Daily Archive : Sunday February 23, 2014


    Dennis Sluski Jr., 46, of St. Charles

    St. Charles man charged in sexual assault at Chicago hotel

    A St. Charles man was charged Saturday with raping a maid at a Chicago hotel. Dennis Sluski Jr., 46, of St. Charles, was arrested and charged with felony sexual assault Saturday on the 2700 block of North Clark Street in Chicago after the victim identified him in a photo, according to Chicago police.

    Palatine firefighter Kevin Piasecki adjusts the equipment set in front of the Palatine Firefighters Memorial downtown Sunday before the annual ceremony honoring three volunteer firefighters who died in the line of duty Feb. 23, 1973. Firefighters John Wilson, Richard Freeman and Warren Ahlgrim lost their lives fighting a fire in the Ben Franklin store in the village's downtown.

    Palatine remembers firefighters who made 'supreme sacrifices'

    Palatine on Sunday recognized the three volunteer firefighters who died in the devastating "Ben Franklin fire" of 1973. Richard Freeman, John Wilson and Warren Ahlgrim died while fighting the blaze in the basement of the five-and-dime store in downtown Palatine. Tracy Telesco, daughter of Richard Freeman, traveled from Arizona to attend. "I'm here because this is the story of my father," she said.

    Tremayne Davis

    Prosecutor: We're on trail of Bensenville murder suspect

    Authorities are on the trail of a man they believe shot and killed a Bensenville convenience store clerk during a botched armed robbery last month, a prosecutor said Sunday during court proceedings involving a man accused of being the getaway driver. A DuPage County judge set bail at $2.5 million on Sunday for 23-year-old Chicagoan Tremayne Davis, who authorities say served as the driver for two...

    Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych fled Kiev over the weekend and his whereabouts are unknown now. But he left behind evidence of a luxurious lifestyle at odds with the hardships many Ukrainians are suffering.

    Documents at Ukraine leader’s home detail spending

    Cash: $12 million. Decoration of a dining hall and tea room: $2.3 million. Statue of a wild boar: $115,000. “A bribe”: $4,000. These are some of the expenses detailed in financial documents found in President Viktor Yanukovych’s abandoned residence, which was occupied by protesters after the leader fled the capital.

    Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman is photographed against a wall Saturday after his arrest in the Pacific resort city of Mazatlan, Mexico.

    Cellphone, wiretaps led to legendary drug lord

    After fruitlessly pursuing one of the world’s top drug lords for years, authorities finally drew close to Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman using a cellphone found at a house where drugs were stored. The phone belonging to a Guzman aide was recovered with clues from a U.S. wiretap and provided a key break in the long chase to find Guzman, officials told The Associated Press on Sunday.

    Leon Stout walks across a dry Black Butte Lake near Orland Buttes Recreation Area in Chico, Calif. Meteorologists forecast a pair of storms that could dump several inches of rain on parched cities and croplands throughout California in the coming week, bringing welcome news to a state that has just endured its driest year in recorded history.

    Much-needed rain, snow to hit parched California

    Meteorologists forecast a pair of storms could dump several inches of rain on parched cities and croplands throughout California in the coming week, bringing welcome news to a state that has just endured its driest year in recorded history.

    Members of Kentucky’s Murray State University Big Band ensemble performs Sunday during the 47th annual Elmhurst College Jazz Festival. The prestigious fest draws high school, college and professional musicians from across the Midwest.

    Talent on display at Elmhurst College Jazz Fest

    Collegiate musicians from across the Midwest helped bring a close to Elmhurst College’s 47th annual Jazz Festival on Sunday at the school’s Hammerschmidt Memorial Chapel. About 2,000 jazz lovers attended the final performances of the prestigious, four-day festival which featured high school and college level jazz bands, as well as professional musicians, including a sold-out...

    The Oscar-nominated documentary, “The Lady in Number 6,” tell the story of Alice Herz-Sommer, who was believed to be the oldest-known survivor of the Holocaust.

    Oldest-known Holocaust survivor dies at 110

    Alice Herz-Sommer, believed to be the oldest Holocaust survivor, died at age 110 on Sunday, a family member said. The accomplished pianist’s death came just a week before her extraordinary story of surviving two years in a Nazi prison camp through devotion to music and her son is up for an Oscar.


    Kane heroin overdose case appears headed to trial

    The case of a 42-year-old Aurora man charged in the spring 2013 heroin overdose death of his longtime girlfriend appears headed to trial. A Kane County judge recently denied a move by defense attorneys to ban statements made by Charles Minard, who is charged with drug-induced homicide, to investigators.

    Rosary High School senior Monica Powers, left, and sophomore Shea Vero model dresses during the 4th annual Rosary National Honor Society dress sale and fashion show Sunday in Aurora. The event raises money for scholarships given to incoming freshmen.

    Rosary students get dressed up for charity

    Students at Rosary High School in Aurora held their 4th annual dress sale and fashion show Sunday afternoon to raise money for scholarships given to incoming freshmen. The sale, sponsored by Rosary’s National Honor Society, featured students modeling gently used dresses in a runway-style fashion show.

    A video released by the Taliban contains footage of a man believed to be Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, left. Afghanistan’s Taliban says it has suspended “mediation” with the United States to exchange the captive U.S. soldier for five senior Taliban prisoners held in U.S. custody.

    Taliban says it suspends talks on held US soldier

    Afghanistan’s Taliban said Sunday they had suspended “mediation” with the United States to exchange captive Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl for five senior Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay, halting — at least temporarily — what was considered the best chance yet of securing the 27-year-old soldier’s freedom since his capture in 2009.

    A fire Sunday morning at the Brentwood of Palatine Condominiums displaced 15 residents, but all were able to escape unharmed. The fire at the three-story building was quickly put out by the Palatine Fire Department, according to Deputy Chief William Gabrenya. The cause is under investigation.

    No one injured in Palatine condo fire, 15 residents displaced

    A fire broke out Sunday morning in a three-story condominium building in Palatine. No one was injured in the blaze, but about 15 residents were displaced. Palatine fire investigators worked Sunday to establish a cause.

    Debra Fredricksen

    Police seek help locating missing Des Plaines woman, 61

    Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a 61-year-old Des Plaines woman who has been missing since Friday. Debra Fredricksen was seen at a Morton Grove McDonald’s drive-thru about noon on Friday, Des Plaines police said. Her unoccupied vehicle was later found Saturday night in Evanston.

    Meaghan Ybos discusses Memphis’ backlog of untested rape kits on Thursday in Memphis, Tenn. Ybos, a victim of rape, has been crusading for legislation to address the backlogs for several years.

    Bills seek to tackle backlog of untested rape kits

    With possibly hundreds of thousands of rape kits untested across the country, a number of states are proposing legislation to address backlogs that in at least one case dates back nearly three decades.

    One of the hottest conversation topics in Wisconsin politics over the past week has been what people are finding in searches of thousands emails exchanged by Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign staff and those who worked for him when he was Milwaukee County executive.

    Searching Walker emails is the rage in Wisconsin

    Political operatives from across the spectrum are scouring the thousands of emails exchanged by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s campaign staff and those who worked for him when he was Milwaukee County executive, trying to find items they can use to attack or defend the state’s most polarizing figure.

    People cry as they pass by the site of recent deadly clashes between opposition protesters and riot police close to Kiev’s Independence Square, Ukraine, Sunday. Official reports say 82 people were killed in the recent unrest.

    Ukraine parliament head takes presidential powers

    With an ally claiming presidential powers Sunday and the whereabouts and legitimacy of the nominal president unclear, newly freed opposition icon Yulia Tymoshenko may feel her chance to take Ukraine’s leadership has come. But even among protesters who detest President Viktor Yanukovych, Tymoshenko sparks misgivings.


    Gaunky to be promoted

    Mundelein Fire Department Lt. Mark Gaunky will be appointed director of fire prevention at Monday's village board meeting.


    County candidates to debate

    The three Republicans running for the Lake County Board’s 10th District seat will meet in a public forum Tuesday in Mundelein.


    Gurnee school with healthy fair

    Computer Systems Institute in Gurnee is hosting a heart healthy fair on Wednesday, Feb. 26.


    Des Plaines to implement new emergency notification system

    Des Plaines will implement the CodeRED emergency notification system beginning March 1, officials said. The system will allow city officials to send alerts to residents and other city personnel by phone, text message and email.


    Rauner to speak to Palatine Twp. Republicans

    The Palatine Township Republican Organization will feature gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner at the regular monthly meeting, which is free and open to the public, on Saturday, March 1, starting at 9 a.m. at 839 N. Quentin Road in Palatine. “Our meeting will feature Bruce Rauner as part of our series of meetings with the gubernatorial candidates,” said Aaron Del Mar, Palatine...

    Fireworks explode seen over Olympic Park during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Sochi, Russia.

    Costly, political, successful: Sochi Games end

    SOCHI, Russia — Flushed with pride after its athletes’ spectacular showing at the costliest Olympics ever, Russia celebrated Sunday night with a visually stunning finale that handed off a smooth but politically charged Winter Games to their next host, Pyeongchang in South Korea.


    Fire leaves Wheaton home uninhabitable, residents escape safely

    A single-family home on Gammon Road in Wheaton was rendered uninhabitable after a fire ripped through it during the early-morning hours Sunday. Firefighters continue to investigate the cause of the fire. No one was injured.


    Illinois lawmaker wants kill switch on cell phones

    An Illinois lawmaker wants to make it harder for stolen cell phones to be sold on the black market. State Sen. Toi Hutchinson has filed legislation that would require cell phones sold or purchased in Illinois to have a so-called “kill switch” that would make the phone inoperable if it is lost or stolen.


    Wis. Supreme Court to hear voter ID arguments

    The Wisconsin Supreme Court is getting ready to listen to oral arguments in two lawsuits challenging the state’s voter photo identification law. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s Milwaukee branch and the League of Women Voters have challenged the law in separate cases.

    Inspired by his daughter, Cammy, whose neurological disorder prevents her from walking, Bill Babiarz is planning a 150-mile, five-day Run Across Illinois to raise awareness and funds to fight Rett syndrome.

    Wheaton dad to run in hopes daughter can walk

    Motivated by his daughter who can't walk, Bill Babiarz of Wheaton is committed to running. To raise awareness and funds for the fight against Rett syndrome — the genetic, neurological disorder that robbed Cammy of the ability to talk, walk and control her hands — Bill is embarking on “The Run Across Illinois.” “I have a good inspiration,” he says.

    Charles Bulson, administrator for Golf Rose Animal Hospital in Schaumburg, checks in on a pit bull known only as No. 4889, from Elgin. Golf Rose contracts with about a dozen towns to rescue strays or hoarded animals.

    Animal hoarding: When 'compassion' can become a crime

    Why do people hoard animals? Is it a simply a consequence of taking in one too many strays or a mental disorder about control and manipulation? The cause is elusive, but experts say recidivism is nearly 100 percent. “Hoarding is compulsive behavior. It's a huge problem nationwide, not just with animals but with other things,” said James Rog, an animal control officer for the Elgin...


    Elgin police prepare for Polar Plunge in Palatine

    A dozen Elgin police officers so far have signed up for the March 2 Polar Plunge in Palatine, which raises money for Special Olympics Illinois.

    Dave McCammon, left, and his friend, Dan Bell, stand by a bonfire during the inaugural Naperville Winter Ale Fest, held Saturday at Frontier Park. The men, who are from Oswego and Naperville, said they'd been cooped up all winter and were eager to get outside and try some beer.

    Naperville Winter Ale Fest sells out, will return

    The hordes of people attending the inaugural Naperville Winter Ale Fest at Frontier Park Saturday found that layers and plenty of beer were great ways to keep warm. The ale fest was a hit Saturday, selling out at 2,500 tickets, a turnout convinced Josh Seago founder and president of Lou Dog Events, which put on the event, to bring it back next winter. “We're excited to do it again,”...

    In this Feb. 9, 2014 photo Austria’s Johannes Duerr competes during the men’s cross-country 30k skiathlon at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. Duerr has been kicked out of the Sochi Games after testing positive for EPO, the country’s Olympic committee said Sunday, Feb 23, 2014. It is the fifth doping case of the Olympics and the first involving the blood-boosting drug EPO. (AP Photo/Matthias Schrader)

    Austrian Olympic Committee:Skier positive for EPO

    Austrian cross-country skier Johannes Duerr has been kicked out of the Sochi Games after testing positive for EPO, the country’s Olympic committee said Sunday. It is the fifth doping case of the Olympics and the first involving the blood-boosting drug EPO.

    Garrick Utley

    Notable deaths last week

    Garrick Utley, who reported from Vietnam and Europe for NBC News and moderated its influential Sunday-morning show, “Meet the Press,” from 1989 to 1991, has died. He was 74.

    The Choral-Aires Chorus invite you to its 27th annual fashion show and luncheon with the theme “Singin’ in the Rain.”

    Local chorus hosts annual fashion show

    Looking for a way to warm up at the end of a long, cold winter? Preview spring and summer fashions at the 27th annual fashion show and luncheon hosted by award-winning chorus the Choral-Aires Chorus and Zzazz Productions.


    Mom and Dad may have split, but they still need to be partners in parenting

    In thinking about "single-parent families," our Ken Potts realizes that many are really two-parent families in which the parents are no longer together. And that, he says, produces a special set of parenting challenges. "Even in the best of marriages, working together as a parenting team is not always easy," he says. "You can imagine how much harder it is to negotiate such differences when a...



    Wolves complete weekend sweep of Heat

    The Chicago Wolves wrapped up a weekend sweep of Western Conference-leading Abbotsford with a 2-0 triumph Sunday afternoon at Allstate Arena.Rookie right wing Ty Rattie registered a goal and an assist, defenseman Evan Oberg delivered the other goal, and Jake Allen stopped 21 shots to earn his third shutout of the season.

    Canada forward Jonathan Toews skates around the rink waving the Canadian flag after Canada beat Sweden 3-0 in the men's gold medal ice hockey game Sunday at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Toews will be back playing with the Blackhawks this week.

    Canada beats Sweden for back-to-back hockey gold

    Canada became the first nation to win back-to-back gold medals in Olympic men's ice hockey in 22 years by defeating Sweden 3-0 today at the Sochi Games.The victory gave Canada a sweep of the hockey medals. Three days ago, the Canadian women beat the U.S. 3-2 in overtime to capture the championship.Canada, which won its record ninth Olympic title, is the first nation to retain its gold medal since the Soviet Union won three straight in 1984, 1988 and 1992. In the last of those Olympics, it was playing as the Unified Team.“We were just deeper than every team in the tournament,” said Canada forward Matt Duchene, who plays for the National Hockey League's Colorado Avalanche. “We dominated the whole tournament.”Sweden, which won the gold medal in 2006, was trying to become the first reigning world champion to also win an Olympic crown in 30 years.Canadian goalie Carey Price stopped 24 shots for his second straight shutout. Price, who is with the NHL's Montreal Canadiens, held the U.S. scoreless in a 1-0 semifinal victory two nights ago.“I'm just ecstatic, I'm tired,” Price told reporters. “This could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience and I'm honored to be a part of this.”Canadian ScoringJonathan Toews, Sidney Crosby and Chris Kunitz scored for Canada. Toews, of the NHL's Chicago Blackhawks, scored on a deflection with just more than seven minutes left in the first period. Crosby, of the NHL's Pittsburgh Penguins, added his goal on a breakaway with four minutes, 17 seconds left in the second period.In the third, Kunitz stole possession just outside the Swedish blue line, moved into the zone and sent a wrist shot above the shoulder of goalie Henrik Lundqvist of the NHL's New York Rangers. Kunitz is on the Penguins.“It's a big disappointment,” Lundqvist said. “I think Canada definitely deserved to win today, they were the better team.”Undefeated RunCanada went 6-0 in Sochi, becoming the first undefeated Olympic men's hockey champion since the Soviets took gold at the 1984 Sarajevo Games.The victory extended Canada's domination of the Swedes at the Olympics. The Canadians have 13 victories in 17 games, with three Swedish wins and a tie, though one of those Swedish victories came in their previous gold-medal encounter.At the 1994 Lillehammer Games, Sweden's Magnus Svensson tied the game in the final two minutes of the third period and it went to a penalty shootout in which 20-year-old Peter Forsberg scored the winner -- a goal that was commemorated on a Swedish postage stamp.Today's win gave Canada its first gold medal in a Winter Games outside North America in 62 years, since it triumphed in the 1952 Oslo Olympics.The game, played at 4 p.m. in Sochi, led to an early Sunday morning for fans throughout Canada -- where the contest was shown live at 7 a.m. in eastern cities such as Toronto and Montreal and at 4 a.m. in the west, including Vancouver.Early StartToronto's city council approved a change to liquor laws for the game, allowing bars and cafes in most of the city to serve alcohol at 6 a.m. -- one hour before the first puck was dropped.Since it was on a weekend, the game did not affect markets. Two days earlier, during Canada's semifinal defeat of the U.S., trading volume during a one-hour span in the middle of the game on the Standard & Poor's/TSX Composite Index, Canada's benchmark equity gauge, was 29 percent lower than the 5-day average before the Olympics started.“I think any time Canada puts on this jersey there's pressure to win,” forward Rick Nash, who plays for the Rangers, said before the game. “The only thing that we expect as a country is a gold medal. No matter what, there's always pressure on Canada in hockey.”

    Dale Earnhardt Jr., center, celebrates with his team in Victory Lane after winning the NASCAR Daytona 500 auto race at Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Fla., Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014.

    Earnhardt Jr. wins his 2nd Daytona 500

    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Through rain and wrecks, Dale Earnhardt Jr. ended the only drought that mattered. NASCAR’s most popular driver won the Daytona 500 for the second time, a decade after his first victory in the “Great American Race.” Earnhardt snapped a 55-race winless streak Sunday night that dated to 2012. It ended a streak of futility at Daytona International Speedway, where he finished second in three of the previous four 500s. He radioed to his crew “this is better than the first one,” as he circled the track on his cool-down lap in his Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet. Rain stopped the race about 45 minutes after it began for a delay of more than six hours. When it resumed, Earnhardt dominated at the track where his father was killed in an accident on the last lap of the 2001 race.

    Jonathan Toews, skating with the Canadian flag after the medals ceremony in the gold-medal game Sunday, and the other five Blackhawks players who battled for the gold medal are not expected back on the ice until the morning skate before Thursday night’s game in New York against the Rangers.

    ‘Nice break,’ but it’s back to work for Blackhawks

    Minus their 10 Olympians, the Blackhawks returned to practice Sunday on the West Side to ready themselves for Thursday’s season restart at Madison Square Garden against the New York Rangers. Then on Saturday it’s the outdoor game at Soldier Field against the Pittsburgh Penguins. “It was a nice break,” goalie Corey Crawford. “But it’s good to be back and feel the puck again.”

    The Heat’s Chris Bosh grabs a rebound over the Bulls’ Carlos Boozer during the second half Sunday, when Miami went on a 16-2 run at the end of the third quarter to pull away.

    Even without James, Heat tough on Bulls

    LeBron James sat out with a broken nose, but the Bulls were still no match for the Miami defense. They shot just 35.8 percent from the field in a 93-79 loss at American Airlines Arena on Sunday.

    White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez readies to throws in a rundown during spring training in Glendale, Ariz.

    Ramirez still best option for White Sox

    Like the rest of the White Sox, shortstop Alexei Ramirez is coming off a forgettable 2013 season. Ramirez did some good things with the bat, but his power numbers were way down and so was his defense.

    Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro fields groundballs during spring-training practice.

    Can Cubs’ Castro stop the slide and find success again?

    It seems that Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro has gone from the next big thing to yesterday's news overnight. Following Castro's struggles last year, Cubs fans are ready for a look at shortstop phenom Javier Baez, making this a big year for Castro.


    Bibbs knows this about NFL: Not For Long

    Plainfield North's Kapri Bibbs decided to enter the NFL draft after just one season at Colorado State, but it was an impressive year, including 1,741 rushing yards and 31 touchdowns. He finished third among running backs at the NFL's Scouting Combine with 24 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and provided the big reason for leaving school with two years of eligibility remaining.

    In this photo provided by the Chicago Fire, forward Mike Magee, left, scores past Montreal Impact goalkeeper Troy Perkins during a game last September.

    Sources: Magee holding out for new deal from Fire

    Sources say Fire forward Mike Magee is not in preseason training camp because he is holding out for a new contract.

    Jason Collins has signed a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets and is the first active openly gay player in the NBA.

    Collins joining Nets won’t take focus off of Sam

    The Brooklyn Nets signed Jason Collins to a 10-day contract, making him the first openly gay man in one of North America's four major team sports. However, that won't take the focus off of Michael Sam in the NFL.

    Chicago Bulls’ Carlos Boozer, center, is fouled by Miami Heat’s Shane Battier (31) during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Miami. The Heat defeated the Bulls 93-79. At right is Heat’s Chris Bosh (1).

    Heat beat Bulls without LeBron

    With LeBron James watching from the bench in a suit and tie, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade powered the Miami Heat to a 93-79 victory over the Chicago Bulls on Sunday. News: James was a late scratch after he broke his nose in Thursday's win at Oklahoma City, and his teammates picked up the slack, with reserves Chris Andersen, Michael Beasley and Ray Allen helping the Heat pull away in the second half.

    The team from the United States USA-1, with Steven Holcomb, Curtis Tomasevicz, Steven Langton and Christopher Fogt, celebrate after they won the bronze medal during the men’s four-man bobsled competition final at the 2014 Winter Olympics, Sunday, Feb. 23, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia.

    Images: Winter Olympics, Sunday, February 23
    The 2014 Olymics in Sochi, Russia held closing ceremonies after the final day of events that included the men's hockey, bobsledding and cross-country skiing. Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 for the gold medal in hockey and USA-1 won the bronze in four-man bobsledding.

    The next Winter Games will be held in 2018 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Like Sochi, it's a new destination, the first Winter Olympics in Korea. Unlike Sochi, Pyeongchang already has many existing facilities in place. The infrastructure budget is a modest $7 billion.

    After Sochi, what's next for Winter Olympics?

    The sheer cost, size and scale of the Sochi Olympics has outstripped anything done before. The question for future Winter Games is clear: Can anyone — should anyone — try to top that? The huge financial investment, massive security apparatus and litany of logistical issues has thrown up major challenges to potential future Winter Olympic host cities.

    White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko fields a ground ball during baseball spring training in Glendale, Ariz., Saturday.

    Long goodbye begins in earnest for Konerko

    Paul Konerko wanted one more chance to see a few places and a few people he would not have had the chance to see again had he not signed on for one more season. The White Sox have given him that gift.


    The scores of losing players in last week’s $425 million Powerball jackpot did more than take an extremely long shot at getting rich, they also helped fund a small but increasingly important part of their states’ budgets. In all, about $20 billion out of the roughly $70 billion in overall annual lottery revenues is used by states.

    Powerball, Mega Millions give state budgets a lift

    The scores of losing players in last week’s $425 million Powerball jackpot did more than take an extremely long shot at getting rich. Their ticket purchases also helped fund a small but increasingly important part of their states’ budgets.

    Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip is kind of plant called on by President Barack Obama’s climate change plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

    High court climate case looks at EPA’s power

    Industry groups and Republican-led states are heading an attack at the Supreme Court against the Obama administration’s sole means of trying to limit power-plant and factory emissions of gases blamed for global warming.

    By forgoing subsidies, customers aren’t locked into cell phone contracts and can upgrade more frequently. Driving this trend is the rapid pace with which new phones are released from Apple Inc., Samsung Electronics Co., Sony Corp., LG Electronics Inc., HTC Corp., Nokia Corp. and others. Seen here is a new iPhone 5S.

    Amid shake-up, US cell carriers look to new models

    How’s this for gall? Take away hundreds of dollars in subsidies that cellphone customers have enjoyed for years. Then pass it off as an improvement. The major U.S. wireless companies are doing just that. And many of their customers seem to like it.

    Leo Hindrey Jr., chairman and CEO of the YES Network speaks after a media conference in New York. Hindery, who wrote a book that attempts to use CEO know-how to resolve U.S. policy problems, advocates for progressive mainstays, including stronger labor protections, fewer tax loopholes and more transparency in political spending.

    5 tycoons who want to close the wealth gap

    As the middle class struggles to make gains and President Barack Obama strives to shine a spotlight on the issue of income inequality, an unlikely constituency is looking for ways to close the nation’s growing wealth gap: A handful of top U.S. business tycoons.

    Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn participates in a special session on jobs in America during the National Governor’s Association Winter Meeting in Washington on Sunday.

    Governors: ‘Obamacare’ here to stay

    The explosive politics of health care have divided the nation, but America’s governors, Republicans and Democrats alike, suggest that President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul is here to stay. While governors from Connecticut to Louisiana sparred on Sunday over how best to improve the nation’s economy, governors of both parties shared a far more pragmatic outlook on the controversial program known as “Obamacare” as millions of their constituents begin to be covered.

    Small businesses have suffered this winter with heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Revenue at stores and restaurants plunged as customers stayed home, hurting cash flows that often are tighter at smaller businesses than larger companies. In some areas, the weather has been unusually severe, worsening its toll.

    Harsh winter puts small businesses out in the cold

    Small businesses have suffered this winter with heavy snow, ice and freezing temperatures. Revenue at stores and restaurants plunged as customers stayed home, hurting cash flows that often are tighter at smaller businesses than larger companies. In some areas, the weather has been unusually severe, worsening its toll.

    Associated Press Technology Writer Barbara Ortutay wears Google Glass in New York.

    Review: Picking up Glass, Google style

    Glass is still in what Google calls an “explorer” phase, which means it’s not yet available to the general public. That’s coming later this year. For now, it’s an ever-expanding club as more and more people are invited, either by Google or people who already have Glass, to buy one for $1,500. The thought of buying Glass with my own money never crossed my mind. Rent comes first. Beach vacations second. And despite being a tech reporter, pricey gadgets rarely make it into my top 10.


    Online retailers let you try before you buy

    The fitting room is coming home. Online retailers that sell jeans, eyeglasses and shoes are shipping their products to customers for free to try on at home before buying them. It’s a way for newer online brands to hook potential customers. A credit card is needed, but nothing is charged unless the items aren’t returned on time. The limit for how long you can keep items is usually about a week. Shipping is free both ways and there’s no obligation to buy anything.

    This Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 photo shows the WhatsApp and Facebook app icons on an iPhone in New York. On Wednesday the world’s biggest social networking company, Facebook, announced it is buying mobile messaging service WhatsApp for up to $19 billion in cash and stock.

    WhatsApp free texts seen siphoning $33 billion from carriers

    Facebook Inc.’s $19 billion purchase of mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp Inc. is a stark reminder of how much money phone carriers are losing out on as competitors let users text and chat at no charge. Free social-messaging applications like WhatsApp cost phone providers around the world $32.5 billion in texting fees in 2013.


    Pew finds 6 types of Twitter conversations

    People take to Twitter to talk about everything from politics to breakfast to Justin Bieber in what feels like a chaotic stream of messages. So it may come as a surprise that the conversations on the short messaging service fit into just six distinct patterns.

    In this Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008, file photo, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks on housing and housing finance, at the Federal Reserve in Washington .Federal Reserve officials agonized throughout 2008 over how far they could go to stop a financial catastrophe that threatened to pull the economy into a deep recession, transcripts of the Fed’s policy meetings that year show.

    Transcripts show Fed grappling with 2008 crisis

    Federal Reserve officials agonized throughout 2008 over how far they could go to stop a financial catastrophe that threatened to pull the economy into a deep recession, transcripts of the Fed’s policy meetings that year show.


    7 steps to consider as you prepare your tax return

    Tax Day is less than two months away. Are you ready? Hare some of the key points to keep in mind as you begin to focus on preparing your tax return, as well as a few new wrinkles for the 2013 tax year.

    Hearts raced faster as stock markets around the world stumbled in January, but that didn’t stop investors from plugging more money into mutual funds. For a seventh straight month, investors put more cash into mutual funds than they withdrew.

    Choppy market hasn’t halted flows into stock funds

    Hearts raced faster as stock markets around the world stumbled in January, but that didn’t stop investors from plugging more money into mutual funds. For a seventh straight month, investors put more cash into mutual funds than they withdrew.


    Work advice: No, it’s not just a joke or a compliment

    Reader 1: I work in a small, laid-back office where only 4 percent of us are women. My issue is the inappropriate sexual comments I’ve heard men in the office make about some of the other women. For example, one woman sometimes wraps herself in a blanket when cold; one guy said, “She’s probably masturbating under the blanket.”


    Visa, MasterCard offer more phone payment options

    Visa and MasterCard are introducing Internet-based technologies to make it easier for shoppers to buy things at retail stores without pulling out a credit card. The two technologies will give merchants and banks more options for incorporating so-called contact-less payment systems into their mobile apps.

    T-Mobile says it will let people upgrade phones more quickly for a $10 monthly fee. With the new Jump plan, a customer will be able to get a new phone if the old one malfunctions or gets lost, or even if there’s a better phone that comes out. The plan lets customers upgrade up to twice a year.

    T-Mobile offers infinite phone upgrades, catch

    T-Mobile is allowing people who participate in its $10-a-month Jump program to upgrade their phones anytime, eliminating the previous limit of two upgrades a year. The catch is that customers must have paid at least half of the phone’s costs before turning it in.

Life & Entertainment

    Guests do yoga at Nicaragua’s Yemaya Island Hideaway and Spa. Nicaragua is one of the hot travel destinations this year.

    What’s hot in travel right now?

    It’s been a get-me-outta-here kind of winter. People craving a change of scenery or weather are booking lots of beach vacations now. But they’re also planning trips to explore Cuban culture and food in Havana, cruise past castles on a German river, or rent a hip condo in San Francisco. Travel experts from around the world converged in Rosemont last month during the Chicago Travel & Adventure Show, sharing what’s hot in travel.

    The character Bad Cop/Good Cop, voiced by Liam Neeson, in a scene from the Warner Bros. Pictures film “The Lego Movie,” which has made more than $183 million since it was released three weeks ago.

    ‘Lego Movie’ No. 1 for third weekend

    Action-packed new releases couldn’t stack up to 3-D hit “The Lego Movie,” which took the No. 1 slot in its third weekend at the box office. The Warner Bros. animated film bested Relativity Media’s “3 Days to Kill” and Sony’s “Pompeii” on their opening weekends.

    From left: KISS bassist Gene Simmons, guitarist Tommy Thayer and singer Paul Stanley of Kiss perform onstage in 2013 in Berlin, Germany. KISS announced Sunday that the band will not perform when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in April. The 40-year-old band is unable to agree on which lineup should perform during the April 10 ceremony in New York City.

    KISS won’t play at Rock Hall induction

    The 40-year-old group KISS is unable to agree on which lineup should perform during the April 10 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in New York City, and has decided not to plug in at all. The dispute concerns whether original members Ace Frehley and Peter Criss would join Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley in a live performance, or whether the current lineup of Stanley, Simmons, Eric Singer and Tommy Thayer would play instead.

    Oprah Winfrey speaks on stage at the 45th NAACP Image Awards at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium on Saturday in Pasadena, Calif.

    ‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Scandal’ win at NAACP Image Awards

    “12 Years a Slave” swept the film categories at the NAACP Image Awards with four wins. Kevin Hart won as entertainer of the year and actor in a comedy series for “Real Husbands of Hollywood,” his BET reality TV lampoon that was also selected as outstanding comedy series. Kerry Washington picked up her fifth Image Award: outstanding actress in a drama series for her role as crisis management consultant Olivia Pope on ABC’s “Scandal,” which was also honored as outstanding drama series.

    The Race and Performance Expo returns to the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles. Among the vehicles at a past event was Schwartz Performance's 1981 Pontiac Trans-Am.

    Sunday picks: Cars, dogs and cat shows today

    Gear heads who love customizing their cars won't want to miss the 7th Annual Race & Performance Expo, which features vehicle displays, vendors and more this weekend at the Pheasant Run Resort. See many groomed breeds of dogs, agility tests and new canine products at the International Kennel Club of Chicago 2014 International Cluster of Dog Shows this weekend at McCormick Place. The Lincoln State Cat Club hosts its 54th anniversary All-Breed Cat Show at Harper College.

    Matthew McConaughey’s role in “Magic Mike” was part of his attempt to redirect his carrer after his career had bottomed out in rom-com mediocrity. The rebirth that followed — the so-called McConaissance — reaches an apogee with his Oscar nomination for his performance in “Dallas Buyers Club.”

    Charting the McConaissance, film by film

    The so-called McConaissance has been one of the most remarkable mid-career metamorphoses in movies. Matthew McConaughey has abruptly shifted to more challenging roles and films in a creative burst that has clearly re-energized him. He’s taken his matinee idol chips and exchanged them for an actor’s freedom. It’s been a steady renewal, building part by part. Here is a film-by-film account of how he got here, a step-by-step guide to the McConaissance.

    David Crosby, right, rose to fame as part of Crosby, Stills and Nash, also featuring Graham Nash, left. Crosby recently released a solo album called “Croz.”

    David Crosby on feeling 'incredibly lucky'

    Health scares past and present won't keep David Crosby down. The folk-rock legend, recuperating from heart surgery, will be back to promote his first solo album in more than 20 years with a tour that includes two dates in Chicago.

    New guidelines say doctors should give otherwise healthy women more time to deliver their babies vaginally before assuming that labor has stalled and performing a C-section.

    Guidelines to reduce C-section births urge waiting

    Show more patience in the delivery room: That’s the prescription being given to the nation’s obstetricians. New guidelines say doctors should give otherwise healthy women more time to deliver their babies vaginally before assuming that labor has stalled. The recommendations are the latest in years of efforts to prevent unnecessary C-sections.

    King cake doughnuts are served with strawberry jam and toasted pecans at Emeril's Delmonico in New Orleans. Patrons can watch Mardi Gras parades from the main dining area while enjoying a fine meal with some Carnival-inspired touches.

    Fine dining while watching Mardi Gras parades

    Visiting New Orleans for Mardi Gras season? You'll find pizza, hot dog stands and rolling carts of cotton candy galore along the parade routes, but some of the city's finest fare can also be consumed along St. Charles Avenue, the main drag for the biggest and glitziest star-studded processions of Carnival. Some restaurants even have grandstands that put viewers at eye level with floats and just above the throngs of street revelers jockeying for beads with outstretched arms.

    Jimmie Johnson hopes to repeat his 2013 Daytona win Sunday — and go on to tie the record of seven Sprint Cup championships in a year.

    Johnson hits the track at Daytona with his eyes on the prize

    Records, as they say, are made to be broken. And a major sports record could be tied this year, the one for Sprint Cup championships in a career: seven, currently held by Richard Petty and the late Dale Earnhardt, and being pursued by Jimmie Johnson.

    Seth Meyers’ new show, “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” will premiere on Monday, Feb. 24.

    Making a difference with Seth Meyers

    The difference between Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers in the days before their first talk shows began is evident in what they spent the most time on. With Fallon, who took over “Late Night” in 2009, it was the performance. Meyers worries about the writing. Fallon, the new “Tonight” host, and Meyers, who takes over in the 12:30 a.m. “Late Night” slot starting Monday, are known more for their similarities. Both are in Lorne Michaels’ orbit, came to be known through “Saturday Night Live” and hosted that show’s topical “Weekend Update” before moving to weeknights. They work in the same building.

    Saul and Cheryl Schwartz at a party in May 2013; after her diagnosis, living with cancer became the “new normal,” Saul says.

    Cancer caregiver does all that he can for sick wife

    I know there are thousands of others like me — spouses, siblings, children, friends — who are forced by this terrible disease to take on the role of caregiver. It is a difficult role. As the patient endures treatment, life goes on for the caregiver. I tried to maintain a balance between my own life and Cheryl’s needs. This period was the most challenging time in my life.

    Pauline Frommer

    5 ways to save on travel
    Pauline Frommer knows a thing or two about how to save money while traveling. The editorial director of the Frommer Guides and publisher of Frommers.com stopped in Chicago recently and offered five tips on how travelers can save money this year.

    Proper pruning of your trees will allow them to grow strong.

    Proper care will grow homeowners’ tallest assets

    Local tree experts shake their heads when they hear about homeowners removing perfectly healthy trees simply because of a fear they may potentially come falling down in a big storm sometime in the future. The benefits of trees far outweigh their risks, say two local tree experts: Jim Glazebrook, a certified arborist with The Davey Tree Expert Co. in Wheeling, and Sandy Clark, forestry/grounds superintendent for the village of Mount Prospect.


    Clear communication best path with mother-in-law

    Q. I am desperate for help, and my mom isn’t cutting it. My mother-in-law (whom we see often) INSISTS on weighing in on everything we do for our son ... usually indicating that we are somehow doing it wrong because it’s not what she would do. Nothing objectively wrong, just not “her way.”

    Moroccan floor poufs. Adding in a few pink accessories freshens a great room or living room for spring. A pink pouf is a practical piece with flair.

    Spring’s rosy glow is sophisticated and surprising

    This spring, pinks are popping up all over home decor — the softer versions soothing and nurturing, the bright ones bouncy and vivacious. Warm pink light can be flattering.


    Contact warranty company before making repairs

    Q. We bought a home in June. The previous owner threw in a home warranty. Eight days after closing, during a heavy rain, the sump pump failed.


    Water’s high acidity requires a specialist’s attention

    Q. Our house was built in 1967. Over the years, we’ve been having a problem with corrosion on the hot-water fittings, mostly around the faucets. It is green and the faucets get a thick buildup on them.



    Endorsement: Wyckoff for Lake County clerk

    The Daily Herald recommends Carla Wyckoff for Lake County clerk.


    Endorsement: Yes to Grayslake fire district tax request

    The Daily Herald recommends a yes vote for the Grayslake Fire Protection District's tax request.


    Endorsement: ‘Yes’ to maintain Palatine rural fire district staffing

    The Daily Herald recommends a "yes" vote to enable the Palatine Rural Fire Protection District to maintain five firefighters on each shift.

    Jeremy Custer

    Endorsement: Custer for DuPage County Board District 4, Democrat

    The Daily Herald endorses Jeremy Custer for the Democratic Party nod in DuPage County Board District 4.


    Endorsement: No on borrowing for Brainerd upgrade

    The Daily Herald recommends a "no" vote on the referendum to renovate the Brainerd building in Libertyville.


    Endorsement: No on general election for County Board chair

    The Daily Herald recommends a "no" vote on the proposal to select a McHenry County Board chairman through general election.


    Endorsement: Yes on electricity proposal
    The Daily Herald recommends a yes vote on the referendum regarding electrical aggregation in Winfield Township, Kane County and the village of Algonquin.

    Grant Eckhoff

    Endorsement: Eckhoff DuPage County Board District 4, GOP

    The Daily Herald endorses Grant Eckhoff in the Republican primary for DuPage County Board District 4.


    Syria’s uncontainable threat

    Columnist Michael Gerson: ZAATARI REFUGEE CAMP, Jordan — In a section of the camp designated for newcomers, I’m surrounded by about 20 men from the Damascus suburb of Ghouta, elbowing each other for position. The situation quickly degenerates into a geopolitical discussion.


    Political cartoons too mean-spirited
    A Palatine letter to the editor: I find myself deeply disturbed and disappointed by the political cartoons a bit too often. While I’ll admit that both sides are the brunt of the jokes at times, the most misleading and most mean spirited “jokes” seem to have the conservatives and Republicans as the brunt. The rest of the editorial section is balanced, but your cartoonist seems to wear his leanings on his sleeve.


    Sing it loud, sing it in any language
    An Elk Grrove Village letter to the editor: There are many things to complain about. Singing “America the Beautiful” in any language is not one of them. I applaud those young women who sang the song in several languages to a national audience.


    God loves all — if they renounce sins
    A Carpentersville letter to the editor: I am writing in response to the letter headlined “Gays go to heaven? Bible doesn’t say.” Mr. Koca says there is no mention of same-sex relationships in the Bible.


    Time to give outsider a shot
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: I do not agree with the Daily Herald’s endorsement of Senator Dillard for the Republican nomination of governor. Three of the Republican candidates already hold elective offices and are well experienced with the system, the players and the process in Springfield. Yet, little if anything has changed.


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