched from the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s to helping Rolling Meadows families in crisis in the 1990s, has died.The daughter of a woman who helped found the Chicago chapter of the Ladies Garment Workers Union, Trevor marched in Selma, was the Welfare Officer for Rolling Meadows and co-founded the Women’s...


    Milwaukee archdiocese proposes $4M for sex abuse victims

    The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has proposed setting aside $4 million to compensate the victims of clergy sexual abuse in its bankruptcy reorganization plan.

    Arlington Heights has named Deputy Fire Chief Ken Koeppen as the first department’s acting chief effective Friday. Koeppen, a 33-year department veteran, replaces retiring Chief Glenn Ericksen.

    Arlington Heights names acting fire chief

    Arlington Heights has named Deputy Fire Chief Ken Koeppen its Acting Fire Chief effective Friday, officials said. Koeppen, a 33-year department veteran, recently was credited with helping save the life of Arlington Heights Police Officer Michael McEvoy after he was shot in the face while responding to a domestic dispute late last year.

    Highland Park residents and fans turn out Wednesday for the unveiling of a 10-foot ice sculpture depicting Olympic figure skater Jason Brown in the city's Port Clinton Square. Brown has won a bronze medal and is hoping for more this weekend when he skates in the individual events.

    Olympic figure skater Jason Brown honored with 10-foot ice sculpture

    Highland Park residents and fans chanted “Go Jason! Go!” Wednesday before officials unveiled a 10-foot-tall ice sculpture of U.S. Olympic skater Jason Brown in Port Clinton Square.

    A fire caused heavy damage to a one-story Streamwood home, authorities said.

    Fire leaves Streamwood home with $40,000 in damage

    A fire left a Streamwood home with an estimated $40,000 in damage. Firefighters battled bitter cold and frozen hydrants while responding to the blaze shortly before midnight Wednesday.

    Richard Welton

    Gurnee proposes honor for longest-serving mayor

    Gurnee's longest-serving mayor would be honored in a plaza proposed for village-owned land that formerly was planned for a memorial to troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mayor Kristina Kovarik said she plans to recommend the vacant site on Old Grand Avenue become the Richard A. Welton Village Plaza. She intends to unveil a site plan and artist's renderings at a village board meeting at 7:30...


    Feds: More than 88K pick health plans in Illinois

    More than 88,000 Illinois residents signed up for private health insurance during the first four months of the nation’s new insurance marketplace system, a heartening number for state officials because it shows Illinois catching up to targets from President Barack Obama’s administration.

    In this Jan. 5, 2006, file photo, Jose Padilla, center, is escorted by federal marshals on his arrival in Miami. Miami U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke scheduled a Wednesday afternoon Feb. 12 hearing for Padilla. He originally was sentenced to 17 years of prison for terrorism support and conspiracy convictions. A federal appeals court ruled in 2011 that the sentence was too lenient, given Padilla’s lengthy criminal record and terrorist training at an al-Qaida camp in Afghanistan.

    Classified docs hold up Padilla resentence date

    Production of thousands of classified documents sought by the attorney for convicted terrorism plotter Jose Padilla is holding up his resentencing in the case, a federal judge was told Wednesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Frazier told U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke it will take two months to disclose about 4,700 Defense Department documents that Padilla’s attorney wants.

    Carol Stream Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Joseph Gilles, seated, middle, listens to questioning by Karl Ottosen, standing, attorney for Fire Chief Richard Kolomay, during termination hearings Wednesday.

    Carol Stream battalion chief’s termination hearing starts

    A lawyer for the Carol Stream Fire Protection District says the charges leveled against Battalion Chief Joseph Gilles are “straightforward” — among them, that he twice refused to sign a performance improvement plan, that “his peers do not trust him as a manager” and that he twice fell asleep in meetings.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz engineered a Senate vote Wednesday that forced his fellow Republicans to vote in favor of raising the debt limit.

    Senate clears debt limit measure for Obama

    Legislation to raise the federal debt limit and prevent a crippling government default cleared Congress on Wednesday with an awkward assist from top Senate Republican leaders who were forced into a politically treacherous vote engineered by Tea Party favorite Ted Cruz.

    Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin leaves federal court with his wife Seletha, left, after his conviction in New Orleans Wednesday. He was convicted on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office.

    Ex-New Orleans mayor convicted of taking bribes

    Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, best remembered for his impassioned pleas for help after the levees broke during Hurricane Katrina, was convicted Wednesday of accepting bribes in exchange for helping businessmen secure millions of dollars in city work, including after the devastating storm. The federal jury found Nagin guilty of 20 of 21 counts against him, involving a string of crimes before...

    This combination of 2012 and 2008 file photos shows actors Samuel L. Jackson and Laurence Fishburne. A Los Angeles newscaster apologized to Jackson for confusing him with Fishburne during a live TV interview Monday.

    Jackson outburst shows problems with ‘other’ faces

    “They all look alike.” There may be something behind this age-old canard: Science indicates that people can have a hard time differentiating between faces of people whose race is different from their own. But for black people, being mistaken for someone else can have a special sting, which may explain why the movie star Samuel L. Jackson eviscerated a white TV reporter for mistaking...

    A radiologist uses a magnifying glass to check mammograms for breast cancer in Los Angeles. A Canadian study published Wednesday has revived a debate about the value of mammograms.

    Study disputes value of routine mammograms

    A Canadian study that many experts say has major flaws has revived debate about the value of mammograms. The research suggests that these screening X-rays do not lower the risk of dying of breast cancer while finding many tumors that do not need treatment.

    Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel, right, and players, including offensive linesman Robert Luce (56) and defensive lineman Michael Sam (52), prepare to take the field for the Cotton Bowl NCAA college football game against Oklahoma State on Jan. 3. Sam, Missouri’s All-America defensive end came out to the entire country Sunday and could become the first openly gay player in America’s most popular sport.

    Bit by bit, macho stereotypes lose ground

    Traditionally, the American male was measured against the stoic hero who shook off all doubts, vanquished all foes and offered women a muscular shoulder to cry on. But that was before feminism, gay-rights activism, metrosexuals.

    Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter, right, seen here in a file photo from Jan. 28, will be the main witness in a bid by some Northwestern University football players to qualify as employees of the school and therefore eligible to form a union.

    Board considers if college players are employees

    A federal agency kicked off the first in a series of hearings Wednesday on whether to approve a bid by Northwestern football players to unionize, and both sides acknowledged the key question was whether college athletes should be considered employees. During a National Labor Relations Board hearing in Chicago, lawyers for the proposed union and the university agreed that if college football...

    Bill Lenert and incumbent Melisa Taylor are candidates in the Kane County Board District 5 race.

    Longmeadow, independence at issue in Kane Dist. 5

    Both incumbent Melisa Taylor and challenger Bill Lenert support the idea of the Longmeadow Parkway project. However, Lenert is in favor of a public referendum on the issue. Taylor believes the public has already weighed in as well as all the elected leaders where the tollway would be constructed. Also, a look at Lenert's ties to County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen.

    A Highway Patrol officer checks on a stranded motorist during a winter storm Wednesday in Durham, N.C.

    Ice storm causes another traffic jam in the South

    Drivers got caught in monumental traffic jams and abandoned their cars Wednesday in North Carolina in a replay of what happened in Atlanta just two weeks ago, as another wintry storm across the South iced highways and knocked out electricity to more than a half-million homes and businesses.


    Stevenson junior wins music honor:

    Stevenson High School junior Monet Lee has been selected as a violinist for the 2014 National High School Honors Orchestra, a group of 100 of the country’s top student musicians.


    Learn about President Roosevelt:

    The Cultural & Civic Center of Round Lake Beach is hosting President’s Day with “President Theodore Roosevelt” as depicted by Bob Dawson at noon Monday, Feb. 17.


    Lake Villa Township job fair:

    Lake Villa Township and the Lake Villa District Library will host the fifth annual job fair on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 2 to 6 p.m.


    District 46 preschool:

    Grayslake Elementary District 46 will host the next in a series of periodic screenings for 3 to 5-year-olds for entrance into the preschool program on Friday, Feb. 21, officials said in a news release.


    Schaumburg OKs extensions for Fiat dealer, hotel

    Schaumburg trustees this week granted 6-month extensions to prior approvals of a Fiat dealership, which village staff are confident is ready to go, and a Cambria Suites hotel that’s been on hold since 2006. Schaumburg Economic Development Manager Matt Frank said all signs point to construction beginning this spring for the planned Fiat dealership on the 200 block of West Golf Road.

    Jim Oberweis, left, and Doug Truax, right, are candidates in the race for U.S. Senate in the 2014 GOP primary.

    Oberweis wouldn’t back federal medical marijuana law

    Republican contenders for U.S. Senate both say they would not vote to legalize medical marijuana at the federal level, though one of them voted in favor of such a measure in Illinois. Despite his support of legalizing medical marijuana in Illinois, state Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove said the issue should not be addressed at the federal level. His Republican primary election opponent, Doug...

    There were 58 crashes in 2013 at the Naperville intersection of Route 59 and 95th Street, which tied it for the highest number citywide with the intersection of Route 59 and Diehl Road.

    Route 59 intersections top crash list in Naperville

    A total of 567 accidents occurred last year at Naperville’s 10 busiest intersections, but police say they hope changes to state law will decrease driver distractions and make those areas safer. Data from the police department’s traffic unit shows the 10 intersections with the most accidents in 2013 all are along Route 59, Ogden Avenue or 75th Street. “These are the consistent...

    This sign on the Brainerd building in Libertyville will be removed and replaced with one without the word ‘save’.

    Brainerd proposal heats up in Libertyville

    Campaigns in support and opposition to a proposed conversion of the former Libertyville High School to a community center are heating up. Opponents of a proposal to authorize the village to borrow up to $11.5 million for the project were not allowed to post a sign on the property with a website advertising their views ahead of a March 18 referendum vote.


    Huntley to fine minors buying, possessing e-cigarettes

    The Huntley village board Thursday night is expected to approve changes to the village code restricting the sale of electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products to minors and the possession of such products by anyone under 18 years old. If approved, violators could be fined up to $500. A new state law banning the sale of alternative nicotine products to minors went into effect...

    Lake Barrington Village Administrator Chris Martin speaks Wednesday during the 2014 annual Economic Summit: State of the Barrington Region hosted by the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce. Municipal leaders discussed the importance of infrastructure in attracting businesses to their communities.

    Barrington leaders: Infrastructure key to attracting business

    Barrington area leaders discussed efforts to maintain and improve municipal infrastructure as a way to attract businesses to their communities during the Barrington Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Economic Summit on Wednesday.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Omar A. Chavez, 22, of Batavia, was charged with driving while his license is suspended and criminal damage to property, at 7:22 a.m. Tuesday on the 1500 block of Kennedy Drive, Batavia, according to a police report.

    Michael Krebs and Debra Ann Miller portray Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln Wednesday during a series of programs at Lincoln Elementary School in Hoffman Estates.

    Lincoln Elementary celebrates president’s birthday with special guests

    Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln re-enactors put on a series of skits for students Wednesday at Lincoln School in Hoffman Estates.


    Meetings set on Batavia electricty rate increase

    The public can learn more about why Batavia might increase electricity rates, and a proposal to increase the sales tax to ameliorate that increase, at meetings and on the city's website in the next few weeks.

    Kenneth Bardlett

    $2.5 million bond set for man held in Bensenville slaying, search continues for gunman

    Bond was set at $2.5 million Wednesday morning for a 20-year-old Bellwood man charged with first-degree murder and armed robbery in connection with the Jan. 19 shooting death of a clerk outside a Bensenville convenience store. Kenneth Bardlett of 49th Avenue is being held at the DuPage County jail for his role in what Bensenville police Chief Frank Kosman described as “an armed robbery...

    Kelvin Perry

    Lake County counselor charged with sex abuse of teen client

    A 51-year-old Waukegan man employed as a program director at a Lake County youth home faces charges of criminal sexual assault and aggravated criminal sexual abuse alleging he had a sexual encounter outside the Woodfield Mall with a 16-year-old former resident.


    Carol Stream cops honored for saving man’s life

    Four members of the Carol Stream Police Department were recently honored for their actions assisting a man who had gone into cardiac arrest at Fountain View Recreation Center. Officers Hilary Mabbitt, Richard Blair and James Busch and Detective Frank Jones helped save the life of a Carol Stream man after he had a heart attack on Jan. 29.

    Ananya Asthana from Avery Coonley School in Downers Grove emerged Wednesday as one of three winners from a field of 24 students from private and parochial schools across DuPage County to advance to the next round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition.

    Three DuPage students advance in spelling bee

    Three students emerged Wednesday from a field of 24 contestants from private and parochial schools across DuPage County to advance to the next round of the Scripps National Spelling Bee competition. The students went head-to-head at the Islamic Foundation School in Villa Park for a chance to participate in the DuPage County District Final Spelling Bee to be held Feb. 26 at Wheaton North High...

    It’s covered in snow today, but next year students at Sundling Junior High in Palatine will have a new track to exercise on. The village this week approved Palatine Township Elementary District 15’s plan to build a new, $340,000 at the junior high.

    Palatine OKs new track for Sundling Junior High

    The Palatine village council signed off this week on Palatine Township Elementary School District 15’s plan to replace the track at Walter Sundling Junior High School with a new, smaller version. Superintendent Scott Thompson said the district plans a new 200-meter track that will cost of about $340,000.


    Hanover Park recognized for sustainable snow removal

    Hanover Park has notched an honor recognizing environmentally-friendly practices in the village’s salt supply. The Salt Institute awarded Hanover Park with the Safe and Sustainable Snowfighting Award.

    New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter arrives for a workout at the Yankees' minor league facility Wednesday in Tampa, Fla. Jeter says he will retire after this season. Jeter posted a long letter on his Facebook account Wednesday saying the 2014 will be his last year playing professional baseball.

    Yankees star Jeter to retire after 2014 season

    Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter says he will retire after this season, ending one of the greatest careers in the history of baseball's most storied franchise.

    Warren-Newport Public Library director Stephen Bero helps a patron at the XpressCheck checkout system in Gurnee.

    Gurnee library director retiring, plans more family time

    Saying he wants to spend more time with his family and pursue other interests, Stephen Bero is retiring as the longtime executive director of Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee.

    Thomas Babicki

    2 years probation for Aurora man accused of child porn

    A 59-year-old Aurora man arrested in 2010 on felony child pornography charges was sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to a reduced misdemeanor of obscene material. The attorney for Thomas Babicki said his client's computer hard drive crashed and was destroyed while authorities conducted a forensic search of it.

    See the moon and stars through a telescope, cook some s’mores over a campfire and enjoy some storytelling at the “Valentine’s Day Celebration Under the Stars.”

    Conservation groups offers outdoor Valentine’s Day celebration
    Enjoy an evening with your family or that special someone under the full moon and stars. Come to McHenry County Conservation District’s “Valentine’s Day Celebration Under the Stars” from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 14, at Prairieview Education Center

    Blackie and the Rodeo Kings will perform Saturday, Mach 1, at Elgin Community College’s Arts Center.

    Blackie and the Rodeo Kings to perform at ECC

    Roots-oriented band Blackie and the Rodeo Kings is heading to the Elgin Community College Arts Center on Saturday, March 1. The performance will be held at 7 p.m. in the SecondSpace Theatre located in Building H of Elgin Community College

    The Dundee Township East Cemetery at routes 25 and 72 will open a new burial section in spring.

    Macabre milestone reached at Dundee cemetery

    This year, Dundee Township officials reached a macabre milestone. The elected officials, keepers of two cemeteries, filled their 10,000th grave.

    Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius greets visitors after a news conference on enrollment in affordable health coverage in Cleveland on Feb. 3. New numbers released Tuesday show nearly 3.3 million people signed up through Feb. 1.

    Health law sign-ups growing but goal still elusive

    Wide disparities are emerging among states in health insurance sign-ups, according to an Associated Press analysis of federal enrollment statistics released Wednesday. The Obama administration says about 1 million people signed up for private insurance under the health law in January, extending a turnaround from early days when a dysfunctional website frustrated consumers.


    Man driving car approaches girl at bus stop

    St. Charles Police are warning about a 40- to 50-year-old man who approached a girl at a school bus stop and tried to coax her to get into a car.


    Rolling Meadows council rejects Meacham Road project

    After three years of studies, meetings and arguments, the Rolling Meadows City Council voted 4-3 against participating in any improvements to Meacham Road.

    Houston Street in Batavia could be on deck for a makeover.

    Batavia’s Houston Street could get streetscape makeover

    The next big piece of Batavia's downtown streetscape renovation will likely be done in 2015, with the rehabilitation of Houston Street from Batavia to Island avenues. But one alderman is questioning whether spending money on the asethetic part of the work will get a good return on the investment.

    Ray Kinney, chairman of the Dine Naperville committee, says he worked to launch the first Naperville Restaurant Week as a way to encourage people to try new restaurants among the 260 offerings in the city. Thirty-four restaurants, including CityGate Grille, are participating in the promotion, which lasts Feb. 16 to March 3.

    Naperville's 'Restaurant Week' to last 16 days

    Dining deals are on the menu at 34 Naperville restaurants participating in the city's first Restaurant Week, which is set to begin Sunday, Feb. 16. And in the city's go big or don't go at all fashion, Dine Naperville's inaugural Naperville Restaurant Week lasts longer than a week. It's longer than two weeks, in fact, running 16 days until March 3.


    Judge sets November trial in marathon bombing

    A judge has set a November trial date for Boston Marathon suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.


    Judge to hear challenge of Texas gay marriage ban

    Two homosexual couples challenging Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage will take their case to federal court on Wednesday in the wake of recent legal victories in two other conservative states.


    La. gay marriage lawsuit planned

    NEW ORLEANS — A gay rights group plans a legal challenge to the Louisiana Constitution’s prohibition against recognizing same-sex marriages performed legally in other states.The Forum for Equality Louisiana and four gay married couples have called a Wednesday news conference on the issue.

    State Sen. Charlie Janssen of Fremont, second left, Jeremy Jensen, third left, and John Wiegert, center, celebrate with other activists in Fremont, Neb., Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, after city voters have decided by voting no, to uphold the law designed to bar immigrants from renting homes if they don’t have legal permission to be in the U.S.

    Nebraska city to keep illegal immigration rules

    Residents of a small Nebraska city have reaffirmed their desire to take on illegal immigration. Nearly 60 percent of Fremont voters decided Tuesday to keep an ordinance that requires all renters to swear they have legal permission to live in the U.S.

    Michael Dunn is seen during a recess in his trial in Jacksonville, Fla., Monday Feb. 10, 2014. The prosecution has rested in the trial of Dunn accused of killing a teen following an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenience store in 2012.

    Closing arguments in trial over loud music death

    Prosecutors and defense attorneys will make closing arguments Wednesday in the trial of a Florida man charged with fatally shooting a teen after an argument over loud music. Both sides were to sum up their cases in the first-degree murder trial of 47-year-old Michael Dunn. Jurors could begin deliberating Wednesday afternoon. Dunn has pleaded not guilty, saying he acted in self-defense when he...

    San Diego mayoral candidate Kevin Faulconer tells his supporters that while there are still votes to be counted they are looking good at a rally Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in San Diego.

    Republican wins San Diego mayor special election

    SAN DIEGO — A moderate Republican city councilman has been elected mayor of San Diego in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Bob Filner, who resigned amid a torrent of sexual harassment allegations.

    A Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus rests against scaffolding at 14th Street and 7th Avenue in New York, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, after an early morning collision between the bus and a truck. One person was killed and at least four were injured in the crash, that also involved several parked vehicles.

    1 dead, at least 4 injured in NYC bus-truck crash

    A city bus and a box truck believed to have been stolen collided at a Manhattan intersection early Wednesday, sending both vehicles onto the sidewalk and into scaffolding, killing the bus driver and injuring at least four other people, authorities said.


    Mexican governor, Quinn meet in Illinois

    Gov. Pat Quinn and the governor of the state of Mexico have honored one of Mexico's leading statesmen.

    Jodi Megerle

    New principal named for Friendship Jr. High in Des Plaines

    A new principal has been named for Friendship Junior High School in Des Plaines, when current Principal Jane Paterala retires in June. The Elk Grove Township Elementary District 59 school board has hired Jodi Megerle, who has been a principal in north suburban Round Lake for three years. She will start July 1.

    Former state amusement ride inspector Chuck Drager, who also works as a singing vocal impersonator, stayed on the job for more than a year after investigators learned he falsified safety reports. A new bill would allow earlier notification of agencies when public safety is at risk. To see a video of Drager performing as well as Dean Argiris' invoices, go dailyherald.com/more.

    Daily Herald Watchdog reports spur new legislation, transparency

    State Rep. Fred Crespo introduces legislation that would allow the executive inspector general to inform state agencies of potential public safety risks uncovered during investigations, even if the investigation is ongoing. The bill was in response to a Daily Herald report that revealed a state amusement ride inspector was allowed to keep his job for a year after investigators determined he was...


    Indiana tourism officials unveiling new ‘brand’

    Indiana tourism officials are rolling out a new “brand” they hope will attract more people to the state. Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann plans to join Indiana Office of Tourism Executive Director Mark Newman to announce a new “consumer brand” and advertising campaign for the state.


    Chicago FBI offers rewards for laser strike tips

    Chicago’s FBI field office is participating in a trial reward program that is designed to deter people from pointing lasers at aircraft in flight. The FBI announced Tuesday it will offer a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest of any person who aims a laser at a plane, which is a violation of federal law.


    Registration for primary voters closes in 7 days

    Voter registration for the state’s gubernatorial primary election ends next Tuesday, Feb. 18.Cook County Clerk David Orr is reminding residents to also update information if they’ve changed names or moved. The primary election is set for Mar. 18, about five weeks from now.


    Illinois schools among top for Peace Corps volunteers

    Several Illinois universities are among the institutions that send the most volunteers to serve in the Peace Corps. The Peace Corps on Tuesday released its annual list of the nation’s top volunteer-producing institutions.


    Illinois begins campaign on driver cellphone ban

    Illinois has begun a public awareness campaign to remind drivers that all hand-held cellphone use is now illegal. Under a law that took effect Jan. 1, Illinois drivers can only use speakerphones or headsets that feature voice-activated or


    Gov. Quinn unveils $5.2B Medicaid waiver plan

    Gov. Pat Quinn has released a five-year plan to restructure Illinois’ Medicaid program. The so-called “Path to Transformation” Medicaid waiver was posted online this week. If approved by the federal government, it would allow the state to obtain $5.2 billion in federal funds over five years to update the state’s health care infrastructure.


    Walker administration launches tax reform website
    Wisconsin residents can submit their tax reform ideas under a new website created by Gov. Scott Walker’s administration. Creation of the website, taxreform.wi.gov, comes as Walker’s Revenue Department secretary and the lieutenant governor are holding meetings with business owners to gather ideas.

    WisconsinMiss Montgomery County Fair Queen Summer Robbins, of Coffeen is crowned the 2014 Miss Illinois County Fair Queen by Amelia Martens, Miss Illinois County Fair Queen 2013, during the pageant in Springfield.

    Fair Queen says pageants built skills

    Newly crowned Miss Illinois County Fair Queen Summer Robbins’ first pageant experience at age 5 set the stage for years of show experience that honed her skills. Robbins, 18, of rural Coffeen, won the 1990 Little Miss Old Settlers Pageant in Hillsboro playing “God Bless America” on the violin.


    Mumps cases prompt warnings at 2 Indiana colleges

    Students and employees at two Indiana colleges are being warned about possible exposure to the mumps. The Vigo County Health Department says a student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute has a confirmed case of the mumps and at least six others are probably infected with the disease.


    1 person dies in Racine house fire

    Police say one person has died in a house fire in Racine. Firefighters were called to a home on Wright Ave. just before midnight Tuesday. Crews worked on boarding up the damaged home early Wednesday.


    Dawn Patrol: Charge in Bensenville murder; Addison cop held on gun charge

    Man charged in Bensenville tobacco store murder. Addison cop held on gun, protection order charges. Roskam asks for IRS probe. Part of Mt. Prospect building to be torn down. Buffalo Grove athlete's family soaks up Sochi experience.

    Brookhaven Road leads to Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee. Library officials have floated the idea of renaming the street “Book Haven.”

    Warren-Newport library floats idea to include ‘book’ in Gurnee street name

    Officials at Warren-Newport Public Library in Gurnee have an idea for a visible street name change that would reflect the facility's main business. Under the concept, Brookhaven Road would be changed to “Book Haven.” But Gurnee Mayor Kristina Kovarik says the name of the east-west street that runs toward the libray should not be changed. She suggests an unofficial Book Haven sign on...

    Jeri Atleson

    Lake County candidate forum changes venue, format

    A planned question-and-answer session with the two Republican candidates for Lake County treasurer changed locations and formats Tuesday night. GOP hopefuls Jeri Atleson and David Stolman were supposed to speak with potential voters at the local party office in Libertyville. Shortly before the event was set to begin, however, the location shifted to the Fuel Room at Austin’s Saloon &...

    The former site of this “eyesore” building at 420-440 S. Washington St. in downtown Naperville is where North Central College plans to create a new open space with an electronic sign and elements to highlight the college’s history of successful cross-country programs. The city council could approve $500,000 for design of the new park during its next meeting Feb. 18.

    North Central planning new park, sign along Naperville Riverwalk

    At a site that used to be known as the “eyesore” by the Burger King, North Central College in Naperville is planning a park and a plaza to recognize the school’s history of strong cross-country programs and welcome visitors with an electronic sign. “It’ll be a whole different look for this area,” said Jeff Havel, chairman of the Riverwalk Commission.


    Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week to promote businesses

    Meet Chicago Northwest, the Northwest suburbs' convention and visitors' bureau, will hold its first annual Chicago Northwest Restaurant Week to help 33 participating businesses overcome what's typically the slowest time of year for their industry. The sit-down restaurants have put together fixed-price, three-course lunch and dinner specials ranging from $15 to $35.


    South Elgin’s Matt McClure blocks Hampshire’s Drew Doran Wednesday in Hampshire.

    South Elgin holds off Hampshire

    Though short handed, the South Elgin boys basketball team pulled out a 69-62 nonconference victory at Hampshire Wednesday because it made the right decisions with the ball when it mattered most. Playing without leading scorer Matt Smith (illness) — a sophomore guard averaging 17.9 points per game — and reserve forward Julian Lynch (ankle), the Storm took good shots down the stretch and made 6 straight free throws to build a 7-point lead with 42 seconds left.

    Samantha Pryor

    Girls basketball: Week 10 MVP

    Burlington Central sophomore forward Samantha Pryor has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent girls basketball performances.

    Patrick Maloney

    Boys basketball: Week 10 MVP

    Naperville Central senior forward Patrick Maloney has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent boys basketball performances.


    Girls gymnastics scoreboard: Wednesday’s results
    Wednesday’s results*Hinsdale Central sectionalTeam resultsLyons Township 149.875; Naperville North 140.325; Naperville Central 138.25; Downers Grove South 137.725; Neuqua Valley 134.4; Lincoln-Way East 134.125Automatic AdvancersVault — Kurfist (LT) 9.625; Cozza (LT) 9.45; Robert (NN) 9.35; Fuller (LT) 9.35; Kawaoka (NN) 9.325; Carling (LT) 9.325.Uneven bars — Kurfist (LT) 9.475; Carlin g(LT) 9.375; Fuller (LT) 9.225; McGann (LT) 9.15; Robert (NN) 9.15. Balance beam — Kawaoka (NN) 9.725; Robert (NN) 9.65; Kurfist (LT) 9.525; Dzyuma (DGS) 9.5; Climo (NN) 9.4. Floor exercise — Kurfist (LT) 9.675; Carling (LT) 9.65; Hilger (Shepherd) 9.45; Cozza (LT) 9.35; Schuberth (NC) 9.275. All-around — Kurfist (LT) 38.3; Carling (LT) 37.7; Robert (NN) 37.05; Hilger (Shepherd) 36.05; Kawaoka (NN) 35.975.


    Girls basketball scoreboard: Wednesday’s results
    Wednesday’s results*MID-SUBURBAN LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIPFremd 49, Rolling Meadows 42Rolling Meadows — J. Kemph 2 1-12 14, Kay 1 0-0 3, Glasgow 1 0-0 2 , Vliet 5 1-1 13, Montanez 4 0-0 8, Shewmon 1 0-0 2, A. Kemph 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 11-13 42.Fremd — Gorecki 4 11-12 21, Lewis 1 3-3 5, LaBarge 2 2-2 7, Hopkins 4 1-2 9, Simios 1 0-0 2, Bieda 0 0-0 0, Tworek 2 0-0 4, Lenahan 0 1-2 1. Totals 15 18-21 49.Rolling Meadows 5 15 9 13 —42Fremd 9 11 13 16 —493-point baskets: Gorecki 2, LaBarge. RM: Vliet 2, Kay.Fouled out: RM: Kay.*Class 2A IC Catholic regionalWestminster Christian 86, Chicago Douglass 23Westminster C. — Versulys 7 2-2 16, Hays 3 2-2 10, Meschewski 6 0-1 14, Speweik 5 1-2 11, Donahue 2 1-2 5, Kovachevich 1 2-2 4, Anderson 5 0-1 10, Gnan 1 0-0 2, Cusumano 1 1-4 3, Atchison 4 1-5 9, Dutcher 0 0-0 0. Totals 35 10-21 86.Chicago Douglass — Saxton 3 0-0 8, Callon 1 0-0 3, Carter 1 1-6 3, Allan 2 1-2 5, Tamlor 2 0-0 4, Williams 0 0-0 0, Binion 0 0-0 0, Alexander 0 0-0 0. Totals 9 2-8 23.Westminster C. 34 18 21 13 —86Chicago Douglass 5 4 4 10 —233-point baskets: WC — Hays 2, Meschewski 2; CD — Saxton 2, Callon.*Burlington Central 76, Harvard 25Burlington C. — Ross 3 0-2 6, Rafferty 1 2-2 4, Holt 6 2-2 19, Ratzek 2 0-0 4, DeTamble 0 2-4 2, Collins 3 0-0 7, Cruz 1 2-4 4, Ciganek 0 0-0 0, Pryor 6 4-4 16, Colby 2 0-0 4, Gerke 4 2-4 10. Totals 28 14-22 76.Harvard — Powell 1 3-6 6, Bischke 0 0-0 0, Mercado 0 0-0 0, Vanek 0 0-0 0, Jacobs 1 0-1 2, Stephens 0 0-0 0, Trebes 2 0-0 4, Elizzairez 0 0-0 0, McCloud 0 0-2 0, Jacobs 0 2-3 2, Linharet 4 0-0 11, Aguayo 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 5-12 25.Burlington C. 20 15 20 21 —76Harvard 8 8 3 6 —253-point baskets: BC — Holt 5, Collins; H — Powell, Linharet 3..Fouled out: H — Bischke.*Glenbard West 40, Leyden 27Leyden — Grande 1 0-0 2; Gusman 2 0-2 4; Chavarria 5 2-4 12; McGee 0 5-6 5; Hernandez 1 0-0 2; Murillo 0 0-1 0; McCluskey 1 0-0 2. Totals 10 7-13 27.Glenbard West — Kiel 1 0-0 2; Hayes 5 1-1 12; Burrello 0 0-0 0; Haggerty 0 0-0 0; Miller 0 0-0 0; Potter 0 0-0 0; Vivoda 2 0-0 4; Buchholz 2 2-4 6; Black 0 0-0 0; Daggett 2 1-2 5; Daniels 4 0-0 8; Graham 1 0-0 3. Totals 17 4-7 40.Leyden 12 9 2 4 —27Glenbard West 15 3 10 1 —403-point baskets: GW: Hayes, Graham. Fouled out: None.*Montini 66, Wheaton Academy 23Wheaton Academy — Gum 0 1-2 1; Gagliano 1 0-0 3; Melby 1 0-1 2; Netzley 1 0-0 3; Garrison 2 2-2 6; Johnston 0 2-4 2; Engebretsen 1 0-0 2; Thorson 2 0-0 4; Olson 0 0-0 0. Totals 8 5-9 23.Wheaton Acad. 4 6 6 7 —23Montini 9 14 19 24 —663-point baskets: WA: Gagliano, Netzley.*Wheaton Warrenville South 71, Naperville Central 51Naperville Central — Giebel 1 0-0 3; Stenmark 2 0-0 4; Swarm 2 0-0 6; Moran 0 0-2 0; Kraft 2 0-0 6; Staputyte 0 0-0 0; Smith 1 2-2 4; Ryan 7 2-4 18; Minnick 5 0-0 10. Totals 20 4-8 51.WW South — Franke 5 4-7 14; Dansdill 6 0-0 12; Zappia 5 0-0 10; Linebarger 2 0-0 4; Waldron 11 1-1 25; madigan 0 0-0 0; Lessick 2 2-2 6. Totals 31 7-10 71.Naperville Central 6 14 14 17 —51WW South 20 19 18 14 —713-point baskets: NC: Giebel, Swarm 2, Kraft 2, Ryan 2. WWS: Waldron 2. Fouled out: None.*Downers Grove North 59, Willowbrook 46Downers Grove North — Costello 6 0-0 13, Farnsworth 1 3-6 5, Honn 4 0-0 10, Porcelli 2 8-11 13, Green 5 4-4 16, Osmani 0 0-0 0, Gutierrez 0 0-0 0, Huggins 1 0-0 2, Ford 0 0-5 0, Rush 0 0-0 0, Wojciechowski 0 0-0 0, Bihun 0 0-0 0. Willowbrook — Krawczykowski 5 5-7 15, Carroll 3 1-3 7, Domin 2 0-0 5, Zabran 1 0-0 2, Giammarino 1 0-0 2, Schmidt 2 0-1 4, Torres 1 0-0 3, Spada 2 0-0 4, McCann 1 0-0 3, Planz 0 1-2 1. Downers North 10 19 22 8 —59Willowbrook 10 9 14 13 —46


    Boys basketball scoreboard: Wednesday’s results
    Wednesday’s results*Northridge Prep 72, Elgin Academy 44*Westminster Christian 57, Somonauk 43Somonauk — Humes 2 1-4 5, Alstadt 3 0-0 9, Schmitt 2 0-0 6, Bode 8 1-1 17, Thomas 2 2-4 6. Totals 17 4-9 43.Westminster C. — D. Rejman 2 2-2 7, Carani 6 4-4 17, C. Rejman 1 4-4 7, R. Kleczynski 7 2-4 16, McDonaugh 1 0-2 2, Ellerbush 1 2-3 4, Barker 2 0-0 4. Totals 20 14-19 57.Somonauk 10 5 12 16 —43Westminster C. 13 14 12 18 —573-point baskets: S — Alstadt 3, Schmitt 2; WC — D. Rejman, Carani, C. Rejman.*South Elgin 69, Hampshire 62S. Elgin — Kamienski 0 2-2 2, Howard 3 2-4 11, McClure 3 4-6 12, Atkins 2 2-2 8, Wells 3 7-7 13, Amrhein 3 4-4 11, Winsel 2 0-1 4, Hankins 4 0-1 8. Total 20 22-28 69. Hampshire —Doran 2 0-0 5, Bridges 8 10-10 26, Oghanle 1 1-2 3, Schramm 0 0-0 0, Spaeth 2 5-6 9, Cork 4 6-8 15, Woods 0 3-4 3, Duchaj 0 1-2 1. Total 17 26-32 62S. Elgin 13 21 12 23 —69Hampshire 10 23 10 19 —623-point baskets: SE: Howard 3, McClure 2, Atkins 2; H: Doran, Cork.Fouled out: SE: Hankins, Winsel.*CARMEL 61, WAUCONDA 42Wauconda — B. Malisheski 2 2-2 8, Lovelle 1 0-0 2, Sidlowski 2 2-2 6, Petralia 1 0-0 2, Thomason 0 1-2 1, Latiolais 1 0-0 2, Bulgarelli 1 0-0 2, Head 4 0-0 8, K. Malisheski 0 0-0 0, Rueb 0 0-0 0, Mangioni 0 0-0 0, Redmann 0 0-0 0, Baumgarten 0 0-0 0, Carlson 2 7-8 11. Totals 14 12-14 42.Carmel — Belser-Bailey 1 2-4 5, Poyser 3 1-1 7, George 2 4-5 8, Barr 5 5-6 15, Kirby 3 0-0 9, Pabst 0 0-0 0, Kelly 0 0-0 0, McGrail 1 0-0 2, Duff 5 1-1 11, Bowen 1 0-1 4. Totals 22 13-18 61.Wauconda 10 4 17 11 —42Carmel 15 16 12 18 —613-point baskets: Wauc: B. Malisheski 2; Carm: Kirby 3, Belser-Bailey.Fouled out: none.*Stevenson 75, Lake Zurich 52Lake Zurich — Moon 0 0-0, 0, Zahery 2 0-0 4, Helgeson 0 0-0 0, Kruse 0 5-6 5, McCoy 0 0-0 0, O’Neill 2 0-0 6, Travlos 6 2-2 15, Wallace 0 0-1 0, McClaughry 5 1-1 11, Baumann 2 0-1 4, Kothari 0 1-2 1, Penny 2 0-0 4, Richman 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0.Totals: 19 9-12 52.Stevenson — Cashaw 6 1-1 13, Brunson 4 8-10 18, Smith 3 0-0 6, Johnson 3 2-2 13, Rosenbaum 0 0-1 0, Morrissey 6 2-2 19, Green 0 1-2 1, Hwang 1 0-0 2, Nichols 1 0-0 3, O’Connell 0 0-0 0, Dillon 0 0-0 0, Imus 0 0-0 0, Panitch 0 0-0 0, Hodes 0 0-0 0. Totals: 25 15-18 75.Lake Zurich 10 12 17 10 —52Stevenson 23 17 26 13 —753-point baskets: LZ: Travlos; Stev:Morrissey 5, Johnson 3 Nichols, Brunson.*Tuesday’s resultsNiles North 65, Prospect 63Niles North — Myles 2 1-2 6, Cook 5 1-2 12, Tate 3 0-0 7, Brandon 1 1-2 3, Dupree 1 2-4 4, Ranger 2 4-4 8, Stephens 12 0-4 25. Totals 26 9-18 65.Prospect — Formanski 5 0-0 10, Frasco 10 2-3 26, Cahill 2 0-0 5, Goneh 1 0-0 2, Beyak 1 0-0 3, Miller 0 0-0 0, Kiseliovas 0 0-0 0, Thomas 7 2-2 17. Totals 26 4-5 63.Niles North 17 17 10 21 —65Prospect 22 6 21 14 —633-point baskets: NN: Myles, Cook, Tate, Stephens. Pros: Frasco 4, Cahill, Beyak, Thomas..Fouled out: Pros: Formanski.*

    Vernon Hills' Sydney Smith celebrates after the Cougars' last-minute win over Zion-Benton in the North Suburban Conference championship game Wednesday night at Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills wins on Bahlmann's big shot

    From the top of the key, Monica Bahlmann, No. 33, who already had hit two 3s, shot another 3. “As soon as it left her hand,” Vernon Hills girls basketball coach Paul Brettner said, “I'm like, 'Oh, my gosh. That's going in.' ” Must be. It splashed the net, sure enough. And 13 seconds later, Vernon Hills was celebrating a stunning 43-42 win over visiting Zion-Benton in the North Suburban Conference championship game Wednesday night. Bahlmann's heroics gave the Cougars their second NSC title in a row.


    Christian Liberty nets regional semifinal win

    Megan Sullivan started Wednesday’s game by making a steal and an assist. After that, she showed she could score points, too. The Christian Liberty senior guard tossed in a team-high 17 points to help lead the top-seeded Chargers to a 58-32 triumph over No. 5 Chicago Waldorf in the Christian Liberty Class 1A semifinal in Arlington Heights.

    Fremd players celebrate their victory over Rolling Meadows after Wednesday’s Mid-Suburban League championship game.

    Fremd takes center stage in MSL title game

    The stage was seemingly set for another one of those classic high-scoring games between Rolling Meadows and Fremd, the state’s No. 3 and No. 7-ranked girls basketball teams, respectively, in Class 4A. But for these state powers, the power was found weighted more toward the defensive side in the 41st annual Mid-Suburban League championship game in Palatine. The 20-20 halftime scored was more like a first-quarter score between the two teams which were meeting for a third straight league crown. And for the first time in three years, when the final buzzer sounded in regulation the score was not tied.This time, Fremd was able to convert 12 of 14 free throws in the final quarter and pulled away to a 49-42 triumph.

    Nebraska’s Terran Petteway, right, guards Illinois’ Rayvonte Rice during Thursday night’s game in Lincoln. The Huskers won 67-58.

    Shields scores 33 in Huskers’ 67-58 win over Illini

    Shavon Shields scored a career-high 33 points, making all 15 of his free throws for Nebraska’s best performance at the line in 32 years, and the Cornhuskers defeated Illinois 67-58 on Wednesday night. The Huskers (13-10, 5-6 Big Ten) pulled away with the help of a defense that held Illinois to two field goals over the last 6:57.


    Carmel falls to Providence

    Girls basketballProvidence 40, Carmel 39: Emma Rappe banked in a shot just after the final buzzer sounded, and the visiting Corsairs dropped a heartbreaker in East Suburban Catholic Conference play Wednesday night.Kathleen Felicelli and Leah Lach scored 14 and 12 points, respectively, for Carmel (19-8, 3-6). Rappe finished with 6 points.


    Barr, Carmel top Wauconda

    Michael Barr scored 13 of his game-high 15 points in the first half, as Carmel Catholic’s boys basketball team earned a 61-42 nonconference win over visiting Wauconda on Wednesday night.Chris Duff added 11 points for Carmel (21-6), which jumped out to a 15-10 lead after one quarter and was up 31-14 at halftime.Billy Kirby chipped in 9 points on three 3-pointers for the Corsairs, Jack George had 8 points and Nickai Poyser scored 7.Wauconda (13-10) received 11 points from Ben Carlson and 8 apiece from Brian Malisheski and Dion Head.

    Anneli Kawaoka of Naperville North on the balance beam during the Hinsdale Central girls gymnastics sectional Wednesday.

    Naperville North, Naperville Central at their best

    There was no doubt Lyons would win Wednesday’s Hinsdale Central sectional. The Lions cruised with a sectional-best 149.875 points. But the defending state champs winning another sectional title didn’t deter Naperville North and Naperville Central to achieve some big victories either, as both teams had their best meets of the season and will be sending individual gymnasts to the IHSA state finals on Feb. 21-22 as well, thanks to their performances.

    Fremd players celebrate their victory over Rolling Meadows during Wednesday's Mid Suburban League conference championship in Palatine.

    Images: Fremd vs. Rolling Meadows girls basketball
    The Fremd High School girls basketball team hosted the Rolling Meadows High School girls Wednesday, February 12th, in Palatine.


    Healthy COD stops Harper

    Entering Wednesday night’s contest in Palatine, the Harper College men’s basketball team had not lost a conference game at home. That changed, however, as rival College of DuPage prevailed 83-78 in North Central Community College Conference play.


    Kanelandy excited to host 1st shootout

    Multiple conference champion? Check. Regional host? Check. Playing at the United Center? Check. All-day basketball shootout? Kaneland boys basketball coach Brian Johnson is checking this off on the list of program-building aspects.


    Downers Grove North defeats Willowbrook in WSC championship game

    The Downers Grove North girls basketball team claimed the West Suburban Conference championship with a 59-46 win over the Willowbrook Warriors on Wednesday at Downers Grove North.


    Morrissey helps Stevenson tackle Lake Zurich

    At Stevenson, they can talk all day long about what makes senior Matt Morrissey such a splendid defensive player. After all, he’s a football player first, and that’s why he’ll play that sport at Michigan State next year. But on Wednesday night at home, the defensive whiz morphed into a dazzling 3-point shooter. He led his Patriots (22-1) with five 3-pointers as the Pats breezed to another NSC Lake Division victory, this one 75-52 over Lake Zurich.


    Westminster wins regional opener

    Sophomore Maddie Versluys had 16 points and 10 rebounds, while senior Liz Meschewski scored 14 points and had 5 steals as the Westminster Christian girls basketball team won its postseason opener 88-23 Tuesday night over Chicago Douglass at the Class 2A IC Catholic regional.


    Boozer expects to play, but should he start?

    Carlos Boozer said he thinks he'll play Thursday against Brooklyn after missing three games with a left calf strain. But it is the last game before the all-star break, so a little extra rest could be in order.


    IC Catholic wins with team effort

    Of the 23 field goals the IC Catholic girls basketball team made in Wednesday’s 52-26 in the Class 2A IC Catholic regional semifinals, they dished 17 assists.

    Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard (4) rebounds the ball against DePaul guard R.J. Curington during Wednesday night’s game in Rosemont.

    Hilliard leads No. 6 Villanova past DePaul 87-62

    Villanova worked the ball around until it found an open shot, all night long. Darrun Hilliard and Ryan Arcidiacono led the charge from outside, while JayVaughn Pinkston cleaned up the interior. It was all business for the sixth-ranked Wildcats. Now they can move on to their Big East showdown with Creighton. Hilliard scored 22 points, Pinkston had 14 points and 11 rebounds and Villanova beat DePaul 87-62 on Wednesday for its sixth straight win.

    St. Charles North’s Ashling Davern, pictured guarding Wheaton North’s Emari Jones earlier this season, has received high praise for her defense this year.

    Davern’s defense, Santos’ passing earning kudos

    The third year of Upstate Eight Conference’s girls basketball crossover matchups takes place the next two nights, with the River teams hosting the Valley this season.


    Reaber girls find the right spot

    Frank and Barb Reaber got it all figured out. Some parents drive hundreds of miles in opposite directions to watch their children compete in college. Bruce and Mary Kelsey’s daughters Kristen (Michigan State) and McKenna (Illinois) rarely frequented the same college volleyball court once they left St. Francis High School. The Reabers have three daughters all in one place.


    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Westminster Christian 57, Somonauk 43: Sam Carani scored 17 points and Robert Kleczynski added 16 to lead the Warriors (15-10) to a nonconference win.Northridge Prep 72, Elgin Academy 44: Sophomore Dietrich Robinson scored 33 points for Elgin Academy in this nonconference loss.


    Wheaton Warrenville South alone atop DVC

    The only thing the Wheaton Warrenville South girls basketball team is sharing these days is the basketball. The Tigers claimed their second consecutive outright DuPage Valley Conference crown by defeating Naperville Central 71-51 Wednesday night in Wheaton. A quick-passing offense and the usual tough defense carried the hosts to their 25th win of the season and gave them four straight DVC titles.

    South Elgin’s Matt McClure cuts through the defense of Hampshire’s Drew Doran and Austin Spaeth.

    Images: South Elgin vs. Hampshire boys basketball
    South Elgin and Hampshire met up in a boys basketball matchup Wednesday night in Hampshire.

    Dominique Gisin of Switzerland, left, and Tina Maze of Slovenia, right, who tied for the gold medal in the women's downhill pose during their medals ceremony.

    Images: Winter Olympics, Wednesday, February 12th
    Images of Wednesday at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Highlights include snowboarding, speedskating, luge, curling, and much more.

    Australia's Torah Bright celebrates her silver medal in the women's snowboard halfpipe final at the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park, at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

    U.S. takes home gold, bronze in women’s halfpipe

    Kaitlyn Farrington, the 24-year-old from Idaho whose parents sold off their cattle to bankroll her career, sparked the second upset on the halfpipe in two nights. She smoothed out a near-flawless run Wednesday to edge Aussie Torah Bright and take down the American favorite, Kelly Clark.

    While Bears quarterback Jay Cutler received big support from his bosses in the form of a lucrative contract, former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo’s scouting report on the veteran QB was far from glowing.

    While Bears like Cutler’s game, Angelo not so much

    Jerry Angelo and Jay Cutler aren’t the most popular figures in Chicago sports history. Angelo is viewed as a failed former Bears general manager and Cutler as the disappointing current Bears quarterback. So fans might have trouble picking sides after Angelo’s recent negative assessment of Cutler’s 2013 season

    Bulls guard Derrick Rose, working out before Tuesday’s game between the Bulls and the Atlanta Hawks, spoke publicly Wednesday night for the first time since early December.

    Bulls’ Rose only thinking about his rehab

    Before Wednesday's annual team fundraiser at the United Center, Derrick Rose made his first public comments since Dec. 5. There weren't many revelations, except for one wish for this summer.

    Huntley’s Brandon Meyer takes the 138-pound match over DeKalb’s Brad Green in the regional at DeKalb High School last Saturday.

    Wrestling: Scouting Fox Valley sectionals

    Previwing this weekend's wrestling sectionals involving Fox Valley area schools.

    Chicago Cubs Chairman Tom Ricketts speaks during a ceremony to unveil the Cubs’ new Cactus League spring training baseball facility, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Ricketts remains optimistic about Wrigley work

    The Cubs unveiled their state-of-the-art spring training facility in the desert Wednesday as chairman Tom Ricketts remained hopeful that work on their historic home back in Chicago will begin soon.“We’re working toward a point that it can get done,” Ricketts said Wednesday. “Everybody’s talking. Everyone has incentives to see us get to that point. And we’re optimistic that we’ll get to the finish line on that pretty soon. But it’s a process. We just got to play through it.”

    Spence Petros displays some of what in-shore sportfishing out of Venice, La., has to offer — such as jumbo redfish.

    Soaking up some great fishing at ‘the end of the world’

    Venice, La., is replacing fly-in fishing in remote northern waters as Mike Jackson's destination of choice.


    NCAA proposes change to targeting rule

    The NCAA football rules committee has proposed a change to the targeting rule that would eliminate the 15-yard penalty when instant replay officials overturn an ejection.Last year, when a targeting penalty was called, the 15-yard penalty stood even if the replay official determined the player should be allowed to stay in the game.

    Jocelyne Larocque (3) hugs goalkeeper Charline Labonte of Canada after their 3-2 victory over the United States during the 2014 Winter Olympics women’s ice hockey tournamanet at Shayba Arena, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

    Canada beats US 3-2 in Olympic women’s hockey

    Megan Agosta scored twice and assisted on Hayley Wickenheiser’s goal to lead Canada to a 3-2 victory over the United States on Wednesday in a tense preview of the expected gold medal match.


    Mike North video: Michael Sam will stay if he can play
    Former Mizzou football star Michael Sam, who recently announced he is gay, will be fine in the NFL as long as he can play well. If he can’t compete, he won’t make it for long and it will have nothing to do with his sexual preference.

    Women’s downhill gold medalists Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin, left, and Slovenia’s Tina Maze, right, hold hands during a flower ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

    5 things to know about Olympics: Wednesday

    Fast five, Wednesday edition: Things you’ll want to know about the 2014 Winter Olympics.


    Austria protests doping test on eve of Olympic race

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The Austrian Olympic Committee has filed a complaint with the IOC about the timing of a doping test for Alpine skier Elisabeth Goergl late Tuesday, the night before the women’s downhill race at the Sochi Games.The Austrian committee says doping officials visited Goergl at 10:55 p.m. local time for an unannounced test, and it interrupted her preparation. Goergl, the 2011 downhill world champion, finished 16th in the race that started at 11 a.m. Wednesday.The head of the AOC medical team in Sochi, Wolfgang Schobersberger, says “We support the fight against doping 100 percent. But this late test, on the night before the race, definitely goes too far. This incident surely has disturbed Elisabeth in her race preparation.”


    Goalie Price to start Canada’s 1st Olympic game

    SOCHI, Russia — Goalie Carey Price will start Canada’s Olympic opener against Norway on Thursday, and Roberto Luongo will start Friday against Austria.Canada coach Mike Babcock announced his rotation Wednesday after practice in Sochi.Babcock and both goalies attributed no significance to the order. The coach had previously said both goalies likely would start at least once in the preliminary round.Price is a three-time All-Star with the Montreal Canadiens. The British Columbia native will make his Olympic debut against Norway.The 34-year-old Luongo is a three-time Olympian who already earned a gold medal in 2010. He won four straight elimination games in Vancouver, making 34 saves in the overtime final against the United States.Canada is expected to dominate its weak preliminary-round group, which includes Norway, Austria and Finland.


    Kumaritashvili remembered by IOC, luge officials

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The fourth anniversary of Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death was remembered Wednesday with a moment of silence from luge’s top officials, along with a pledge to build “a lasting memorial” in his native Georgia.Kumaritashvili died Feb. 12, 2010, in Whistler, British Columbia, in a horrifying training crash just hours before the start of the opening ceremony of the Vancouver Games. Sliding sports have placed a larger premium on safety ever since, and so far at the Sochi Olympics no major crashes have occurred on the Sanki Sliding Center track.“I think the athletes, from what I can gather, are pretty happy with the courses,” International Olympic Committee spokesman Mark Adams said. “They have all talked pretty positively about the courses. It is always an issue. It always will be in winter sports.” IOC President Thomas Bach joined International Luge Federation officials for a moment of silence at their executive board meeting, not far from the track where the Sochi sliding events are taking place.International Luge Federation officials have remained in regular contact with Kumaritashvili’s family since his death. The luger’s father, David Kumaritashvili, remains a top Georgian luge federation official, though athletes from that country have been largely absent from all international events since.“We continue to mark that as one thing that, clearly, will remain with all of us who were there and obviously with the family,” Adams said. “That’s an ongoing thing. It doesn’t finish today or indeed in four years’ time because we will continue to work with the family to come up with a really good lasting tribute to his memory.”In addition to the private, quiet remembrances of the anniversary, Adams said flowers were being laid at the Whistler track on Wednesday in Kumaritashvili’s memory.


    SOCHI SCENE: Quad After Quad

    SOCHI, Russia — Kevin Reynolds’ workouts are exhausting.Not to him, perhaps, but to anyone watching his training sessions at the Sochi Olympics.Reynolds does quadruple jumps as easily as LeBron James dunks. In Wednesday’s practice, he nailed 12 of them, according to no less a source than 2010 Olympic champion Evan Lysacek. That’s a season’s worth of quads in competition mode for some skaters.The 23-year-old Canadian shrugs and smiles when told how fatigued the folks in the audience at the Olympic training rink were after his practice. Just a normal day at the office for him.“If I am in good condition, yeah, that’s normal,” he said of a session in which he did more than 60 revolutions on his jumps.Reynolds isn’t a likely medalist, but few of his peers can soar like him. His blond mop top makes Reynolds easily identifiable when he’s not flying through the air. When the rest of his skills catch up to his jumping, Reynolds could reach another level.Meanwhile, he keeps on quading, with a planned three in his free skate.


    Sochi activists sent to prison for 3 years

    SOCHI, Russia — An activist who shed the light on the environmental impact of Olympic construction in Sochi was ordered Wednesday to serve three years in prison for spray-painting a fence. A court in the regional capital of Krasnodar ruled to convert the suspended sentence given to Yevgeny Vitishko in 2012 into a prison term, according to his lawyer, Alexander Popkov.“We expected it and so did Zhenya (Vitishko),” Popkov told the Associated Press, adding that the ruling confirms suspicions that Vitishko is “persecuted for his activities.”Vitishko and another activist, Suren Gazaryan, were found guilty in 2012 of “deliberate destruction of property” for spray-painting the fence of what they said was a local governor’s property in a national forest where construction is forbidden. Both received a suspended sentence, but Gazaryan was later threated with additional charges and promptly left the country. He received political asylum in Estonia last year.As a condition for his suspended sentence, Vitishko had to check in regularly with penitentiary officials and inform them of his travel plans. Officials last year petitioned the court to convert Vitishko’s suspended sentence into a prison term, claiming that he had failed to inform him of his trip out of town.Vitishko was planning to go to Sochi last week to present an environmental report but was arrested in his hometown of Tuapse, 130 kilometers (80 miles) to the northwest, after formally filing for permission to travel to the Olympic city. He was found guilty of swearing at a bus stop, a hooliganism charge.Popkov said prosecutors cited his Feb. 3 arrest as another argument in favor of his imprisonment.Rights group last year said local officials in Krasnodar and Sochi were directly responsible for the campaign of what they described as harassment and intimidation against local activists and journalists were exposed to. Regional officials have denied any role in persecuting Vitishko and other members of Environmental Watch on the North Caucasus, a key critic of the games’ environmental record.


    5,000 champion Kramer to skip 1,500 meters

    SOCHI, Russia — Speedskater Sven Kramer has decided to withdraw from the 1,500 meters next Saturday to fully concentrate on the 10,000 for his second gold of the games.Kramer won the 5,000 and is a hot favorite to win the long distance race and lead the Netherlands to gold in the team pursuit during the concluding weekend. He said Wednesday that the 1,500 would likely be too much of a distraction during his preparation for the 10,000 on Feb. 18, which he is determined to win after a costly blunder at the 2010 Vancouver Games. Four years ago, gold was seemingly assured until his coach sent him into the wrong lane on a crossover and Kramer was disqualified. Kramer says skipping the 1,500 was “a very tough decision.”


    Kumaritashvili’s death remembered by IOC

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — The International Olympic Committee plans to commemorate Nodar Kumaritashvili’s life with “a lasting memorial” in his native Georgia. IOC spokesman Mark Adams says officials remain in regular contact with Kumaritashvili’s family. The luger died four years ago Wednesday in Whistler, British Columbia, in a training accident hours before the official opening of the Vancouver Games. Adams says flowers are being laid Wednesday at that track.IOC president Thomas Bach joined International Luge Federation officials Wednesday for a moment of silence at a meeting of that group’s executive board near the Sanki Sliding Center, the site of luge, bobsled and skeleton at the Sochi Olympics.The Sanki track was built with safety in mind after Kumaritashvili’s death. The Sochi Games have not yet had a major crash in training or competition.


    Women’s ski jumping set for a bright future

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — With the first women’s ski jumping gold medal finally awarded at the Olympics, the next question is where to from here for the sport? The answer: it’s in good hands, and pressing for more exposure at the Winter Games.Hours before Carina Vogt of Germany won the inaugural normal hill competition at the RusSki Gorki Jumping Center on Tuesday night, some of the powerbrokers who helped get the sport into the Olympics after a decade-long fight were already plotting their next moves.“Now we have to work on 2018, getting women on the large hill and a team event ... now we start working on that,” said DeeDee Corradini, president of the not-for-profit Women’s Ski Jumping USA and a former mayor of Salt Lake City.Corradini and Peter Jerome, father of American ski jumper Jessica Jerome and founder of Ski Jumping USA, were among those leading the fight to get women’s ski jumping into the games. They had to overturn long-time impressions that women’s bodies weren’t able to withstand the rigors of the sport.Still, Jerome and Co. proceeded, convincing the International Ski Federation (FIS) to establish the first world championships for women in 2009, won by American Lindsey Van, and then a senior World Cup circuit beginning in 2011-12. The numbers grew, so much so that 70 jumpers entered a World Cup event last year.Along the way, there were battles against the International Olympic Committee, which refused to consider their entry even though male ski jumpers were part of the first Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France in 1924.Ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Games, Jessica Jerome and Van were part of a group of more than a dozen female ski jumpers who tried to get the British Columbia Supreme Court to force Olympic organizers to give them a spot at the Olympics. That failed, but the IOC finally agreed in 2011 to give the women one event at Sochi, the normal hill.Corradini said the fight eventually became more than a sporting concern.“It really became a women’s rights issue and a human rights issue because we were really fighting for all women in all sports, and hopefully all aspects of life,” Corradini said. “Hopefully we have taught other girls and other young women around the world that if you really are persistent ... you can achieve your dreams.”Peter Jerome paid credit to his daughter and others in the sport who didn’t give up on their pursuit during the long battles with officialdom.“They were jumping as much as they could because they loved the sport,” he said. “There wasn’t a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”There are rewards now. As women jumpers packed their gear Wednesday, some to head home and prepare for the next World Cup event March 1-2 in Romania, others to move on to other areas of Sochi to enjoy the Olympic experience, they would have been surprised and encouraged by Tuesday’s result.Japan’s Sara Takanashi came into Sochi as a hot favorite, having won 10 of 13 World Cup events this season and looking like a certain podium finisher, if not gold.Instead, Vogt claimed the gold medal, Daniela Iraschko-Stolz of Austria took silver and Coline Mattel of France secured the bronze. Takanashi was fourth, suggesting there is depth in women’s ski jumping.There were eight countries represented in the top 10, six athletes had jumps of more than 100 meters and the podium finishers were separated by only 2.2 points.Jessica Jerome finished 10th, but like most of peers on the hill Tuesday night, felt like a winner. Now they’re targeting Pyeongchang, South Korea in 2018, site of the next Winter Games.“We have arrived,” Jerome said. “We’re hard-working, we’re dedicated and we’re good at what we do.

    Goalkeeper Florence Schelling of Switzerland scoops the puck out of the net Wednesday after Jenni Hiirikoski of Finland scored in overtime to give Finland a 4-3 victory at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Finland beats Switzerland 4-3 in women’s hockey

    SOCHI, Russia — Jenni Hiirikoski scored her second goal of the game with 2:22 left in overtime to help Finland earn a 4-3 victory Wednesday over Switzerland and grab the No. 3 seed in the Olympic women’s hockey playoffs.Noora Raty stopped 24 shots for Finland, which finished the round-robin with a 1-2 record.Florence Schelling made 40 saves for Switzerland, which was winless in group play.Both teams will play in the quarterfinals. Michelle Karvinen scored twice for Finland. Romy Eggimann and Phoebe Stanz scored for Switzerland to erase a 2-0 deficit in the second period. After Finland went ahead again, Stefanie Marty scored with 3:35 left in regulation to send the game into regulation.


    Goalie Jonathan Quick to start Sochi opener for USA

    SOCHI, Russia — Jonathan Quick will be the goaltender for the U.S. when it plays Slovakia on Thursday in its Olympic hockey opener.Coach Dan Bylsma says he has a plan in net for other preliminary-round games, but on Wednesday declined to say what it was.Quick will get the start instead of Ryan Miller and No. 3 goalie Jimmy Howard. Miller helped the Americans win silver at the 2010 Olympics.

    Women’s downhill gold medalists Switzerland’s Dominique Gisin, left, and Slovenia’s Tina Maze, right, hold hands Wednesday during a flower ceremony at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

    Maze and Gisin tie for Olympic downhill gold

    In a rare tie in Alpine skiing, Tina Maze of Slovenia and Dominique Gisin of Switzerland both won Olympic gold Wednesday in the women’s downhill.

    New York Yankees’ pitcher Masahiro Tanaka, right, poses with New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi as he was introduced to the media at Yankee Stadium in New York Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014. AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)

    After chartering 787, Tanaka introduced by Yanks

    Masahiro Tanaka has been introduced by the Yankees after chartering a Boeing 787 Dreamliner for his trip from Tokyo to New York.The 25-year-old right-hander agreed Jan. 22 to a $155 million, seven-year contract and stopped in New York for Tuesday’s news conference at Yankee Stadium en route to the team’s spring training complex in Tampa, Fla., where workouts start this weekend.


    Comcast Corp. has agreed to acquire Time Warner Cable Inc., combining the largest two U.S. cable companies, according to four people familiar with matter.

    Comcast strikes deal to buy Time Warner Cable

    With a single behemoth purchase, Comcast is creating a dominant force in American entertainment and presenting federal regulators with an equally outsized quandary: How should they handle a conglomerate that promises to improve cable TV and Internet service to millions of homes but also consolidates unprecedented control of what viewers watch and download?News: Comcast, which was already the nation’s No. 1 pay TV and Internet provider, says its $45.2 billion purchase of Time Warner Cable will provide faster, more reliable service to more customers and save money on TV programming costs.

    Mondelez reported a fourth-quarter profit Wednesday that fell short of Wall Street expectations as the Oreo maker struggled with cookie sales in China.

    Oreo maker Mondelez sees cookie troubles in China

    Deerfield-based Mondelez reported a fourth-quarter profit Wednesday that fell short of Wall Street expectations as the Oreo maker struggled with cookie sales in China.

    Stocks fell Wednesday, after the biggest four-day jump in a year for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index, as declines in companies from Procter & Gamble Co. to Amazon.com Inc. overshadowed optimism about economic growth.

    U.S. stocks decline for the first time in five days
    Weak earnings from tobacco company Lorillard and household products maker Procter & Gamble helped end the stock market's longest winning streak of the year Wednesday. Lorillard dropped after the maker of Newport cigarettes said its profit fell as higher costs offset an increase in revenue from both traditional and electronic cigarettes. Procter & Gamble fell after the company lowered its sales and earnings forecasts.

    Amcol CEO Ryan McKendrick

    Hoffman Estates-based Amcol to be sold for $1.6 billion

    Imerys SA, a French building-materials company, agreed to buy Hoffman Estates-based Amcol International Corp. for $1.6 billion including debt to add specialty minerals used in industrial and consumer applications.

    2009 Harley-Davidson Road Glide, Dave Dupor, DD Custom Cycle, Lake Villa

    Cycles stand out from the two-wheeled crowd

    Dave Dupor's Porsche-inspirted Harley-Davidson Road Glide was one of the highlights of the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in Rosemont Feb. 7-9. Dupor owns DD Custom Cycle in Lake Villa.

    Issues like parking and snow removal are among the concerns of small business owners in Arlington Heights, but perhaps their top challenge is dealing in government language instead of that of the business community, a chamber of commerce official told village officials this week.

    Arlington Hts. board gets report on business project

    Owners of small businesses need information in their own language, not that of government officials, an Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce official told village leaders this week. Jim Platt, the chamber's business development director, presented his first report Monday on the joint effort between the chamber and village focusing on small-business retention, education and assistance.

    Aaron Koenig, managing director of the Global Bitcoin Alliance, at the Inside Bitcoins conference in Berlin Wednesday.

    Bitcoin entrepreneurs bullish despite tech trouble

    Entrepreneurs building businesses around Bitcoin say they are confident the virtual currency will survive a series of technical problems that have affected withdrawals in recent days. Bitcoin’s value dropped to about $633 early Wednesday after two big exchanges,

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney, center, speaks during the bank’s inflation report news conference in London, England,n Wednesday.

    Bank of England seeks to assuage rate hike fears

    Bank of England Governor Mark Carney sought Wednesday to assure homebuyers and businesses that U.K. interest rates won’t rise any time soon because the economic recovery is still fragile. Though headline figures for growth and unemployment have improved faster than previously predicted, Carney said there are a number of issues that will mean interest rates have to remain low for a while to come.


    TreeHouse sues Green Mountain

    Oak Brook-based TreeHouse Foods Inc. and two wholly-owned subsidiaries, Bay Valley Foods, LLC, and Sturm Foods, Inc., today filed suit against Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. and Keurig, Inc., accusing them of anticompetitive acts to unlawfully maintain a monopoly over the cups used in single-serve brewers.


    Happy Meal heroin suspect ‘crushed’ by charges

    A woman accused of hiding heroin in Happy Meals and selling them from a Pittsburgh drive-thru has been “emotionally crushed” by the allegations, her defense attorney said Tuesday, though he stopped short of denying the charges.

    Mortgage applications in the U.S. declined last week as fewer Americans bought homes and refinanced properties.

    Mortgage applications in U.S. decline as home sales fall

    Mortgage applications in the U.S. declined last week as fewer Americans bought homes and refinanced properties. The Mortgage Bankers Association's index dropped 2 percent in the period ended Feb. 7, the Washington-based trade group reported today. The purchase gauge fell 5 percent, while the refinance measure decreased 0.2 percent.

    Deere & Co. says its first-quarter net income rose almost 5 percent, but it projected a slowdown in sales of farm equipment this year.

    Deere sees farm slowdown; projects sales decline

    Deere & Co. says its first-quarter net income rose almost 5 percent, but it projected a slowdown in sales of farm equipment this year. High crop prices have put money into farmers' pockets and driven a boom in demand for Deere's tractors and other motorized farm gear. But Deere says demand for farm equipment is "moderating." It says farm and construction equipment sales will fall 3 percent this year, and will fall 6 percent in the second quarter

    A big box retailer is eyeing the vacant Dominick's property at Randall and Algonquin roads in Lake in the Hill, according to a village official.

    Retailer eyes Dominicks' site in Lake in the Hills

    A big box retailer is eyeing the vacant Dominick's property in Lake in the Hills and village officials are hopeful a deal may be on the horizon. "As part of the village's economic development initiative we've been proactively identifying best fit retailers based on market data and approaching them," said Gino DeVivo, Lake in the Hills economic development coordinator. "We've been talking to this particular retailer since September."

Life & Entertainment

    The heart-shaped cuore bianco is made of dark chocolate, white chocolate mousse, feuilletine, strawberries and raspberry sauce.

    Dining events: Can't-miss Valentine's dinners

    It's love at first sight at Francesca's Restaurants when head chef Peter DeRuvo creates a Valentine's Day menu that runs through Sunday, Feb. 16. Recently opened Perry's Steakhouse and Grille in Oak Brook serves up Valentine's Day love Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 15-16, with a special three-course meal.

    Sid Caesar, of “Your Show of Shows,” is seen here in 2002. Caesar, whose sketches lit up 1950s television with zany humor, died Wednesday. He was 91.

    Father of TV sketch comedy Sid Caesar dies at 91

    Sid Caesar, the prodigiously talented pioneer of TV comedy who paired with Imogene Coca in sketches that became classics and who inspired a generation of famous writers, died early Wednesday. He was 91.

    Detroit detective Alex Murphy (Joel Kinnaman), left, tries out his new steel body with the help of scientist Dennett Norton in “RoboCop.”

    'RoboCop' a frenetic but dulled remake of '80s classic

    “RoboCop,” the 1987 action satire directed by Paul Verhoeven, was one of the most cynically ingenious films of its era. In the hands of director Josť Padilha, the current remake manages to meet expectations without exceeding them.

    Kris Kristofferson performed last month at the 56th annual Grammy Awards. At 77, he's starting a new tour.

    Kris Kristofferson looks back — and moves forward

    Kris Kristofferson, 77, has received so many awards as a songwriter, performer and actor it's hard to keep track. When the still shaggy-haired and gravelly voiced singer was asked about his recent lifetime achievement Grammy Award, he said: “I am very honored, but I swear I already got that.”

    Mamoru Samuragochi, the man once lauded as Japan’s Beethoven, said he can partially hear in a new disclosure Wednesday following the stunning revelation last week that his “Hiroshima” symphony and other famed musical compositions were ghostwritten.

    Japan’s ‘Beethoven’ says partly faked hearing loss

    The man once lauded as Japan’s Beethoven said he can partially hear in a new disclosure Wednesday following the stunning revelation last week that his “Hiroshima” symphony and other famed musical compositions were ghostwritten. Despite astonishment and outrage to the ghostwriting scandal, music credited to Mamoru Samuragochi is surging in sales.

    Co-owner Chad Severson arranges bottles behind the bar at M T Barrels in Schaumburg.

    M T Barrels revamps Schaumburg space for a whole new experience

    M T Barrels took over City Limits' former space on Wise Road in Schaumburg in November, continuing the bar's tradition as a place to see live music while updating the menu and space to attract more people when there's nothing on stage.

    Follow Mark Watney as he struggles to survive in an unknown and hostile environment on Mars in Andy Weir’s “The Martian.”

    Andy Weir delivers with ‘The Martian’

    In the near future, mankind has successfully landed manned missions on Mars without mishap. The Ares 3 team, the third to explore the surface, has equipment, shelter and supplies for a two-month stay on the Red Planet. But a major windstorm changes their circumstances in a hurry in Andy Weir’s debut novel, “The Martian,” a story for readers who enjoy thrillers, science fiction, nonfiction or flat-out adventure.

    Yuengling’s Ice Cream is back after an absence of nearly 30 years, available at hundreds of stores in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware and New Jersey.

    Beer float, anyone? Yuengling’s Ice Cream returns

    Breyers, Ben & Jerry’s, Edy’s and Yuengling’s: Which thing is not like the others? Trick question. They all make ice cream. The supermarket freezer aisle got a little more crowded Monday as Yuengling — a name more associated with ale, porter and lager than vanilla, chocolate and strawberry — took its place alongside the familiar brands.

    Homemade pasta and a honey-infused sauce will show your valentine you're sweet on him.

    Valentine's meal that's sweet even before dessert

    Why wait for dessert to give your Valentine's Day dinner a sweet touch? Alison Ladman created a delicious savory dinner that has a sweet side thanks to a touch of honey.

    Homemade pasta and a honey-infused sauce will show your valentine you’re sweet on him.

    Honey-Pepper Roasted Shrimp With Green Beans And Olives
    Honey-Pepper Roasted Shrimp With Green Beans And Olives

    Show your valentine you’re sweet on her with this honey-infused dinner of roasted shrimp with green beans and olives.

    Handmade Pasta With Lemon, Herbs And Honey
    Handmade Pasta With Lemon, Herbs And Honey

    Embrace the idea of chocolate for dinner with Beef Mole with a Buttery Baguette.

    For Valentine's Day, a rich, saucy steak you'll eat with your hands

    Like it or not, it's best to simply embrace that chocolate must play a key role in any Valentine's Day dinner. But a chocolate tart or truffles or bonbons or even chocolate-dipped strawberries are so ... cliche. This year, think outside the box and slip the chocolate into your steak dinner.

    Embrace the idea of chocolate for dinner with Beef Mole with a Buttery Baguette.

    Beef Mole with Buttery Baguette
    Beef Mole with Buttery Baguette

    Refuel for more shopping with a glass of wine and a proscuitto platter at Eataly in Chicago.

    Savoring Italy glass by glass, bite by bite at Eataly

    Deborah Pankey recently stopped into Eataly, celeb chef Mario Batali's temple to Italian food and wine in Chicago. She shares a taste.



    Editorial: Still not time for gambling expansion

    Gambling expansion is back on the table in Springfield and it's still too expansive, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    Breaking: Woman charged as ruthless

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: Here it is early 2014 — still almost three years away from a new presidency — but it’s high time to mention that Hillary Clinton was a “ruthless” first lady.


    If there’s money for beer, there’s money for food
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: It breaks my heart to think that some children go to bed hungry, and so I believe the SNAP (formerly food stamps) program is an integral part of our society’s safety net. But at the same time I get so angry when I see people finish paying for their groceries with SNAP coupons and then purchase a 24-pack of beer with cash.


    Minimum wage laws run counter to capitalism
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour and many politicians are suggesting it be raised to as much as $15 an hour, not because they know the value of employees to companies, but because they know the value of the employees’ votes.


    Cut in business tax won’t lead to job growth
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: House Speaker Michael Madigan’s plan to slash corporate income tax rates will not result in businesses “grow(ing) their work forces with good-paying jobs.”


    Minimum wage bump not good business
    A Batavia letter to the editor: President Obama, Illinois Senator Durbin and Illinois Governor Quinn are proposing an increase in the federal and state minimum wage. Neither politician has ever started, operated or made payroll in a business, yet they want to control business decisions. Politicians, liberals and economists do not understand profits, which sustain all businesses.


    We need some honest answers
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Just when you might think President Obama has come up with all the outrageous and false comments possible, he calls all the recent scandals in his administration “Phony.” Really, Mr. President?


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