Daily Archive : Friday February 14, 2014



    Boyfriend sent to prison for unlawful use of a weapon

    A 27-year-old Arlington Heights man pleaded guilty to unlawful use of a weapon by a felon and was sentenced to three years in prison and ordered to pay $749 in fines.

    Robert Sobczak

    Convicted sex offender faces new charges

    A former church volunteer who recently pleaded guilty to molesting an 8-year-old boy at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington faces new sexual assault charges. A Cook County judge set bail at $500,000 Thursday for Robert Sobczak, 20, who has now been charged with sexually assaulting a Schaumburg teen who is autistic and developmentally disabled. The latest charge has no connection to...


    Schaumburg crash sends 8 to hospital

    Eight people were taken to area hospitals after a multivehicle accident Friday night in Schaumburg. The crash took place around 7 p.m. at Schaumburg Road and Springinsguth Road.

    Adelyn Achtor, 2, of Round Lake is ready to dig into frosting to decorate her cupcake during the Cupids’ Cupcakes program Friday at the Robert W. Rolek Community Center in Round Lake.

    Cupcakes and Cupid help celebrate Valentine’s Day in Round Lake

    Children enjoyed the Cupids' Cupcake Valentine's Day event Friday at the Robert W. Rolek Community Center in Round Lake.


    Four injured in Elgin crash

    Elgin firefighters said four people were transported to local hospitals after a three-vehicle crash that occurred at 4:32 p.m. Friday at Randall Road and South Street.


    3 schools briefly locked down in Palatine

    Palatine High School was placed under a hard lockdown — and two nearby elementary schools were also locked down — after a threat at the high school shortly before noon Friday, Palatine Township Elementary District 15 announced Friday night.

    A forest official traces the outlines of the imprint of a tiger paw at the forest range of Sahuwala, in northern India. One of the challenges facing the hunters and forest officials is to properly identify the tiger that is killing human beings as the area is rich in fauna and home to several other tigers.

    Indian villages fear man-eating tiger on the prowl

    “She has turned into a man-eater,” said Vijay Pal Singh, whose neighbor, a 22-year-old farm laborer named Shiv Kumar Singh, was killed as he worked at the edge of a sugarcane field in January. In an area where nearly everyone works outside, this means life has been completely upended. “People are afraid to go into the fields,” said Singh. “Everything has...

    This composite image shows before and-after images taken by the Opportunity rover. At left is an image of a patch of ground taken on Dec. 26, 2013. At right is in image taken on Jan. 8, 2014 showing a rock shaped like a jelly doughnut that had not been there before.

    Mystery of 'jelly doughnut' Martian rock solved
    Scientists have solved the mystery of the “jelly doughnut” rock on Mars that appeared to come out of nowhere.

    Naperville police investigate an armed robbery Friday at the PNC Bank at Washington Street and Ogden Avenue.

    One in custody after Naperville bank robbery

    Naperville police and the FBI are investigating the Friday afternoon armed robbery of the PNC Bank at 9 E. Ogden Ave. Few details were immediately available but officials said they are searching for a black man who is believed to have entered the store around 3 p.m. and demanded cash.


    Burglars steal $634,100 in coins in Des Plaines

    A Des Plaines esident lost more than $600,000 in coins in a burglary that occurred sometime in the last eight months, police said in a blotter report.

    A large snowball crashed into a Grove Quad dormitory at Reed College in Portland, Ore. The crash ripped a wall off its studs and narrowly missed a window.

    1120Big, runaway snowball slams into college dormAP Photo LA107, LA108, LA109

    After escaping the students' control, the boulder-sized snowball rolled about 15 yards before slamming into Unit-7. Three students heard the smack and discovered the fractured bedroom wall.

    Irene Larson with several other female police officers in Arlington Heights. Top row, from left: officer Valerie Andrews, officer Brandi Romag, Sgt. Stephanie Mack, Larson and officer Carrie Rorer. Front row, from left: officers Nancy Hundrieser and Sally Ward.

    Services Saturday for Arlington Hts. first female police officer

    Irene Louise Larson, the first female police officer in Arlington Heights, will be remembered at a memorial service on Saturday, Feb. 15, in Schaumburg. Larson died on Feb. 7 at age 67.

    Conant senior cheerleader Scott Ruzanski presents Principal Tim Cannon with the state championship trophy at Friday’s pep rally at the Hoffman Estates school. The coed squad performed its title-winning routine during the pep rally.

    Conant fetes champion cheerleaders

    Conant High School Friday held a pep rally to celebrate its team winning the Illinois High School Association state coed cheerleading championship last Saturday in Bloomington. The cheerleaders at the Hoffman Estates school ran through their winning routine for the student body and members of the squad presented school Principal Tim Cannon with the plaque and trophy marking their successful...

    William Floyd Marsh Jr.

    Oregon man facing drug charges after Kane County traffic stop

    A traffic stop Thursday led Kane County sheriff’s deputies to discover a stash of high-quality marijuana in the possession of a retired Oregon sheriff’s deputy, officials said. William Floyd Marsh Jr., 56, of Creswell, Ore., has been charged with armed violence, cannabis trafficking, delivery of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis, possession of more than 5,000 grams of cannabis and...


    Hit man connected to Mexico killing sentenced

    A man hired to kill a rival of two brothers who made millions of dollars selling fake identification papers in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood has been sentenced to life in prison.


    Daley nephew starts jail term

    A nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley began serving a 60-day jail sentence imposed after he pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of a Mount Prospect man during a fight outside a bar.

    Debra Knight, of Lake Villa, holds a flag and cheers during a Friday viewing party at the Centennial Ice Arena in Highland Park for hometown Olympic skater Jason Brown.

    Fans at Highland Park arena proud of Jason Brown

    Hundreds of fans from across the suburbs flocked to the Centennial Ice Arena in Highland Park to watch hometown favorite Jason Brown compete in Olympic figure skating Friday. Brown finished out of medal contention in ninth place, but the 19-year-old skater didn't disappoint the crowd. “I think he should be very proud of himself,” said Molly Anderson, a friend from Northfield.

    The shooting range is not usable on the campus at the old Kane County sheriff’s office and jail on Fabyan Parkway in Geneva, leaving the county with having to construct a new range — at a cost higher than it expected.

    Inaccurate estimate results in much higher cost for Kane shooting range

    The new shooting range for Kane County sheriff’s deputies will cost almost twice as much as first projected. The initial estimate, which the county got free, failed to account for numerous costs. Some board members had sticker shock at the new $1.89 million price, but Sheriff Pat Perez said there is more than enough cash to pay for the range. With some doubts, the funding request was put...

    Larry Gehant, uncle of victim Julianna Gehant, hugs Northern Illinoins Associate Vice President of Student Affairs Kelly Wesener-Michael on Fridy during a moment of reflection on the sixth anniversary of the campus shooting.

    NIU marks anniversary of shootings with bell ringing

    Northern Illinois University students and faculty along with Gov. Pat Quinn on Friday marked the six-year anniversary of deadly shootings on the campus. “Today is a day to reflect. Six years ago today, Illinois lost five young men and women in a tragedy that shook the entire nation,” Quinn said. “We will never forget the pain and sadness that we all felt when tragedy hit...

    Clockwise from top left, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, Dan Rutherford and Bruce Rauner are seeking the Republican nomination for governor.

    Dillard’s teachers union support could mean funding boost

    State Sen. Kirk Dillard picked up the biggest labor endorsement thus far in the Republican race for governor, with the state’s largest teachers union backing him on Friday. Dillard cited it when talking about Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner. “The Republican Party has one man in this race who demonizes working people and members of organized labor,” Dillard, a Hinsdale...

    Longtime Island Lake Finance Director John Little has been fired and replaced by an appointed treasurer.

    Island Lake’s finance director fired following pension fund debacle

    Outraged by a $389,000 gap in the police pension fund, Island Lake officials have fired longtime Finance Director John Little. Effective immediately, Treasurer Ed McGinty will oversee the village's finances on a full-time basis, officials said.

    Students including Lizzie Karras, right, dance during a “One Billion Rising” flash mob event in the Maine West High School cafeteria Friday morning in Des Plaines to raise awareness about violence against women.

    Maine West flash mob seeks end to violence against women

    Some Maine West High School students got to school early Friday to be part of a before class flash mob, performing dances, poetry and other spectacles to promote ending violence against women. Similar events were held at noon at Oakton Community College in Des Plaines and Skokie and in the evening at the Gail Borden Library in Elgin as part of a worldwide One Billion Rising campaign to raise...


    Schaumburg may require new firefighters to hold 4-year degrees

    Schaumburg’s public safety committee has recommended lowering the maximum starting age from 40 to 35 for newly hired police officers and firefighters, as well as requiring new firefighters to hold bachelor’s degrees as village police officers already do.


    Lake Zurich football fundraiser:

    The Lake Zurich Quarterback Club hosts its 16th annual Spring Fling Evening of Champions fundraiser to benefit the Lake Zurich High School football program on March 15.

    Lisa Gregoire is the new principal for Isaac Fox Elementary School in Lake Zurich.

    New District 95 principal:

    The Lake Zurich Unit District 95 school board voted Feb. 13 to hire Lisa Gregoire as the new principal for Isaac Fox Elementary School, the district said in a news release.


    Dist. 200 board reviews bond amount, other funding for projects

    After hearing from members of the finance committee who met and discussed other options, the Community School District Unit 200 board of education agreed the district still needs to issue non-referendum bonds this spring, and at the originally proposed amount of $10 million.

    Agne and Audrius Cepronas of Barrington wait to be married.

    Valentine’s Day weddings more memorable

    Holidays will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Agne Joncaide and Audrius Cepronas. Four years ago on Easter Sunday, they were introduced by mutual friends. On Valentine’s Day they were married in the Rolling Meadows courthouse, one of three couples who chose a courthouse wedding on what many consider the most romantic day of the year.


    Probation for Schaumburg man who stabbed puppy

    A 75-year old Schaumburg man was sentenced to 24 months probation after he pleaded guilty Thursday to stabbing a puppy with a metal spike, court records show. In exchange for Anthony Haynes' guilty plea, the judge ordered him to pay $2,500 restitution. The puppy survived.


    Hoffman Ests. couple loses $5,000 in DUI scam

    A Hoffman Estates couple was scammed out of $5,000 Feb. 11 after they received a phone call from a man claiming to be an attorney, police said.

    FILE - In this Jan. 8, 2014, file photo, former NBA basketball player Dennis Rodman looks out at the court at the end of an exhibition basketball game with U.S. and North Korean players at an indoor stadium in Pyongyang, North Korea. Rodman checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center to reevaluate his life, not give up drinking. He spent three weeks in a New Jersey-based facility when he returned from his latest trip to North Korea.(AP Photo/Kim Kwang Hyon, File)

    Rodman out of rehab: ‘I’m not an alcoholic’

    Dennis Rodman checked into an alcohol-rehabilitation center to reevaluate his life, not give up drinking. “I needed to decompress from all the things I was going through,” Rodman said Friday by phone from Miami. “I was trying to get this game going and get everything going in North Korea.“It was a lot.”

    Bruce Crowley, paleontology lab manager at the Burke museum, uses an awl to move sediment from around a mammoth tusk early Friday.

    BC-US--Tusk Found, 4th Ld-Writethru,396Scientists prepare to lift tusk from Seattle pitAP Photo SE204, SE201, WAET107, WAET102, WAET103, SE203, SE202, WAET103

    Construction workers found the tusk Tuesday about 30 feet below street level, thinking at first that it might be a pipe or a root. The company building a 118-unit apartment complex at the site has nearly stopped construction to accommodate the scientists.

    Doug Maxeiner

    Close Wauconda 911 center, village administrator says

    Wauconda’s 911 center will be mothballed and the service outsourced to Lake Zurich under a plan recommended by Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner.


    Arlington Heights police issue alerts about ‘suspicious’ incidents

    Arlington Heights police on Friday issued two citizen alerts about “suspicious” incidents involving children and drivers of pickup trucks. Police believe the cases are not related, even though they occurred about the same time on Thursday afternoon.


    Psychological exam planned for Mundelein teen

    Attorneys for a 14-year-old accused of killing her 11-year-old half-sister in Mundelein in January said they are arranging for a psychological exam as soon as possible. The teen is accused of stabbing Dora Betancourt more than 30 times on Jan. 21.

    Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford speaks during a Feb. 4 debate in Naperville.

    Rutherford trip lodging becomes GOP campaign issue

    In his pitch to become Illinois governor, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford boasts of his cheap travel and lodging practices as part of a frugal conservatism that will serve taxpayers if he becomes the state’s next chief executive. But a pattern of sharing hotel rooms and a Chicago studio apartment with a subordinate on his government staff has become an issue in the Republican’s...


    Naperville seeks input on trails plan update

    Naperville Park District residents have one more opportunity to weigh in on walking and biking trails before the park district updates the document that tracks current trails and plans future additions.

    The Solid Waste Agency of Lake County will launch a recycling initiative for textiles. Officials say 85 percent of the materials wind up in landfills.

    Collection bins for new Lake County recycling initiative will sprout this spring

    A new recycling initiative will sprout this spring with polished white collection boxes placed in several Lake County communities. Fifteen communties are on board for the roll out of the textile collection program. “We think there’s more then enough textiles to go around,” said Walter Willis, executive director of the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County.

    The Pure Oil Station in Geneva is in the Tudor Revival style and is one of the more than two dozen Illinois buildings and downtown districts that were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2013.

    Illinois sites named to national historic register

    SPRINGFIELD — More than two dozen Illinois buildings and downtown districts have been added to the National Register of Historic Places.Twenty-three buildings and 11 historic districts were added to the register in 2013, according to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.

    The 50th District state house candidates are, clockwise from upper left, Julie Cosimo, Beth Goncher, Keith Wheeler and Bill Keck.

    50th House hopefuls discuss state finances

    If the increase in the state income tax is allowed to expire, where would the state make up the revenue shortfall? Candidates for the Republican nomination for the 50th District house seat say eliminating Medicaid fraud would help.

    Travis Loyd violated rules by participating in professional fishing tournaments while on sick leave from his job as an Illinois Department of Natural Resources administrator in the summer of 2013. But 42-year-old Loyd of Kinmundy says his doctor ordered him to seek a stress-free zone to control a chronic illness that threatened his life.

    IDNR official resigns after fishing on sick leave

    A top administrator at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources said Friday he was forced to resign last week because of his doctor-ordered participation in professional fishing tournaments while on sick leave.

    The icebreaker Biscayne Bay passes Chicago’s Navy Pier as it plows through the ice-covered waters of Lake Michigan on its way to Indiana on Wednesday.

    Great Lakes become nearly covered with ice

    It’s been so bitterly cold for so long in the Upper Midwest that the Great Lakes are almost completely covered with ice. The last time they came this close was in 1994, when 94 percent of the lakes’ surface was frozen. As of Friday, ice cover extended across 88 percent.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Anthony C. Jones-Johnson, 25, of Elgin, faces felony drug charges after Carpentersville police pulled him over Wednesday and found between 30 and 500 grams of marijuana on his person, according to a police report. Police pulled over Jones-Johnson in the 1600 block of Kennedy Drive because he turned from a parking lot onto the street without using a turn signal, Cmdr. Erman Blevins said.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Tri blotter

    Sandbags form a levee protecting the front doors of homes in Gloucester, southwest England, as the region reacts to an increased flood threat alert Friday.

    Princes help with flood relief as new storm looms over U.K.

    Princes William and Harry helped flood protection efforts on the River Thames west of London as a new storm hit the U.K. with drenching rains, threatening to prolong the risk of inundations for another week.


    Rte 59 and Liberty St. intersection reopens after gas leak

    The intersection of Route 59 and Liberty Street in Aurora reopened about 2:30 p.m. Friday. A natural gas leak caused officials to close the intersection for about four hours as crews investigated and repaired the problem.

    Incumbent state Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, left, is being challenged by Adam Johnson of Warrenville in the Republican primary for the 48th House District. Both candidates answered questions Thursday at a forum in Wheaton that was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of Wheaton and the Wheaton Chamber of Commerce.

    42nd House hopefuls talk pensions, special interests

    With only a minute to answer individual questions at a candidates forum in Wheaton, incumbent state Rep. Jeanne Ives and challenger Adam Johnson focused much of their disagreements on pensions and the influence of special-interest groups. Potential voters packed a room Thursday at the Wheaton Park District Community Center to hear from DuPage County Board and Illinois House candidates, including...

    Anybody can hold an outdoor Ale Fest in summer, but pulling one off outside in the dead of winter can be more challenging. That's not stopping organizers of the first Naperville Winter Ale Fest, who hope to attract 3,000 people later this month to Frontier Park on the city's south side.

    Cold won't slow down Naperville's first Winter Ale Fest

    If natives of Wisconsin and Michigan can survive and enjoy outdoor winter beer festivals, there's no reason Chicago area residents can't warm to the concept, said Josh Seago, founder and president of Lou Dog Events, which is organizing the first Naperville Winter Ale Fest on Saturday, Feb. 22. “We're used to the winter. We can handle it just as well as anyone in Wisconsin or...

    Spotlight Youth Theater presents “Peter Pan” at the Batavia Fine Arts Centre. From left, Noah Moberly, 10, of Aurora portrays Michael; Ben Rogers, 18, of Sugar Grove portrays Mr. Darling (and Hook); Lauren Lanahan, 16, of North Aurora portrays Mrs. Darling; and Zach Honer, 14, of Naperville (behind Lanahan) portrays John.

    ‘Peter Pan’ flies into Batavia

    Get ready for highflying musical fun when Spotlight Youth Theater Aurora presents "Peter Pan" at Batavia Fine Arts Centre. The Daily Herald checked in with director Vince Cortese of Aurora to find out more about the show.

    Alexandra Wilson, 17, of Mount Prospect, left, received the Rising Star Award from the Special Events Commission and village President Arlene Juracek at the Celestial Celebration awards dinner in Mount Prospect.

    Honors handed out at Mt. Prospect Celestial Celebration

    its recent Celestial Celebration banquet at Victoria in the Park. Here’s a closer look at some of the award winners based on speeches given at the gala.


    Harper fire science instructor one of nation’s best

    Harper College professor Sam Giordano has been recognized as one of the top instructors of arson investigation in the country. Forensicscolleges.com named Giordano in its top 13 list of the best college educators in a field responsible for investigating suspicious fires.


    Laundry room fire damages Naperville townhouse

    The laundry room of a second-story townhouse in Naperville caught fire Thursday evening, displacing two residents and causing an estimated $80,000 in damage, authorities said Friday. Bureau Chief Mark Thurow of the Naperville Fire Department said heat and fire damage was contained to the laundry room and a hallway of the second-story unit in the 2500 block of Oneida Lane where the fire started.


    District 95 debates tax zone request

    Lake Zurich Unit District 95 officials are mulling whether to support village government's request to extend the life of a special taxing zone that was enacted to ignite downtown redevelopment.

    Daniel R. Kellogg

    Former Campton Hills man guilty of evading prison

    A 39-year-old former Campton Hill man was convicted this week of failing to report to prison to serve a five-year sentence for a string of car burglaries in St. Charles. Daniel Kellogg also faces charges he tried to sell a Camppton Hills home that wasn't his and his attorney hopes to reach a deal with prosecutors. Kellogg his due in court March 12.

    The Mount Prospect Park District has received bids for a new maintenance building at the Mount Prospect Golf Course.

    Mt. Prospect park board to look at golf work bids

    The Mount Prospect Park District has opened bids for the first phase of an ambitious renovation project at the Mount Prospect Golf Course, but commissioners aren't expected to take action on them until mid-March.

    A day after snagging a gold medal for the Russian figure skating team at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Julia Lipnitskaia was back at her usual rink in Moscow, hoping to escape the buzz and stay focused on the individual competition ahead.

    Lipnitskaia at home: ‘She’s a girl with character’
    he got the gold. Then she went straight home — to practice some more. A day after snagging a gold medal for the Russian figure skating team at the Sochi Winter Olympics, Julia Lipnitskaia was back at her usual rink in Moscow, hoping to escape the buzz and stay focused on the individual competition ahead.

    Schaumburg High School freshman Sabik Corhan listens to one of his coaches prior to going into the game. Born without shin or ankle bones, Corhan has learned to keep up with his teammates without the use of his prosthetic legs.

    Moving picture: Schaumburg teen plays without legs

    Sabik Corhan had his legs amputated at age 2 after he was born without shin or ankle bones. But that didn't stop him being an active kid, and now he even plays on the freshman football team at Schaumburg High School. “I don’t think of it as a disability,” Corhan said, “I don’t even like to use the word disability. I always give it my best, what ever sport...

    Kane County 4-H’ers and “got robot?” team members are, from left: Kristen McKellar, Chris Laker, Aidan Pollard, P.J. Stephen, Marcos Marquez, Bo Russell, and Matthew McKellar. This season, “got robot?” – also known as FIRST Tech Challenge Robotics Team 5037 – has already advanced to the 2013-2014 FTC Illinois State Championship at IIT in Chicago, where it will compete Saturday, Feb. 22.

    Kane 4-H robotics team earns top honors

    Seven years ago, if someone had asked Michael and Carol McKellar of Elgin whether they would be coaches of an award-winning, world-renowned robotics team, they likely would have laughed. But today, it’s a reality.

    Switzerland’s Sandro Viletta jumps during the downhill portion of the men’s supercombined at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. He won the gold medal.

    Viletta stuns favorites to win super-combined; Miller finishes fourth

    For Sandro Viletta, it was a stunning Olympic gold. For Ivica Kostelic, it was the same old Olympic silver. Viletta took advantage of a blistering slalom run to beat the favored Kostelic in Friday’s super-combined. Defending champion Bode Miller made a big mistake during his downhill run and finished sixth, while world champion Ted Ligety had a ragged slalom leg and placed 12th.


    Former pediatrician convicted of waterboarding girl

    A pediatrician known for his research on paranormal science and near-death experiences with children was convicted Thursday of waterboarding the daughter of his longtime companion by holding her head under a faucet.


    NY pregnant woman killed by plow, baby delivered

    A pregnant woman who was loading groceries into the trunk of her car with her husband was struck and killed by a mini-snowplow on Thursday morning, and her baby boy was successfully delivered by emergency cesarean section, authorities said.

    A photographer walks along a snow-covered path in Central Park, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in New York. Yet another winter storm brought snow and ice to the East Coast.

    Another messy morning in winter-weary Northeast

    Commuters faced slippery, slush-covered roads on Friday after yet another winter storm brought snow and ice to the East Coast, leaving at least 21 people dead, including a pregnant woman struck by a mini-plow in New York City whose baby was then born by cesarean section.

    Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring took the unusual step of not defending the state’s ban on same-sex marriage because he believes the ban violates the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. A federal judge agreed, ruling the law unconstitutional.

    Judge: Va. same-sex marriage ban unconstitutional

    Virginia on Thursday became the first state in the South to have its same-sex marriage ban overturned, with a late-night federal court ruling that declared the voter-approved amendment unconstitutional.


    IDNR: Deer numbers need to go up in some counties

    Illinois officials plan to revise deer population objectives for 41 counties beginning with this year’s hunting season. Department of Natural Resources Director Marc Miller says a two-year review shows that the counties should shift from deer reduction to maintaining or increasing the herd.


    Harsh winter may kill fish in some Illinois lakes

    Long periods of snow cover and thick ice may kill off fish in some Illinois lakes and ponds. The Lake County Health Department is advising residents to report fish kills. Dead fish along shores should be collected and disposed of in the trash.

    Associated Press Xiyue Li, left, and Yixing Jin participate in a lesson in Lihui Zhang’s Mandarin Chinese language class at Martin Luther King Elementary School in Urbana.

    Some Illinois schools teaching 2 languages

    English-speakers say “book.” Spanish speakers say “libro.”Students who go through dual-language classes will say it both ways, as they’ll finish elementary school fluent in English and Spanish.Dual-language education is catching on around the country, including Champaign-Urbana.


    South Side Chicago Wright home added to tour

    A home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright on Chicago’s South Side is being added to an annual tour that serves as the main fundraiser for the celebrated architect’s namesake trust.


    Crowd cheers Indiana skier for Olympic medal win

    Hundreds of people gathered in the southeastern Indiana hometown of Olympic slopestyle skier Nick Goepper to watch him win the bronze medal. The crowd turned out at Perfect North Slopes in Lawrenceburg for a watch party Thursday night of the competition in Sochi during 19-year-old Goepper and two other Americans swept the medals.


    Illinois city of Rock Falls remains without water

    The northern Illinois city of Rock Falls remains without water. Rock Falls lost water service Thursday afternoon because of what authorities said was a “sanitation infrastructure failure.” The community of 9,000 residents remained without water service Friday morning.


    Public hearings on Ind.-Ill. toll road scheduled

    The public can speak its mind about the route chosen for the proposed Illiana Expressway at public hearings next week. The Times of Munster reports officials will accept comments on the route and the 47-mile highway’s environmental impact at public hearings Feb. 18 in Lowell and Feb. 19 in Wilmington, Ill.

    Julie Morrison

    Chicago Executive Airport gets $5.3M in state money
    Associated PressChicago Executive Airport is receiving $5.3 million in state money to make safety improvements.Gov. Pat Quinn announced the funding for Chicago Executive Airport in Wheeling on Thursday.It will be used to install a large area of crushable concrete at the end of a runway. The specially engineered concrete can slow or stop an aircraft if it overruns the runway.


    District 200: Middle school B teams too costly for now

    The cost of bringing back so-called B sports teams next fall at Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200's four middle schools is simply too high — at least for now — school board members say. Officials say reinstating the teams would cost more than $160,000 a year to cover stipends for six coaches at each school, transportation to games, uniforms and other expenses. In addition,...


    Dawn Patrol: Rutherford won’t release report; Jason Brown in 6th place

    Buffalo Grove man's murder plot may have included daughter, witness says. Rutherford won't release independent report. All Mundelein High students to get laptops. Bulls feeling good heading into All-Star break. Highland Park's Jason brown sixth after short program. USA crushes Slovakia in men's Olympic hockey.


    Roselle library urging patrons to try out new seats

    Roselle Public Library patrons are being asked to try out some new seating options as the library makes plans to replace some aging and "icky" chairs to spruce the place up.


    New paint recycling plan lacks gloss for Kane officials

    Kane County recycling officials want the county board to endorse a bill that would create a "paint stewardship" program in Illinois. The idea is to encourage paint recycling. But because it involves charging consumers a fee on their paint purchases, and the creation of a Springfield-based program, some board members balked at the plan Thursday.

    Who will pay to push Route 53 into Lake County?

    Funding options for 53 extension still elusive

    So how do we pay to extend Route 53 north? That's the question for a tollway advisory group but the answers are hard to come by. The Illinois tollway has yet to decide on whether to adopt the pricey project, which would lengthen 53 north 12 miles from Lake-Cook Road and connect with Route 120. Tolls on the proposed roadway will pay for only a fraction of the up to $2.87 billion cost, leading to a...

    The 119 letters the couple wrote to each other long before they became a couple show how Dennis and Maggie Depcik fell in love.

    Decades-old letters a gift from now-deceased wife

    Widowed after 41 years of marriage, a Buffalo Grove man discovers the perfect present from his late wife: a box of the old letters that show why they fell in love. “I was missing her one day and wanted to be with her,” Dennis Depcik says. He walked around the bedroom they shared, touching her stuffed animals, music boxes and jewelry. Then he noticed an unusual box in a stack on her...

    The winter of 2013-2014 won’t soon be forgotten. The owner of this bike along a street in Chicago probably hopes that it will end sooner than later.

    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 February 10th.



    Naperville Central in tie for DVC lead

    There was not a whole lot of suspense during Naperville Central’s DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball game Friday night, but there were some exciting moments after the final horn.


    Trio steps up for sectional host Barrington

    On the big mats in their own house, Barrington’s Mitch Stathakis, Matt Conrad and Julius Smith drew one step closer to booking their spot in the Class 3A wrestling state tournament. The sophomore 106-pounder Stathakis (30-3) showed his intent with a masterful 14-2 major decision to send him into Saturday’s 9 a.m. semifinal against Michael Lynch of New Trier. Conrad, a senior, left little doubt in his match with Sam Riportella (33-10) of Mundelein, which resulted in an impressive 13-0 major in his second-round bout at 132 pounds. Next up is Christian Fausel (26-10) of Hononegah. And Smith, who has made a habit of late of keeping the Broncos faithful on the edge of their seats with last-minute success, was up to his old tricks when he used a takedown in the closing moments to outlast Prospect freshman Matt Wroblewski (33-8) 3-1 in his 160-pound quarterfinal.


    Buddy system works well for Schaumburg’s Sigler, Maslowski

    Schaumburg’s Matt Sigler and Adam Maslowski, friends for as long as they can remember, got to share the spotlight on Friday night at Barrington. The one-time kindergarten classmates moved to the head of the high school diving class by producing the top team finish as the Mid-Suburban League meet got started. Sigler produced the top score of 372.05, and Maslowski was fourth at 321.70. Saxons diving coach Lisa Raclawski has coached both through all four of their high school seasons, so seeing the pair collectively achieve such distinction was especially gratifying. It’s also more than a coincidence, she says, that both of them ended up finishing so high in the final standings.


    Girls basketball scoreboard: Friday’s results
    *Kaneland 40, Sycamore 35Sycamore — Moll 4 0-0 10, Gilbert 3 0-0 9, Hopkins 4 1-3 9. Totals 14 1-3 35.Kaneland — Brinkman 1 0-0 3, Conley 1 0-0 2, Crimmins 1 0-0 2, Heimerdinger 3 6-6 14, Schaefer 1 2-2 4, VanBogaert 1 0-1 2, Wallner 2 3-6 7, Weber 1 0-0 2, Winquist Bailey 0 4-5 4. Totals 11 15-20 40.Sycamore 6 7 11 11 —35Home 10 7 9 14 —403-point baskets: S: Gilbert 3, Moll 2. K: Heimedinger 2, Brinkman.Fouled out: None.*Huntley 56, Grayslake North 45Huntley — Barreto 0 4-4 4, Brock 0 0-0 0, Zornow 0 2-2 2, S. Andrews 6 5-8 20, A. Andrews 12 3-4 28, Zobott 0 0-0 0, Clausen 1 0-0 2, Renkosik 0 0-0 0, Brown 0 0-0 0, Costantino 0 0-0 0, Rubino 0 0-0 0, Larson 0 0-0 0, Miller 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 14-18 56.Grayslake North — Fish 2 2-2 8, Detweiler 7 0-0 16, Martineau 0 0-0 0, Thibeaux 5 1-2 12, Myers 0 0-0 0, Lovitsch 3 2-3 9, Vilwock 0 0-0 0, Stinner 0 0-0 0, Hartigan 0 0-0 0, Friedman 0 0-0 0, Karnuth 0 0-0 0, Swanson 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-7 45.Huntley 14 13 13 16 —56Grayslake North 11 9 8 17 —453-point baskets: H — S. Andrews 3, A. Andrews; GN — Fish 2, Detweiler 2, Thibeaux, Lovitsch. *Crystal Lake South 51, Crystal Lake Central 42CL South — Mitre 1 0-0 2, Rasmuseen 1 0-0 3, Clark 4 0-0 8, De Jesus 1 0-0 2, Mickow 7 3-8 17, Hollingsworth 0 0-0 0, Fanter 7 0-0 14, Massie 1 3-3 5, Przybylski 0 0-0 0, Siesennop 0 0-0 0, Blakey 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 6-11 51.CL Central — Bernero 2 1-2 5, Helm 0 0-0 0, Ellman 7 0-0 18, Steffen 0 0-0 0, Wozniak 0 0-0 0, Grischow 0 0-0 0, Schmitt 3 1-2 9, Lerum 0 0-0 0, Ziolkowski 0 0-0 0, Youel 3 4-4 10. Totals 15 6-8 42.CL South 8 12 17 14 —51CL Central 11 12 7 12 —423-point baskets: CLS — Rasmussen; CLC — Ellman 4, Schmitt 2. *PRAIRIE RIDGE 49, GRAYSLAKE CENTRAL 48Prairie Ridge — LeBeau 6 2-2 18, Kilhoffer 0 0-0 0, Klendworth 2 2-4 8, Clark 1 0-0 2, Voel-Pel 1 4-11 6, Drain 7 1-3 15. Totals 17 9-20 49.Grayslake Central — Arnold 0 0-0 0, Spalding 2 2-3 8, Dahlstrom 9 3-3 21, Sparkman 1 0-0 2, Moroney 0 0-0 0, Garbett 0 0-0 0, Curtis 2 0-0 4, Larson 0 0-0 0, Effa 1 0-0 2, Eschrich 3 0-1 6 . Totals 20 6-13 48.Prairie Ridge 14 11 13 11 —49Grayslake Central 11 15 8 14 —483-point baskets: PR: LeBeau 4, Klendworth2; GC: Spalding 2.Fouled out: none.*Cary-Grove 41, Hampshire 23Cary-Grove — Barker 7 0-0 16, Clemment 1 0-0 2, Glaysher 3 2-2 8, Wilczynski 3 0-0 6, Cunningham 1 4-4 6, Jakubicek 2 2-2 7, Kendeigh 2 0-0 4, Josefowicz 0 1-2 1, Pilut 0 1-2 1. Totals 19 10-12 51.Hampshire — Finn 3 0-0 7, B. Dumoulin 0 0-0 0, N. Dumoulin 0 1-2 1, DeChant 1 0-0 2, Benoit 5 0-0 11, T. Dumoulin 1 0-0 2, Detiveaux 0 0-0 0, Lazar 0 0-0 0. Totals 10 1-2 23.Cary-Grove 11 14 13 13 —41Hampshire 8 2 9 4 —233-point baskets: C-G — Barker 2, Jakubieck; H — Finn, Benoit1.*Jacobs 47, Johnsburg 42Jacobs — Williams 3 0-0 8, Surges 0 0-0 0, Sidor 1 4-4 6, ALach 0 0-0 0, Grady 0 4-4 4, Frighetto 0 0-0 0, Richman 3 3-5 9, Powell 2 1-1 6, Barnec 4 2-2 11, Hernandez 1 2-2 4, Cook 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 16-18 47.Johnsburg — Pruitt 0 0-0 0, Fox 0 0-0 0, Ward 0 0-0 0, Rowe 0 0-0 0, Chase 4 0-2 8, Himpelmann 2 1-4 5, Sommerfeldt 0 0-0 0, Toussaint 3 1-2 8, Szramek 1 0-0 3, Johns 1 3-3 5, Poczkalski 2 0-0 6, Majercik 3 0-0 7. Totals 16 5-16 42.Jacobs 14 10 10 13 —47Johnsburg 15 14 10 3 —423-point baskets: HDJ — Williams 2, Barnec, Powell: JBG — Poczkalski 2, Majercik, Szramek, Toussaint. Fouled out: HDJ — Grady.*Dundee-Crown 44, Woodstock 26 Dundee-Crown — Scarpelli 2 2-4 7, Faulkner 0 0-2 0, Lococo 0 2-4 2, Barker 2 0-0 5, Petty 0 0-2 0, Baker 2 0-2 4, A. Michalski 2 0-0 4, Lawrence 0 0-4 0, LaBoy 6 0-0 12, E. Michalski 4 2-2 10. Totals 18 6-20 44.


    Boys swimming and diving scoreboard: Friday’s results
    *Mid-Suburban League diving meetAt Barringtonindividual resultsTop 12 divers: 1. Sigler (Schaumburg) 372.05, 2. Kraemer (Elk Grove) 352.35, 3. Aykroid (Conant) 331.05, 4. Maslowski (Schaumburg) 321.7, 5. Delantre (Buffalo Grove) 314.95, 6. Opperman (Buffalo Grove) 314.25, 7. Schmit (Prospect) 307.4, 8. Wilken (Palatine) 287.65, 9. Jauch (Fremd) 283.7, 10. Busche (Hersey) 280.95, 11. Liva (Prospect) 278.7, 12. Klarner (Fremd) 273.8.


    Boys basketball scoreboard: Friday’s results
    Friday’s results*Aurora CHristian 60, Marmion 57Marmion — Sheehan 5 2-2 16, Esp 4 0-1 8, Maryanski 3 2-2 8, Glasgow 8 4-8 20, Bicknell 1 0-0 3, Fletcher 0 0-0 0, Friel 1 0-0 2, Murphy 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 8-13 57.Aurora Christian —McNamara 2 0-0 5, Lutze 5 1-1 13, Singer 3 0-0 7, Wolfe 4 2-3 12, Harrell 6 3-4 17, Buhrt 2 1-1 6, Schweisthal 0 0-0 0. Totals 22 7-9 60.Marmion 15 13 18 11 —57Aurora Christian 14 22 11 13 —603-point baskets: M: Sheehan 4, Bicknell; AC: Lutze 2, Wolfe 2, Harrell 2, Buhrt, McNamara, Singer.Rebounds: M: 23 (Maryanski 6); AC: 23 (Singer 7).Fouled out: None.Sophs: Marmion 71, Aurora Christian 41.*Kaneland 63, Yorkville 55Kaneland — D. David 2 4-4 9, Pruett 0 9-12 9, Fedderly 0 0-0 0, Barnes 0 0-0 0, Vaca 1 7-9 10, VanBogaert 0 0-0 0, T. Carlson 3 5-7 18, R. David 3 1-1 8, C. Carlson 2 4-5 9. Totals 13 30-38 63.Yorkville — Bates 0 0-0 0, Bonourant 2 2-2 6, Carrera 0 0-0 0, Davis 1 0-0 2, Domack 4 2-2 13, Firrantello 0 0-2 0, Gette 4 0-5 11, Payne 2 0-0 5, Shimp 5 7-8 18, Spontella 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 11-19 55.Kaneland 14 17 13 19 —63Yorkville 10 15 18 12 —553-point baskets: K: T. Carlson3, D. David, Vaca, R. David, C. Carlson. Y: Domack 3, Gette 3, Payne, Shimp.Fouled out: Y: Shimp.*STEVENSON 94, MUNDELEIN 55Stevenson — Johnson 4 1-12 10, Morrissey 8 2-2 18, Nichols 1 0-0 2, Cashaw 7 0-0 15, Brunson 6 5-8 20, Smith 2 1-1 5, Rosenbaum 3 0-0 6, Yoon 1 0-0 2, Panitch 1 0-0 3, O’Connell 0 0-0 0, Hwang 2 0-0 6, Dillon 0 3-4 3, McMullen 1 0-0 2, Hodes 1 0-0 2, Sanon 0 0-0 0, Imus 0 0-0 0. Totals 36 12-18 94.Mundelein — Parola 6 6-8 21, Nelson 0 0-1 0, J.T. Michalski 2 2-4 7, Brune 7 0-0 20, Filippo 1 0-1 3, Marcotte 0 0-0 0, Siron 0 0-0 0, Lawrence 2 0-0 4, Doby 0 0-0 0, Olson 0 0-0 0, C. Michalski 0 0-0 0, Parmley 0 0-0 0, Miles 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 8-14 55.Stevenson 37 18 26 13 —94Mundelein 8 15 16 16 —553-point baskets: Stev: Brunson 3, Morrissey 2, Hwang 2, Johnson, Cashaw, Panitch; Mund: Brune 6, Parola 3, J.T Michalski, Filippo.Fouled out: none.*LIBERTYVILLE 54, WARREN 48Libertyville — Vernasco 4 2-5 11, Braun 5 0-0 10, Borcia 1 0-1 2, Reed 3 0-0 8, Lipp 3 5-5 13, Peterson 2 4-7 10, Chen 0 0-0 0, Kimpler 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 11-18 54.Warren — Deere 7 0-0 14, Reams 0 1-2 1, Swane 7 4-8 18, Gillespie 6 1-2 15, Betori 0 0-1 0, Jokic 0 0-0 0, Schroeder 0 0-0 0, Payawal 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 6-13 48.Libertyville 11 19 11 13 —54Warren 9 12 17 10 —483-point baskets: Lib: Lipp 2, Reed 2, Peterson 2, Vernasco; Warr: Gillespie 2.Fouled out: Warr: Deere.*Vernon Hills 84, Round Lake 66Round Lake — Ruiz 0 0-0 0, Lear 2 2-4 6, Lopez 7 5-8 19, Pisarski 2 2-4 9, Bommon 2 0-0 4, Milianti 0 0-0 0 A. Green 1 0-0 2, M. Green 0 2-2 2, Soto 0 0-0 0, Wright 7 8-10 24. Totals: 21 21-28 66.Vernon Hills — Klintworth 1 0-0 2, Weaver 6 0-0 14, Rattner 5 1-1 13, Erchinger 1 0-0 2, Levin 2 0-1 4, Roy 0 2-2 4, Feece 0 0-0 0, Manso 4 0-1 8, Mariella 2 0-1 4, Boyer 1 0-0 3, Nardini 10 7-8 32. Totals 32 10-14 84.Round Lake 18 10 9 23 —66Vernon Hills 15 13 32 24 —843-point baskets: RL: Wright 2, Pisarski: VH: Nardini 5, Weaver 2, Rattner 2, Boyer.*antioch 66, grant 60Antioch — Marsiglio 6 2-3 17, Abdellatif 5 2-2 15, Reiser 0 0-0 0, Gofron 7 1-3 16, Powers 3 2-4 8, Mrkonich 1 2-2 4, Kovach 1 2-2 4, Bell 0 2-2 2. Totals 23 13-18 66.Grant — Malmberg 1 1-1 3, Noda 4 5-7 13, Dunning 3 8-8 14, Burns 6 2-2 17, Bald 3 2-4 8, Sadauskas 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Graves 2 0-0 5, Hanlin 0 0-2 0. Totals 19 18-24 60.Antioch 16 16 10 24 —66Grant 12 15 19 14 —603-point baskets: Ant: Marsiglio 3, Abdellatif 3, Gofron; Grt: Burns 3, Graves.Fouled out: None.*LAKES 59, WAUCONDA 42


    Prospect wraps up outright East victory

    Prospect’s boys basketball clinched an outright title in the Mid-Suburban East with a 54-40 victory over visiting Buffalo Grove on Friday night at the Jean Walker Field House.


    Palatine hangs on against Schaumburg

    Palatine stormed to a 16-2 lead midway through the first quarter of its Mid-Suburban West boys basketball game with Schaumburg Friday, but the Pirates still needed to convert possessions down the stretch to earn the 50-41 victory. Sophomore Matt Ulrich, who led all scorers with 18 points, scored 9 in the first quarter when he made 3 of 4 3-point shots. The Pirates hit on 6 of 10 from the field in the quarter.


    Riverside-Brookfield downs Glenbard South

    Living by 3-pointers is one thing, but thriving on them is what the Riverside-Brookfield boys basketball team did in its 74-53 Metro Suburban Conference victory over Glenbard South on Friday in Glen Ellyn.


    Maine East makes history

    One of the biggest crowds to watch a Maine East girls basketball game turned out Friday night in Park Ridge. And it turned out to be a real celebration. The Blue Demons awarded their enthusiastic backers a historic win as they captured their first girls basketball conference championship in school history with a 48-44 victory over Maine West, which is coincidentally the conference’s queen of divisional crowns with 25.


    Glenbard North makes its shots

    When the ball goes through the hoop as often as Glenbard North made it happen Friday night, the game of basketball sounds so easy. “We hit a lot of shots. We hit a lot of shots,” said Panthers forward Chip Flanigan, who made 10 of them.


    Fox Valley wrestlers shine at Barrington

    When the wrestling state tournament series began last weekend, talk already began on how difficult the Barrington sectional would be, and which weight classes would sure to be those which would tantalize, tease and torment the players, coaches, families and friends. With a group filled with talent from top-to-bottom, the 120-pound division was one to keep a sharp eye on. The Fox Valley Conference had its share of favorites here, and when the night came to an end on Friday, Michael Cullen and Cody Ferencz were still left standing in the championship bracket on the eve of today’s 9 a.m. semifinals.

    Neuqua Valley’s Niki Lazar (20) grabs a rebound against Batavia, during girls basketball action Friday, in Batavia.

    Neuqua Valley stymies Batavia

    Neuqua Valley is getting healthy at just the right time. Kia Moon returned to the lineup for the first time in three weeks Friday. The sophomore came off the bench and scored a team-high 15 points, leading the Wildcats to a 56-49 victory at Batavia in a matchup of the Upstate Eight Conference Valley and River champions.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Crystal Lake South 51, Crystal Lake Central 42: The battle of CL Part II also went to the Gators (16-12), who outscored CLC by 12 in the second half to overcome 3-point halftime deficit in a Fox Valley Conference crossover win. Sara Mickow registered a team-high 17 points and 15 rebounds. Mickow is only 3 points shy of 1,000 in her career. Chanel Fanter added 14 points as well as CLS shot a scorching 50 percent clip from the field.Jacobs 47, Johnsburg 42: The Golden Eagles (7-19) managed to win their second-straight and did so in comeback fashion in an FVC crossover. Down 5 after three quarters, Jacobs blitzed the Skyhawks 10-3 in the fourth as Jenni Barnec scored 4 of her game-high 11 points in that stretch. Jacobs also drained 16 of 18 free throws whereas Johnsburg was just 5 of 16 from the stripe. Dundee-Crown 44, Woodstock 26: Behind Jesania Laboy’s 12 points and Emily Michalski’s 10, the Chargers (9-19) made it 2-straight in their FVC crossover win.


    Lutze’s half-court heave beats Marmion at buzzer

    His family and friends know Richard Dennis Lutze as R.D. Lutze. On Friday night, the initials stood for Real Dramatic. The Aurora Christian sophomore forward picked up a loose ball near the midcourt circle, took a step forward and launched a 3-point half-court heave that banked off the backboard and fell through the net as the buzzer sounded, giving the Eagles (13-10, 4-5) a thrilling 60-57 Suburban Christian Blue victory over Marmion (13-11, 4-3) in Aurora.


    Benet’s O’Mara passes 1,500-point mark in win

    Senior center Sean O’Mara scored 25 points to surpass 1,500 on the varsity and Benet used a huge third quarter to put away host Nazareth Academy 66-45 in front of a raucous boys basketball crowd Friday night.


    Downers Grove South blasts past Willowbrook

    The best advice for facing Downers Grove South’s boys basketball team Friday night? Stay out of the Mustangs’ way. They dominated in every facet imaginable while beating Willowbrook 71-43 in West Suburban Gold Conference action in Villa Park.


    Antioch turns it up, tops Grant

    There was a loud celebration in Antioch’s locker room Friday night. Lots of cheering, hooting and hollering. “I could hear it all the way down the hallway,” Grant basketball coach Wayne Bosworth said softly and dejectedly. The visiting Sequoits were celebrating at the expense of Bosworth’s team. They haven’t been on the winning side very many times this season, so they wanted to make sure to soak this one in. Antioch hustled its way to a 66-60 North Suburban Conference Prairie Division victory over Grant. It’s the Sequoits’ seventh win of the year and just their second in division play.


    Jacobs slips past Crystal Lake South

    Jacobs freshman center Cam Krutwig will have better games. But with the game in doubt, Krutwig came up big. Krutwig’s putback of a missed shot attempt by Chris Orange with 6.9 seconds remaining tied the game at 49. Fouled on the play, Krutwig connected on the ensuing free throw which was the eventual game-winner. A desperation shot by Crystal Lake South’s Colin Wagner clanged off the backboard and the Golden Eagles survived with a 50-49 win over the Gators in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action in Algonquin Friday night.


    The highlights continue for Brunson, Stevenson

    On the verge on jumping to the top of Stevenson’s all-time scoring list, Jalen Brunson continues to show that he can, indeed, leap. High. “I’ll show you some highlights,” Patriots coach Pat Ambrose said. If Stevenson fans missed Brunson’s alley-oop finish of a Matt Johnson lob last weekend against Benet — one of his two dunks in the game — the 6-foot-2 junior provided another juicy jam against host Mundelein on Friday night. Brunson powered down a one-handed dunk during a 37-point first quarter, as Stevenson posted a season-high point total in cruising to a 94-55 win. Coupled with Lake Forest’s 59-51 win over Zion-Benton, the victory clinched a share of the North Suburban Lake Division title for the Patriots.


    Prairie Ridge edges Grayslake Central

    Girls basketballPrairie Ridge 49, Grayslake Central 48: Despite Morgan Dahlstrom’s 21 points, the host Rams dropped the Fox Valley Conference crossover.Grayslake Central finished the regular season with an 18-10 record.Lauren Spalding sank two 3-pointers and scored 8 points for the Rams, who were up 26-25 at halftime but trailed 38-36 after three quarters.


    Haviland, Lakes pass this assignment

    Benett Haviland was called on to play a defensive role for Lakes in the second half against Wauconda on Friday night. His assignment was to guard sharpshooting Dion Head of the Bulldogs. Haviland handled the test, holding Head to one 3-point basket, as Lakes pulled out a 59-42 win.


    Larkin takes it to Geneva

    The way Larkin coach Deryn Carter saw it, Friday’s game against visiting Geneva “had reached a tipping point.” Carter’s Royals pressured coach Phil Ralston’s Vikings defensively the entire game, hounding them up the court, along the perimeter, whatever was necessary to keep Geneva from executing half-court offense the way it likes. The Vikings weathered the pressure well enough to take a 1-point lead on sophomore Loudon Volbrecht’s transition layup with 6:08 left in the fourth quarter. Then the Royals ratcheted their defense up a notch higher. Larkin began trapping on the perimeter and “running guys at guys,” as Carter put it. The resulting chaos caused a couple of Geneva turnovers and 3 missed shots in a short span, and Larkin guard Derrick Streety capitalized. The three-year varsity guard scored 8 points in a decisive 10-0 spurt that helped the Royals pull away for a 67-53 victory in the Upstate Eight River.


    IC Catholic cruises past Westminster in regional title game

    A dominant performance on the boards, physical play on defense and a huge game from senior Rory Manion all added up for top-seed regional host IC Catholic’s girls basketball team in the Class 2A IC Catholic regional title game against Westminster Christian on Friday night in Elmhurst. The Knights defended their home court with a 39-18 rebounding advantage in defeating the Warriors 61-33. IC Catholic (22-6), which won its first regional since 2008, advances to the Chicago Marine Military Academy sectional and will play Chicago Christ the King in the first semifinal game on Tuesday.


    Wheaton North battles back to beat Glenbard East

    The Glenbard East Rams have been struggling all season. With only one senior in the starting lineup, including a freshman, the Rams almost got their first DuPage Valley Conference boys basketball win this season, falling short to Wheaton North 48-46 Friday in Lombard.


    Waubonsie beats Metea in OT

    For four quarters on Friday night at Waubonsie Valley, neither the Warriors nor Metea Valley could take control of this game.


    Cary-Grove downs Hampshire

    With the season winding to a close, teams are preparing for the postseason, trying to get one last game in to see what can be worked on in practice. For Cary-Grove’s girls basketball team and head coach Rod Saffert, those tuneups are already in effect. Holding Hampshire to a season low in points, Cary-Grove was able to come out on top with a 51-23 Fox Valley Conference crossover victory Friday night, spoiling Senior Night for the Whip-Purs.

    Fremd’s Xavier Williams celebrates with his teammates after beating Conant for a share of the MSL West title .

    Images: Fremd vs. Conant boys basketball
    The Fremd Vikings played the Conant Cougars for boys basketball action on Friday, Februrary 14.

    Fremd’s Tom Cordell (35) delivers 2 points in the first half ahead of Conant’s Ryan Blaha as the Vikings win an outright MSL West championship on Friday in Palatine.

    Fremd wins MSL West outright

    Fremd turned the little things into a big victory Friday in Palatine. The Vikings played fundamentally sound basketball on both ends of the court to blast Conant 64-43 and claim the Mid-Suburban West title outright for the first time in four years.


    Kaneland downs Yorkville

    The Northern Illinois Big XII East basketball season has been ravaged by the unrelenting weather this winter.


    Reedy, Glenbard West clutch at the line

    Glenbard West coach Tim Hoder describes senior Will Reedy as a calm, unexcitable guy. In other words the kind of player you want to be at the free-throw line late in a close game.

    Huntley forward Ali Andrews shoots around Grayslake North defender Brittany Thiebeaux at Grayslake North on Friday.

    Huntley’s Andrews sisters too much for Grayslake N.

    Grayslake North used its pressure defense to take its first lead midway through the second quarter Friday night against visiting Huntley. But the Red Raiders’ Ali and Sam Andrews put an inordinate amount of pressure on almost every defense that is geared up to stop them. They combined to wipe out their only deficit with a 12-point run. They scored all 40 of their team’s points through three quarters and led the Red Raiders to a 56-45 victory in a regular-season ending matchup of Fox Valley Conference girls basketball division champions.

    St. Edward’s Katie Swanson charges to the hoop past Aurora Central Catholic’s Natalie Droeske during girls basketball action in Elgin Friday.

    No jitters for St. Edward’s seniors

    More times than not it takes seniors at least a few minutes to get over the jitters of Senior Night. Not St. Edward’s Katie Swanson. Playing with an obvious purpose from the opening tip, Swanson scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Green Wave to a 56-46 win over Aurora Central Catholic in a Suburban Christian Blue girls basketball game in Elgin Friday night.


    Wolves win 5-4 over IceHogs in shootout

    Center Keith Aucoin tied the score with four seconds left and four skaters scored in the shootout as the Chicago Wolves defeated the Rockford IceHogs 5-4 Friday night at the Rockford MetroCentre.


    Robinson, Hoffman Estates savoring winning results

    Jordan’s Robinson’s four years in the Hoffman Estates basketball program have not all been smooth sailing. In fact, at times, it’s been a struggle of sorts. Until now. On Friday night, the senior forward, in his last Mid-Suburban West home game, hit three straight field goals in the third quarter to help break open a fairly close game and pave the way for the Hawks to post a 74-64 win over a game Barrington squad. For Robinson, even with the team at 12-8 overall and 4-5 in the division with one game left, this season has meant everything. “I’m really proud of the guys,” he said, composed but still exhilarated after the win.


    David Stern elected to Basketball Hall of Fame

    David Stern is going from the NBA commissioner’s office to the Hall of Fame.The recently retired Stern was elected Friday to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame and will be enshrined with the class of 2014 on Aug. 8 in Springfield, Mass.


    Nardini’s big quarter powers Vernon Hills

    It’s a good thing Vernon Hills junior Robby Nardini hit a 3-pointer early in the first quarter of Friday night’s game at home. If he didn’t, his Cougars would have trailed 16-0. “We came out really slow,’’ noted Vernon Hills coach Matt McCarty. “At one point, (Mateusz) Lopez was winning 10-3 over us.” Four-game winner Round Lake held onto the lead over the Cougars all the way to halftime. And then Nardini, held to that one 3-pointer in the first half, put on a third-quarter show that has not been seen in these parts in the 11 seasons that McCarty has been in the building. By the end of the third quarter, the junior’s point total had gone up by 20 points. Vernon Hills (14-9) came all the way back to handle the Panthers 84-66. But 20 points in one quarter by one player? “And he made a couple of great kick-out passes, too,’’ McCarty said. “I really can’t remember anyone scoring 20 points in a quarter. That’s certainly one of the best quarters we’ve had offensively.”

    FILE - In this June 1, 2011, file photo, New Orleans Saints safety Darren Sharper speaks during a news conference in Metairie, La. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office says the former NFL player has been charged with drugging and raping two women. A district attorney's statement says Sharper will be arraigned Friday Feb. 14, 2014, on two counts of rape by use of drugs, four counts of furnishing a controlled substance and one count of possession of a controlled substance. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

    Former NFL player Sharper accused of drugging, raping women

    Prosecutors say former NFL safety Darren Sharper, who has been charged with raping and drugging women in California, is under investigation in connection with five more rapes and 11 druggings in other states.Sharper appeared in Los Angeles Superior Court on Friday but his arraignment was postponed until Feb. 20 at the request of his lawyers.


    Falotico, St. Viator tune up for postseason run

    With boys basketball teams in the home stretch of the regular season, it’s time to start fine-tuning for the upcoming state playoffs. For St. Viator, it doesn’t look like there’s a whole lot of adjusting left. A key ingredient that is now back in place is senior Mark Falotico. After not playing while nursing a foot injury until early January, Falotico is now at full strength. That gives the Lions more firepower. Notre Dame can attest to that, as the Lions rolled in Niles 80-58 in an East Suburban Catholic Conference matchup.


    Carmel sends four into semis at Lakes

    With day one of the competition now in the books Friday night, the stage is set for the exciting conclusion to the Class 2A Lakes individual wrestling sectional beginning Saturday morning in Lake Villa. The wrestling gets underway at 10 a.m. before the critical semifinals take place at approximately 11:30 a.m. Session III begins with semifinal wrestlebacks at 2:30 p.m. followed by first and third-place matches around 4 p.m. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state meet Feb. 20-22 at State Farm Center in Champaign.


    Libertyville’s Polakowski produces at Barrington

    Under the watchful eyes of a big Friday night crowd, Libertyville’s Steve Polakowski (37-1) dominated Andrew Mehrholz of Deerfield with six minutes of marvelous hard work to deliver an impressive 6-1 victory and a spot in the Saturday morning semifinals when Day 2 of the Barrington sectional begins. The No. 2-rated 120-pounder will face Cody Ferencz (33-4) of Jacobs, with the winner advancing not only into the final later today, but also to the state tournament which begins in Champaign on Thursday.


    Lipp cuts loose as Libertyville tops Warren

    After injuring his right ankle in a win over Antioch on January 21, Libertyville senior Jack Lipp has been fighting with whether to wear tape on the ankle, or just leave it off. “Sometimes it can be too tight, which isn’t good,” Lipp said. “And sometimes it can be too loose, which doesn’t do anything.” Following a week of practice without the tape, Lipp decided to skip the tape job for the Wildcats’ road contest against Warren on Friday night. So it only figured that early in the first quarter, on a strange pile-up under the Wildcats’ basket, Lipp would twist it again. Tape or no tape, it didn’t affect Lipp or the Wildcats. “I felt (the ankle) kind of tweak a little, but I was fine,” Lipp said later. Lipp may have felt better, but he was a pain in the side for a Warren team that has struggled of late. Normally known for his scoring, Lipp was generous with the ball, dishing out 7 assists, and he also led the Wildcats with 13 points in a 54-48 win over the Blue Devils.


    Marian Central rolls over cold-shooting St. Edward

    A couple of minutes into its game with Marian Central, St. Edward led 5-4, and life was good. But that was about as good as it got for the Green Wave Friday night. After Joe French’s 3-pointer gave them the early lead, the shots stopped falling. The Hurricanes scored the next 15 points and eventually coasted to a 60-44 Suburban Christian Gold boys basketball win in Woodstock.


    Stephani, Wheeling win at Meadows

    How good was Jeremy Stephani’s shooting night Friday at Rolling Meadows? So good that even his outlet passes almost went in the basket. Trapped in the backcourt by a couple of Meadows defenders late in the game, the Wheeling senior fired a long jump pass intended for a teammate open under the Wildcats basket. But instead of connecting with the waiting Wildcat, his long toss instead nearly swished through the basket for a 70-foot 3 pointer, just bouncing off the rim. It was just one of those nights for Stephani, as the senior guard poured in 32 points in Wheeling’s 64-57 Mid-Suburban East victory over the Mustangs.


    Elgin overcomes lackluster effort to post win

    A late-season nonconference game sometimes can be difficult to get motivated for. That was the case Friday night for Elgin’s boys basketball team. Despite a sluggish performance, the Maroons were able to come away with a 48-35 victory over Chicago Lake View at Chesbrough Field House.

    Neuqua Valley’s Niki Lazar grabs a rebound against Batavia.

    Images: Neuqua Valley at Batavia girls basketball
    Batavia hosted Neuqua Valley Friday, Feb. 14 for girls basketball.

    Images from the Huntley at Grayslake North girls basketball game on Friday, February 14.

    Images: Grayslake North vs. Huntley girls basketball
    The Grayslake North Knights hosted the Huntley Red Raiders for girls basketball action on Friday, Februrary 14.

    The Bulls’ Joakim Noah, right, is heading to New Orleans for his second All-Star Game appearance Sunday, while teammate Taj Gibson is planning a weekend staycation.

    Bulls feeling pumped at the break

    The Bulls head into the all-star break having gone 15-7 since Jan. 1. The strong surge raised an interesting question: Even with so many personnel losses, could the Bulls end up with a better record than last year’s 45-37 mark?

    Images from the Aurora Central Catholic at St. Edward girls basketball game on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014.

    Images: Aurora Central Catholic vs. St. Edward girls basketball
    Aurora Central Catholic played St. Edward for girls basketball action on Friday, Februrary 14.

    Brooklyn Nets forward Paul Pierce, center, drives to the basket as Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah, left, and forward Carlos Boozer guard during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Chicago on Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

    Bulls rotation pays dividends against Nets

    Bulls coach Tom Thibodeau said he never seriously considered not starting Carlos Boozer against Brooklyn on Thursday. Boozer returned from three games off with a left calf strain and an easy argument could be made that Taj Gibson deserved to remain the starter. Gibson averaged 22.7 points and 10.3 rebounds in the three games, while the Bulls recorded two of their highest-scoring first quarters of the season.

    American Shani Davis, who has won 2 golds and a pair of silver medals in his Olympic career, has been shut out at the Sochi Winter Games. The United States said the team is dumping the new high-tech speedskating suits that made their debut in the Russia Games.

    U.S. dumping high-tech suits for rest of games

    SOCHI, Russia — They were touted as the fastest speedskating suits in the world. Now the U.S. is dumping the high-tech attire after a dismal start to the Sochi Olympics.Kevin Haley, vice president of innovation for suit developer Under Armour, told The Associated Press on Friday the Americans had received permission to go back to the suits they used while posting impressive results on the fall World Cup circuit and at the U.S. Olympic trials in December.The change begins Saturday with the men’s 1,500 meters, when Shani Davis hopes to make up for a disappointing performance in his first race at Sochi. Under Armour was busy altering the logo on the old suits, so it conforms with International Olympic Committee regulations.“We want to put the athletes in the best possible position when they’re stepping on the ice to be 100 percent confident in their ability to capture a spot on the podium,” Haley said by phone from Baltimore.The change was a stunning reversal after the Americans arrived in Sochi proclaiming they had a suit that would give them a technological edge over rival countries such as the Netherlands. Instead, the Dutch have dominated through the first six races, winning 12 of a possible 18 medals, including four golds. The Americans have yet to finish higher than seventh; Davis and female stars Heather Richardson and Brittany Bowe have all been major disappointments.While Haley expressed confidence in the new suit, saying all the data proved it should produce faster times, he said the company agreed to the change because a few athletes felt it was actually a drag on their times.“If they have one less thing to be distracted by,” Haley said, “that should give them a little bit of an advantage.”The new skinsuits, developed with help from aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin and unveiled just before the Sochi Olympics, had definitely become a major distraction.Even though several coaches and athletes defended the technology, it was clear that U.S. Speedskating needed to change things up to make sure this didn’t become a total bust of a Winter Games.“Morale is down right now,” said Joey Mantia, another of the U.S. skaters in the 1,500. The new suit, known as “Mach 39,” has become a convenient explanation for the American woes, since they were unveiled so late in the game, without giving the skaters a chance to wear them in competition.Even before the Olympics began, the designer of the Dutch suits expressed skepticism about the American claims. Bert van der Tuuk said he even tested some of the elements used in the U.S. suit — rivets, seams, bumps and a diagonal zipper to cut down on drag — and found they provided no significant edge. Others backed the new suits. Haley said the majority of the team wanted to stick with it, but the change was made to make sure everyone was comfortable. ISU rules require the entire team to wear the same suit.“There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that this is the most scientific suit in the whole world,” said U.S. skater Patrick Meek. “These guys make F-16 fighter jets. If they can invade Afghanistan and Iraq, they can build a speedskating suit.”The Dutch athletes began testing their own new suits during the World Cup season and were allowed to use them at the country’s highly competitive Olympic trials.U.S. coach Kip Carpenter said there are plenty of plausible reasons for the U.S. woes beyond the suits.“The human factor is by far the largest piece out there,” said Carpenter, a former skater and Olympic medalist. “There’s not an athlete out there who is slowing down a second per lap because of the suit they’re in. What is it: a parachute on their back?”


    Fire youth team finds international tournament life-changing

    The Chicago Fire didn’t make the Major League Soccer playoffs last season, but at the academy level the Fire is traveling in elite company.

    United States’ Lindsey Van points to spectators after her first attempt during the women’s normal hill ski jumping final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

    Women ski jumpers find fight well worth it

    Ski jumping for women makes its Olympic debut after a long road and a relentless fight.

    FILE - In this Sept. 17, 2011, file photo, Missouri defensive lineman Michael Sam takes up his position during the first quarter of an NCAA college football game against the Western Illinois in Columbia, Mo. But since the Missouri All-American defensive end said he was an “openly, proud gay man,” college athletic directors and coaches have been forced to review protocols on their campuses. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson, File)

    Vikings GM: Sam spotlight not a bother

    Wherever Michael Sam winds up in the NFL, he’ll bring plenty of extra attention to his team as the first openly gay player in the league.The Minnesota Vikings won’t let the spotlight on Sam deter them from drafting him, should they decide his skills and potential would fit with their scheme.

    Chicago Cubs pitcher Jeff Samardzija throws during the team’s first spring training baseball practice, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz. (AP Photo/Matt York)

    Samardzija facing uncertain future

    Jeff Samardzija isn’t sure where he’ll be by the end of the season. He’s a good candidate to be traded by the Cubs given his one-year contract and he’s determined to pitch well whether he stays put or gets dealt.“I know if I do my part and do what I expect of myself and what the team expects of me, then everything else is clear about what the future holds,” Samardzija said.

    Noelle Pikus-Pace of the United States celebrates with her husband, Janson Pace, right, and her children, Traycen, left, and Lacee, lower right, after she won the silver medal during the women’s skeleton competition.

    Images: Winter Olympics, Friday, February 14th
    Images of Friday at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. Highlights include men's hockey, figure skating, skeleton, fresstyle skiing, curling, and much more.

    Thirty years ago, Scott Hamilton won the figure skating gold medal representing the United States in Sarajevo. Since then, he has pretty much reinvented professional figure skating by creating “Stars On Ice” and has been the voice of the sport for decades.

    Scott Hamilton celebrates 30th anniversary of gold

    Sarajevo. To many, the mention of the Bosnian city evokrd memories of death and devastation from civil war. A decade earlier, the sports world gathered there in 1984 for the Winter Olympics. That is the Sarajevo that makes people smile. It is the Sarajevo that endures for Scott Hamilton 30 years after his gold medal.

    Jason Brown, from Highland Park, competes in the men's short program figure skating competition at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday.

    Highland Park's Brown in hunt for bronze

    Highland Park resident Jason Brown met Evgeni Plushenko at an Olympic practice, and the Russian great said he was a big fan of the American teen. Brown, who bubbles with enthusiasm even in the most mundane of conversations, recounted his reaction as: “What?! No, no, no, I'm such a huge fan of yours.”

    After a strong season on the World Cup circuit, the U.S. speedskating team has had a miserable performance the first week of the Sochi Olympics — and much of the speculation has turned to its new high-tech Under Armour skinsuit developed with help from aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin.

    US struggling at oval, focus on high-tech suits

    They were touted as the fastest speedskating suits in the world. Looks like they might be slowing the Americans down. The new high-tech skinsuits, developed with help from a prominent defense contractor and unveiled just before the Sochi Olympics, were a major topic of debate at Adler Arena during Friday’s break in the competition.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin, center, emerges from Canada House in Olympic Park after visiting there and USA House during the 2014 Winter Olympics Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.

    Putin visits US, Canada houses at Winter Games

    Russian President Vladimir Putin is making the rounds of national houses in Sochi, and from the pictures posted by athletes to Twitter, the visits are something of a surprise for most.


    Domracheva wins 2nd biathlon gold at Sochi Games

    Darya Domracheva of Belarus earned her second gold medal of the Sochi Olympics on Friday by winning the women’s 15-kilometer individual race.

    Goalie Jonathan Quick will make his second start of the Olympics when the U.S. men’s hockey team faces host Russia on Saturday.

    Jonathan Quick to start in goal for US vs Russia

    Goalie Jonathan Quick will make his second start of the Olympics when the U.S. men’s hockey team faces host Russia on Saturday. Quick made 22 saves in the Americans’ 7-1 victory over Slovakia on Thursday, winning his Olympic debut.

    Switzerland forward Kevin Romy (88) and Sweden defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson look for the rebound behind goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in the third period of a men’s ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. Sweden won 1-0.

    Short-handed Sweden beats Switzerland 1-0 in men’s hockey

    Daniel Alfredsson scored off a rebound with 7:21 left and Henrik Lundqvist had a 26-save shutout Friday, lifting short-handed Sweden to a 1-0 win over Switzerland at the Olympics.


    St. Charles East handles shorthanded Waubonsie Valley

    When Amanda Hilton was shelved for the season Jan. 10 with a fractured kneecap, St. Charles East’s hopes for its season could have easily been lost along with her.

    This March 1968 file photo shows Jim Fregosi of the California Angels in Palm Springs, Calif. Fregosi, a former All-Star who won more than 1,000 games as a manager for four teams, has died after an apparent stroke. He was 71. The Atlanta Braves say they were notified by a family member that died early Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Miami, where he was hospitalized after the apparent stroke while on a cruise with baseball alumni.

    Former White Sox manager Jim Fregosi dies at 71

    Jim Fregosi, a former All-Star who won more than 1,000 games as a manager for four teams, died Friday after an apparent stroke. He was 71. Fregosi managed the Chicago White Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, California Angels and Toronto Blue Jays.

    Former Bears general manager Jerry Angelo leveled some harsh criticism at quarterback Jay Cutler, which Mike North believes is justified.

    Angelo’s criticism of Cutler on the money to this observer

    When former Chicago Bears GM Jerry Angelo spoke out against Jay Cutler, Mike North wasn't surprised at his evaluation; he just wonders why Angelo took him in the first place.

    Evgeni Plushenko waves as he leaves the ice Thursday after withdrawing from the men’s figure skating competition due to illness at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Plushenko on thin ice after Olympic dropout

    Four days after being praised as a hero for helping Russia win its first gold at the Sochi Olympics, Evgeni Plushenko on Friday was taking criticism for dropping out of the men’s figure skating. Among his critics was longtime rival Alexei Yagudin, the 2002 Olympic gold medal. He told the R-Sport news agency he supports “people who go to the end.”

    Rosa village is seen from a gondola prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Westerners arriving for the Olympic Games seemed surprised by the unfinished hotels, packs of stray dogs, and warnings not to drink the strange-colored water. But these vivid problems aside, the Olympics and ancillary development show some promising signs for the country.

    Through fog of complaints, Sochi’s light shines

    SOCHI, Russia — Unfinished hotels, packs of stray dogs with a price on their heads, warnings not to drink the strange-colored water. Westerners coming to Sochi for the Winter Olympics seemed surprised by all this. Their widely reported comments have been somewhere between sardonic and suffering, as if they’d ended up in a real-life Fawlty Towers.But for a Westerner who’s lived in Russia for 15 years, there’s a flip-side surprise: Vivid problems aside, the Olympics and ancillary development show some promising signs for the country.When the dead hand of communism that had weighed down Russia for seven decades was lifted in 1991, optimists believed the country would spring up and busily reconstitute itself along the lines of its European neighbors. Instead, Communism proved to be like an isotope with a long half-life, debilitating the country long after. Inefficiency, obstinacy and surliness lost their grip only gradually.Viewed in that light, Sochi 2014 looks like progress. Many Russians, who long endured shabby Soviet construction and slow-moving workers, are heartened.“We thought it would never be finished,” says Vadimir Havartian, who lives on the edge of the coastal Olympic developments. But now, he says, “You can’t recognize this place ... very pretty.”Some of Sochi’s standouts: Good SpiritsThe volunteer corps at the Olympics and staff at hotels have proved to be not just competent but friendly, even occasionally asking if someone needs help. In individual doses, it’s a small thing; collectively, it’s huge. Although Russians tend to be welcoming and generous in their homes, in public they are often dour and abrupt — if they even recognize your existence. Catching the attention of a store clerk can be a challenge, a smile on the sidewalk almost unseen.Communism did much to discourage personal expression and contact with strangers, and it gave people little to smile about on the street. So the Sochi workers’ friendliness indicates more than just good training; it suggests that they feel secure enough in their own lives to drop their protective shells and engage with the world. Although Sochi is just a minuscule corner of a gargantuan land, the volunteers will be taking their attitudes home and perhaps spreading the sunshine.Good ArchitectureThe signature building of the Soviet Union was the giant dull tower block fronting on a blank expanse of land. After the Soviet collapse, Russia built even more of them, seemingly unable to adapt to the idea of aesthetic appeal and scaling buildings to not make humans feel like ants. Public buildings were mostly just as bad, only larger.Much of the new construction in Sochi, however, is pleasant and even inspiring. The speedskating arena could have been little more than a box, but it’s elaborated with fairings that mimic the skaters’ speed and intense leans into the curve. The main hockey rink reflects Russian’s almost cultish devotion to the sport — a graceful elliptical dome sitting on a hillock, approached by a sweeping staircase like a temple. The figure skating arena, with its jolly facade of aqua and blue panels, is as light and decorative as the sport itself.The Rosa Khutor resort village, below the slopes for the Alpine skiing events, has a strong “new urbanism” aspect: mostly buildings of five or six stories arrayed along narrow, pedestrian-friendly streets and interspersed with small piazzas. The architecture’s mix of Austrian and Italian elements may seem anomalous in the Russian Caucasus, but it’s easy to picture people actually living here, not just coming for a holiday.

    Canada’s skip Brad Jacobs, center, delivers the rock to his sweepers Ryan Harnden, left, and E.J. Harnden Friday during men’s curling competition against Norway at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Wins for Sweden, Canada in men’s Olympic curling

    SOCHI, Russia — Sweden ended China’s unbeaten run in men’s Olympic curling with a tense 6-5 victory in overtime, and Canada produced its best performance of the tournament to defeat Norway 10-4 on Friday.The results intensified the fight for the semifinal spots, with Sweden (5-1) supplanting China (4-1) in first place. Improving Canada is 4-2 and climbed above Norway (3-2).In the other game in the morning session, the United States beat Germany 8-5 for its second win in five games, keeping alive its faint hopes of a top-four finish. The early fixture schedule had been kind to the Chinese at these Olympics, and Sweden was their first real test. They came up short — just — but even in defeat, they showed they will be in for the long haul at these Olympics.In a nip-and-tuck game, China scored a point in the 10th to take it to an extra end. Sweden skip Niklas Edin played a good takeout with his next-to-last stone to remove two Chinese rocks and then made a draw to the 4-foot ring with his final shot.It was another narrow win for a world champion team that has carved out a reputation for being the grittiest on the circuit.“It’s the exact same situation as in the worlds last year,” Edin said. “We had to play 10 ends in almost all games and it was coming down to one or two points in almost all of them. “That’s kind of the game plan now.”Edin said China, which has never won a major tournament but is improving under part-time Canadian coach Marcel Rocque, should no longer be underestimated.“They could easily have been a team that goes undefeated,” Edin said. “They are by far the best team we have played on this ice and some of the top teams need to raise their level to keep up with them.”Ominously, Canada has found its form and its famous energy levels that swept the team through its Olympic trials unbeaten for the first time in the country’s storied curling history.This was the Canadians’ third straight win after a sluggish start — and the roar and fierce fist-pump that skip Brad Jacobs greeted his game-defining four-ender in the 7th end spoke a lot of his current mindset.“That was the most emotional we have been because that was the biggest shot in our biggest game yet,” Jacobs said. “I think we were all kind of waiting to explode in this tournament.”The Ice Cube Curling Center was barely half-full and lacking atmosphere as Russia wasn’t playing in the morning session. The raucous home support has been getting to Canada and Jacobs welcomed Friday’s serenity.“It was nice for a change. That crowd is tiring,” Jacobs said. “Their cheering is just tiring on you mentally.”Norway plays China in the biggest match of the evening session. Canada has a bye.The win for the Americans was not without a touch of drama. The U.S. led 8-5 and had the last-rock advantage going into the last end but had a stone pulled when Jared Zezel, of Hibbing, Minn, touched the handle again after releasing it.The Germans couldn’t take advantage, though, and fell to their fifth straight loss.Another win in the evening, against Russia, is vital for the U.S. (2-3) in its bid to reach the last four.

    Lolo Jones prepares for a heat race Friday during the women’s bobsled competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

    Lolo Jones not minding underdog role in Sochi

    Lolo Jones knows weird things can happen at an Olympics. In Beijing and London, that worked against her. In Sochi, it may prove to be her medal breakthrough. The reality is that being in USA-3 with Jazmine Fenlator for the women’s bobsled competition at the Sochi Games quite simply means that Jones is not expected to leave the Olympics with a medal.


    SOCHI SCENE: Demchenko’s skewers

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Albert Demchenko got the celebrity treatment at the Sanki Sliding Center after the Russian star completed what’s widely expected to be his final luge race. Photos with volunteers. Autographs for fans. Free meat.Wait. What?Demchenko was brought into the media area at the track late Thursday night for a news conference after he helped Russia win silver in the inaugural Olympic luge team relay — and probably his final time going down any luge track as a competitor.When the questions were all asked and answered, Demchenko was taken into an adjacent dining area, almost providing him a respite from the volunteers and others who were surrounding him and looking for photos.He walked out with his hands loaded with skewers of meat, which he was chomping on as he walked into the night. After two medals — he also was second in the men’s competition — a little free food seemed like a just reward.


    Swedes’ Henrik Zetterberg out for rest of Olympics

    SOCHI, Russia — Sweden captain Henrik Zetterberg will miss the rest of the Olympic hockey tournament because of a herniated disk.Zetterberg scored a goal in the Swedes’ opening victory over the Czech Republic on Wednesday, but sat out of Thursday’s practice because of his back injury.“It is so painful for him that he can’t be in it anymore,” team doctor Bjorn Waldeback said. “It is Z who has taken this decision together with me. I think it is the cumulative load. There was no specific thing that happened in the game. The issues came the morning after. These are nerve-related issues and they often come creeping in. It is not one specific injury.”The Detroit Red Wings captain had anti-inflammatory treatment and consulted with the NHL’s doctors in Sochi.“(The NHL doctors) totally agree with us,” Waldeback said. “When you suffer from a herniated disc the way he does, you need to go home for a medical evaluation.”The four-time Olympian’s absence is another big blow to the Swedes, who were medal favorites before forwards Henrik Sedin and Johan Franzen also were forced to skip the Olympics with injuries.“I spoke with Z on the evening after (Wednesday’s) game and he didn’t show any signs of feeling the slightest pain,” Swedish head coach Par Marts said. “Of course it’s nothing one wishes for, but we have to see the possibilities and look forward.”Sweden still has ample offensive firepower, but depth and shifting lines could be a problem when the elimination portion of the tournament begins next week. Sweden can’t replace the 33-year-old Zetterberg on its 25-man roster, which is locked after the teams’ first game.Henrik Sedin pulled out of the Olympics recently with a rib injury, and Franzen was unable to travel to Sochi because of a concussion.Defenseman Niklas Kronwall, Zetterberg’s teammate in Detroit, replaces Zetterberg as Sweden’s captain.Zetterberg is headed home to Detroit and might need surgery, which could seriously impact the Red Wings’ postseason hopes. Detroit is fighting for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference to extend its postseason streak to 23.The injury also has bothered the Swedes’ first-line center during the Red Wings’ season, forcing him to miss 11 games. He has been in and out of Detroit’s lineup in recent weeks.Zetterberg won a gold medal with Sweden in Turin in 2006. He has scored five goals in his four Olympic appearances.


    Sochi Olympics tickets surpass 1 million sold

    SOCHI, Russia — Organizers say the Sochi Games have surpassed the milestone of 1 million tickets sold. Olympic officials made the announcement Friday, one day after the Russian men’s hockey team made its Sochi debut and helped push the number over the top. A Sochi record 106,000 fans packed into Olympic Park on Thursday, many coming to watch Russia beat Slovenia 5-2 in hockey. Organizing committee chief executive Dmitry Chernyshenko says ticket sales are on par with the group’s expectations heading into the games. He says Olympic Park has been “electric,” especially during the medal ceremonies held after each event in its central plaza near the soaring cauldron and flame. He says more than 500,000 fans have visited.“We are quite happy with the atmosphere that we’re having at the venues,” Chernyshenko said.


    Cologna wins 15K classical race for 2nd Sochi gold

    KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Dario Cologna of Switzerland won his second gold at the Sochi Olympics on Friday with a dominant performance in the men’s 15-kilometer classical-style cross-country race.Cologna led by just 0.7 seconds at the 8-kilometer mark of the interval-start race but his advantage grew steadily and he ended up winning by 28.5 seconds ahead of Sweden’s Johan Olsson.Another Swede, Daniel Richardsson, took bronze after his strong finish put him 0.2 seconds ahead of Finland’s Iivo Niskanen. On another warm day at the cross-country venue, Cologna started 30 seconds behind Olsson but caught up to the Swede before coming into the stadium, and the two were side-by-side on the final straight. Niskanen was second at the 8K mark but faded toward the end and just missed out on a medal.


    Jagr leads Czechs past Latvia 4-2 in men’s hockey

    SOCHI, Russia — Jaromir Jagr scored his second goal of the Olympics, Jakub Voracek got the tiebreaker in the second period, and the Czech Republic survived an early scare for a 4-2 victory over Latvia on Friday in the Olympic hockey tournament.Marek Zidlicky had a goal and an assist, and Martin Erat also scored for the Czechs. Ondrej Pavelec made 18 saves in their first win of preliminary-round play, bouncing back from an opening 4-2 loss to Sweden.The 41-year-old Jagr is a five-time Olympian, but never managed more than two goals in any of his previous trips to the games. He scored two goals in his first four periods in Sochi, and his steady play help the Czechs to hold off Latvia’s upset bid.


    The John Deere facility in East Moline. Moline-based Deere & Co. says it will lay off about 120 workers at its combine plant in East Moline on March 31. The company said this week that it expects the North American farm-equipment industry to see a 5 percent to 10 percent drop in sales.

    Dollar drops as factory production slips

    “This weaker data is bringing down growth expectations for the first quarter,” Robert Sinche, a global strategist at Pierpont Securities Holdings LLC in Stamford, said. “Investors came into the year with a pretty positive view on the dollar, and there’s been a squeeze going on.”

    Shutterstock’s Chief Technology Officer, James Chou, joined by members of the company’s leadership team and Fast Company’s Associate Editor, J.J. McCorvey rings the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange in New York City.

    S&P 500 index logs its best week of the year

    The S&P 500 rose 8.80 points, or 0.5 percent, to 1,838.63. For the week, the index rose 2.3 percent. The Dow Jones industrial average rose 126.80 points, or 0.8 percent, to 16,154.39. The Nasdaq composite rose 3.35 points, or 0.1 percent, to 4,244.03, its highest close since July 2000.

    Light illuminates oil drilling pipes sitting in storage near an oil drilling derrick at the Salym Petroleum Development oil fields near Salym, Russia. Drilling for oil and gas will become less critical as hydrogen becomes more viable as a fuel.

    Sewage-derived fuel powers Hyundai cars in California

    While hydrogen is the universe’s most abundant element, pumps dispensing it are few and far between. California plans to spend $20 million each year for a decade to build about 100 stations to deliver compressed hydrogen. There are currently about 10 public stations clustered mainly in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    Rows of grape vines stand near Mendota, California, U.S., on Tuesday. Governor Jerry Brown declared a state of emergency following the driest year on record and has said the worldís 10th largest economy may be on the verge of a multi-decade “mega-drought.”

    Obama to offer aid for California drought

    The overall package includes smaller amounts to aid in the most extreme drought areas and to help food banks that serve families affected by the water shortage. Obama also will call on federal facilities in California to immediately limit water consumption.

    Customers, left to right, Alli Bertucci, Patrick Bean and Ali Regan shop for marijuana Friday inside the retail store at 3D Cannabis Center, in Denver. The marijuana industry was analyzing federal banking regulations issued Friday.

    Government letting banks, marijuana sellers do business

    Currently, processing money from marijuana sales puts federally insured banks at risk of drug racketeering charges, so they’ve refused to open accounts for marijuana-related businesses.


    Wanxiang increases bid to win Fisker asset sale

    Going into the auction, which began Wednesday and ended Friday afternoon, Hybrid had offered $30 million in cash and cancellation of $25 million in debt that it says it is owed as Fisker’s senior secured lender. Wanxiang had offered $35.7 million in cash and an equity stake for creditors in a reorganized Fisker. Its winning bid surged to include more than $126 million in cash, $8 million in assumed debt and an equity stake for creditors in a reorganized Fisker.


    American Airlines CEO nets $13.4 million in stock sale

    The CEO of American Airlines Group Inc. is netting a profit of $13.4 million after selling about one-third of his holdings in the company.

    Pedestrians carrying umbrellas walk past a Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. store in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2013. Men's Wearhouse Inc., which less than two weeks ago let a takeover bid from Jos. A. Bank Clothiers expire without entering discussions, today offered to buy its smaller rival for about $1.54 billion. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

    Jos. A. Bank to Buy Eddie Bauer in Blow to Men’s Wearhouse (1)c.2014 Bloomberg News(Updates with chairman’s comments in 14th paragraph.)

    The agreement to buy Eddie Bauer, best known for its clothing for outdoor enthusiasts, threatens to make Jos. A. Bank too big for a deal with Men’s Wearhouse, which has offered to buy its smaller competitor for $1.6 billion. While Men’s Wearhouse has said it’s willing to raise the bid, Jos. A. Bank has resisted the overtures, and the stock has fallen from the offer price, signaling investors don’t expect the companies to work out a deal.

    In this Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, photo, cans of Campbell's soup are photographed in Washington. Campbell Soup reported a higher quarterly profit on Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, as U.S. soup sales rose 5 percent. (AP Photo/J. David Ake)

    Campbell: Broth sales get bump from more cooking

    In a call with analysts on Friday, Campbell CEO Denise Morrison noted that the growth in broths is being driven by “an increase in homemade soup behavior” and people cooking more with broth in general.


    Initial public offerings scheduled to debut next week

    A list of initial public offerings planned for the coming week.

    A Jack Daniel’s Club is being planned for the upper level of the Allstate Arena in Rosemont that will offer drinks and food for sale to any ticketholder. The village will receive $140,000 a year under a deal that will bring the club to the stadium.

    Jack Daniel’s club planned at Allstate Arena

    You can already get a mixed drink at the Allstate Arena, but soon a certain type of whiskey will have a special place at concerts, basketball and hockey games, and other events. A Jack Daniel’s club is being planned for the upper east side of the stadium where ticket holders can make drink and food purchases.

    A former par 3 golf course next to a hotel at Mannheim and Higgins roads in Rosemont is part of an new tax increment financing district approved by the village board this week.

    Rosemont enacts 7th TIF district at Mannheim and Higgins

    Rosemont has created its seventh tax increment financing district with an eye toward redevelopment of vacant land near Mannheim and Higgins roads, though no solid proposals have yet come forward, village officials said. The TIF district includes the site of a former par 3 golf course behind the existing Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Chicago O’Hare.


    United Stationers 4Q sales fall, but earnings up

    Deerfield-based United Stationers reported its fourth quarter 2013 earnings per share increased 6.2 percent over the same period last year, despite a 1.6 percent decrease in sales.

    CDW in Vernon Hills reported fourth quarter 2013 sales were up 4.3 percent.

    CDW sees 4.3 percent jump in 4Q sales

    Vernon Hills-based technology solutions provider CDW Corp., which went public in 2013, said fourth quarter 2013 sales were up 4.3 percent over the same period in 2013.

    Chicago is now the city of big debt, where each of its 2.7 million residents -- from infants in diapers to senior citizens on fixed incomes -- is on the hook for about $20,000 in long-term pension promises and bond obligations.

    Cradle-to-grave debt load leaves no Chicagoan free

    Chicago is now the city of big debt, where each of its 2.7 million residents -- from infants in diapers to senior citizens on fixed incomes -- is on the hook for about $20,000 in long-term pension promises and bond obligations. Like the relentless snow clogging the city’s streets, it just keeps piling up.

    In the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, about 738 million flowers — 85 percent of imported flowers — come through the Florida airport.

    Hey Romeo, thank these guys for bringing the roses

    If Cupid were to have a home, it would be Miami International Airport. Before millions of Americans can present their loved ones with a bouquet of Valentine’s Day roses, most of the flowers are flown from Colombia and Ecuador to Miami, many in the bellies of passenger planes.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., from left, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, talk as they wait in the majority leader’s office. The lawmakers voted on must-pass legislation to increase the government’s debt limit and after their leaders decided to drop the parliamentary equivalent of a curtain on the voting until its outcome was assured

    Debt vote in Senate kept from public view

    Financial markets were watching, the retirement accounts of millions of Americans on the line. Nervous senators were watching too, well aware that political fortunes could be on the line.

    Airline passenger Hossam Shalaby, from Egypt, waits for his rescheduled flight to Orlando under the departure board showing hundreds of cancellations at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, in Atlanta.

    Canceled! Airlines scrap record number of flights

    The relentless snow and ice storms this winter have led to the highest number of flight cancellations in more than 25 years, according to an analysis by The Associated Press. U.S. airlines have canceled more than 75,000 domestic flights since Dec. 1, including roughly 14,000 this week.

    Mary-Jane Harrison plays with her granddaughter, in San Antonio. Like nearly 78 million American adults, Harrison is obese, and because of stress fractures in her legs she is unable to able to walk up or down the stairs of her two-story home.

    Health plans don’t cover weight loss surgery

    While the number of obese Americans persists at record levels, the number of patients undergoing weight loss surgery hasn’t budged in a decade. Last year, about 160,000 U.S. patients underwent weight loss surgery — roughly the same number as in 2004.

    The headquarters of Total SA, center, stand illuminated as pedestrians walk in La Defense business district in Paris, France. European stocks rose, extending their biggest gain in seven weeks, as investors awaited a report that may show U.S. employers hired workers at a faster pace last month.

    Economic growth picks up across Europe

    Economic growth across the eurozone was stronger than expected at the end of 2013, according to official figures released Friday, raising hopes the recovery is gaining a foothold. Gross domestic product grew by 0.3 percent in the October-December period from the previous quarter, said Eurostat, the European Union’s statistics office.


    Jos. A. Bank to buy Eddie Bauer for outdoor clothing brand

    Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc., the retailer resisting a merger with Men’s Wearhouse Inc., said it will buy the Eddie Bauer brand for cash and new shares, and buy some of its own stock at an 18 percent premium to reward shareholders.

    The Sands web site that was hacked on Monday Feb. 10, 2014. A Nevada gambling regulator said Thursday that the hackers who knocked down all Las Vegas Sands websites for two days and counting did not steal any patron data, including credit card information.

    Regulator: Sands hackers didn’t steal credit cards

    A Nevada gambling regulator says the hackers who knocked down all Las Vegas Sands websites for two days and counting did not steal any patron data, including credit card information. Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman A.G. Burnett says regulators’ first priority after the world’s largest casino operator was hacked Monday was to ensure the safety of player information and the integrity of the gambling systems.

    The U.S government has picked a Google subsidiary to run and renovate a federal airfield that is frequently used for the personal flights of the Internet company’s billionaire executives.

    Google subsidiary to run Moffett Federal Airfield

    The U.S government has picked a Google subsidiary to run and renovate a federal airfield that is frequently used for the personal flights of the Internet company’s billionaire executives.

Life & Entertainment


    Numerous nominations mean little when it comes to Oscar wins

    It’s time to remember a harsh reality: Voters in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences don’t always choose the best movie for best picture.

    Peter Weller starred in the original “RoboCop” in 1987, directed by Dutch provocateur Paul Verhoeven.

    Not all escapist fare is for kids

    Thanks to Harry Potter, “Lord of the Rings” and Hollywood's insistence that no big-budget movie be rated R, imaginative fantasy and sci-fi films have become synonymous with kiddie fare — or, at the very least, kid-friendly fare. So theatergoers this week get a PG-13 remake of “RoboCop.” It could be an entertaining romp, but its gory, vulgar, R-rated predecessor was so much more than that.

    Pink Champagne

    Pink Champagne
    Pink Champagne Cocktail

    Blood and Sand cocktails

    Blood and Sand
    Blood and Sand


    Theater events
    onstage for Feb. 14

    Dr. Frankenstein (Devin DeSantis), left, gets cozy with his sexy assistant Inga (Allison Sill) in Drury Lane Theatre's production of “Young Frankenstein.”

    10 last-minute ideas to keep you out of the Valentine's Day doghouse

    If you're the type who made your Valentine's Day dinner reservations a month ago and snagged tickets to your sweetie's favorite show, good for you. If not, well, we're here to save the evening with 10 last-minute ideas to make tonight special.

    Drake is apologizing for lashing out at Rolling Stone for replacing him on the cover with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

    Drake apologies after rants to Rolling Stone

    Drake is apologizing for lashing out at Rolling Stone for replacing him on the cover with the late Philip Seymour Hoffman. The 27-year-old writes Friday on his blog: “I completely support and agree with Rolling Stone” putting the actor on the cover. He calls Hoffman “legendary.”

    “One Billion Rising” tells the tale of an aboriginal woman rising outside of Sydney. The film was co-directed by Eve Ensler and Tony Stroebel.

    Short doc aims to inspire dancing against violence

    When the anti-violence organization V-Day announced plans to gather a billion people worldwide on Feb. 14 in a dancing demonstration to end violence against women and girls, some people said the goal was too ambitious. It couldn’t be done. Well, not only did they draw a billion dancers last year, they got it on film in “One Billion Rising.”

    When renting a vacation house with friends or relatives, it can help to create a cooking chart. Working out who’s preparing which meal and agreeing in advance on menus that reflect everyone’s dietary preferences is key to making shared meals work.

    Food for thought: Group cooking while on vacation

    It can be a recipe for disaster: Renting a vacation house with friends without talking about meal planning. There are obvious topics, like allergies, budgeting, finicky kids and the division of labor. And then there are those unappetizing issues, like what to do if one participant is a reluctant — or rotten — cook. Here are some tips to help your vacation dining (and cleanup) go more smoothly.

    Elmhurst native John Taflan stars in LiveWire Chicago Theatre’s production of “Assistance” by Leslye Headland.

    Elmhurst native plays put-upon worker in ‘Assistance’

    Elmhurst native John Taflan prepared for his role in LiveWire Chicago Theatre’s latest production, “Assistance,” in a way that most people probably haven’t: He watched TV. “I watched a lot of ‘Curb Your Enthusiasm’ and ‘Veep,’” the 40-year-old actor said. “Both of those shows are both particularly known for their salty language, and just seeing how people use it and say it but don’t necessarily mean it was important to understand for the role.”

    The Texas Capitol in Austin opened in 1885, built from pink granite quarried in Texas Hill Country. The interior is filled with famous paintings and statues and the grounds are home to statues, a visitor center and the governor’s mansion. It’s one of a number of free things to see and do in Austin.

    5 free things in Austin, from first photo to bat cave

    The Texas Capital, the Live Music Capital of the World, the Velvet Crown, Bat City or simply River City. Residents of Austin claim many titles and are known for their slogan: “Keep Austin Weird.” Some locals pejoratively call their hometown “festival city.” But most festival-goers don’t realize Austin is also home to the first photograph, a Gutenberg Bible and the world’s largest urban bat colony. And the best thing is all of them are free.

    Reporter Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) continues to be a force in the tangled plot lines of Netflix’s “House of Cards.”

    Plot thickens for ‘House of Cards,’ Kate Mara

    Kate Mara is still pretty jazzed about her role on "House of Cards." The show, available on Netflix, makes its second-sesaon debut on Friday, Nov. 14. Mara plays aggressively ambitious political reporter Zoe Barnes. At this point in her career, working alongside such esteemed company on the Emmy-winning drama is ideal — she didn’t even need to think about it when she was originally offered the part.

    Zelda Kahn (Janet Ulrich Brooks), right, reveals difficult news to Rachel Hardeman (Elizabeth Ledo) in TimeLine Theatre's Chicago premiere of Sarah Treem's drama “The How and the Why,” now playing through Sunday, April 6.

    TimeLine's 'How and the Why' examines two women of science

    Two female biologists hash out their differing views on scientific theories, feminism and work in TimeLine Theatre's engrossing production of "The How and the Why," now playing in its Chicago premiere through Sunday, April 6.


    How to get rid of stuff taking up too much space

    In the winter months, we spend a lot of time indoors looking at stuff and thinking we really should get rid of it. Here’s some advice from six professional organizers about how to sell, donate, dump or recycle six major categories of household stuff.

    Ralph Waite as Reverend Norman Balthus in the TV series, “Carnivale” on HBO.

    ‘Waltons’ patriarch Ralph Waite dies at 85

    LOS ANGELES — Ralph Waite, who played the father in TV’s hit series “The Waltons,” has died.Waite’s manager, Alan Mills, says the actor died midday Thursday in the Palm Springs area. He was 85.Waite was best known for his role as the patriarch in the 1970s series “The Waltons,” but he had had remained a working actor.Mills says Waite appeared recently in recurring roles on shows including “NCIS” and “Days of Our Lives.”

    The Marchesa Fall 2014 collection is modeled during Fashion Week in New York.

    Red-carpet looks inspired by Scotland at Marchesa

    Georgina Chapman and Keren Craig, of the designing duo behind Marchesa, a label extremely popular on the red carpet, presented a whimsical collection based on the theme of the Scottish Highlands. Not that there were bagpipes, or anything that looked like your typical kilt.


    Care tips for all kinds of hardwood floors

    Hardwood floors are more popular than ever before. And there are all different types of wood floors. Let’s go over some basic advice to keep them looking good, no matter what type you have.


    A helping hand on mortgages for younger buyers

    Parents, grandparents and young adults know the problem only too well: Heavy student-debt loads, persistent employment troubles stemming from the recession — plus newly toughened mortgage underwriting standards — are all standing in the way of vast numbers of potential first-time homebuyers in their 20s and 30s.


    Home purchase raises key tax issues for recently wed gay couple

    A recent change in the federal tax law is confusing some gay homeowners, accountants and even state tax agencies themselves.


    Agent gives bad inspection advice to buyers

    Q. We are currently buying a home and are troubled about our recent home inspection. Our agent recommended this inspector as the one she always uses, and she advised us not to attend the inspection, saying that most buyers do not attend home inspections.

    Paul Valade/pvalade@dailyherald.com Several parks are located within the Painted Lakes subdivision.

    Painted Lakes focus of neighborhood profile

    Natural beauty, open space and wetlands define the Painted Lakes subdivision, where no home backs to another home. Situated on Deep Lake Road north of Route 132 in Lake Villa, Painted Lakes features 218 single-family homes and 134 townhouses built by Centex in the mid- to late 1990s.

    Icicles might be pretty, but they also can indicate a problem: gutters that aren’t draining properly, which can cause significant damage to your house.

    Don’t let ice, snow damage your home

    The recent frigid weather has brought homeowners a host of problems. Manypeople have come home in freezing temperatures to an ice-jammed gutter or the dreaded sound of dripping water because of a burst pipe.


    Kevin Wiley

    Endorsement: Wiley for GOP in DuPage County Board District 6

    The Daily Herald endorses Kevin Wiley for the Republican nomination in DuPage County Board District 6.

    Daily Herald photo/Bob Chwedyk GOP governor candidates forum, from left, State Sen. Bill Brady, State Sen. Kirk Dillard, Bruce Rauner, and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

    Editorial: Why we have a duty to endorse
    The Daily Herald reflects on why it offers editorial endorsements when some newspapers on shying away from them -- a preface to the endorsements that will begin Sunday for the 2014 primary elections.

    Michael Saltsman

    Responding to minimum wage proposals

    Guest columnist Michael Saltsman: Faced with an electorate that’s soured on the health care law, Democrats have settled on a plan to boost their 2014 prospects: an aggressive push to raise the minimum wage, as featured in the president’s State of the Union speech.


    Why do liberals hate Fox News so much?
    A Lincolnshire letter to the editor: It never ceases to amaze me how liberals/leftists hate Fox News.


    Above all else, protect the church
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Nations condemns the Vatican’s handling of clergy sex abuse? Helena, Mont., archdiocese declares bankruptcy after settling 362 cases of abuse? Chicago Archdiocese releases 6,000 pages of documents detailing clergy abuse and subsequent cover up? Amid all these sensationalist headlines, I’d like to commend the brave souls who continue to attend, and give money to, the Catholic Church.


    Stop the charade on red-light cameras
    A Buffalo Grove letter to the editor: I read the Feb. 8 letter from Robert Bischoff who commented on a Jan. 28 letter from Ron Hulka. Let me add my 2 cents to this discussion. Like Mr. Bischoff and Mr. Hulka, I also received a fine of $100 from Palatine at the Rand-Hicks intersection last December.


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