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Daily Archive : Wednesday February 26, 2014

News

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    State lawmakers are considering raising taxes on sugary drinks and banning the sale of energy drinks to minors.

    Legislators crack open energy drink ban, soda tax

    Caffeinated and sugary drinks, liquids that can both help people get through their days and cause health problems, are the target of proposed bans and new taxes in Illinois.

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    Nicole Mikos of West Dundee battles the wind and cold at the Arboretum in South Barrington.

    Snow? Who knows? But the cold is a fact

    Some of us are just trying to get through today's cold. Others are preparing for another round of massive snow this weekend. The forecasters only seem to agree on the bone-chilling, dangerous cold hitting the suburbs for the next several days.

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    Katie Collins checks a tray of doughnuts Wednesday inside Central Continental Bakery's temporary location at 17 W. Prospect Ave. in downtown Mount Prospect. The bakery was displaced from its longtime location on Main Street in Mount Prospect by a Feb. 9 fire.

    Mount Prospect bakery finds temporary home after fire

    Mount Prospect's Central Continental Bakery has opened in a temporary location, 17 W. Prospect Avenue, after being displaced by a recent fire. Owner Robert Czerniak said the location is working very well, but he hopes to be back in his Main Street spot by Easter.

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    Lawsuit yields new Elgin regulations

    Elgin residents might see more vehicles offering mobile blood donation, diabetes testing and other services parked around town after the city council approved new regulations Wednesday night. The changes are part of last month’s settlement of a federal lawsuit filed in March 2013 by Life Center Inc., operating as TLC Pregnancy Services.

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    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer bowed to intensifying pressure from CEOs, politicians in Washington and state lawmakers in her own party and vetoed a bill that would have allowed business owners with strongly held religious beliefs to deny service to gays and lesbians.

    Arizona governor vetoes religious freedom bill

    Gov. Jan Brewer on Wednesday vetoed a Republican bill that set off a national debate over gay rights, religion and discrimination and subjected Arizona to blistering criticism from major corporations and political leaders from both parties. Her decision defused a national furor over gay rights and religious freedom.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Edward Rodriguez, 30, of South Elgin, faced several felony and misdemeanor charges after police found a revolver, bullets and marijuana inside his Ford Mustang during a traffic stop Friday, Carpentersville police said.

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    Fenton High School junior Pedro Huerta is all smiles Wednesday as Chicago Wolves center Alexandre Bolduc signs a hockey stick for him. Pedro won it in a raffle as Bolduc met with students studying French at the Bensenville school.

    Fenton students get French lesson from Wolves player

    Fenton High School students were able to say “bonjour” to one of the Chicago Wolves on Wednesday — and everybody knew what they were talking about. Alexandre Bolduc, a Montreal native and center for the Wolves, visited the Bensenville school to meet with students studying French and to participate in a question-and-answer session. Bolduc, who grew up in a dual-language...

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    Russian President Vladimir Putin, flanked by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, uses binocular as he watches military exercises last July. In response to the turmoil in Ukraine, Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most of its military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine.

    Russia war games over Ukraine prompt U.S. warning

    Russia ordered 150,000 troops to test their combat readiness Wednesday in a show of force that prompted a blunt warning from the United States that any military intervention in Ukraine would be a “grave mistake.” Vladimir Putin’s announcement of huge new war games came as Ukraine’s protest leaders named a millionaire former banker to head a new government after the...

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    State Sen. Kirk Dillard announces the endorsement of the Illinois Retired Teachers Association Wednesday at the Illinois Capitol.

    Dillard gets retired teachers’ backing

    State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican, touted an endorsement Wednesday from the Illinois Retired Teachers Association, further looking to educators to help carry his primary campaign for governor. “They’re a motivated voting group this time around,” Dillard said.

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    Huge study links older dads with kids’ psych woes

    Older fathers may face higher risks than previously thought for having children with psychiatric problems, including bipolar disorder, autism and attention deficits, according to the largest study to examine the potential links.

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    Mayor Craig Johnson

    Elk Grove mayor recovering from heart surgery

    Elk Grove Village Mayor Craig Johnson is recovering from double-bypass heart surgery recommended by doctors after a stress test found abnormalities around his heart. Testing found one of Johnson’s arteries was “almost entirely blocked,” he said. “It was the widow maker — the big one.”

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    Jennifer Fontaine kisses her baby daughter, Morgan. After Fontaine’s standard prenatal screening suggested her fetus might have Edwards syndrome, a doctor suggested a fetal DNA test, which suggested her fetus was fine.

    DNA blood tests show prenatal screening promise

    A DNA test of a pregnant woman’s blood is more accurate than current methods of screening for Down syndrome and other common disorders, new research finds. If other studies bear this out, it could transform prenatal care by giving a more reliable, non-invasive way to detect these problems very early in pregnancy. That would let couples decide sooner whether to have an abortion or to...

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    Boot camp recommendation after Elgin man’s guilty plea

    An 18-year-old from Elgin pleaded guilty to robbing a pizza delivery man on April 21, 2013. In exchange for Devyn Dodd's guilty plea, a judge sentenced him to four years in prison with a recommendation for boot camp.

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    Booster club hosting fundraiser for Wheaton North library

    The Wheaton North High School Booster Club is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday to purchase new, modern equipment for the school’s library, which flooded in early December. “We just want to make it a more state-of-the-art, updated learning environment,” said booster club President Suzanne Royer.

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    Pollwatcher training, credentials:

    Pollwatcher credentials are available to qualified political organizations for the March 18 Primary Election, the Lake County clerk’s office announced.

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    Summer youth job applications due:

    The deadline for submitting an application for the Lake County Board’s Summer Youth Employment Program is Friday, Feb. 28.

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    Artists sought for annual festival:

    The David Adler Music and Arts Center is putting out a call to artists for its 34th Annual Festival of the Arts, scheduled for Aug. 2 and 3, in Cook Park in downtown Libertyville.

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    Diamond Lake Elementary District 76 will launch a restructuring plan to boost student achievement. The measure was mandated because Diamond Lake School has not met state and federal standards for five consecutive years.

    Students, teachers to face new challenges in District 76

    Diamond Lake Elementary District 76 will restructure how information is delivered to students in order to raise achievement. “The amount of change required is tremendous," school board President Lisa Yaffe said.

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    The renovated waiting room at the radiation oncology department at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights was part of a $1.9 million upgrade funded completely by donations. The upgrades also include new technology doctors hope will help save lives.

    4D scanner, aesthetic work part of $1.9 million upgrade at NCH cancer wing

    Patients at the radiation oncology department at Northwest Community Hospital in Arlington Heights will notice technological and aesthetic renovations that officials hope will not only make the department more soothing, but also save lives.

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    Bartlett man pleads guilty to attempted robbery

    Michael Foster, of Bartlett, pleaded guilty to a July 4, 2013 attempted armed robbery Wednesday in Rolling Meadows. In exchange for his plea, a judge sentenced the 26-year-old to five years in prison with a recommendation for boot camp.

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    Reputed lieutenant of ‘El Chapo’ to plead guilty

    A reputed lieutenant of recently captured drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman indicated in a Chicago courtroom Wednesday that he will change his plea to guilty in a $1 billion trafficking conspiracy that prosecutors say was masterminded by his infamous boss.

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    Talk about raises taken behind closed doors

    Kane County Board members stripped much of the fiery rhetoric involving raises for senior staff Wednesday by closing the debate to the public Wednesday. County board Chairman Chris Lauzen brought forward the sixth of what is expected to be nine raises. The $6,833 raise brings the total cost of the salary and benefit increases so far to just under $40,000.

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    Traffic moves along Hawley Street in Mundelein in this file photo. Officials want to widen and repave the road.

    Mundelein ready to cut checks for Hawley Street land

    Mundelein officials are preparing to spend $202,400 for the land they need to widen a stretch of Hawley Street, village documents indicate. Offers have been made to the owners of 36 properties, many of them residential. The average proposed payment is about $5,622, or $7.69 per square foot.

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    Buffalo Grove awards village manager with pay hike, bonus

    Buffalo Grove trustees this week awarded Village Manager Dane Bragg a 2 percent pay hike, raising his total base salary to $181,400. The village board also voted him a $15,000 bonus, based on last year’s performance, Village President Jeffrey Braiman said.

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    Wauconda Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner talks about the possible outsourcing of 911 services during a village board meeting Tuesday at the local high school.

    Maxeiner earns praise for outsourcing presentation in Wauconda

    Wauconda Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner’s detailed public presentation about the possible outsourcing of 911 services earned praise Wednesday from some of the town’s elected officials.

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    Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod answers questions during his state of the village address Wednesday at the Sears Centre Arena Club. McLeod touted the newly announced full tollway interchange at Barrington Road as one of the highlights of the past 12 months.

    Hoffman Estates mayor touts new interchange, Sears Centre improvements

    The economic growth opportunities of a newly announced tollway interchange at Barrington Road and the continued strengthening of the Sears Centre Arena topped Hoffman Estates Mayor Bill McLeod’s list Wednesday of the village’s accomplishments during the past year. “Getting the tollway interchange was like Captain Ahab and the white whale,” McLeod said. “It was...

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Timothy G. Modjeski and Thomas G. Nelson, both 26 and from Geneva, were each charged with possession of cannabis and possession of drug paraphernalia at 7:30 a.m. Sunday, according to a police report.

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    Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102 Superintendent Theresa Dunkin

    District 102 superintendent to retire in 2016

    Aptakisic-Tripp Elementary District 102 Superintendent Theresa Dunkin will retire effective June 30, 2016, the district announced Wednesday. “I’m going to miss the district tremendously. This was the greatest opportunity of my life,” Dunkin said.

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    Angelina Rose, Roselle’s 2013 Rose Queen, represented the village at many events during the past year, including riding in the Rose Parade. She’ll be turning over her crown to a new queen Friday night, and her sister is one of the four hopefuls.

    Four competing for scholarships in Rose Queen pageant

    Four high school students will display their talent, poise and, organizers hope, ability to think quickly on their feet, during the 55th Rose Queen Scholarship Pageant at 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 28, in the auditorium at Lake Park High School’s west campus, 500 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Roselle.

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    Drew Perly of Elgin displays his classic form during the inaugural Elgin Cross-Town Classic. He will return for the Elgin Lanes team this year.

    New bowlers join team in Elgin Cross-Town Classic

    Elgin Lanes will be adding a mix of youth and experience when it attempts to claim this year’s match-game title in the Elgin Cross-Town Classic II. That mix means two new bowlers to complement members from the original lineup last year.

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    Search firm uses district, community input to find superintendent

    Using input from Community Unit District 300 staff, board members, parents and the community, a search firm, hired to find the district’s next superintendent, began a key component of its recruitment process Wednesday. Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates has compiled a profile based on the feedback and posted it to their website Wednesday morning, said Steve Humphrey, the firm’s...

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    Cecil T. Barnes

    Former McHenry fugitive gets probation on Kane drug charges

    A 32-year-old Elgin man who was once a most wanted fugitive in McHenry County recently pleaded guilty to cocaine charges out of Kane County and was sentenced to four years of probation. Cecil T. Barnes also served 212 days in jail and must pay a $3,000 fine. If he violates probation, he could be resentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

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    Pro-Russian protesters gather Tuesday in front of city hall in the Ukrainian Black Sea port of Sevastopol in the Crimea. Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has strongly condemned the new authorities, saying Monday they came to power as a result of an “armed mutiny” and their legitimacy is causing “big doubts.” Tensions, meanwhile, have been mounting in Crimea in southern Ukraine. Russia maintains a large naval base in Sevastopol that has strained relations between the countries for two decades.

    Yatsenyuk proposed as new Ukraine prime minister

    The leaders of Ukraine’s protest movement proposed Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the country’s new prime minister, as Russia’s president ordered major military exercises just across the border. Yatsenyuk, a prominent lawmaker, was a top figure in the protests against President Viktor Yanukovych, who fled the capital last weekend.

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    The sun rises over the frozen pond of Crabtree Nature Center near South Barrington.

    Get set for spring with activities in the Cook County forest preserves

    Getting a little tired of winter? The Cook County Forest Preserve District has scheduled spring activities, starting in March, all over the county.

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    Marissa Meli, left, and Laura Meli were the first gay couple to receive a marriage license at the Champaign County Champaign County Clerks office in Urbana on Wednesday. Champaign County officials said the central Illinois county would begin issuing same-sex marriage licenses Wednesday, making it the second county in the state to do so after a federal judge ruled Cook County gay couples wouldn’t have to wait until Illinois’ new gay marriage law takes effect this summer.

    Champaign Co. issues 1st same-sex marriage license

    Champaign County’s first marriage license to a same-sex couple has been issued to two University of Illinois law students. Laura and Marissa Meli received their license Wednesday as the county became the second in Illinois to issue the documents to same-sex couples. They’ve been together more than eight years.

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    President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most of its military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine.

    Putin orders military tests amid Ukraine tensions

    President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday ordered massive exercises involving most military units in western Russia amid tensions in Ukraine. Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a televised statement made at a meeting of top military brass in Moscow that the exercise is intended to “check the troops’ readiness for action in crisis situations that threaten the nation’s military...

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    This handout artist conception provided by NASA depicts multiple-transiting planet systems, which are stars with more than one planet. The planets eclipse or transit their host star from the vantage point of the observer. This angle is called edge-on. Our galaxy is looking far more crowded as NASA Wednesday confirmed a bonanza of 715 newly discovered planets circling stars other than our sun.

    NASA announces mother lode of new planets
    To the list of planets orbiting distant stars, add another 715. That’s the number of planets, strewn among 305 planetary systems, popping out of the observational data from NASA’s Kepler Space Telescope, according to two new scientific papers released Wednesday by NASA.

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    Maymo, a lemon beagle, poses for a shame illustration. In late 2011, Jeremy Lakaszcyck of Boston started putting shaming videos of Maymo, on YouTube but behaviorists insist dogs lack shame.

    Behaviorists: Dogs feel no shame despite the look

    The next time you start shaking your finger and shouting “Shame on you!” because your dog chewed up your favorite fuzzy slippers, just remember that no matter how guilty your dog looks, it doesn’t know what your rant is about. Behaviorists insist dogs lack shame. The guilty look — head cowered, ears back, eyes droopy — is a reaction to the tantrum you are...

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    God is available whenever we need to talk to him

    God is available to talk with us anytime of the day or night, Annettee Budzban says.

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    Wauconda residents packed the cafeteria at Wauconda High School to hear a presentation by the Wauconda Village Board examining outsourcing Wauconda's 911 dispatch center Tuesday night.

    Wauconda administrator gives pitch for 911 outsourcing

    More than 200 people filled the cafeteria at Wauconda High School to hear a two-hour presentation from Village Administrator Doug Maxeiner about outsourcing 911 services. “This is not a ploy to get concessions out of the union,” Maxeiner said. “We're not using that as a bargaining chip.”

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    Harper College touts digital manufacturing hub coming to Chicago

    Harper College administrators are lauding the arrival of a manufacturing hub in Chicago. Harper plans to stay in touch with the latest research coming out of the institute to give students a leg up on advances in several industries. The skills defined by the institute will shape curriculum at the Palatine-based community college.

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    Lake Park High School District 108 is asking voters to fund the construction and operation of an aquatic facility that could be built at the school’s east campus by fall 2015. School officials say they have heard from supporters and opponents of the plan before two referendum questions about it appear on the March 18 primary ballot.

    Lake Park pool push getting mixed reviews

    Some Roselle-area taxpayers feel like it’s “deja pool” all over again. Roselle resident Phil Van Duyne, who opposes Lake Park High School District 108’s most recent push for voter approval of an aquatic center, said the joking phrase sums up his feelings on the two referendum questions voters will see on the March 18 ballot. “The district taxpayers have been pretty...

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    Amber Kraus

    Trial delayed for ex-Grant High School teacher facing sex assault charge

    The trial of a former Grant High School teacher accused of having sex with a student has been postponed until May. Defense attorney Jeff Nutschnig said Lake County prosecutors have offered a plea deal to Amber Kraus, 30, of in Mundelein.

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    Buffalo Grove has made banners to honor U.S. hockey player Megan Bozek, who won a silver medal at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

    Buffalo Grove plans to celebrate Olympian Megan Bozek

    Buffalo Grove officials intend to honor Stevenson High School grad Megan Bozek, a U.S. women's hockey team player who received a silver medal in the Sochi Olympics. Buffalo Grove Village Manager Dane Bragg said the plan is to recognize Bozek and her family when they are available. He said the honor would come at a village board meeting.

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    Schaumburg officials on Tuesday gave final approval to the proposed new Zurich American Insurance headquarters on the Motorola Solutions campus. The planned 750,000-square-foot headquarters will sit at the northwest corner of Meacham Road and the Jane Addams Memorial Tollway.

    Schaumburg gives green light to new Zurich American HQ

    Zurich American Insurance has received final approval for its new 750,000-square-foot North American headquarters on a part of the existing Motorola Solutions campus in Schaumburg — not far from the iconic office towers Zurich plans to vacate in 2016. Schaumburg officials this week also approved a provision for a potential 220,000-square-foot expansion of the building, as well as a...

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    Hoffman Estates H.S. parents host craft fair

    Hoffman Estates Loyal Parents will be hosting a Spring Craft and Vendor Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at Hoffman Estates High School, 1100 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. The sale offers gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation, accessories for prom, and baby and wedding shower gifts.

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    Batavia panel OK with state's rules on medical pot zoning

    Batavia officials are content to let state law determine where in town medical marijuana cultivation centers and dispensaries can set up. The city council joint committees of the whole on Tuesday reviewed maps that showed, based on the restrictions in state law, cultivation centers could only be set up in an industrial area on the northeast side. The dispensaries could be located in that same...

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    When asked about the GOP plan to release a rewrite of the nation’s tax code later today, House Speaker John Boehner distanced himself from the details and wouldn’t promise a House vote on the plan this year.

    Boehner won’t promise vote on tax overhaul in 2014

    House Republicans are unveiling a massive plan to overhaul the nation’s tax system. But don’t expect quick action by Congress. Just a few hours before the plan was to be unveiled, House Speaker John Boehner distanced himself from the details. The Ohio Republican also wouldn’t promise a House vote on the plan this year.

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    The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that class-action lawsuits from investors who lost billions in former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford’s massive Ponzi scheme can go forward.

    Supreme Court allows Stanford Ponzi scheme suits

    The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the victims of former Texas tycoon R. Allen Stanford’s massive Ponzi scheme can go forward with class-action lawsuits against the law firms and investment companies that allegedly aided the fraud. The decision is a loss for firms that claimed federal securities law insulated them from state class-action lawsuits and sought to have the cases thrown out.

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    Betty Ybarra, 48, stands outside her tiny house in Madison, Wis. It is the first house built by OM Build, which wants to build nine houses in Madison for the homeless.

    Tiny houses help address nation’s homeless problem

    While tiny houses have been attractive for those wanting to downsize or simplify their lives for financial or environmental reasons, there’s another population benefiting from the small-dwelling movement: the homeless. “You’re out of the elements, you’ve got your own bed, you’ve got your own place to call your own,” said Harold “Hap” Morgan,...

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    Spc. Karen Arvizu, left, puts on her hydration pack as part of an Army study to determine how all soldiers, including women, will be deemed fit to join its fighting units.

    Army study gives women taste of combat tasks

    Standing just over 5 feet, Army Spc. Karen Arvizu is barely a foot taller than the anti-tank missile she carries in both arms and loads into an armored vehicle. She stands on her tiptoes to wrestle open the 300-pound top hatch. Arvizu typically drives Humvees or transport trucks at Fort Stewart in Georgia, but for the past three weeks, she and 59 other women soldiers have been getting a taste of...

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    College of DuPage Trustee Dianne McGuire was reimbursed $971.05 over the past two years for trips she made to the Glen Ellyn campus for board meetings and other events.

    COD trustees reimbursed for driving to meetings

    Two College of DuPage trustees combined to charge taxpayers more than $1,500 over the past two years to drive to the Glen Ellyn campus and back to their Naperville homes. Some trustees defend the practice, but government watchdog groups and even some of their fellow trustees question it.

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    Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Wednesday that the impasse over a security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan is encouraging the enemy to take bold actions and could lead some Afghan forces to align with the Taliban to “hedge their bets.”

    Dempsey worries about effects of Afghanistan withdrawal talk

    America’s top military officer said Wednesday that the impasse over a security agreement between the U.S. and Afghanistan is encouraging the enemy to take bold actions and could lead some Afghan forces to cooperate with the Taliban to “hedge their bets.”

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    Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman. The Associated Press has learned that Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel leader employed high-tech communications gadgetry and sophisticated counterespionage practices to elude an international manhunt for 13 years. But in the end, life on the run unraveled for Guzman in a decidedly low-tech way.

    Kingpin’s high-tech gadgetry helped him stay free

    Mexico’s most powerful drug cartel leader employed high-tech communications gadgetry and sophisticated counterespionage practices to elude an international manhunt for 13 years, The Associated Press has learned. In the end, however, life on the run unraveled for Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman in a decidedly low-tech way. A traditional wiretap pointed authorities to a cellphone...

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    Jamie Coots, pastor of the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Jesus Name Church of Middlesboro, Ky, died from a rattlesnake bite at church Feb. 15. Just days after his death, mourners leaving the funeral went to the church to handle snakes.

    Kentucky snake handler death doesn’t shake belief

    Just days after pastor Jamie Coots died from a rattlesnake bite at church, mourners leaving the funeral went to the church to handle snakes. “People think they will stop handling snakes because someone got bit, but it’s just the opposite,” said Ralph Hood, a professor of psychology at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, who has been studying snake handlers for decades.

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    Colorado Department of Transportation employees use an explosives launcher to try to trigger a controlled avalanche, near Empire, Colo. Lots of new snow and strong winds in the past month have fueled dangerous conditions from the Cascades to the Rockies, prompting forecasters to issue warnings of considerable or high avalanche dangers.

    Avalanche deaths spike as storms bring snow, risks

    Skiers and snowboarders rejoiced when a series of storms dumped several feet of snow in the mountains across the West, after what had been a disappointing start for those seeking fresh powder in the backcountry. But all the new snow and strong winds in the past month have fueled dangerous conditions from the Cascades to the Rockies, prompting forecasters to issue warnings of considerable or high...

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    Democratic Senate challenger Alison Lundergan Grimes left, speaks with former President Bill Clinton as they are introduced at a fundraiser at the Galt House Hotel, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Louisville, Ky.

    Bill Clinton tries to boost McConnell challenger

    Former President Bill Clinton said Tuesday that Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell’s opposition to raising the minimum wage is reason enough for Kentuckians to replace the five-term incumbent with Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes, a longtime Clinton family friend.

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    Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, center, speaks to reporters outside the White House in Washington, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.

    Jindal defends criticism of Obama economic policy

    Gov. Bobby Jindal is defending his harsh criticism of President Barack Obama within yards of the Oval Office, saying “in America we don’t have a king.”

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    Michael Taylor was executed Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a 15-year-old Kansas City girl in 1989.

    Missouri executes man in ‘89 rape, killing of teen

    BONNE TERRE, Mo. — A Missouri inmate was executed early Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a Kansas City teenager as she waited for her school bus in 1989, marking the state’s fourth lethal injection in as many months.

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    Deicke Home resident Sarah Guidolin says she would miss her friends if the facility is forced to close. She recently asked a visitor, “Are you going to save Deicke?”

    Lombard's Deicke Home raising funds to stay open

    After more than 30 years of serving adults with developmental disabilities, the Deicke Home in Lombard may be forced to close at the end of April due to financial trouble. Fundraising efforts are under way to keep the doors open at the home, which currently is occupied by 16 residents ages 25 to 71. “When you go there it is a true home," said volunteer Gina Demore. "It's not an institution.

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    District 203 looks to save by repaying loan early

    A list on the wall of Naperville Unit District 203’s Chief Financial Officer Brad Cauffman sheds a little light on one of the district’s aims: save money. Cauffman’s list of money-saving ideas includes two topics the school board recently began discussing. One includes avoiding years of interest payments on a loan the district took out in 2008 by repaying the bonds early, and...

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    Indiana’s Nicholas Goepper of the United States is congratulated after winning the bronze medal in men’s ski slopestyle at the 2014 Winter Olympics. His hometown of Lawrenceburg welcomed him with a rally Tuesday.

    Skier’s Indiana hometown cheers his Olympic medal

    LAWRENCEBURG, Ind. — Hundreds of students and others filled the high school gymnasium in slopestyle skier Nick Goepper’s southeastern Indiana hometown to celebrate his Olympic bronze medal win.

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    ConAgra plans building new Indiana warehouse

    FRANKFORT, Ind. — ConAgra Foods plans to move about 150 jobs from a central Indiana warehouse after it opens a new distribution center in a nearby city.

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    Sheriff: Hernandez involved in jail altercation

    DARTMOUTH, Mass. — A Massachusetts sheriff says former NFL star Aaron Hernandez has been involved in a prison altercation.Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson says the former New England Patriots tight end had an altercation with another inmate at the Bristol County House of Corrections on Tuesday.

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    South Sudan: Patients shot dead in hospital beds

    JUBA, South Sudan — Sick patients in South Sudan have been shot to death in their beds and medical facilities have been looted and burned to the ground, a dangerous level of disrespect for the country’s strained health care system that is forcing the aid group Doctors Without Borders to examine its operations here.

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    In this photo taken on Tuesday Feb. 25, 2014, this photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian rebels praying at the frontline of Sheikh Najjar village, in Aleppo, Syria. Syrian state media say troops have killed scores of al-Qaida-affiliated rebels in an ambush near the capital, Damascus. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

    Syria: Army ambushes al-Qaida-linked rebels

    BEIRUT — Syrian state media say troops have killed scores of al-Qaida-affiliated rebels in an ambush near the capital, Damascus. Wednesday’s report by SANA said the rebels, belonging to the al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front, were killed near Oteibah lake southeast of Damascus.

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    Fatal fire in Sheboygan

    SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — One person has died and three others have been taken to the hospital following a fire at a mobile home park in Sheboygan.Officials say fire broke out shortly after midnight Wednesday at the Indian Meadow Trailer Park. Firefighters found one person dead inside the burning mobile home.

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    Pence looks to salvage agenda with preschool pitch

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is making a last-ditch effort to salvage a key piece of his legislative agenda that would expand preschool education for low-income families.Pence is heading Wednesday to the Shepherd Community Center in Indianapolis to highlight his request that the state provide vouchers for children from low-income families to attend preschool.

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    Police: Man, son dead from apparent murder-suicide

    GREENSBURG, Ind. — Police in southeastern Indiana say a man and his teenage son have been found dead inside a car from an apparent murder-suicide.Greensburg police Detective Bill Meyerrose says the two were discovered dead late Tuesday near a park in the city about 40 miles southeast of Indianapolis.

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    Wisconsin officials warn of new utility scam

    MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin regulators are sending out a warning about an email scam that appears to be a utility bill.The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection says it has received a handful of complaints from consumers who received a fake bill for utility services from “Energy Billing Service” or “Energy Billing System.”

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    Judge to sentence Wisconsin man in sexual assault

    MADISON, Wis. — A judge is set to sentence a Madison man convicted of sexually assaulting his starving stepsister and a 15-year-old girl.

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    Madison County probes satanic graffiti at 2 sites

    ALTON, Ill. — Authorities in southwestern Illinois’ Madison County are seeking public help in finding who spray-painted satanic graffiti on an Alton-area church and a subdivision’s entrance.

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    Ex-Illinois judge to be sentenced in heroin, gun case

    EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. — A disgraced southwestern Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal involving the cocaine death of a prosecutor-turned-judge is about to be sentenced.

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    Indiana farm trespassing bill gets House approval

    INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana bill cracking down on trespassers who cause property damage on farms has won House approval.State representatives on Tuesday voted 73-25 in favor of the bill, which would make trespassing on the production area of farm property a criminal offense and causing property damage to a farm an act of criminal mischief.

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    Man charged with stealing posts from Illinois agency

    EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. — Illinois State Police say an East St. Louis man used a safety vest and hardhat bearing a construction firm’s name in a ruse to steal galvanized steel posts from the state Transportation Department.Soloman Craighead is being held in the Madison County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond on a felony theft charge.

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    Cook County registers 5,400 new teen voters

    Cook County election officials say more than 3,400 suburban Chicago 17-year-olds have registered to vote in the March primary.In a news release, Cook County Clerk David Orr’s office says a voter registration drive resulted in those 17-year-olds and another 2,000 suburban 18-year-old high school students registered to vote.

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    Northwestern gets grant to study sinus infection

    Research on a type of long-lasting sinus infection is getting a boost at Northwestern Medicine in Chicago.Northwestern’s Sinus and Allergy Center has received a grant of more than $8.4 million to study chronic rhinosinusitis (RY’-noh-sy-nyoo-sy-tis), also called CRS, and to develop new treatments.

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    Pretrial hearing in Chicago terrorism case

    There’s a pretrial hearing for a Chicago terrorism suspect whose case has drawn national attention after a judge granted defense lawyers permission to see documents submitted to a secret intelligence court.

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    Florida Georgia Line to perform at Illinois State Fair

    SPRINGFIELD — One of country music’s top vocal duos is coming to the Illinois State Fair this summer.Fair officials said Tuesday that Florida Georgia Line will perform at the grandstand on Aug. 10.Members of the band are Brian Kelley and Tyler Hubbard. They released their debut studio album just over a year ago to great success.

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    Dawn Patrol: Schaumburg buys more road salt; grocery store in limbo

    Schaumburg buys 1,000 more tons of road salt. Buffalo Grove Fresh Farms project in doubt. Tell Cook County your transportation priorities. Former Wheaton mayor’s wife dies. Naperville museum becomes Hollywood contraption maker’s stage. Police continue to search for missing Des Plaines woman. Woodstock sex assault trial begins. Dunleavy plays all but 9 seconds of Bulls' win in...

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    Reza Kahn rehearses the lead role of Harold Hill in the Elgin High School production of “The Music Man.”

    Elgin High School’s ‘The Music Man’ a family-friendly crowd pleaser

    Take a trip back in time to the year 1912 in River City, Iowa, when Elgin High School brings the classic musical "The Music Man" to the stage this weekend. "This cast has so much energy and they are such great actors," director Jaclyn Offord said. "They take the stage and pull the audience in with the first scene."

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    Colin Bokowy plays Bobby Strong and Katie Conomikes plays Penelope Pennywise in Jacobs High School’s production of “Urinetown: the Musical.”

    Jacobs to present ‘Urinetown: the Musical’

    Don’t let the title fool you; “Urinetown: the Musical,” which opens this weekend at Jacobs High School in Algonquin, is not a show about toilet humor. “Urinetown” is a musical comedy by that takes a somewhat ... unpleasant premise, and turns it completely upside down, producing a witty and entertaining evening of contemporary musical theater.

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    Naperville's police and fire departments began hosting St. Baldrick's head-shaving fundraisers for childhood cancer research nine years ago. At the 10th annual event from 6 to 9 p.m. March 1, organizers expect to reach the $1 million mark in total funds raised.

    Naperville's St. Baldrick's event to shave heads for solidarity

    The ballroom at the Naperville Marriott hotel will become part barbershop, part bragging rights battlefield and part children's cancer research fundraiser on March 1 as the city's police and fire departments host their 10th annual St. Baldrick's charity event. “Nobody likes to see sick children, and nobody likes to see children who have lost their hair because of the treatment they're...

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    Nicolette Quagliata, a North Central College sophomore from Bartlett, chats with Jerry Robbins during a recent visit to Monarch Landing, a Naperville retirement community. Roughly 20 North Central students have been establishing relationships for sharing advice, gaining historical perspectives and building friendships.

    North Central College students, Monarch Landing retirees find they have much in common

    A group of North Central College students recently engaged in a round of “speed dating” conversations. They talked about their interests and majors while making new friends. The twist is they weren’t talking with potential suitors, but rather with senior residents of Monarch Landing, a Naperville retirement community.

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    What Glenbard referendum question will mean to students, residents

    Glenbard High School District 87 Superintendent David Larson gives his perspective on his district's referendum question in the March 18 primary and how it will benefit both students and residents.

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    Home of the Sparrow to open resale store in Mundelein

    Home of the Sparrow has signed a lease for a new resale store at 357 Townline Road in Mundelein. The new location is currently in build-out stage, with an opening scheduled in May.

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    Chuck Bartels, left, Cornelius Shanahan, center, and Terri Voss are candidates in the race for Lake County Board District 10 in the 2014 GOP primary.

    County GOP candidates talk priorities

    The three Republican candidates for the Lake County Board’s 10th District seat have different priorities if they’re elected.

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    Officials are asking voters for permission to collect more tax money to operate the Sugar Grove Public Library.

    Where does Sugar Grove Library rank?

    For voters deciding whether to pay the Sugar Grove Public Library more taxes: How does the Sugar Grove Library stack up compared to others in the area when it comes to spending, services and materials available, and more?

Sports

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    Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes has the ball stripped away by Bulls forward Taj Gibson (22) as Joakim Noah (13) also defends Wednesday during the second half at the United Center. The Bulls won 103-83.

    Bulls unlikely to land Granger

    The Bulls are prepared to sign a player for the rest of the season, but whether they can reach an agreement with the right guy remains to be seen. Danny Granger was released by Philadelphia on Wednesday, while Jimmer Fredette, Ben Gordon and Caron Butler could be on the open market soon.

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    Glenbard North wins share of DVC

    Before the season began, Glenbard North boys basketball coach Joe Larson showed his players the tribute outside the gymnasium to the 1991 team that won the program’s last DuPage Valley Conference title.On Wednesday, they earned their own place of honor. Glenbard North claimed a hard-fought 78-69 victory over Wheaton North in Carol Stream to clinch a share of the program’s first DVC title in 23 years.

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    Glenbard North wins share of DVC

    Before the season began, Glenbard North boys basketball coach Joe Larson showed his players the tribute outside the gymnasium to the 1991 team that won the program’s last DuPage Valley Conference title. On Wednesday they earned their own place of honor. Glenbard North claimed a hard-fought 78-69 victory over Wheaton North in Carol Stream to clinch a share of the program’s first DVC title in 23 years.

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    Morgan Seberger

    Girls basketball: Week 12 MVP

    Geneva senior guard Morgan Seberger has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for her recent girls basketball performances.

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    Joey Lovelle

    Boys basketball: Week 12 MVP

    Joey Lovelle of Wauconda has earned Daily Herald MVP honors for his recent boys basketball performances.

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    Wheaton Academy closes out St. Francis

    It didn’t start like the typically tight Wheaton Academy-St. Francis boys basketball game, but it ended like one. St. Francis missed 9 of 10 first-quarter shots, with 5 turnovers. In the second quarter the host Spartans assembled a 17-2 run. It was on.

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    Boys basketball scoreboard: Wednesday’s results
    Boys basketball scoreboard*Mid-Suburban League championship at FremdFremd 55, Prospect 52Prospect — Frasco 6 3-4 21, Formanski 5 0-0 15, Miller 3 0-0 9, Beyak 1 4-4 6, Thomas 1 0-0 2, Cahill 0 2-2 2, Goneh 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 9-10 52.Fremd — Glassmann 9 4-4 24, Ochoa 3 3-3 9, Williams 3 2-2 9, Groot 3 2-4 8, Carlson 0 3-4 3, Cordell 1 0-0 2, Roundy 0 0-0 0, Peters 0 0-0 0, Benka 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 14-17 55.Prospect 10 11 14 17 —52Fremd 16 15 12 12 —553-point baskets: Pros: Frasco 3, Formanski 3, Miller 3. Fremd: Glassmann 2, Williams.*North Suburban Conference championship at North ChicagoSTEVENSON 98, North Chicago 68Stevenson — Cashaw 8 6-6 22, Nichols 2 0-0 4, Brunson 15 6-9 39, Morrissey 2 0-0 4, Johnson 6 1-5 16, Dillon 0 0-0 0, Rosenbaum 2 0-0 4, Smith 1 0-0 2, Newman 2 0-0 4, Panitch 0 0-0 0, Hwang 0 0-0 0, Sanon 0 0-0 0, Yoon 0 0-0 0, Imus 1 0-0 2, McMullen 0 0-0 0, Hodes 0 1-2 1. Totals 39 14-22 98.North Chicago — Shead 3 1-2 8, Shelton 6 0-0 12, Amos-Mays 4 2-3 10, Hall 6 4-7 16, McCloud 4 6-6 14, Henton 1 1-2 3, Mays 0 0-0 0, Donaldson 0 0-0 0, Zinnerman-Dixon 2 0-0 5, Brown 0 0-0 0, Burns 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0. Totals 26 14-20 68.Stevenson 21 22 28 27 —98North Chicago 12 24 18 14 —683-point baskets: Stev: Brunson 3, Johnson 3; NC: Shead, Zinnerman-Dixon.Fouled out: Amos-Mays (NC).*West Aurora 70, Lake Park 43Lake Park — Moore 4 0-0 8, Meccia 1 0-0 3, Karas 4 0-1 9, Vance 1 0-0 2, Hower 1 0-0 2, Kimbraugh 0 0-0 0, VanAswegen 2 0-0 6, Jarosinski 1 0-0 2, Fortin 0 0-0 0, Filip 1 0-1 2, Hynes 0 0-0 0, Weiss 3 0-0 9. Totals 18 0-1 43.West Aurora — Dunn 3 0-0 7, Walker 7 4-4 21, Koth 7 0-0 16, Griffin 3 1-3 7, Williams 44 1-2 9, Wisley 1 2-3 4, Jensen 2 0-0 4, Howard 0 0-0 0, Wyeth 0 2-2 2. Totals 27 10-14 70Lake Park 10 9 10 14 —43West Aurora 19 14 15 22 —703-point baskets: LP: Weiss 3, VanAswegen 2, Meccia, Karas; WA: Walker 3, Koth 2, DunnSophomore score: West Aurora 54, Lake Park 42*Glenbard north 78, Wheaton North 69Wheaton North — Jordan 2 0-0 4; Slovinski 8 7-9 27; Biegalski 4 1-2 10; Traversa 2 2-2 7; Heggeland 2 2-2 6; Ceron e 0 0- 0; Coolidge 1 0-0 3; Knoedler 4 1-4 9; Houlihan 0 1-2 1. Totals 24 14-21 69.Glenbard North — Fleming 8 2-2 22; Collier 0 0-0 0; Fiduccia 0 0-0 0; Gasiorowski 1 0-0 2; Jackson 4 2-4 10; Holbert 7 4-5 19; Flanigan 6 5-5 17; Jones 2 2-2 8. Totals 28 15-18 78.Wheaton North 17 18 17 17 —69Glenbard North 17 18 19 24 —783-point baskets: WN: Slovinski 4, Biegalski, Traversa, Coolidge. GN: Fleming 4, Holbert, Jones 2. Fouled out: .*Wheaton Academy 46, St. Francis 44Wheaton Academy — Smith 3 0-1 8; Ruggles 5 0-0 14; Burdett 1 0-0 3; Behr 6 2-2 15; C. Fuzak 1 0-0 2; B. Fuzak 0 0-0 0; Johnson 1 0-1 2; Williams 1 0-0 2; Lindstedt 0 0-0 0; Sandberg 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 2-4 46.St. Francis — Prociuk 9 1-2 21; Sullivan 4 0-0 10; Blank 0 2-2 2; Brown 2 5-10 9; Hart 1 0-0 2; Shaw 0 0-0 0; Fabianski 0 0-0 0; Kurtyka 0 0-0 0; French 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 8-14 44.Wheaton Acad. 14 7 15 10 —46St. Francis 4 19 12 9 —443-point baskets: WA: Smith 2, Ruggles 4, Burdett, Behr. SF: Prociuk 2, Sullivan 2. Fouled out: None.*St. viator 49, Marist 40Marist — Sterba 0 0-0 0, Ferguson 6 4-7 17, Barry 0 0-0 0, Lerma 2 0-0 4, Weishar 2 1-6 5, Hill 0 0-0 0, Tucker 0 0-0 0, Holland 3 0-0 9, Rivard 0 0-0 0, Hawkins 1 1-2 3, Burrell 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 6-17 40.St. Viator — Aguilar 0 0-0 0, Grant 0 0-0 0, Sanchez 0 0-0 0, O’Neill 0 0-0 0, Martin 1 0-0 2, Arogundade 5 1-1 12, Smart 5 0-0 11, McNamara 5 0-0 13, Falotico 3 0-0 7, Muench 0 0-0 0, Monson 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 1-1 49.Marist 6 5 14 15 —40St. Viator 4 12 17 16 —493-point baskets: Marist: Ferguson, Holland 3. St. Viator: Arogundade, Smart, McNamara 3, Falotico.*

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    Harper gains Region IV quarterfinal victory

    Harper College’s men’s basketball team did its best to expect the unexpected on Wednesday. Good thing, because the Hawks didn’t know much about their NJCAA Region IV quarterfinal opponent, Mid-Michigan Community College. “We really didn’t know what to prepare for,” said Harper guard Bradley Reibel. No matter. The third-seeded Hawks (17-13) advanced to a tournament semifinal appearance by beating the seventh-seeded Lakers 82-76.

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    Naperville North’s Jelani McClain Jr. takes a shot over Ryan Antony of Naperville Central Wednesday night.

    Naperville North spoils Naperville Central’s party

    In its final regular-season boys basketball game Naperville North spoiled cross-town rival Naperville Central’s festivities with a 41-29 DuPage Valley Conference win on Wednesday. The Huskies (17-9, 9-5) went on a 9-0 and a 7-0 run in the first two quarters of the game and had a 21-point fourth quarter to take revenge on the Redhawks, who won the previous season meeting. The Redhawks were holding their Senior Night as well as honoring their football state championship during the game.

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    Photo courtesy of Kane County Cougars  Cubs prospect Albert Almora of the Kane County Cougars has had a solid start in Geneva with the Class A club.

    Cubs wait on Almora

    First it was Corey Patterson. Then it was Felix Pie. Now it's Albert Almora. The Cubs have spent much of the past decade and a half waiting for a prized center-field prospect to develop, with little result. Almora, who played last year for the Kane County Cougars, is the latest of the teams center-field prospects. He's not ready yet, so the Cubs will go with a platoon of Ryan Sweeney and Justin Ruggiano this year.

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    Alex Reinbrecht of Jacobs competes in the 500-yard freestyle during the state prelims last year. Reinbrecht is back in the state meet this weekend in the 500 and 200.

    Jacobs’ Reinbrecht pumped for state meet

    Jacobs senior Alex Reinbrecht is doing less thinking these days. And it’s made all the difference in the world. Reinbrecht, part of the District 300 co-op boys swimming team, adjusted his mental approach in the pool. “I’m definitely much more relaxed when I race now,” he said. “For me it’s made quite a significant difference. I swim all types of races and think a lot about them. When I start thinking too much about what I’m doing, I don’t do as well. If I relax and don’t think about things, I swim quite well.”

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    Harvest Christian advances to regional final

    With nine players over 6-feet tall compared to No. 3 seed Islamic Foundation’s tallest player, 6-1 Mustafa Farooqi, No. 2 seed Harvest Christian had a major advantage coming into Wednesday’s Class 1A regional semifinal and the key objective was to feed 6-7 center John Vislisel early and often. Harvest did just that as Vislisel almost scored his average of 21.8 points per game in the game’s first 8 minutes. He scored 18 of his game-high 31 points in the first quarter of the Lions’ 75-44 win over the Chargers (14-4), which advanced them to Friday’s 7 p.m. regional final against their Randall Road neighbor, top-seeded Westminster Christian.

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    Fremd players hold their Mid-Suburban League championship trophy after defeating Prospect in the title game 55-52 on Wednesday in Palatine.

    Glassmann, Fremd make it happen in MSL title game

    Riley Glassmann has played on Fremd’s varsity boys basketball team for four years. The senior wanted to make sure his final game in Palatine was a memorable one. Glassmann attacked the basket and hit from the outside scoring 24 points as the Vikings held off a furious late shooting barrage by Prospect to claim the Mid-Suburban League championship 55-52 on Wednesday night. “On our home court, this is amazing,” said Glassmann, who scored 16 points in the first half. “With all my friends and family here, this is awesome.” Fremd became the first MSL team to go undefeated in the regular season.

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    From left, Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson, Matt Morrissey and Parker Nichols cheer from the bench during the Patriots’ victory over North Chicago in the North Suburban Conference championship game Wednesday night at North Chicago.

    Good times continue for NSC champ Stevenson

    Even “Mr. Crabby Pants” couldn’t be too crabby on Wednesday night. What was there to growl or groan about? Behind yet another spectacular performance by junior guard Jalen Brunson, Stevenson was in top form (or pretty darn close to it) in mowing down host North Chicago 98-68 in front of a packed gym in the North Suburban Conference boys basketball championship game. “Well, we could have rebounded better, and in the first half, we didn’t do defensive transition real well,” said Stevenson coach Pat Ambrose, who calls himself Mr. Crabby Pants for his never-satisfied mentality. “But you know me, I’m never entirely happy. I would say we were clicking, but maybe not on all cylinders.” The Warhawks, who have now lost to Stevenson in the conference title game for two years in a row, may argue otherwise. They watched Stevenson (26-1) have its way on their home floor. The Patriots, who hit 64 percent of their shots from the field, got a game-high 39 points (including three 3-pointers) from Brunson.

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    Illinois ends Nebraska streak with 60-49 win

    Illinois freshmen Kendrick Nunn and Malcolm Hill combined for 23 points and the Illini ended Nebraska’s five-game win streak on Wednesday night, 60-49. Nunn scored 13 on 4-of-6 shooting for the Illini (16-12, 5-10 Big Ten). He was 3 of 4 from 3-point range. Hill added 10 points and five rebounds.

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    The Bulls’ Taj Gibson and Kirk Hinrich make things difficult for Warriors all-star guard Stephen Curry, who finished with 5 points Wednesday night.

    Defense again name of the game for Bulls

    Kirk Hinrich's defense against Stephen Curry helped limit the high-scoring Golden State guard to just 5 points and the Bulls rolled to a 103-83 victory over the Warriors on Wednesday at the United Center. Taj Gibson scored 21 points to lead the Bulls, who improved to a season-best five games above .500.

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    West Aurora’s Matt Dunn scoops in two points during the Blackhawks’ 70-43 win Wednesday in Aurora.

    West Aurora leaving DVC with co-championship

    West Aurora is leaving the DuPage Valley Conference like it spent much of it — as conference champions. In its final game in the DVC before joining the Upstate Eight next year, West Aurora never trailed in a 70-43 win over Lake Park Wednesday that wrapped up a share of the title with Glenbard North.

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    Larkin’s Drew Jones, right, works against Elgin earlier this season. The Royals host Neuqua Valley Friday night in the Upstate Eight Conference first-place crossover game.

    Larkin, Huntley take center stage in conference crossovers

    The Larkin boys basketball team looks to run a clean Upstate Eight slate when the Royals host Valley Division champion Neuqua Valley in a conference crossover between first-place finishers on Friday at 7:15 p.m.River Division champion Larkin (23-3) swept its 12 division games and won 3 contests against Valley schools. In addition to a pair of nonconference wins against South Elgin, the Royals handled Neuqua Valley (19-8, 11-1) in Naperville on Jan. 10, 72-52.

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    Westminster has easy time in regional semi

    Westminster Christian boys basketball coach Bruce Firchau wished freshman Elliott Brandon’s near-half court heave to conclude matters in the Warriors’ 84-34 Class 1A Harvest Christian regional semifinal had clanked off the glass and actually not gone in. But how the 50-point win began that advanced the top-seeded Warriors to Friday night’s regional final against No. 2 Harvest Christian was very much to Firchau’s delight.

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    Fremd players hold their trophy after defeating Prospect in the Mid-Suburban League basketball championship.

    Images: Fremd vs. Prospect boys basketball
    The Fremd High School boys basketball team hosted teh Prospect High School boys for the MSL Championship game Wednesday in Palatine.

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    Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, shown here scoring against Montreal last fall, has yet to report to training camp. Magee, the league MVP last season, wants a new contract, sources have told the Daily Herald.

    No sign of Fire’s Magee as holdout continues

    A Chicago Fire spokeswoman said Wednesday that forward Mike Magee still has not arrived at preseason training with the club in Tucson, Ariz.

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    Baker leads Northern Illinois past Toledo 74-66

    Travon Baker scored 17 points and Jordan Threloff added 13 to lead Northern Illinois to a 74-66 victory over Toledo Wednesday night.

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    FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2013, file photo, Arizona Diamondbacks left fielder Adam Eaton (6) makes a running catch for the out in the first inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks have agreed to acquire outfielder Mark Trumbo from the Anaheim Angels as part of a three-team trade that also includes the Chicago White Sox, a person familiar with the talks told The Associated Press on Tuesday, Dec. 10, 2013. Pitcher Hector Santiago is moving from the White Sox to the Angels, Eaton from Diamondbacks to Chicago and pitcher Tyler Skaggs from Arizona to Los Angeles. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the trade had not yet been announced. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri, File)

    Eaton has edge Sox need

    Looking for more edge after losing 99 games last season, the White Sox are hoping they found some needed fire in new center fielder Adam Eaton.

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    Hector Brito displays the 5.78-pound redear sunfish he caught in Lake Havasu. It’s been submitted for world record consideration.

    Havasu’s heating up for record redears

    My recent conversation with Frank Byrzicki included our never-ending passion to find jumbo smallmouth and huge bluegills. I have written a number of columns as to how I’ve stumbled upon ponds containing bluegills weighing over a pound. Most of these “gold mines” are situated in the metro area, but there are a couple that lie situated alongside several major highways.Frank and I have ultralight setups that have been put together specifically for big ’gills, and when we hook the hump-nosed bulls the catching turns in to what I’ve described as a rodeo event.Some of the sub-species I’ve caught, like redear sunfish, rarely come up to the sizes of the regular and hybrid bluegills. I’ve managed to coax the local fish to the hook buy using a Mini-Mite jig tipped with a small piece of worm or a juicy spike (maggot). But the real reason I called Frank was to alert him to some news I received from a friend in Arizona.A week ago Ron Lindner informed me he was traveling to Lake Havasu in Arizona to meet with brother Al. These super-sharp anglers mapped out a strategy to locate and catch jumbo redear sunfish from Lake Havasu. I implored Ron to call me when they located the big fish. The call never came.But it was dramatic news that subsequently came from another friend who lives in Phoenix.His rapid-fire sentences and shortness of breath suggested to me I’d better allow him to get his story out.He told me a potential world record redear sunfish, 5.78 pounds, had just been caught and weighed on a certified scale. The lucky angler is Hector Brito, who first thought he had a big catfish on the end of his line.Wildlife officials say Lake Havasu is home to a population of unusually large sunfish because of the existence of invasive quagga mussels. Redear sunfish, also known as shellcrackers for their habits of snacking on shellfish, are a favorite of many anglers because of their rich flavor. While they usually dine on snails, biologists have found that the fish is a useful ally against quagga mussels, which damage local ecosystems. Redear sunfish meander along the bottoms of lakes searching for these tasty morsels, which the fish then crack open with powerful jaws and swallow in chunks. The mussel is forced through its hardened throat, where an additional set of teeth destroy the shells.Hector was using a drop-shot rig, a small hook, and a piece of worm.Arizona Game and Fish Department spokesman John Galbraith was the guy who weighed the fish on a certified scale. “I don’t know what the genetic potential is for redear,” he said. “But this record fish was not even a spawning fish. There’s some out there (in Lake Havasu) that are in the mid 6 range, easy.”The previous record was a 5.55-pound fish caught by Bob Lawler in 2011. While certainly a state record, Brito must now wait for his fish to be confirmed as the world’s largest by the International Game Fish Association.And now I understand why the brothers Lindner were eager to catch some of the big fish and capture the action on digital video for their television show.• Contact Mike Jackson at angler88@comcast.net, and catch his radio show 6-7 a.m. Sundays on WSBC 1240-AM and podcast at www.mikejacksonoutdoors.com.

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    Images from the Lake Park vs. West Aurora boys basketball game Wednesday, February 26, 2014.

    Images: Lake Park vs. West Aurora boys basketball
    Lake Park played West Aurora in a boys basketball game Wednesday night in Aurora.

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    Golden State Warriors' Harrison Barnes (40) has the ball stripped away by Chicago Bulls' Taj Gibson (22) as Joakim Noah (13) also defends during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014, in Chicago. The Bulls won 103-83. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Gibson leads Bulls to 103-83 win over Warriors

    Taj Gibson scored 21 points, Carlos Boozer added 15 points and 13 rebounds, and the Bulls used a big third-quarter run to win for the seventh time in eight games, pounding the Golden State Warriors 103-83 Wednesday night.Jimmy Butler scored 16 points after missing two games with bruised ribs, Mike Dunleavy Jr. added 15, and Joakim Noah grabbed 17 rebounds for the Bulls.

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    St. Viator grinds past Marist

    St. Viator coach Mike Howland was hoping the visiting Marist Red Hawks would give the Lions a tough defensive game. Howland received his wish in a 49-40 win in the East Suburban Catholic at Cahill Gymnasium on Wednesday night.

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    Images from the Naperville Central vs. Naperville North boys basketball game on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014.

    Images: Naperville Central vs. Naperville North boys basketball
    Naperville North hosted Naperville Central for boys basketball action on Wednesday.

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    Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson, left, and Parker Nichols give the number one sign as they pose for pictures after the game.

    Images: Stevenson vs. North Chicago boys basketball
    The Stevenson Patriots faced the North Chicago Warhawks in boys basketball action on Wednesday, February 26.

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    Notre Dame guard Eric Atkins, left, drives the lane as Georgia Tech guard Corey Heyward, middle, and Kammeon Holsey defend during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2014 in South Bend, Ind. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

    Sherman leads Irish to 65-62 win over Georgia Tech

    Garrick Sherman scored 21 points and Eric Atkins added 17, including a key 3-pointer, to lead Notre Dame to a 65-62 victory over Georgia Tech on Wednesday night. Georgia Tech cut a nine-point Notre Dame lead to 56-55 when Kammeon Holsey scored on a rebound after the Yellow Jackets forced a shot-clock violation. But the Irish answered with a 7-1 run as Sherman and Pat Connaughton scored inside and Atkins hit a 3-pointer to make it 63-56.

  •  

    Blackhawks game day
    Blackhawks vs. New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, 6 p.m., ThursdayTV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: WGN-AM 720The skinny: The Rangers will be without Mats Zuccarello because of a broken hand suffered while playing in the Olympics. They are in a mad scramble with Philadelphia, Columbus and Washington for second and third place in the Metropolitan Division. The Hawks have 22 games to play as they try to catch St. Louis and hold off Colorado in the Central Division. It will be Corey Crawford and Henrik Lundqvist in goal.Next: Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field, 7 p.m. Saturday.— Tim Sassone

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    Blackhawks teammates Jonathan Toews (Canada) and Marcus Kruger (Sweden) face each other during the gold-medal game on the final day of the Sochi Olympics.

    Kane, Toews ready to get back to work with Hawks

    Most of the Blackhawks Olympians were back at Johnny’s West on Wednesday, although Jonathan Toews didn’t go on the ice for practice. Toews, Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp were part of Canada’s gold medal-winning team that beat Sweden in the final. Keith didn’t attend practice, but he was scheduled to rejoin the team for its flight to New York. Hawks Niklas Hjalmarsson, Johnny Oduya and Marcus Kruger played for Sweden. All three Swedes practiced Wednesday, along with Sharp and Patrick Kane.

  •  

    Scouting the Barrington sectional final

    Here's a look at Thursday's girls basketball sectional final at Barrington, featuring the Mid-Suburban League's top two teams, Rolling Meadows and Fremd.

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    Laura Stoecker/lstoecker@dailyherald.com Batavia’s Mackenzie Foster, left, Katie Weber, center, and Erin Bayram, right, embrace as they walk off the court after their 4A sectional semifinal win over Downers Grove North at Addison Trail High School in Addison on Tuesday, February 25.

    Rivals Batavia, Geneva meet for sectional title

    Batavia coach Kevin Jensen had some good-natured advice for his counterpart Sarah Meadows at Geneva before a memorable night of action tipped off Tuesday at the Class 4A Addison Trail girls basketball sectional. “I told her not to lose her voice tonight because I didn’t want her quiet on Thursday,” Jensen said. Suffice it to say, Meadows won’t be quiet Thursday night — nor will the hundreds of fans from Batavia and Geneva who will be packing the Addison Trail gym for one of the biggest games ever played in any sport between the neighbors and longtime rivals.

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    Members of the 2013 Lions baseball team celebrate their new state baseball trophy at the IHSA state baseball tournament in June.

    Lisle can do more than play baseball

    If this baseball thing doesn’t work out for Lisle, opportunities await in the service industry.

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    No matter the source, it’s just offensive

    The N-word is an issue being debated among black people but that doesn't mean an older white guy is disqualified from having feelings on the subject.

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    Miami Heat forward LeBron James holds a towel over his face as he walks off the court with a bloody nose during the fourth quarter of an NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Oklahoma City, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014. James was struck by Thunder’s Serge Ibaka on a drive to the basket. Heat guard Dwyane Wade is at right. Miami won 103-81. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

    LeBron James gives mask a try in practice

    LeBron James says his new protective mask is hot, uncomfortable and prone to fogging up. Plus, as teammate Dwyane Wade pointed out, it looks weird.So James is in the market for design suggestions.“I’ve been talking to Marvel Comics for the last couple of days, and DC Comics, to try to come up with one of the greatest masks of all time,” James said with a chuckle Wednesday. “So we’ll see what happens.”

  •  
    Brooklyn Nets center Jason Collins shoots during practice on the campus of UCLA in Los Angeles Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. Collins became the first openly gay active athlete in North America’s four major professional sports Sunday, Feb. 23, signing a 10-day contract with the Brooklyn Nets. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

    Nets dealing with bright spotlight

    Deron Williams took a moment to snap a few photos of Brooklyn teammate Jason Collins at their shootaround in Portland.He couldn’t help it: The NBA’s first openly gay player was surrounded by a throng of cameras and microphones, and at least for the next week or so, Collins will be the face of the Nets wherever they go.

  •  

    Mike North Video: Heat like Bulls of the 90s
    Look for the Miami Heat to 3-peat because their toughest competitor is the Indiana Pacers. The Pacers remind Mike North of the New York Knicks when they played the Bulls in the 90s — never able to get past them.

  •  
    The upcoming season is a pivotal one for Cubs shortstop Starlin Castro, not only for him but for the entire organization.

    Big season crucial for Castro, Cubs

    On Opening Day, Starlin Castro will be 24 years old. It's difficult to remember at times, since he's already played just shy of four full big-league seasons, and more than 600 games. But, yes, he's still a young player and learning the game at the major-league level, which is hardly the ideal location for an education.

  •  

    Bulls game day
    Bulls vs. Golden State Warriors at the United Center, 7 p.m. WednesdayTV: Comcast SportsNetRadio: ESPN 1000-AMOutlook: Stephen Curry scored 34 points when the Warriors rallied to beat the Bulls 102-87 on Feb. 6 in Oakland. Curry is averaging 24.2 points on the season, with SG Klay Thompson at 18.0 ppg. Second-leading scorer David Lee missed the past two games with an illness, while C Andrew Bogut returned Monday after missing seven games with a shoulder injury. Golden State (35-22) comes in on a four-game winning streak but has lost its last four in Chicago.Next: Dallas Mavericks at the American Airlines Center, 7:30 p.m. Friday— Mike McGraw

Business

  •  
    Delta Air Lines is making fundamental changes to its frequent flier program and will reward those who buy its priciest tickets, as opposed to those who fly the most miles.

    Big changes ahead for frequent fliers on Delta

    Delta Air Lines is changing its frequent-flier program to favor passengers who buy the priciest tickets instead of those who fly the most miles. It’s a bid to lure higher-spending business travelers, who often book flights on short notice and pay more than bargain-hunting leisure travelers. Beginning next year, Delta will base miles toward free flights on the amount that passengers spend on tickets.

  •  
    Olympic skeleton silver medalist Noelle Pikus-Pace, with her husband Jason Pace and their children Traycen, center, and Lacee, visit the floor of the New York Stock Exchange after ringing the opening bell Wednesday.

    Stocks edge higher, but S&P 500 ends shy of record

    The stock market is struggling to take it to the next level. For a third straight day the Standard & Poor’s 500 index traded above its record close but fell back to end below it. An early move higher Wednesday was led by retailers and home builders, but the gains mostly petered out in the afternoon. By the closing bell the index was up just a fraction of a point.

  •  

    Barrington chamber seeks ATHENA nominees

    The Barrington Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for its annual award recognizing an excellent Barrington area business woman. Nominees should demonstrate “excellence, creativity and initiative in their business or profession,” for consideration for the 2014 ATHENA Leadership Award.

  •  
    As Americans struggle to improve their eating habits, big food companies are educating the professionals who help guide people on what’s healthy and what’s not.

    Lessons on salt for dietitians ... by a chip maker

    Snack and soda makers that often are blamed for fueling the nation’s obesity rates also play a role in educating the dietitians who advise Americans on healthy eating. Companies such as Frito-Lay, Kellogg and Coca-Cola are essentially teaching the teachers. They’re offering seminars, online classes and workshops that are usually free to the nation’s dietitians as part of their behind-the-scenes efforts to burnish the image of their snacks and drinks.

  •  
    Target Corp says the massive data breach over the holidays helped push its profit down 46 percent.

    Data-breach costs take toll on Target profit

    Looks like Target Corp. will be feeling the financial pain for a while from the theft of credit card numbers and other information from millions of its customers. The nation’s second largest discounter said Wednesday that its profit in the fourth quarter fell 46 percent on a revenue decline of 5.3 percent as the breach scared off customers worried about the security of their private data.

  •  

    US bank earnings rise 17 pct as loan losses fall

    WASHINGTON — U.S. banks’ earnings rose 17 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, as losses on loans fell to a seven-year low and banks set aside less to cover losses as well as legal costs.The data provides fresh evidence of the banking industry’s sustained recovery more than five years after the financial crisis struck. Still, the government says banks continue to have difficulty increasing revenues, and are relying on setting aside less for loan losses to boost earnings.The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Wednesday that the banking industry earned $40.3 billion in the final quarter of 2013, up from $34.4 billion in the same period in 2012.For all of 2013, bank earnings increased 9.6 percent to what the agency calls a record annual level of $154.7 billion. It exceeded the previous record earnings of $145.2 billion in 2006.The number of banks on the FDIC’s “problem” list fell to 467 in the final quarter of 2013 from 515 in the third quarter.Banks’ losses on loans dropped 36.7 percent to $11.7 billion, the lowest level for a fourth quarter since 2006, the FDIC said. The largest decline came in home mortgages, which posted a 57.7 percent drop in losses.FDIC Chairman Martin Gruenberg said the latest results showed “a continuation of the recovery in the banking industry.” At the same time, he said, the industry still faces challenges including only modest growth in lending, narrow profit margins and a decline in mortgage refinancing business as long-term interest rates have risen. Banks with assets exceeding $10 billion drove the bulk of the earnings growth in the October-December period. While they make up just 1.5 percent of U.S. banks, they accounted for about 82 percent of industry earnings. Those banks include Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co. Most of them have recovered with help from federal bailout money during the financial crisis and record-low borrowing rates. Last year, the number of bank failures slowed to 24, still more than normal. In a strong economy, an average of four or five banks close annually. But failures were down sharply from 51 in 2012, 92 in 2011 and 157 in 2010 — the most in one year since the height of the savings and loan crisis in 1992. In the fourth quarter, the decline in bank failures allowed the deposit insurance fund to continue to strengthen. The fund, which turned from deficit to positive in the second quarter of 2011, had a $47.2 billion balance as of Dec. 31, according to the FDIC. That compares with $40.7 billion at the end of September. The FDIC, created during the Great Depression to ensure bank deposits, monitors and examines the financial condition of U.S. banks. The agency guarantees bank deposits up to $250,000 per account. Apart from its deposit insurance fund, the FDIC also has tens of billions of dollars in reserves.

  •  

    US safety agency likely probing GM recall response

    The U.S. government’s auto safety watchdog likely is looking into whether General Motors was slow to report problems that led to 13 deaths and a massive recall of small cars.

  •  
    U.S. sales of new homes rebounded in January to the fastest pace in more than five years, offering hopes that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates.

    U.S. sales of new homes up in January

    U.S. sales of new homes rebounded in January to the fastest pace in more than five years, offering hopes that housing could be regaining momentum after a slowdown last year caused by rising interest rates.

  •  

    Airbus posts higher 2013 profit

    TOULOUSE, France — European jetmaker Airbus Group said Wednesday record demand for its civilian jetliners from airlines around the world drove higher sales and profits last year. The Boeing Co. rival, known until this year as EADS, said net profit rose 22 percent to 1.47 billion euros ($2 billion) in 2013, up from 1.2 billion euros the previous year.The company, which competes with Boeing in the multi-billion-dollar market for large civilian aircraft, forecast jet deliveries to remain at about the same level this year as last year when it sold 626 aircraft.“We’re not planning new adventures in 2014, the focus is on execution, execution, execution,” Chief Executive Tom Enders said at a press conference.Enders said that while Airbus will “take a little break” this year in terms of production, after 11 straight years of growth, he predicted orders will remain higher than deliveries. Last year Airbus took in a record 1,619 new orders.In a statement, Airbus also announced plans to ramp up production of its single-aisle jets to 46 a month by 2016, from 42 now.The A320 single aisle family of jets competes with Boeing’s 737, and has seen high demand in recent years alongside exceptional growth in the air travel market in developing countries in Asia and the Middle East.Airbus’ earnings came in below the 1.97 billion-euro consensus forecast of analysts surveyed by Factset. The 2013 accounts were dented by higher costs connected to Airbus’ new A350 twin-aisle jet, which Airbus hopes to start delivering to customers by the end of this year.Airbus has received over 820 orders so far for the wide body A350, with around 30 percent coming from Asian airlines. The region is a crucial market for plane makers because its economic growth is driving rapid expansion of jet fleets.Airbus shares rose 1.5 percent in early trading Wednesday on the Paris stock exchange, as investors applauded the group’s hitting financial targets including higher operating profit and better-than-expected free cash flow.Airbus says the A350 program “remains challenging,” after it took a 434 million-euro charge against the program in the fourth quarter last year. Development of the jet, an intended rival to Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner, has cost around 10 billion euros over the last decade. Qatar Airways expects to take delivery of the first A350 in the fourth quarter of this year.Airbus is in the midst of a corporate restructuring that will see it cut 5,800 jobs over two years. A failed merger with British defense firm BAE Systems scuttled Airbus’ plans to grow its own defense business, which now accounts for about 30 percent of the group’s total sales.A slowdown in U.S. and European military spending has forced Airbus and Boeing to overall their defense businesses.

  •  

    Budweiser brewer says fourth quarter profits rose

    AMSTERDAM — ABInBev SA, the maker of Budweiser and the largest global brewer, has reported a 45 percent increase in profits for the fourth quarter of 2013 on a mix of acquisitions, growth, and cost-cutting. Net profit was $2.52 billion, up from $1.74 billion in the fourth quarter of 2012. Sales rose 4.6 percent to $11.7 billion. On a conference call with journalists Wednesday, Chief Financial Officer Felipe Dutro said the first quarter of 2014 has been tough in the U.S. due to cold weather. However he predicted 2014 will see an extra boost due to better global growth and the World Cup, especially in Brazil.“We’ve turned the page on a challenging 2013 and look forward to a much better 2014,” he said.AB InBev is based in Leuven, Belgium.

  •  

    Lowe’s 4Q profit meets analysts’ estimates

    Lowe’s fiscal fourth-quarter net income rose 6 percent, as the home-improvement retailer continued to benefit from the housing market’s recovery. The company also announced a new $5 billion stock repurchase program on Wednesday. Its stock surged in premarket trading.

  •  
    Delta Air Lines is making fundamental changes to its frequent flier program and will reward those who buy its priciest tickets, as opposed to those who fly the most miles. The airline said Wednesday that the 2015 SkyMiles program will better recognize frequent business travelers and leisure customers who buy premium fares.

    Big changes ahead for frequent fliers on Delta

    Delta Air Lines is making fundamental changes to its frequent flier program and will reward those who buy its priciest tickets, as opposed to those who fly the most miles. The airline said Wednesday that the 2015 SkyMiles program will better recognize frequent business travelers and leisure customers who buy premium fares.

  •  

    Markets choppy amid concerns over China and the U.S.

    LONDON — Markets were choppy Wednesday amid ongoing concerns over the Chinese economy and signs that the U.S. recovery may be losing some steam. For much of the early part of this year, markets have been roiled by worries over emerging markets in light of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s moves to reduce its monetary stimulus. The stimulus in its various guises had helped shore up markets in the developing world but a recent U.S. economic soft patch that may be related to bad weather has raised expectations that the Fed may slow down the so-called “tapering” of its stimulus.Though tensions in emerging markets appear to have abated somewhat, investor fears over China, the world’s number 2 economy, have accentuated following some disappointing economic data. In particular, investors have grown worried over a credit bubble in the country and what the Chinese monetary authorities may do to combat it. One outcome of this has been a marked fall in the value of the country’s currency, the yuan, against the dollar. “There does however appear to be a general sense of relief over the fact that he headwinds we’ve seen from emerging markets of late do appear to be abating, although there’s clearly a degree of concern over the state of the Chinese economy,” said Joao Monteiro, analyst at Monex Capital Markets.After a subdued trading session in Asia, stocks in Europe have drifted lower. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.3 percent at 6,811 while Germany’s DAX fell the same rate to 9,675. The CAC-40 in France was 0.4 percent lower at 4,398.Wall Street was poised for a subdued opening with both Dow futures and the broader S&P 500 futures 0.2 percent higher. Gains of that order would merely make up for Tuesday’s retreat when U.S. stocks drifted lower after slightly disappointing consumer confidence and housing data.“Despite the drip, drip, drip effect of negative U.S. economic data U.S. markets continue to remain fairly resilient, with only a fairly nominal negative finish last night,” said Michael Hewson, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. With a dearth of scheduled news later, the dollar was also subdued, with the euro steady at $1.3737.Earlier in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 stock average closed down 0.5 percent at 14,970.97 and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.5 percent to 22,437.44.

  •  

    Mortgage applications in U.S. dropped last week as rates rose

    Mortgage applications in the U.S. fell last week as fewer Americans purchased homes and refinanced their properties.The Mortgage Bankers Association’s index decreased 8.5 percent in the period ended Feb. 21, the Washington-based trade group reported today. The purchase gauge fell 3.5 percent to the lowest level since August 1995, and the refinance measure declined 11.4 percent.The average rate on a 30-year fixed loan rose for the second week in a row after more than a month of declines to reach 4.53 percent from 4.50 in the prior period. The average rate on a 15-year mortgage climbed to 3.56 percent from 3.55 percent the week before.The share of applicants seeking to refinance dropped to 58.3 percent compared with 61.2 percent the week earlier.

  •  
    President Barack Obama speaks Tuesday at the National Organizing Summit in Washington.

    Obama seeking $300 billion for roads, railways

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is asking Congress for $300 billion to update the nation’s roads and railways. Obama plans to make the proposal Wednesday at the Union Depot rail and bus station in St. Paul, Minn. The Highway Trust Fund finances federal highway and transit programs but is forecast to go broke as early as August. The fund needs $100 billion over the next six years just to maintain current spending levels. But Obama and Congress don’t want to raise gas taxes to make up the gap. Obama is proposing that half the $302 billion he’s proposing come from an overhaul of corporate taxes, but he says he’s open to other ideas. He also plans to announce a $600 million competition for federal grants to fund infrastructure projects that create jobs.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Anti-gravity goat cheese phyllo bites are fairly low in calories — no more than 15 calories per shell.

    Goat Cheese Phyllo Bites
    Goat Cheese Phyllo Bites

  •  
    Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps hold up to bubbly drinks whether for Oscar night or any special night.

    Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps
    TERIYAKI CHICKEN LETTUCE WRAPS

  •  

    Who is most controlling in this relationship — he, she or the ex?

    Q. Is it controlling of me to want, but not insist, that my boyfriend of one year cease contact with his ex?

  •  
    Video of Justin Bieber at a South Florida police station after his January arrest is expected to be made public, with some sensitive parts omitted. Miami-Dade County prosecutors said DVDs of about 10 hours of video will be made public Wednesday.

    Justin Bieber jail video shows unsteady walk

    Video of Justin Bieber made at a South Florida police station after his January arrest shows him walking unsteadily during a sobriety test. Miami-Dade County prosecutors released about 10 hours of video Wednesday, only a few moments of which depicted Beiber. In one clip, Beiber wavers as he tries to walk heel to toe, then stumbles slightly as he turns and appears to have his arms out for balance.

  •  

    Fettuccine With Garlic-Parmesan Puree
    Fettucini with Garlic-Parmesan Puree

  •  
    This pasta calls for 2 cups of garlic cloves, but isn’t overpowering.

    An intense, yet effortless garlic sauce pasta

    The goal was simple — the most intense garlic pasta I could muster. But there was a caveat. There is no joy in a dish that reeks of too much garlic, or that is so potent it is inedible.

  •  

    Mother-in-law is behaving more like a baby than the newborn

    His mother-in-law has refused to see the new baby because he and his wife said there would be no overnight guests while they adjusted to parenthood. Carolyn Hax said let her be and she will either come around or she won't.

  •  
    PBS science correspondent Miles O’Brien says his left arm was amputated above the elbow following after an apparently minor injury turned serious. In a blog post, O’Brien recounted the Feb. 12 injury that occurred while he was on assignment on Asia and how it progressed to a life-threatening stage.

    PBS reporter Miles O’Brien recounts amputation

    PBS science correspondent Miles O’Brien said Tuesday his left arm was amputated above the elbow after an apparently minor injury put his life in jeopardy.

  •  

    BBC drama ‘Ripper Street’ rescued in Amazon deal

    “Ripper Street” has been rescued. The Victorian detective drama was canceled by the BBC earlier this year after two seasons because of poor ratings. But after an online campaign by fans, it is returning for a third series through a deal between the British broadcaster and online retailer Amazon.

  •  
    Alec Baldwin is putting a twist on his rocky relationship with the media: He’s playing a meddling newspaperman in a guest appearance on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

    Baldwin becomes meddling newsman on ‘Law & Order’

    Alec Baldwin is putting a twist on his rocky relationship with the media: He’s playing a meddling newspaperman on an NBC drama. The network said Tuesday that Baldwin guest stars as a New York columnist on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.”

  •  

    Paula Deen to open eatery in Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

    Paula Deen’s comeback trail is leading her to the Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee. The Savannah, Ga.-based celebrity cook announced Wednesday she’s opening a new restaurant, Paula Deen’s Kitchen, in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., which draws about 10 million vacationers a year.

  •  
    The Goodman Theatre is the latest company to join a national initiative staging a night of short plays about the killing of Trayvon Martin. The Goodman will present six 10-minute works as part of a March 3 production of “Facing Our Truth: Short Plays on Trayvon Martin, Race and Privilege.”

    Goodman Theatre tackles Trayvon Martin killing

    The Goodman Theatre is the latest company to join a national push to stage a night of short plays about the killing of Trayvon Martin. The Goodman will present six 10-minute works by Marcus Gardley, Tala Manassah, Mona Mansour, Winter Miller, Dominique Morisseau, Dan O’Brien, Quetzel Flores and A. Rey Pamatmat as part of a March 3 production of “Facing Our Truth: Short Plays on Trayvon Martin, Race and Privilege.”

  •  
    Beck recently released his latest album, “Morning Phase” and will soon return to the studio to record a second album he plans to release later this year.

    Beck releases first of 2 planned albums in 2014

    Beck Hansen really doesn’t believe a musician has the right to complain. “Nobody wants to hear it,” he says. So it may come as a surprise to many fans that Hansen suffered a spinal injury that kept him from making music in the usual ways for a significant portion of the last decade. He found other ways to create as a producer and songwriter during this period, but he feels a great sense of release now that he’s putting out “Morning Phase,” just the second album he’s released in the last 10 years. And he plans to release another album this year, too.

  •  
    To ensure even cooking in this Chickpea, Apricot and Carrot Pilaf With Toasted Pecans, make sure the carrots are chopped into even-sized pieces.

    Chickpea, Apricot and Carrot Pilaf With Toasted Pecans
    Chickpea, Apricot and Carrot Pilaf With Toasted Pecans

  •  
    To ensure even cooking in this Chickpea, Apricot and Carrot Pilaf With Toasted Pecans, make sure the carrots are chopped into even-sized pieces.

    Nourish: Chickpeas, apricots, nuts combine for pleasing side

    The most taxing part of making this nutty-tasting side dish is cutting the carrots. Don’t obsess about a perfect dice; the most important thing is for the carrot pieces to be the same size, for even cooking.

  •  
    This recipe for Curried Carrot Soup will please vegans and vegetarians alike.

    Soupalooza: Concocting this Curried Carrot Soup a happy convergence

    It may be in the zeitgeist, but every cookbook, magazine or website I have been on lately features a recipe for Curried Carrot Soup. So I decided to give in and whip up a batch of the spicy orange concoction.

  •  
    Chef Marc Forgione plates a dish in the kitchen of his restaurant Marc Forgione in New York. Once considered the province of sailors, bikers, ex-cons and, of course, college hipsters, tattoos have become standard attire in professional kitchens.

    Marc Forgione: Famous name didn’t pave the way

    Chef Marc Forgione undoubtedly has made his father proud, but he’s also made his mother mad. In writing his first cookbook, Forgione was loath to dumb down the creative but complex recipes from his eponymous New York restaurant. So to make sure they were challenging — but not too challenging — for the home cook, he had his mom test a handful of the recipes. She wasn’t pleased, at first.

  •  
    This curried carrot soup starts with baby carrots to save time peeling and chopping.

    Curried Carrot Soup
    Curried Carrot Soup

  •  
    A new “60 years of Elvis” exhibit sits inside an annex at Graceland in Memphis, Tenn. The exhibit features jump suits worn by Presley, an organ played in his California home, a copy of the original “That’s All Right” record and other miscellaneous Elvis items.

    Graceland exhibit gives glimpse into young Elvis

    The telegram sent by Elvis Presley to his parents in November 1954 gives a glimpse into the young singer’s priorities and his optimism, as he begins what will become a career as a rock ’n’ roll icon and cultural phenomenon. The note is being displayed in an exhibit at Graceland, Presley’s longtime Memphis home that today serves as a museum and tourist attraction. The exhibit, which opened Monday, commemorates the 60 years since Presley cut his first record, “That’s All Right,” at Sun Studio in July 1954.

  •  
    Actor and author B.J. Novak recently released his new book, “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories.”

    B.J. Novak compiles his ‘Stories’ for new book

    B.J. Novak says his plan of action following nine seasons of writing, producing and acting on NBC’s popular workplace comedy “The Office” was a bit random. He decided his next project would be to write, not a film or another series, or a memoir or even a novel. Instead, it would be a book of short stories. “It sounded like a crazy thing to do,” Novak said. He said the ideas for “One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories” (Knopf), which debuted at No. 4 on The New York Times best-seller list, had been floating around in his head for a while. Still, he was apprehensive about sharing those ideas.

  •  
    Clove currant’s spring show of deliciously fragrant flowers, left, is followed in midsummer by a crop of delicious, sweet-tart berries.

    Native plants offer fruit, beauty

    More and more gardens are going native these days. Butterfly weeds are edging out delphiniums, clethra is hobnobbing with flowering dogwood, and sunflower is strutting like a prima donna. Fruit plantings, though, are stalled in the past, with many people still planting apples, peaches or pears — all non-natives. Yet native fruits are worth planting even if they are less familiar. Many are highly resistant to pests, which is more than can be said for apples, peaches and the like.

  •  
    The sweet berry cakes are one of Sweet Berry Cafe’s signature breakfast items.

    South Elgin’s Sweet Berry offers unique twists on breakfast favorites

    It’s easy to see how Sweet Berry Cafe in South Elgin could become habit-forming. The casual eatery, opened in mid-2013 by Dan Mataragas, offers a full complement of made-to-order breakfast items, from omelets, frittatas and eggs Benedict to French toast, waffles and crepes. Pumpkin figured in several daily specials, while lunch items — salads, wraps and half-pound burgers — round out the menu.

  •  
    Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein return to the quirkiness of “Portlandia” when the show’s fourth season premieres on IFC on Thursday, Feb. 27.

    Our town: Fred and Carrie return with ‘Portlandia’

    The Peabody award-winning show "Portlandia," too fine-tuned to be dubbed sketch comedy, is back for its fourth season on IFC at 9 p.m. Thursday. Its vignettes, larger than life yet lifelike, feel vividly indigenous to Portland, Ore., yet, at the same time, resonate with universal relevance. It’s the product of a remarkable collaboration: Carrie Brownstein (musician, comedian, actress) in saucy cahoots with Fred Armisen (“Saturday Night Live” alum and now bandleader for “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” which premiered Monday on NBC). Added to the ferment, of course, is Portland, the show’s home base and creative fountainhead.

Discuss

  •  

    Editorial: Limit animal hoarding by sharing data
    A Daily Herald editorial calls on law enforcement to share data on convicted animal hoarders to reduce the problem of hoarding.

  •  

    Make love, not war

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: We’ve heard much about the Republican war on women. Exhaustingly. Lately, we’ve also heard about the war on men.

  •  

    Susan Rice’s false choice

    Columnist Richard Cohen: Susan Rice ought to stay off “Meet the Press.” The last time she was on she misrepresented what led to the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi. On Sunday, she was back, this time misrepresenting critics of the Obama administration’s Syria policy. Last time her misrepresentation was unintentional. This time it wasn’t. I prefer it, though, when she doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

  •  

    Obamacare and customer etiquette
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: When it comes to business, customer etiquette is paramount. Customer etiquette means dealing with customers in an open, honest and forthright manner which will usually assure their return.

  •  

    It’s the act they’ve chosen that is hated
    I read with great interest a letter submitted Feb. 9 by Gary Koca headlined “Gays go to heaven? Bible doesn’t say.” He is right, there is nothing in the Bible about same-sex marriages. That is because gays did not marry back then.There is a lot in the Bible concerning homosexuality. I’m sorry he could not find it. The scriptures he addressed are great scriptures, but did not address the subject. The scriptures I believe he was looking for is found in Leviticus 18:22 and 24. This states, “You shall not lie with a male as you would with a woman. It is an abomination.”Also in Genesis starting in the 18th chapter and all of Chapter 19. Also, 2 Peter, chapters 2 and 3. There is even more on this subject in Romans 1:18-32. God does not hate the homosexual. He loves them as Christians do. It is the act they have chosen that is hated.Mr. Koca was right when he said the Bible says we are all sinners and that God forgives us when we repent of our sin and we are sincere in our hearts to change and seek his strength for the help we need. I find that people who are labeled “hate people” are not really hateful at all. When in our country did people who think differently from others get labeled hateful.Maybe it is time we stop judging each other and seek God’s help to love one another.Don and Beverly RussellElgin

  •  

    Vote yes on Brainerd and preserve a legacy
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: I have lived in Libertyville virtually all my life, over 62 years, attending District 70 and Libertyville High School, as have all three of my children, and four of my nine grandchildren will be following that same path. I don’t believe there is a community that is embraced by its residents as much as Libertyville. We all have a great affection for Libertyville, the ambience and the historic traditions that make Libertyville special.

  •  

    Premises to justify abortion were wrong
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: Within the past week or so, two letters have challenged the belief that abortion is wrong — albeit on different grounds.

  •  

    Isolationism would have been better response
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Confessing that after several books he still has no idea how World War I started, he eventually pivots to a diatribe against isolationism. Where to start? Leftists, of which columnist Richard Cohen is the bluest of the blue, have reduced history to a polemic of race, class and gender.

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