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Daily Archive : Sunday February 16, 2014

News

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    The Fox Waterway Agency in Fox Lake would be abolished if a pair of state lawmakers from Lake County get their way. They say the agency is redundant.

    Lake County lawmakers want to dissolve Fox Waterway Agency

    Two Lake County lawmakers want to abolish the agency that oversees the Chain O' Lakes and Fox River in what they say is an effort to reduce redundant government services. If approved, the measure would dissolve the Fox Waterway Agency and send its assets to the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

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    In this Dec. 4, 2012 photo, former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar speaks to reporters at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield Ill. Democrats and Republican lawmakers have come together to propose changes to Illinois’ school funding formula that would narrow the gap between rich and poor districts. The proposal would put almost all state education funding into one pot, then require districts to demonstrate need.

    School funding deal faces election year hurdles

    A bipartisan collection of lawmakers has come together to pitch something not accomplished in years — a change in Illinois’ school funding formula that would narrow the gap between the amount spent on students in richer and poorer school districts. The caveat? It’s an election year, so chances that lawmakers will ultimately act on the plan are in doubt.

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    Elgin Academy in Elgin marks the 175th anniversary of its charter this month with a day of service Friday and a day of festivities Saturday. It is the oldest coeducational college preparatory institution in the Northwest suburbs.

    Elgin Academy marks 175th year as rare independent school

    Elgin Academy has earned many distinctions throughout its long history. But leaders are most proud of it being one of the oldest independent private schools in the country free from affiliation to any ideological or religious group, and being the oldest coeducational college preparatory institution in the Northwest suburbs. The school — chartered in 1839, four years after the founding of...

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    Pravin Varughese

    Suburban student missing from Southern Illinois University

    The family of a missing Southern Illinois University student from the suburbs is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts. Pravin Varughese, 19, was last seen Wednesday night near SIU’s campus in Carbondale, authorities said.

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    Joey Valli, 10, of Glen Ellyn tries snowy Disc Golf during the Glen Ellyn Park District’s 2nd annual Arctic Blast event at Maryknoll Park on Sunday. The event also featured a snowball toss, snowman building and Chilly Paddle Tennis.

    Snowy fun at Glenn Ellyn Artic Blast

    The Glen Ellyn Park District hosted its second annual Arctic Blast on Sunday, giving residents a chance to enjoy some late-winter outdoor fun. Some attendees tried their hand at the Frozen Disc Fly. Others built snowmen or played a round of Chilly Paddle Tennis.

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    Former Chicago Blackhawks forward Jamal Mayers poses with hockey fans Matt Goss and Jack Martin after Sunday’s screening of “17 Seconds” at the Fox Lake Theatre. It was the third of four screenings the Daily Herald and the Blackhawks partnered to present in the suburbs.

    Mayers helps Blackhawks fans relive Stanley Cup run

    For the Blackhawks fans who showed up Sunday at the Fox Lake Theatre for a screening of the film “17 Seconds,” their Stanley Cup runneth over. Not only did they get to relive the excitement of the championship season, but they also had a chance to visit with one of the players, former Blackhawk and 17-year NHL veteran Jamal Mayers.

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    Worker-run pension boards raise call for reform

    A rift between Gov. Jerry Brown and the board overseeing the nation’s largest public pension fund over rising liabilities tied to longer retiree life expectancies highlights a concern about how decisions are made at an agency with tremendous influence over state finances. The board of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System will meet Tuesday to begin considering how to...

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    Crews pour concrete to lay the foundation for the New Wilshire Grand building in a record attempt for the largest continuous concrete pour in history Saturday in downtown Los Angeles. The marathon pour is expected to last 20 hours without interruption. The attempt will be verified by an official from Guinness World Records. The New Wilshire Grand will be the tallest building to be built west of the Mississippi and is expected to be completed in 2017.

    LA workers break record for largest concrete pour

    A Guinness World Records adjudicator says a Los Angeles project laying the foundation for the tallest building west of the Mississippi has broken the world record for the longest continuous concrete pour after 18 hours.

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    John Martin and Helen Williams put five crosses and wreaths in front of the home where people were killed in a house fire on Friday in Minneapolis. The fire killed five people, including at least three children, and injured several others, officials said.

    Minn. man devastated after 5 of 7 kids die in fire

    A Minneapolis man recovering in a hospital after a fire in his rental home wept as he recounted how the blaze claimed the lives of five of his seven children. Troy Lewis, 60, said from his hospital bed that the deepest pain came from having to make a decision no parent should have to make: choosing which children to save. “I wanted to get all of my babies,” Lewis sobbed on Saturday.

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    Mother and 4 kids killed in fiery Calif. crash

    A Central California mother and her four children were killed in fiery crash during the weekend after a vehicle ran a stop sign and hit their SUV. The woman’s husband, driving a quarter mile behind the SUV, saw the vehicle burst into flames and tried unsuccessfully to free his family from the vehicle, including breaking the windows, Reyes said. He received minor burns to his hands. His...

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    This image provided by Chicago’s Abraham Lincoln Book Shop Inc. shows an image made from an Aug. 1863 glass plate negative of President Abraham Lincoln at a portrait studio in Washington, D.C. Lincoln is one of the presidents recognized in February under the umbrella of Presidents Day.

    Why Presidents Day is slightly strange

    Presidents Day is a slightly strange holiday for three main reasons: There is no universal agreement on the actual name of the holiday. There is no universal agreement on which presidents are being honored. There is no agreement on something as simple as whether is an apostrophe in “presidents.”

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    A worker lines brass pieces of whistles onto a conveyor belt for the soldering machine at the American Whistle Corp. factory in Columbus, Ohio, on Feb. 3. Amercians are holding multiple jobs to earn extra income in a still-erratic job market, to supplement wages or to get paid for time they spend on hobbies or interests. About 4.9 percent of working U.S. adults have more than one job, with about half holding a full-time and a part-time position.

    More workers take second jobs to bridge income gap

    More Americans — about 4.9 percent of working U.S. adults — are holding multiple jobs to earn extra income in a still-erratic labor market, supplement wages that are essentially flat or seek to get paid for time they spend on hobbies or interests anyway.The numbers of moonlighters may be higher than government statistics reflect because there have been fundamental changes in the...

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    U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, speaks during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 6. A formal effort to replace Boehner as speaker is underway, launched by the Senate Conservatives Fund. And plenty of Boehner’s allies say they see signs taht he is planning his exit strategy.

    Does John Boehner still want to be House speaker?

    John Boehner is the speaker of the House. But after enduring (another) week in which the limits of his power within the Republican conference were on stark display, the operative question within GOP circles is how long he can — and wants to — hold that coveted perch. Last week, Boehner, Ohio, allowed a “clean” debt-ceiling increase to come to the floor, despite the...

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    Kickstarter says hackers got customer data

    Online fundraising site Kickstarter says hackers got some of its customer data. Kickstarter co-founder Yancey Strickler said in a blog post that hackers accessed usernames, email addresses, phone numbers and passwords. The passwords are encrypted, but the company said it’s possible for a hacker to guess a weak or obvious password. It recommended that users change their passwords.

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    Beula Bugbottom, played by Emily Marsh, is surprised by a talking rat during the “Enchanted World” show Sunday by the Madcap Puppets at the Des Plaines Public Library. Traveling showman Silas B. Thislewig, played by Chance Kilgour, entertained children and families with fairy tales using giant puppets.

    Madcap Puppets entertain at Des Plaines library

    A few small children screamed and rushed to their parents as a 7-foot-tall puppet stepped out from behind the curtain. But most of the kids just watched in awe and excitement during the “Enchanted World” show performed by the Madcap Puppets Sunday at the Des Plaines Public Library.

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    ‘Killer heroin’ causing fatal overdoses in East

    As the number of people who use, and fatally overdose on, heroin has skyrocketed in recent years, authorities are seeing the return of an alarming development: heroin that, often unbeknownst to the user, is spiked with fentanyl. Fentanyl is considered 80 times more powerful than morphine and can kill by inhibiting breathing. “The dealers push this as being a super high, which it is, but...

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    In this Jan. 30, University of South Carolina research archaeologist Chester DePratter stands by the archaeological dig of “Camp Asylum,” the Civil War-era prison that once held 1,500 Union officers on the grounds of the state mental hospital in Columbia, S.C., in the waning days of the Civil War. Racing against time, South Carolina archeologists are digging to uncover the remnants of a Civil War-era prisoner-of-war camp before the site in downtown Columbia is cleared to make room for a mixed-use development.

    Archeologists race to uncover Civil War prison

    Racing against time, South Carolina archeologists are digging to uncover the remnants of a Civil War-era prisoner-of-war camp before the site in downtown Columbia is cleared to make room for a mixed-use development.

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    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, left and Israeli Labor party lawmaker Hilik Bar attend a meeting with a delegation of mostly Israeli university students and activists at the presidential headquarters Sunday in the West Bank city of Ramallah. Abbas said that he does not want to “drown Israel with millions of (Palestinian) refugees to change its nature.” Abbas’ comment Sunday was his most conciliatory yet on the fate of Palestinian refugees who were uprooted from homes in what is now Israel, including in the 1948 war over Israel’s creation.

    Abbas signals flexibility on Palestinian refugees

    The Palestinian president told hundreds of young Israeli activists on Sunday that he does not want to “drown” Israel with Palestinian refugees, in his most conciliatory comments to date on one of the thorniest issues in Mideast peace talks.

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    Bomb derails train in southwest Pakistan, kills 8

    A bomb placed by an ethnic separatist group derailed a train in southwest Pakistan on Sunday, killing eight people, police and the militants said. Three of the dead were children and another 20 people were wounded by the blast in Kashmor district, which caused several train cars to run off the track, said police official Mohammad Azeem.

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    Opposition supporters leave Kiev City Hall in Kiev, Ukraine on Sunday. Anti-government demonstrators in Ukraine’s capital ended their nearly three-month occupation of Kiev City Hall on Sunday as promised in exchange for the release of all jailed protesters. But tensions remained high as hundreds stayed outside the building, vowing to retake it if the government fails to drop all criminal charges against the protesters.

    Ukrainian protesters end occupation of City Hall

    Anti-government demonstrators in Ukraine’s capital ended their nearly three-month occupation of Kiev City Hall on Sunday as promised in exchange for the release of all 234 jailed protesters. But tensions remained high as hundreds stayed outside the building, vowing to retake it if the government failed to drop all charges against the protesters.

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    Secretary of State John Kerry pauses as he delivers a speech on climate change on Sunday, Feb. 16 in Jakarta, Indonesia. Climate change may be the world’s “most fearsome” weapon of mass destruction and urgent global action is needed to combat it, Kerry said on Sunday, comparing those who deny its existence or question its causes to people who insist the Earth is flat.

    Kerry mocks those who deny climate change

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday called climate change perhaps the world’s “most fearsome” destructive weapon and mocked those who deny its existence or question its causes, comparing them to people who insist the Earth is flat. “We simply don’t have time to let a few loud interest groups hijack the climate conversation,” he said, referring to...

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    In a Monday, Feb. 10 file photo, Kenyan gays and lesbians and others supporting their cause wear masks to preserve their anonymity and one holds out a wrapped condom, as they stage a rare protest, against Uganda’s increasingly tough stance against homosexuality in solidarity with their counterparts there, outside the Uganda High Commission in Nairobi, Kenya. President Barack Obama says in a statement provided Sunday that pending steps by Uganda to further criminalize homosexuality will complicate what he is describing as America’s valued relationship with the East African nation. Museveni said Friday that he plans to sign a bill into law that prescribes life imprisonment for what they term as “aggravated” homosexual acts.

    Obama: Anti-gay bill step backward for Ugandans

    President Barack Obama on Sunday harshly criticized plans by Uganda to further criminalize homosexuality, saying it would “complicate our valued relationship.” Defending gay rights around the world, as he has done at home, Obama said a bill that President Yoweri Museveni has pledged to sign will be a “step backward” for all Ugandans and reflect poorly on its commitment...

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    Take-home wine now allowed in Rosemont

    If you don’t finish the bottle of wine you bought at a restaurant in Rosemont, you’ll now be able to take the rest home. The village board this week approved changes to the village code that allow restuarant-goers to take home partially-consumed bottles of wine in a one-time-use bag.

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    Spanish man comatose after pot cake

    A university student in Spain’s capital went into a comatose state early Sunday after he ate a birthday cake baked with marijuana, while nine others were also hospitalized, officials said.

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    Lombard hosting open house to get input on comprehensive plan

    Lombard residents are welcome to attend an open house on Monday, Feb. 17, to review the village’s comprehensive plan, which is being updated for the first time since 1998. The open house will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at village hall, 255 E. Wilson Ave. Copies of the plan will be available and residents are welcome to walk in at any time to meet with village staff and ask questions.

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    County seeks feedback on transportation plan

    Cook County has partnered with the village of Schaumburg to offer a convenient opportunity for residents to share their feedback on its long range transportation plan.

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    This undated photo mprovided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows a cellphone and cigarettes that were found inside a camouflage package Jan. 25, near an undisclosed Florida state prison. Prison officials in Florida and nationwide are fighting a different type of contraband being smuggled to inmates: cellphones. They’re being hidden in babies’ diapers, Ramen Noodle Soup packages, footballs, soda cans and body cavities.Two murderers used cellphones to plan their escape from a Florida prison last year where the state confiscated 11 cellphones per day in its prisons.

    Prisoners’ use of smuggled cellphones on the rise

    They’re hidden in babies’ diapers, ramen noodle soup packages, footballs, soda cans and even body cavities. Not drugs or weapons, but cellphones. They’re becoming a growing problem in prisons across the country as they are used to make threats, plan escapes and for inmates to continue to make money from illegal activity even while behind bars.

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    Kane County prosecutors ready for March 18 primary

    The March 18 primary election is a little more than a month away and the Kane County state’s attorney’s office is prepared. The office will have a special phone line — (630) 208-5328 — available from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. that day to field complaints of possible illegal election activity, such as electioneering, improper placement of campaign signs, or denial of voting...

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    CLC’s Empty Bowls fundraiser

    Food and art will be combined to fight hunger in the Sixth Annual Empty Bowls fundraiser at the College of Lake County Library Atrium, 19351 W. Washington St., Grayslake, on Tuesday, March 4.

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    Stevenson’s Madrigal Dinner

    Stevenson’s Madrigal Singers will host their annual Madrigal Dinner on Sunday, March 16, at noon and 6 p.m. at The Arboretum Club in Buffalo Grove.

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    Gurnee set to honor Welton

    Former Gurnee Mayor Richard Welton will be the focus of today’s village board meeting.

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    Woodland positive behavior night

    Woodland Elementary District 50’s Primary School will host a Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Family Night from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 19.

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    National Bolivarian Police officers yell at demonstrators Saturday to leave the area, in Caracas, Venezuela.

    Venezuela hunts for opposition leader

    In an apparent bid to dampen anti-government demonstrations, which have been held off-and-on since Wednesday, President Maduro said he had ordered the suspension of metro and bus service in the Chacao area of the capital where the protests are centered.

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    Defendant Michael Dunn is brought into the courtroom just before 5 p.m., where Judge Russell Healey announced that the jury was deadlocked on charge one and have verdicts on the other four charges as they deliberate in the trial of Dunn, Saturday for the shooting death of Jordan Davis in November 2012. Dunn is charged with fatally shooting 17-year-old Davis after an argument over loud music outside a Jacksonville convenient store.

    Verdict in Florida again raises self-defense issue

    A verdict in the city of Jacksonville is again raising the issue of self-defense and race in Florida, just seven months after George Zimmerman was acquitted in the shooting of a black teenager, Trayvon Martin. Michael Dunn, a 47-year-old software developer, could face 60 years in prison following his conviction Saturday on multiple counts of attempted murder for shooting into a carful of...

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    According to lottery officials there were no jackpot winners for Saturday’s drawing. The current estimated jackpot for Wednesday’s drawing’s jackpot is estimated at $400 million or $227.8 million in cash value.

    Powerball estimated jackpot surges to $400M

    Without a Powerball winner this weekend, the prize has climbed to $400 million — one of the largest in U.S. lottery history. The next drawing is Wednesday, and will be the fourth-biggest Powerball jackpot and sixth-highest lottery prize of all time — at least $400 million or $227.8 million in a lump sum.

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    In this Tuesday, Dec. 3 file photo, Miranda K. Barbour is led into District Judge Ben Apfelbaum’s office in Sunbury, Pa., by Sunbury policeman Travis Bremigen. In an interview with The Daily Item newspaper published Feb. 15, Barbour, charged along with her newlywed husband Elytte Barbour in the murder of a man they met through Craigslist, admitted to the slaying and said she has killed more than 20 others across the country, claims police said they are investigating.

    Craigslist slaying suspect claims 22 others in interview

    A Pennsylvania woman charged along with her newlywed husband in the murder of a man they met through Craigslist admitted to the slaying in a jailhouse interview with a newspaper and said she has killed more than 20 others across the country, claims police said they are investigating.

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    Foreigners wait to cross to Egypt at the Israeli side of the Taba crossing near the Red Sea resort of Eilat, Sunday. An explosion ripped through a tourist bus Sunday near a border crossing between Egypt and Israel, killing at least three South Koreans and an Egyptian driver in an attack that stoked fears Sinai militants have resumed a bloody campaign against tourists. The targeting of foreign tourists was the first in the area in nearly a decade.

    Bombing in Egypt's Sinai kills 3 South Koreans

    An explosion tore through a bus filled with South Korean sightseers in the Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, killing at least four people and raising fears that Islamic militants have renewed a bloody campaign to wreck Egypt's tourism industry.

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    Burning Christmas tree causes Gurnee area house fire

    An attempt to dispose of Christmas tree remains led to a house fire in the Grandwood Park subdivision near Gurnee Sunday morning, authorities said. An investigation showed that a resident was burning the parts of a natural Christmas tree in the fireplace, which caused so much heat the attic caught fire.

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    This temporary tattoo of a Biblical passage is on a person's forearm.

    Bible tattoos attract a following for Arlington Hts. native

    The Arlington Heights native who sells temporary tattoos of Bible verses remembers when he was scolded for wearing a henna tattoo as a kid at Christian Liberty Academy. While the cast of "Duck Dynasty" loves his tattoo idea, not all Christians think tattoos are kosher.

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    Clockwise from top left, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, Dan Rutherford and Bruce Rauner are seeking the Republican nomination for governor in 2014. ¬

    GOP governor candidates look at gambling

    The four Republicans running for a chance to take on Gov. Pat Quinn, who has vetoed two plans to add casinos and venues for slot machines in Illinois, all vary in their views toward expanding legal gambling. The winner in the November election is likely to have to grapple with the issue, which has implications across the suburbs.

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    Kelly Bradley is a project coordinator at The Hauser Group, which already employs some of the open plan office design common in alternate workspaces such as co-working centers. Co-working and business incubators are beginning to pop up around the suburbs as more employees are allowed to work remotely and freelancers recognize the need for collaboration.

    How new co-working trend is redefining workspace

    "Co-working" is a hot trend in tech business hubs, offering the amenities of an office and the freedom of working from home. It's primarily for people, often entrepreurs and small start-up businesses, who can benefit from collaborating with others as opposed to working alone at home or in a coffee shop. It's much cheaper than renting or buying traditional office space. And it's coming to the...

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    Libetyville Township plans open house on Casey Road property

    Libertyville Township hosts an open house to provide information and receive input on 303 acres it owns along Casey Road. The event is 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at the township office, 359 Merrill Court, Libertyville.

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    Four Republicans are seeking their party's nomination in the March 18 primary to challenge Democratic incumbent Bill Foster for the 11th Congressional District seat. The GOP candidates are, from upper left, Chris Balkema, Ian Bayne, Bert Miller and Darlene Senger.

    GOP hopefuls in the 11th district differ on Obamacare

    The four Republicans in the March 18 primary race to take on Democratic U.S. Rep Bill Foster appear to dislike the Affordable Care Act as much as they want Foster out of office. But the candidates differ on what they believe should happen to President Barack Obama's signature health care law.

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    Nuclear repository monitored for radiation

    The U.S. Department of Energy says personnel are on-site Saturday to assess what officials are calling a “possible radiological event” at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

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    Syria talks still at impasse; government bombs town

    U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi ended a mere half hour of direct talks between the Syrian government and opposition Saturday with the situation still at an impasse and the future of negotiations in in doubt. No date was set for a third session.

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    When opportunity knocks, think twice before answering

    When opportunity comes knocking, it's natural to get excited about "what could be," our Ken Potts says. But, he adds, opportunites often come with costs, and it's important to think about what we might be giving up if we grab our big chance.

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    District 200 headed toward ‘much-needed’ facility improvements

    Brian Harris, superintendent of Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200, says the district is planning some "much-needed" improvements to its facilities.

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    Construction of CLC campus Master Plan to begin in May

    With a groundbreaking scheduled in May for a new science building on the Grayslake campus, the College of Lake County's Sustainable Campus Master Plan will soon begin to move from the plan phase to construction.

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    Manju Goel and Larry Kaifesh

    Kaifesh, Goel: Duckworth rematch no rerun

    Republican hopefuls Manju Goel and Larry Kaifesh say there’s reason to believe a November showdown with 8th District Democratic incumbent Tammy Duckworth could have a different outcome than Walsh’s in 2012. The public’s impression of the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare — isn’t the only example, but probably the only one needed to demonstrate that voters will...

Sports

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    Joakim Noah of the Bulls throws down a dunk Sunday for the Eastern Conference in the NBA All Star Game.

    East prevails in All-Star scoring fest

    NEW ORLEANS — The Eastern Conference finally stopped Kevin Durant and Blake Griffin — then stopped its losing streak at the NBA All-Star game.Kyrie Irving had 31 points and 14 assists and was voted the game’s MVP, Carmelo Anthony made an All-Star record eight 3-pointers and scored 30 points, and the East rallied for a 163-155 victory over the West on Sunday night.“It’s a great honor,” Irving said. “We had a few MVPs. Everyone out here today is an MVP.”Durant and Griffin each finished with 38 points, four shy of Wilt Chamberlain’s All-Star game record. But the East scored the final 10 points to pull out a game it trailed by 18.Irving scored 15 points in the fourth quarter as the East ended a three-game losing streak. LeBron James had 22 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.“The superstars of our league were just telling us to compete on every play,” Irving said. “Trying to play as much defense as possible. You know, sticking to our game plan. We had a game plan going in and we executed.”Griffin shot 19 of 23, while Durant finished with 10 rebounds and six assists.But the West was shut out after Durant’s 3-pointer gave it a 155-153 lead with 1:59 left. Indiana’s Paul George made three free throws, Anthony nailed his final 3-pointer, and James scored to make it 161-155. George closed it out with two more free throws and finished with 18 points.The game that usually doesn’t get tight until the final minutes was close throughout the fourth quarter, neither team leading by more than four until the final minute. Chris Paul had 11 points and 13 assists, and first-time All-Star Stephen Curry had 12 points and 11 assists for the West. But the best point guard on the floor was Irving, who shot 14 of 17 and helped the East ring up 87 points in the second half after it surrendered a record 89 in the first. In a colorful tribute to New Orleans, players wore sneakers and socks that ranged from green and blue to orange and purple, making the game look like a Mardi Gras parade. The parade was one of layups and dunks for the West, which scored 44 points in the first quarter and 45 in the second. Griffin had 18 points in the first quarter and Durant had 22 at halftime, both two shy of records set by Glen Rice in 1997.And there was plenty of music, the rosters and starting lineups introduced around a concert by Pharrell Williams, who was joined by his own All-Stars in Nelly, Busta Rhymes, Sean “Diddy” Combs and Snoop Dogg.Magic Johnson led a band, too, encouraging the All-Stars to join him in singing “Happy Birthday” after the first quarter to Hall of Famer Bill Russell, the NBA’s greatest champion who was celebrating his 80th.The All-Stars played better than they sang.The East finished with 61 percent shooting, needing all sorts of offense after it simply couldn’t defend Durant and Griffin.Durant made 6 3-pointers and easily blew past the 28.8 points he had been averaging in All-Star games, which was an NBA record. Outside of the ugly sleeved jerseys, it was a good look for the NBA’s midseason showcase, bouncing back strongly from an even All-Star Saturday night.The new format of the slam dunk contest Saturday wasn’t a hit, but every night is a dunk contest when Griffin is involved.The guy who once jumped over a car to win a slam dunk contest had eight slams in the first 11 minutes, the backboard often barely finished shaking from the last one when he threw down the next. The West began to open a gap in the second quarter behind a hometown star and a former one — Anthony Davis of the Pelicans for former New Orleans guard Paul. Durant made a 3-pointer with 26 seconds left to make it 89-76 at the break, one point better than he and the West had two years ago in Orlando.

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    Kevin Durant of the Oklahoma City Thunder, left, speaks with the Rev. Jesse Jackson Sr. before Sunday night’s NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans.

    Thunder’s Durant playing like an MVP

    Is this the year Kevin Durant supplants LeBron James as MVP? Do Joakim Noah or Taj Gibson have a shot to win hardware? Here's a look at favorites for the NBA postseason awards at the all-star break.

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    Minnesota center Elliott Eliason, right, looks to the basket against Northwestern center Alex Olah during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Evanston, Ill., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014.

    Wildcats grounded by Gophers at home

    EVANSTON — Minnesota’s DeAndre Mathieu got rolling in the second half, while Northwestern got shut down.Mathieu scored 13 of his 18 points in the final 20 minutes and the Gophers came back to defeat the cold-shooting Wildcats 54-48 on Sunday.Maurice Walker and Andre Hollins each had eight points for the Gophers (17-9, 6-7 Big Ten), who won for just the second time in six games and ended a five-game road losing streak. Minnesota also avenged a 55-54 loss to Northwestern at Minneapolis on Feb. 1 and ended a five-game losing streak at Evanston dating to February 2008.The Wildcats (12-14, 5-8) played the tight defensive game they wanted in the first half and led by as many as seven points in the opening 20 minutes. They settled for a 28-25 lead at halftime after Mathieu swished in a 3-pointer with 3 seconds left.“The 3 kind of got my confidence going a little bit and coach kind of lit a fire under me at halftime,” Mathieu said. “He’s kind of good at getting me going even though he shouldn’t have to.”Then Minnesota’s defense doomed Northwestern, which lost its third straight. The Wildcats went just 7 for 28 from the floor in the second half and missed nine straight field goal attempts until Tre Demps dumped in a layup with 10 seconds left.“Obviously a great, great defensive performance,” Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said. “Just team defensive wise did a great job.”Northwestern’s JerShon Cobb scored on 5 of 7 3-point attempts and led Northwestern with a season-high 23 points. Alex Olah added 10.Northwestern leading scorer, Drew Crawford, had 11 rebounds but was held to just two points on 1-for-15 shooting. He didn’t connect until his ninth shot at 4:54 into the second half.“Drew Crawford going 1-15, it’s a testament to (Minnesota guard) Daquein McNeil,” Pitino said. “He did an unbelievable job off the bench and Austin Hollins, as well as our five men did a really good job.”For the game, Northwestern shot only 30.2 percent while Minnesota shot 46.3 percent. Northwestern was unable to cash in on 17 Minnesota turnovers.“If you hold a team to 54 points and (they) turn it over 17 times, you should be in a great position to win,” Northestern coach Chris Collins said. “We just couldn’t score enough points.“I thought they did a great job on both Drew and Tre (Demps), which took away our rhythm. Your defense can only hold up so long.”Andre Hollins nailed a 3-pointer from the left side 2:16 into the second half to put Minnesota ahead 32-31 and set up a tight, back-and-forth period. Neither team led by more than three points through the first 16 minutes of a scrappy second frame.Minnesota pulled ahead 49-44 when Austin Hollins hit a 3-pointer with 3:09 left. Neither team scored again until a free throw by Minnesota’s Malik Smith with 27 seconds left made it 50-44.A pair of free throws by Northwestern’s Kale Abrahamson with 15 seconds left cut it to 50-46 and gave the Wildcats a glimmer of hope. But Mathieu hit two shots from the line a second later to ice it.The Wildcats scored on just two of their first 11 shots from the floor, but set the tone for most of the first half with a deliberate half-court attack and tight defensive play that led to 10 Minnesota turnovers.Northwestern used a 9-2 spurt midway through the period to take the lead and moved ahead by as many as seven, but settled for the 28-25 halftime advantage.Northwestern opened its biggest lead of the half, 26-19 when Cobb connected on the third of his 3-pointers. He led the Wildcats with 13 points in the period, going 3 for 4 from beyond the arc and 4 for 6 overall from the floor.

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    Meryl Davis and Charlie White, of the United States, compete in the ice dance short dance figure skating competition Sunday at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Meryl Davis, Charlie White take lead after short dance

    They have trained together for 17 years. And for much of that time, under the rules of ice dance, they’ve not been allowed to stray farther than two arms’ length from each other. But on Sunday at the Sochi Olympics, Meryl Davis and Charlie White took the ice with the exuberance of a couple intoxicated by the sight of one another and swept the Iceberg Skating Palace audience along with them. The six-time U.S. champions came out with a record score for a short dance, 78.89 points, which amounted to a handsome yet not insurmountable lead entering Monday’s free skate.

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    Wolves bounce back with 3-2 win

    The Chicago Wolves avenged Saturday’s overtime loss to the Milwaukee Admirals with a 3-2 victory over the Midwest Division foe in an Amtrak Rivalry game on Sunday at the Allstate Arena.

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    Russia goaltender Sergei Bobrovski stops a breakaway from USA forward Patrick Kane in overtime of a men’s ice hockey game at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

    Team USA could not be sitting prettier in medal picture

    We’re through the preliminary round of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament — and the United States couldn’t be in much better shape. The Americans are seeded second behind Sweden with an automatic bye into the quarterfinal round after winning their group. On Wednesday, they will play the winner of Tuesday’s game between Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

  •  
    One of the few bright spots for Tyler Flowers was hitting a home run off Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander in July. Flowers played in only 84 games before his season ended with shoulder surgery in early September.

    White Sox give Flowers, Phegley another shot

    White Sox general manager Rick Hahn has made some big roster changes dating back to July of last season. But for now, Hahn is staying put with the Sox' two unproven catchers - Tyler Flowers and Josh Phegley.

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    Chicago Cubs catcher Welington Castillo catches during the team’s first spring training baseball practice, Friday, Feb. 14, 2014, in Mesa, Ariz.

    Castillo looks to take next step for Cubs

    Welington Castillo took and ran with the Cubs' starting-catcher job last year. He ran until he could run no more as knee surgery ended his season in September. Castillo is back this spring, and the Cubs hope he takes the next step, literally and figuratively.

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    Cubs’ payroll is just bad math

    The Cubs are dialing up a wrong number for their 2014 payroll at somewhere around $80 million. Too low? No, too high. Google “2014 Cubs payroll” and the computer screen can be heard giggling at the estimates: Mostly between $85 million and $78 million.

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    Team USA forwards Patrick Kane, left, and Zach Parise team up on Slovenia’s Jan Urbas during Sunday’s 5-1 victory for the Americans to close their preliminary-round games. Team USA advances to the elimination round as the No. 2 seed behind Sweden.

    Will it be USA-Russia rematch for gold?

    As is always the case in a world tournament, the top prize is there for Canada in Olympic hockey. They always have the best team and they always have the best chance to win, but right now the Americans are playing much better, and the two seem headed for a semifinal showdown.

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    USA forward Phil Kessel take the puck away from Slovenia forward Ziga Jeglic during the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey game at Shayba Arena Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

    Images: Winter Olympics on Sunday, February 16th
    Images from Saturday at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics including alpine skiing, curling, men's hockey,biathalon, bobsledding, snowboarding and figure skating. The USA men's hockey team defeated Slovenia 5-1, Andrew Weibrecht won silver and Bode Miller took bronze in the men's super-G alpine skiing, and Matthew Antoine took bronze in the men's skeleton.

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    Michigan State’s Keith Appling (11) tries to pass away from pressure by Nebraska’s Walter Pitchford, left, and David Rivers during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014, in East Lansing, Mich.

    Nebraska tops No. 9 Michigan St 60-51

    EAST LANSING, Mich. — Terran Petteway scored 23 points and Walter Pitchford added 18 and Nebraska topped No. 9 Michigan State 60-51 on Sunday.Petteway had 16 points in the last 20 minutes after Pitchford had scored 12 before the break for the Cornhuskers (14-10, 6-6 Big Ten). Gary Harris had 18 points and Adreian Payne 11 for the Spartans (21-5, 10-3), who remain in a first-place tie with Michigan. Harris was 5 for 15 from the field. Michigan State shot 34 percent from the field and 20.8 percent on 3-pointers.The Cornhuskers led 32-25 at the half and held off a second-half surge with a 9-2 closing run.

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    Michigan guard Nik Stauskas, left, reaches in on Wisconsin guard Traevon Jackson (12) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. Wisconsin defeated Michigan 75-62.

    No. 21 Wisconsin beats No. 15 Michigan

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Wisconsin was on the verge of wasting a tremendous first half, so with Michigan rallying and the crowd roaring, the Badgers calmly went inside to Frank Kaminsky.“I wanted the ball in my hands,” the 7-footer said. “I was able to make some things happen.”Kaminsky had 25 points and 11 rebounds, and No. 21 Wisconsin smothered No. 15 Michigan in the first half before holding on for a 75-62 victory Sunday. The Wolverines cut an 18-point deficit to three in the second half, but Kaminsky personally went on a 7-2 run after that, helping Wisconsin regain control.“We were talking about touching the post, yes,” Badgers coach Bo Ryan said. “They were playing him tough. Once he got it 12 feet away, 12 to maybe 15, that’s when he made his moves, and actually used his body as well as I’ve ever seen him on a consistent basis.”The Badgers (21-5, 8-5 Big Ten) committed only two turnovers en route to their fourth straight win.Caris LeVert scored 17 of his 25 points in the second half for Michigan. Sam Dekker finished with 15 points for Wisconsin.The Badgers led 34-19 at halftime after holding Michigan (18-7, 10-3) without an assist in the first half.“They’re a difficult matchup for anybody they play,” Michigan coach John Beilein said. “Once we get down like we got down, it’s tough to come back because of their ball-control offense. They make timely shots, they’ve got a great plan — and really played a high-IQ game today.”Michigan entered the day tied atop the Big Ten with rival Michigan State — the Spartans played later Sunday against Nebraska. Michigan now has a week off before hosting Michigan State next Sunday.The Wolverines won at Wisconsin last month, but they looked out of sorts from the start in the rematch. The Badgers opened the game with a 12-2 run, and Michigan’s normally fluid offense was totally out of rhythm. Wisconsin forced seven turnovers in the first half and hardly allowed an open shot.“We tried to work harder and be better at some of the things we do,” Ryan said. “Defensively, that’s a very solid effort by our guys — against a team that can score.”It was 34-16 near the end of the half, and as the game progressed, the Wolverines seemed to become increasingly reliant on long jumpers from just inside the 3-point line.“Defensively we were pretty bad today, especially in the first half,” Michigan’s Nik Stauskas said. “We dug ourselves into a big hole we really couldn’t get out of.”LeVert’s two free throws capped a 9-0 run that made it 52-49. Then Kaminsky went back to work. He scored inside, drove for a layup and then added a three-point play that made it 59-51 with 3:48 remaining.“It was a fun environment,” Wisconsin’s Josh Gasser said. “Frank made a bucket there, and that got us back where we needed.”Kaminsky later stepped outside and made a 3-pointer to push the lead to 13 at 65-52. He finished 11 of 16 from the field against a Michigan front line that is without Mitch McGary, who is recovering from a back injury.Wisconsin hit a rough patch after a 16-0 start, but now the Badgers again look like one of the Big Ten’s best teams. This was the second time this season they’ve committed only two turnovers in a game.“To come out like that and build ourselves a lead and maintain it throughout the whole game, against a team that really beat us up at home, is a great thing,” Kaminsky said.Wisconsin has now won five of its last six in Ann Arbor.Gasser had 13 points for Wisconsin. Stauskas scored 11 for Michigan and Glenn Robinson III added 10.Wisconsin is now 9-2 away from home this season, and this may have been the most impressive road win for the Badgers.

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    U.S. forward Patrick Kane pins Slovenia forward Ziga Jeglic against the boards during the 2014 Winter Olympics men’s ice hockey game at Shayba Arena Sunday.

    U.S. routs Slovenia, earns quarterfinal slot

    Phil Kessel scored two of his three goals in the opening 4:33 and became the first U.S. player with an Olympic hat trick in more than a decade, leading the Americans to a 5-1 win over Slovenia on Sunday. The U.S. (3-0) earned an automatic spot in the quarterfinals.

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    United States’ Andrew Weibrecht passes a gate near the finish line on his way to taking the silver medal in the men’s super-G at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics Sunday in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

    Andrew Weibrecht takes silver, Norway wins super-G race

    A Norwegian skier earned his country’s fourth consecutive Olympic title in men’s super-G. Kjetil Jansrud continued Norway’s dominance in the Alpine skiing event, outracing two Americans and a Canadian for the Scandinavian country’s fifth super-G gold in the past seven games. Andrew Weibrecht of the U.S. earned the silver medal with a time that was less just 0.3 seconds slower than Jansrud’s, while American teammate Bode Miller and Jan Hudec of Canada tied for bronze.

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    Hampshire stymies Woodstock North

    Hampshire clung to a narrow lead against Woodstock North for most of the first half. But after the Thunder's Josh Jandron went out with his fourth foul early in the third quarter, the Whip-Purs started to pull away, finishing with a 72-59 win in Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball action Saturday afternoon in Woodstock. About the time Jandron left the game, Matt Bridges came alive for Hampshire. He scored 20 of his game-high 25 points after intermission. Drew Doran and Ryan Cork added 13 apiece for Hampshire (11-13, 7-3).

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    Even when it became clear that tackle Jonathan Martin couldn't or didn't know how to stand up for himself, nobody with the Miami Dolphins had the courage to step in.

    NFL must address this sad lack of leadership

    The report on Richie Incognito's abuse of Jonathan Martin reveals a failure of NFL leadership, a failure of friendship and a failure of men to act like men. It's despicable.

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    Boys basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Cary-Grove 57, McHenry 44: The Trojans (15-9, 7-3) defeated Fox Valley Conference Valley Division opponent McHenry Saturday with the help of Jason Gregoire’s 22 points. Devin McDonough finished with 13 points and Nick Franz added 10 points for the Trojans. Neuqua Valley 65, South Elgin 59: Despite having the lead in the first half, the Storm (11-13, 3-8) couldn’t hold on against Neuqua Valley in Upstate Eight Valley action. Matt Smith led South Elgin (11-13, 3-8) with 15 points. Jake Amrhein scored 13 points and Darius Wells added 9 points. “We came out with a lot of energy. Their size took over on the boards,” said South Elgin coach Matt Petersen. Chicagoland Jewish 52, Westminster Christian 50: Sam Carani led the Warriors (15-11) with 17 points and Robert Kleczynski finished with 16 points in the Warriors’ nonconference loss.

Business

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    Former Harley store to become auto shop

    A portion of the massive commercial space that used to house the Harley Davidson dealership on Rand Road in Palatine will soon be converted into an auto repair shop.

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    Be sure to watch your pace when running your business. Remember, you never lose in business; you either win or you learn.

    How a runner’s mentality can motivate small-business owners

    I have decided that fitness and health need to be moved up on my list of priorities. My quest has made me think about the parallels between running and growing a small business.

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    New standards coming from government and the hospital and bill collection industries should make resolving disputes and paying bills easier and fairer for patients, experts say.

    New billing standards to help patients with debt

    The last thing anyone wants to deal with after a serious illness or injury is a mountain of debt and repeated calls from bill collectors. Yet that’s the scenario in which many patients find themselves. Patients can avoid some of those headaches and minimize the risk they’ll need to file for bankruptcy protection. To do that, they must discuss costs and payment options early on with their hospital or medical provider, and be sure that they have tapped into any available discounts and financial assistance.

  •  
    Marissa Mayer, chief executive officer of Yahoo! Inc., pauses during a panel session on day four of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, on Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014. A report released the week by the Center for Talent Innovation finds that U.S. women working in tech fields are 45 percent more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within a year.

    Report: Women in tech more likely to leave industry

    The difficulty in getting more young women into science and high-tech fields has received a lot of attention recently, including from a new national mentorship program for budding female scientists as well as Super Bowl ads for engineering toys designed for girls. But keeping women in those fields -- and helping them reach the top -- may be an even bigger challenge.

  •  
    AOL CEO Tim Armstrong announced last week that instead of contributing to an employee’s retirement each paycheck, the company would give a lump sum payment at the end of the year, a move that could lower costs but potentially hurt employees’ savings. The backlash was immediate, forcing Armstrong to backtrack within days.

    Despite AOL news, 401(k) matches are not changing

    If you like your company’s 401(k) match, you can keep it. Despite a scare that AOL gave its employees recently, Corporate America isn’t scaling back 401(k) programs, surveys and employee benefit experts say. AOL CEO Tim Armstrong announced last week that instead of contributing to an employee’s retirement each paycheck, the company would give a lump sum payment at the end of the year.

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    Cashing out: the big 401(k) mistake

    Workers’ 401(k) balances have never been bigger, thanks to continued contributions and a surging stock market. But many savers continue to make a mistake that’s costing them thousands of dollars, if not more. When workers leave their jobs, they have the choice of leaving their 401(k) accounts alone, rolling them over into another tax-deferred retirement account or cashing them out and pocketing the money.

  •  
    The German team of Natalie Geisenberger, in orange, Felix Loch, in blue, and doubles team of Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt, in yellow, wait for the flower ceremony to begin after winning the gold medal during the luge team relay competition at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Thursday, Feb. 13, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

    The value of an Olympic gold medal

    So how much is a gold medal really worth to the athlete who wins one in Sochi? It turns out that it depends on where you’re from. Kazakhstan leads the way, offering its athletes $250,000 in prize money for bringing one home.

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    The new meter is a wireless devices that relays information on electricity consumption directly to ComEd.

    ComEd can charge customers who refuse smart meters

    ComEd customers who refuse new smart meters will pay a penalty. The Illinois Commerce Commission on approved a $21.53-a-month tariff to the bills of ComEd customers who don’t let the company install the new gadgets.

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    Career Coach: Are your derailers holding you back?

    My fellow coaches and I have witnessed so many people who aspire to higher-level positions kill their chances because of their personality derailers. It is so frustrating to watch someone who has incredible potential sabotage their own success because of faults in their behaviors and personality.

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    Some colleagues can go overboard with compliments at work.

    Work Advice: Dealing with a smarm offensive

    I have a female colleague with whom I enjoy a friendly working relationship. One thing happens like clockwork the first time I see her every day: She says: “Hi. Ohh, I love your outfit!” and then looks me up and down for a few awkward seconds while I fumble to change the topic. I am generally good at accepting compliments, but come on -- there is no way my twin sets and pleated slacks wow her every single day. I have the odd edgy-fashion inspiration, but some days I knowingly arrive at work with dog hair in my sweater.

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    Congressional investigators say small fees add up for college students using college-issued debit and prepaid cards, which often are used to draw financial aid.

    GAO recommends changes for student debit cards

    Congressional investigators say small fees add up for college students using college-issued debit and prepaid cards, which often are used to draw financial aid. These types of cards are becoming more common on campuses.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Lorenzo Rush Jr., left, Lina Wass, Robin DaSilva, Sharriese Hamilton and Donterrio Johnson heat up the stage in Porchlight Music Theatre’s rollicking revival of the Fats Waller revue, “Ain’t Misbehavin’.”

    ‘Ain’t Misbehavin’’ heats up winter nights

    Stepping from Chicago’s icy streets into the cozy confines of Stage 773 on a recent frigid Friday I found myself in the middle of party. For that’s exactly what Porchlight Music Theatre’s rousing revival of “Ain’t Misbehavin’” is. Porchlight’s production of this affectionate tribute to jazz pianist and composer Thomas “Fats” Waller — master of the stride piano and pillar of the Harlem Renaissance — is as ebullient as the man who inspired it.

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    Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor won Best Actor for his performance in “12 Years a Slave” at the British Academy Film Awards Sunday in London. The film took Best Picture.

    ‘Slave’ named best film at UK movie awards

    The force of “Gravity” was strong at the British Academy Film Awards on Sunday — but it was unflinching drama “12 Years a Slave” that took the top prize. Steve McQueen’s visceral, violent story of a free black man kidnapped into servitude in the 19th-century U.S. South was named best picture. Its star, Chiwetel Ejiofor, took the male acting trophy.

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    In this 2013 photo provided by National Geographic Channel, Jamie Coots, a pastor in Middlesboro, Ky., who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation,” poses for a photo. Coots died Sunday after being bitten by a snake.

    Snake-handling pastor from reality TV dies from snake bite

    Jamie Coots, a snake-handling Kentucky pastor who appeared on the National Geographic television reality show “Snake Salvation,” died Saturday after being bitten by a snake. Coots was handling a rattlesnake during a Saturday night service at his Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church in Middlesboro when he was bitten. Contacted at his house after the service, Coots refused medical treatment. When emergency workers returned about an hour later, Coots was dead from a venomous snake bite, police said.

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    The bay off Isla Mujeres at the quiet easternmost section of popular North Beach is the perfect spot to lounge lazily while sipping an ice cold beer or refreshing piña colada. Isla Mujeres, or Island of Women, is a tiny 5-mile-long, half-mile wide island just a half-hour's ferry ride across from Cancun, Mexico, with far fewer visitors and a much calmer, romantic atmosphere.

    Isla Mujeres, Mexico: Near Cancun, but a world away

    A half-hour ferry ride from the nonstop party that is Cancun sits an island seductively named Isla Mujeres, or Island of Women. Less than 5 miles long and just a half-mile wide, the tiny Mexican island is an oasis that caters to every set except the rowdy students sowing their oats across the bay. They most certainly would get bored. For everyone else, that's kind of the point.

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    This April 4, 2013 file photo released by NBC shows Jimmy Fallon, host of “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” in New York. Fallon will debut as host of his new show, “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon,” on Feb. 17.

    A new ‘Tonight’ dawns with Jimmy Fallon as host

    For five years Jimmy Fallon hosted NBC’s “Late Night,” a job he relinquished only days ago. And now he’s looking ahead to the Big Show, “The Tonight Show,” where Monday, at the special time of 11 p.m., he retrieves Carson’s mantle — back in New York after 42 years in Los Angeles.

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    Justin Timberlake brings The 20/20 Experience World Tour to the United Center in Chicago on Sunday and Monday, Feb. 16 and 17.

    Sunday picks: Justin Timberlake to rock Chicago

    Justin Timberlake will melt the United Center with his "20/20 Experience World Tour" Sunday night. Celebrate star-crossed love this weekend with a screening of Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad in the 2013 Broadway revival of "Romeo and Juliet" at select movie theaters. And singer Joe Jencks headlines a folk concert at the In-Laws Restaurant in Gurnee.

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    Mads Mikkelsen plays a lonely teacher in his 40s whose life crumbles because of an innocent lie in “The Hunt,” nominated for Best Foreign Language Film.

    Danes hoping for fourth Oscar with ‘The Hunt’

    When Danish director Thomas Vinterberg wrote the script for “The Hunt” — one of this year’s contenders for Best Foreign Language Film — he pictured a young Robert de Niro as the lonely teacher whose life crumbles because of an innocent lie. But when fellow Dane Mads Mikkelsen, known for his roles as the icy villain in the James Bond movie “Casino Royale” and the brilliantly evil Hannibal Lecter on TV’s “Hannibal,” signed on, his vision changed. “It was really awesome when I got Mads,” he said. “But, I had to rewrite the script.”

  •  
    Lily Cherry, 8, cleans her bathroom as her mother, Andrea, supervises at their home in Kingwood, Texas. Cherry has passed on her childhood practice of doing chores to her own children believing it gives them a sense of family responsibility.

    Should busy, stressed-out kids have to do chores?

    It’s the dirty work of home life: dusting the shelves, mopping the floors and doing the laundry, load after load. Yet asking kids to help has gotten harder for some parents, caught up in the blur of today’s competitive, time-pressed, child-focused world. “Parents feel very conflicted about getting their kids involved in housework,” says child psychologist Eileen Kennedy-Moore, who sees a wide range of what kids are asked to do and how strongly the completion of chores is enforced.

  •  
    Women have a higher risk of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and other problems for 12 weeks after childbirth — twice as long as doctors have thought, new research finds.

    Blood clot risk lasts for 12 weeks after pregnancy

    Women have a higher risk of blood clots that can cause strokes, heart attacks and other problems for 12 weeks after childbirth — twice as long as doctors have thought, new research finds.

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    Oscar-nominated actress June Squibb is nominated for best supporting actress for her role in “Nebraska.”

    60 years an actor, June Squibb takes a bow

    June Squibb recently ducked into a Times Square office above the theaters she spent decades knocking about, taking any decent part she could get. “We ran around,” she recalls. “We ate matinee days.” After a lifetime of Broadway, regional theater, cabaret, musicals, summer stock and bit movie roles, Squibb is, at 84, an Oscar nominee. Her supporting actress nod came for playing a prickly, foul-mouthed Midwestern matriarch. In Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska,” her Kate Grant epitomizes heartland tenacity.

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    Tiny doses may help peanut-allergic kids

    For some children, even trace amounts of peanuts can be deadly. But these kids have no options other than to avoid the legumes completely. The results of a new clinical trial may change that.

  •  
    J.D. Oltman practices his sweeping skills with other novices ahead of a moving rock.

    A stone's throw from Sochi? Older athletes aim for Olympics

    If you've ever wondered whether you can grow up to become an Olympian even if you're already grown up, the answer is yes. For adults hoping to work their way to Winter Olympics, one possibility is curling.The oldest athlete representing the United States at the 2014 Games is 45-year-old Ann Swisshelm, a curler.

  •  

    Clean cabinets thoroughly before attempting to paint them

    What can I do to get greasy residue off wooden kitchen cabinets? The greasy buildup is from using aerosol spray cans to coat pans for cooking.

Discuss

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    Praise these Olympians

    Columnist Michael Gerson: Yamikani walks deliberately, intently, with a bean bag on his head, showing a balance that is probably hard-earned. “When he falls,” his grandmother Irene tells me, “we have to pick him up.” At a Special Olympics event, this is a fact and a philosophy.

  •  

    Bravo to those fighting sugar subsidies
    An Inverness letter to the editor: Congratulations to Sen. Mark Kirk and Rep. Danny Davis for at least raising awareness of the unconscionable, job-killing, pernicious sugar price-support program. Though originally scheduled to sunset in 1940, this equivalent of a multibillion-dollar subsidy paid by every U.S. consumer yet once again was included in a comprehensive, wasteful and expensive farm bill.

  •  

    The real question to ask about guns, pot
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: "Do guns, pot mix?” asks the headline for your Feb. 6 article on proposed rules for medical marijuana. Let me offer you an alternative headline: “Should a lifelong, law-abiding firearms owner who contracts a painful disease be forced to give up his guns?” And the same even for his caregiver?

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    Facts distorted on Obama and deficit
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Donna Brazile had a column in the Feb. 11 Daily Herald that led me to believe that her opinion of her readership is that they are either uninformed, naive or easily bamboozled.

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    Proof in Constitution of Christian nation
    A Grayslake letter to the editor: The Constitution of the United States affirms its Christian character. In Article 7 it declares that it was adopted “ ... in the year of our Lord 1787, and of the Independence of the Unit States of America the twelfth.” Arguments proposed to show that the Founders did not recognize Christianity would usually apply to their not recognizing the independence of the nation, but such arguments are false.

  •  

    One item left on state agenda: legalize pot
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: Kudos to Washington Governor Jay Inslee who suspended the practice of state sponsored murder, aka death penalty, in Washington for the duration of his term. Inslee is working with his constituents and the legislature to make the ban permanent prior to expiration of his gubernatorial suspension.

  •  

    Is sportsmanship lost in Olympics?
    A Wood Dale letter to the editor: Did I read this right — Shani Davis and Brian Hansen of the U.S. Olympics speed skating team used the 500 meter sprint for training? I would bet there is a skater who would have loved to skate in this race but did not make the team because these two and others wanted to use the spot on the team to train for their event.

  •  

    Rauner need to bone up on history
    An Elgin letter to the editor: The Republican governor want-a-be circus is in full swing. Bruce Rauner stands out more than anyone in the race. His “My way or the highway” attitude will get him nowhere fast.

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