Daily Archive : Friday February 28, 2014


    The bell tower at First Congregational Church in downtown Riverside, Calif. is silhouetted Saturday against cloudy skies.

    Storm continues to hammer California

    Southern California has so far been spared major damage from the powerful Pacific storm, but forecasters warn that intense rain will occur even as it begins to move east.A burst of heavy showers before dawn Saturday impacted wildfire-scarred mountainsides above foothill suburbs east of Los Angeles, causing another round of mud and debris flows in the city of Glendora.

    President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks about the ongoing situation in Ukraine in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014. Obama warned Russia "there will be costs" for any military intervention in Ukraine. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

    Obama to Russia: There will be 'costs' for Ukraine

    President Barack Obama is warning Russia "there will be costs" for any military maneuvers it launches in Ukraine, a move U.S. and Ukrainian officials say they believe to be already underway. Officials say Obama may retaliate by canceling a trip to Russia this summer for an international summit and could also cut off trade discussions with Moscow.


    Man pleads guilty to possessing gun student took to Elgin school

    A Romeoville man has pleaded guilty to unlawfully possessing a gun that later was brought to an Elgin elementary school by a student, officials said. Rashaad L. Byrd, 27, of the 200 block of South Highpoint Drive, agreed Thursday to a prison sentence of five and a half years in exchange for pleading guilty to one count of unlawful possession of a weapon by a felon, a Class 3 felony, court records...

    Ex-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton speaks in New Orleans.

    Documents detail Hillary Clinton’s political evolution

    A cache of confidential communications among Clinton and her political image-makers was released to the public Friday, detailing the strategic machinations behind her evolution from a political spouse to a political leader in her own right. The secret memos open a rare window into the meticulous and intense efforts to manage Clinton’s public image during her and President Bill...

    Cameron Best skies from his house across the street to Worden’s Market for a beer Friday morning as much of downtown Missoula, Mont. was deserted due to a snowstorm.

    Avalanche levels Montana house

    Cheryl McMillan, who lives near the house that was destroyed, told the Missoulian she heard a roar, but didn’t know what it was at first.“Then, when we looked again, we saw that their whole house was kind of no longer there, at least the top floor,” she said.


    Chicago alderman’s chief of staff charged

    A Chicago alderman’s chief of staff is charged with accepting a $7,500 bribe in exchange for helping to secure a letter from his boss supporting a liquor license, federal authorities announced Friday. Alderman Howard B. Brookins Jr.’s chief of staff, Curtis V. Thompson, 62, of Chicago, is charged with federal bribery, which carries a maximum 10-year prison term.


    Sentencing date set for NATO protesters

    A Cook County judge has set a tentative date for post-trial motions and sentencing of three NATO summit protesters acquitted of Illinois terrorism charges but convicted on lesser crimes.


    No Opinion: 1950s farce now playing in Palatine
    Theater Nebula performs its final weekend of "A Man With No Opinion," at Cutting Hall in Palatine this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The play is an original two-act farce set in the 1950s.

    Wheeling High School Jazz Band 1 is named Jazz in the Meadows Grand Champion.

    Wheeling jazzers nab another Grand Champion trophy

    Another year, another grand championship trophy for the Wheeling High School Jazz Band. Wheeling, conducted by Brian Logan, aced the recent Jazz in the Meadows festival at Rolling Meadows High School, their second title in three years.


    Alcoa eagles welcome another egg to nest

    RIVERDALE, Iowa — Two of the world’s most-watched eagles have welcomed a second egg to their nest.The Quad-City Times reports viewers of the Alcoa EagleCam on Thursday spotted another egg in the nest of the eagles, dubbed Liberty and Justice.

    Alexis Murr, 15, of West Dundee, shares a moment with one of the cats she visits while regularly volunteering at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin. “I just love animals and want to be a veterinarian when I grow up,” she said.

    Day off from school? W. Dundee teen volunteers

    Alexis Murr of West Dundee volunteers at Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin in her free time.


    Woman who killed newborn in convent guilty

    A Samoan woman studying to become a nun pleaded guilty Friday to killing her newborn son at a convent in Washington.

    Quinn O’Donnell, left, from Naperville, and Cody Collier, from Plainfield, use colored ice cubes to create a painting Friday during the Fire and Ice School’s Out program at Naper Settlement in Naperville. Kids in grades one through five from all over the Western suburbs learned about forging and using fire to shape metal and then were able to paint and pursue other activities.

    Fire and Ice
    Naper Settlement has special winter programs for kids who had Friday off.

    Meghan Heinze

    Gurnee woman charged in religious vandalism spree

    A Gurnee woman who told police she is “angry with religion” has been arrested and charged with vandalizing 21 houses of worship in Lake County during a six-day spree, authorities said Friday. Meghan Heinze, 22, was charged with 10 counts of criminal defacement of a place of worship, 10 counts of institutional vandalism, and 2 counts of criminal damage to a place of worship,...

    Patrick Fitzgerald said “there’s a lot of work to do” regarding ethics reform on the region’s transit boards.

    Stop paying transit board members, state task force suggests

    Eliminating pay for board members, changing funding formulas and requiring executives to guarantee that politics play no part in purchases are among the sweeping recommendations issued Friday by the Northeastern Illinois Public Transit Task Force. “I do think that there ought to be a sense that service on a board is service to the board," said former U.S. attorney and task force member...

    Grant Community High School students watch Friday as resource officer Russ Zander has his head shaved into a mohawk cut by Kaitlyn Vinyard, a stylist with Grand Avenue Hair Club in the Fox Lake school’s lunch area.

    Grant police officer sports red mohawk cut for good cause

    Fox Lake Police Officer Russ Zander is sporting a new haircut these days — a “Bulldog” red mohawk. More than 200 Grant Community High School students in the lunchroom watched as the school’s community officer had his head shaved and styled Friday.

    Bundled-up commuters walk past an advertisement for the Hawaiian Islands near a train stop in Chicago. With yet another polar vortex bearing down on many parts of the country, suffering Midwesterners dream about being anywhere but home.

    Winter-weary Americans plead: Get me out of here

    All over the Midwest and the East Coast, travel agents are being inundated with a simple request: Get me out of here. Trains and billboards in Chicago have been plastered with ads showing beaches and pool scenes.


    Lakemoor hires architect for municipal complex

    The Lakemoor village board has authorized a contract with an architect for its proposed municipal complex. The village bought land along Route 120 in January as it continues to revamp its image.

    George and Zita Pierson, parents of Naperville fire victim Allen Belaguas, host a luncheon Friday afternoon for the staff at Presence Holy Family Medical Center in Des Plaines.

    Parents thank nurses who cared for their hero son

    The parents of Allen Belaguas, an in-home caregiver who died after rushing back into a burning Naperville house in a vain attempt to save his patients, offered thanks to their son's nurses Friday, by hosting a lunch for them at PresenceHealth Holy Family in Des Plaines.

    Michael Wilson

    Bond set for Chicago man in Wood Dale robberies

    Bond was set at $300,000 Friday for a Chicago man accused of robbing two Wood Dale tobacco shops.Prosecutors alleged Michael Wilson, 19, pointed a revolver at two clerks in two separate holdups along Irving Park Road.


    Double car fire in Mt. Prospect:
    Firefighters answering the call for a car fire on the 1600 block of Oneida Court in Mount Prospect Friday afternoon discovered two cars on fire when they arrived.


    Palatine booster gala March 7
    The Palatine High School Pirate Booster Club presents “Celebrate the Pirate Spirit,” the group’s 30th annual dinner and auction fundraising event, from 6-11 p.m. Friday, March 7 in Palatine. Deadline to buy tickets is March 3.


    Preschool open house in Mundelein:

    The Mundelein Park District hosts an open house at its Learning Center Preschool, 1016 Diamond Lake Road, between Route 45 and 60/83, Mundelein, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday, March 2.


    Moon gazing:

    The Lake County Astronomical Society will present an evening of moon gazing from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, March 10 across the street from the Waukegan Public Library on the corner of County and Clayton Streets.


    Learn about cops at schools:

    Lincolnshire police will talk to residents about the officers assigned to local schools on March 13. The discussion is set for 7 p.m. at Stevenson High School


    $5,000 for District 70 libraries:

    Libertyville School District 70 libraries are being awarded a $5,000 state grant for a project to entice young readers with narrative nonfiction reading books.


    Elk Grove CEO charged with defrauding investors of $9 million

    Gregory Webb, CEO of InfrAegis Inc., which has offices in Elk Grove Village, has been charged with defrauding investors of about $9 million. Webb, of Dallas, formerly lived in Arlington Heights.


    Former worker says ISU president assaulted him

    Illinois State University police are investigating a report filed by a former campus employee that accuses President Timothy Flanagan of assaulting him while complaining about the care of the president’s lawn.

    Eliot Ness

    Chicago officials say Ness undeserving of honor

    An effort to scrub Eliot Ness’s reputation as the federal lawman who brought down Al Capone came to Chicago City Hall on Friday. In a hearing that was unusual for focusing on events that played out 80 years ago, a city council committee voted to send a resolution to the full council next week that would urge federal lawmakers not to name a federal building in Washington, D.C., after the...

    Kerry Kennedy talks to reporters Friday after leaving the Westchester County Courthouse.

    Kerry Kennedy acquitted of drugged driving

    Prosecutors and Kennedy’s defense lawyers agreed the 54-year-old took the sleeping drug zolpidem unintentionally, mistaking it for her daily thyroid medication, before heading off to her suburban New York gym on July 13, 2012. The trial centered on whether or not she realized she was impaired and should have stopped.

    Carol Burlinski

    Buffalo Grove HS principal takes top award

    Buffalo Grove High School Principal Carol Burlinski has been named the Illinois Principal of the Year for 2014-15 by the Illinois Principals Association. It is the second year in a row that District 214 has taken home this honor - former Wheeling High School principal Lazaro Lopez won it last year.


    BoDeans playing July 3 at Naperville’s Ribfest

    The BoDeans will headline July 3 performances at the Naperville Exchange Club’s Ribfest during the annual four-day celebration on Independence Day weekend. The Milwaukee-based roots-rock band will take the stage at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 3, in Knoch Park.


    Geneva mayor picks nurse as replacement alderman

    Geneva Mayor Kevin Burns has announced he will nominate Mary Seno as the replacement 3rd Ward alderman. Seno has lived in Geneva since 1989, and works at Delnor Hospital.

    St. Mary Catholic School in Elgin, closed since Thursday because so many students were ill, is scheduled to reopen Monday, the principal said Friday afternoon.

    St. Mary Catholic School to open Monday

    St. Mary Catholic School in Elgin is scheduled to reopen Monday after it was closed Thursday, following a large number of suspected flu cases reported, Principal Barbara Colandrea said. The school, in the 300 block of Fulton Street, sent 70 sick students home Wednesday and decided to close the school through the weekend as a precautionary measure.

    Gregory R. Bishop

    North Aurora man gets 15 years for firing gun in domestic dispute

    A 46-year-old North Aurora man, who spent time in prison for a 1999 attempted murder, was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday after pleading guilty to armed violence and possession of a firearm by a felon. Gregory R. Bishop was arrested in July and accused of beating a relative and firing a gun into the ceiling of a home.


    Batavia police warn of phone scams

    Batavia police are reporting that twice in the past two weeks, residents have been victims of fraud by telephone, being persuaded to send money by wire transfer or cash card to supposedly bail a relative out of jail.


    Winfield District 34 to offer all-day kindergarten

    Winfield Elementary District 34 will offer all-day kindergarten for the first time next fall with an eye toward better preparing young students to meet new Common Core standards in English, language arts and math. The school board on Thursday approved plans to launch the all-day program at the start of the 2014-15 school year at Winfield Primary School, which houses students from prekindergarten...

    The city of Elgin is putting together a task force to help provide direction for programming needs for the Hemmens Cultural Center.

    Hemmens task force applicants sought

    The city of Elgin looks to appoint a task force to help set the course for the next 10 to 20 years for the Hemmens Cultural Center.


    Lake in the Hills settles lawsuit against former stable tenant

    Lake in the Hills has reached a settlement agreement in a lawsuit against a former tenant of the village’s horse stable on Pyott Road. Somerset Sport Horse Equestrian Center, Inc., which used to operate out of the village’s horse stable at 1109 Pyott Road, breached the lease and left before the end of the contract prompting the village to file a lawsuit, Village Administrator Gerald...


    Tri-Cities police reports
    Manjula A. Paul, 45, of South Elgin, was charged with retail theft at 2:47 p.m. Sunday at Kohl’s, 251 N. Randall Road, according to a Batavia police report.

    Kevin Trudeau

    Infomercial pitchman’s belongings on auction block

    Officials are auctioning items that belong to infomercial pitchman Kevin Trudeau. The proceeds from the auction will go toward Trudeau's unpaid $37 million fine for making false claims about his diet books.

    Charles Oliver

    Guilty verdict in Woodstock Craigslist rape trial

    A jury Friday convicted a Woodstock man of raping a woman he met on Craigslist and agreed to pay $200 for sex in November 2012. Prosecutors argued that Charles Oliver, 45, terrorized the woman in his basement before videotaping sex in his bedroom. He faces up to 33 years in prison. Oliver is accused of assaulting eight women and his second trial is scheduled for March 31.

    Eric Castillo

    Beach Park man found guilty of 2011 murder of Waukegan man

    A Beach Park man accused of assisting in the torture and murder of a 27-year-old Waukegan man was found guilty by a Lake County jury Friday. Eric Castillo, 26, faces life in prison for the murder of David Campbell in an auto-body garage in Waukegan on July 5, 2011.

    David Giese applies black paint to the ceiling of a hallway at the Abraham Lincoln tomb in the Oak Ridge Cemetery in Springfield.

    Restoration work underway at Lincoln’s tomb

    A $700,000 restoration project at the temporarily closed Abraham Lincoln’s tomb in Springfield is expected to finish in April. Crews are working to fix plaster molding and repair cracks in the tomb’s marble walls and repairing the ceiling in the rotunda as well as the tomb’s burial chamber. They’re also adding LED lighting and fresh paint.


    Naperville, Will County planning trail connection

    Naperville Park District board members soon will review an agreement that could help one of the district’s main trail initiatives move forward. An agreement between the park district and the Will County HYPERLINK "http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/"Forest Preserve District about a new segment of the HYPERLINK "http://www.reconnectwithnature.org/preserves-trails/DuPage-River-Trail"DuPage...

    Officials with Stevenson High School District 125 and two other districts are planning to withdraw from Lake County’s special-education cooperative.

    SEDOL approves withdrawal deal with three school districts

    The governing board of the Special Education District of Lake County has approved a plan for three member districts to withdraw from the cooperative agency in 2015. The agreement now must be approved by the three school boards that made the request and by the Lake County regional board of education.


    Buffalo Grove annexes most of Hoffman Farm for 38 homes

    Buffalo Grove trustees have approved the annexation of the Hoffmann property at 22140 N. Prairie Road, and then gave the go-ahead to develop the property into 38 houses, while also allowing the Hoffmann family to continue to use two lots for the family farm.


    Central Illinois in line for another winter blitz

    Portions of winter-weary Illinois braced Friday for another potent storm that forecasters warn could dump as much as 10 inches of snow on the state’s midsection, adding to what in some areas have been record accumulations.

    Paramount Theatre’s next season will open in September with “Cats.”

    Blockbuster musicals dominate Paramount’s season

    Paramount Theatre in Aurora Friday announced its 2014-15 Broadway series, which will open Sept. 10 with Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Broadway phenom, “Cats.” Other productions are “Mary Poppins,” “The Who’s Tommy” and “Les Miserables.”

    Bob Harris

    Helen Plum Library director retiring after 25 years

    Bob Harris says it’s time for Lombard’s Helen Plum Memorial Library to have a youthful leader with new fire, new energy and new ideas. “The town and the library needs that and they deserve it,” the 68-year-old said. In mid-February, Harris announced he is retiring after serving as the library’s director for 25 years. His last day is Aug. 15.


    Naperville waiting on weather to continue Sportsman’s Park work

    Work to remove traces of lead from the soil at Sportsman’s Park near downtown Naperville is set to resume this spring, but the park district first needs some cooperation from Mother Nature. Removal of trees in a 17-acre area where soil cleanup will take place was scheduled to begin this week, but was delayed because of cold weather, park officials said.

    Russian troops Friday block the road toward the military airport at the Black Sea port of Sevastopol in Crimea, Ukraine. Heightened security is evident with Russian military around Sevastopol, the location for Russia military bases, military airport and Naval Base, while unidentified armed men wearing uniforms without insignia were patrolling another airport serving the regional capital, Ukraine’s new Interior Minister Arsen Avakov said on Friday.

    Ukraine says Russia tries to seize airports, base

    Ukraine accused Russia of a “military invasion and occupation” on Friday, saying Russian troops have taken up positions around a coast guard base and two airports on its strategic Crimea peninsula. Russia kept silent on the accusations, as the crisis deepened between two of Europe’s largest countries.

    Come “Celebrate the Pirate Spirit” March 7 when the Palatine High School Pirate Booster Club presents its 30th annual dinner and auction fundraising event. Buy a raffle ticket and the Boozter Wagon, a wagon of beverages and a variety of gift certificates from local businesses, could be yours.

    Palatine High Boosters present 30th dinner and auction

    The Palatine High School Pirate Booster Club presents “Celebrate the Pirate Spirit,” the group’s 30th annual dinner and auction fundraising event, from 6 to 11 p.m. Friday, March 7, at The Cotillion Banquets, 360 S. Creekside Ave., Palatine.


    Authorities: Missouri woman surrenders in Naperville dog theft

    A 50-year-old Missouri woman has turned herself in to police after stealing a puppy from a Naperville pet store last November, authorities said. Shelly R. Hess, of Chesterfield, Mo., surrendered to Naperville authorities Wednesday on a felony retail theft charge, police Sgt. Bill Davis said.


    Elgin drug & gang task force launches new program

    A new substance abuse prevention program launched in January by the Elgin Drug and Gang Task Force targets freshmen at Larkin and Elgin high schools. The program is funded by a three-year, $75,000 per year grant that next year will include a communications campaign aimed at youth and parents who allow youth to drink.


    Co-owner of defunct Palatine business facing fraud charges

    The former co-owner of a defunct Palatine business is facing federal fraud charges along with a Pennsylvania man in connection with a $190 million lending scheme. Mark Anstett, 58, of Lake Forest, was president and co-owner of Equipment Acquisition Resources, Inc., a company that has since gone bankrupt.

    A man Thursday places sandbags at the top of a street lined with K-rail and sandbags in Glendora, Calif., as the city and residents prepare for possible flooding. Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for 1,000 homes in two foothill suburbs east of Los Angeles in advance of a powerful storm. The cities of Glendora and Azusa issued the orders at midday Thursday for homes that could be endangered by debris flows from nearly 2,000 acres of steep mountain slopes burned by a wildfire last month. For days, both cities have been making extensive preparations including sandbagging. California received widespread rain Wednesday and early Thursday from the first of two back-to-back storms. The more powerful second storm is due overnight.

    Big storm brings new worries to California

    The first wave of a powerful Pacific storm spread rain and snow early Friday through much of California, where communities endangered by a wildfire just weeks ago now faced the threat of mud and debris flows. The barren mountain slopes looming above neighborhoods in the foothill cities of Glendora and Azusa east of Los Angeles were still holding after the first bout of rain, said police Lt. Matt...

    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, a Michigan Republican, listens to testimony from National Security Agency Gen. Keith B. Alexander. Al-Qaida’s Afghanistan leader is laying the groundwork to relaunch his war-shattered organization once the United States and international forces withdraw from the country, as they have warned they will do without a security agreement from the Afghan government, U.S. officials say. Rogers said the number of al-Qaida members in Afghanistan has risen but not much higher than as many as the several hundred or so the U.S. has identified in the past. “I think most are waiting for the U.S. to fully pull out by 2014,” he said.

    Officials: Al-Qaida plots comeback in Afghanistan

    Al-Qaida’s Afghanistan leader is laying the groundwork to relaunch his war-shattered organization once the United States and international forces withdraw from the country, as they have warned they will do without a security agreement from the Afghan government, U.S. officials say. Farouq al-Qahtani al-Qatari has been cementing local ties and bringing in small numbers of experienced...

    Ukraine’s fugitive President Viktor Yanukovych gives a news conference Friday in Rostov-on-Don, a city in southern Russia about 600 miles from Moscow. Making his first public appearance since fleeing Ukraine, Yanukovych pledged Friday to fight for his country’s future but said he will not ask for military assistance.

    Yanukovych: I won’t ask for military assistance

    Making his first public appearance since fleeing Ukraine, fugitive Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych pledged Friday to fight for his country’s future but said he will not ask for military assistance. “I intend to keep fighting for the future of Ukraine,” he told a news conference Friday in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don. Yanukovych had not been seen since...


    Wheaton officials consider requiring sprinkler systems in new homes

    Wheaton officials are weighing the pros and cons of requiring sprinkler systems in new single-family homes as part of an update to the city’s building code. But while several city council members say sprinklers would be worthwhile additions, there's little support to mandate them.

    83-year-old painting student Chuck McCann of Round Lake Beach, who suffers from Parkinson’s disease, works during art class at College of Lake County.

    Moving Picture: Round Lake Beach man doesn’t let Parkinson’s disease slow him down

    83-year-old Chuck McCann of Round Lake Beach can't explain it, but painting seems to be the one thing that isn't affected by his Parkinson's disease. The retired teacher has published books, shown his work in art shows and even been a professional bowler. “When I go to paint, I seem to relax completely,” McCann said.


    District 214 starting new budget process

    Northwest Suburban High School District 214 is preparing for its next budget year with some preliminary guidelines, although many factors about future financials are still unknown. “We need to pick a starting point to building our budget for next year,” said Superintendent Dave Schuler at the board's meeting on Thursday. “We acknowledge that there is a lot of updating that is...

    Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck speaks to supporters during a campaign dinner event at Johnson’s Corner, a truck stop and diner, in Johnstown, Colo. Republican primaries this election year will be a crucial test for the Tea Party movement as the GOP establishment has aggressively challenged tea party-backed candidates in Kentucky, Kansas, Idaho, Mississippi, Michigan and elsewhere. Tea party-affiliated Buck, who lost a close Senate race in 2010, stepped aside to run for the House this week while more mainstream Rep. Cory Gardner launched a Senate bid in a political deal.

    Tea party insists it’s alive and kicking

    The foot soldiers of the tea party movement dismiss the chatter about its demise and stand ready to use their unbending political force against both President Barack Obama and the Republican establishment this election year. Keli Carender, national grass-roots coordinator, said the strength of the group was reflected in the $1.2 million and counting that it raised in 10 days.


    UK hacking suspect: I’ll fight US extradition

    LONDON — A British man accused of hacking into a series of American government computer networks has pledged to fight any move to extradite him to the United States.


    Island Lake board OKs fund transfer for pensions

    Island Lake trustees on Thursday agreed to transfer $50,000 from a dormant village fund set up to help reduce the town's debt to its police pension account.


    Investigators search highway for clues in homicide

    MAZOMANIE, Wis. — Sheriff’s deputies plan to continue looking for evidence along a Dane County highway as they investigate a homicide.WISC-TV reports authorities searched along Highway 14 east of Black Earth Thursday afternoon and planned to renew that effort Friday.


    Purdue, donor split over God reference for plaque

    WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — A Purdue University graduate is fighting the school’s refusal to allow him to include a reference to God on a dedication plaque.A lawyer for Michael McCracken and his wife says Purdue asked what wording they wanted for a conference room plaque after the couple made a $12,500 donation to the School of Mechanical Engineering in 2012.


    Illinois lawmaker wants to expand speed camera use

    BELLEVILLE, Ill. — A southwestern Illinois lawmaker wants communities around the state to be able install speed cameras, which are only allowed in Chicago.The Belleville News-Democrat reports Rep. Jay Hoffman has introduced legislation that’d allow communities of all sizes to install the devices.

    Double-amputee Olympian Oscar Pistorius is charged with fatally shooting his girlfriend last year. His trial starts next week.

    Oscar Pistorius seen shooting in gun range video

    Newly released video shows Oscar Pistorius, who faces a murder trial next week, firing weapons at a gun range before the double-amputee athlete fatally shot his girlfriend last year. Sky News on Friday broadcast footage of Pistorius firing a shotgun and using a pistol to shoot a watermelon, which bursts on impact. Delighted screams and laughter are heard in the background.


    Ice anglers should tell DNR about stuck shanties

    MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources wardens are asking ice anglers to tell them about stuck shanties as removal dates loom.The agency says anglers have been asking for advice about how to meet the deadlines because their shanties are frozen in after temperatures climbed into the 40s and then dipped below zero again.


    Gulf War remembrance ceremony in Springfield

    SPRINGFIELD — A ceremony to honor those from Illinois who served during Operation Desert Storm is planned Friday in Springfield.The Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs is hosting the event at 11 a.m. at the Illinois State Military Museum. The ceremony is open to the public.


    Search on for new director of Illinois DCFS agency

    An official in Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration says a national search is underway to find the next head of the Department of Children and Family Services.Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says the search was launched after Arthur Bishop submitted a resignation letter after a month on the job.


    ADM picks building to house new headquarters

    Archer Daniels Midland Co. has announced it will occupy space in the building that once housed United Airlines when the agribusiness giant moves its headquarters to Chicago.


    Evanston, Northwestern work to employ residents

    Evanston and Northwestern University officials are announcing a partnership to employ city residents on campus construction projects. The Workforce Development Program announced Thursday will seek employment and apprenticeship opportunities on campus building projects for 25 residents.


    Indiana DNR says ‘13 deer harvest fell 8 percent

    INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s wildlife agency says disease and new hunting rules may account for a big drop in the number of deer that hunters took during last year’s harvest.


    Indiana House backs tougher penalties for gun crimes

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House has advanced a measure allowing judges to impose tougher sentences for anyone convicted of using a gun in a violent crime. The House approved a proposal from Republican Sen. Jim Merritt of Indianapolis that would allow a court to add between five and 20 years to a sentence in a violent gun crime.


    Indiana Senate bill would raise penalties for gun crimes

    INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana House has advanced a measure allowing judges to impose tougher sentences for anyone convicted of using a gun in a violent crime. The House approved a proposal from Republican Sen. Jim Merritt of Indianapolis that would allow a court to add between five and 20 years to a sentence in a violent gun crime.


    STEM teachers might get state help repaying loans

    INDIANAPOLIS — Certain students who go on to teach science, math or special education in the state could get up to $9,000 to pay off loans if a legislative proposal becomes law.


    Fort Wayne airport considers adding solar farm

    FORT WAYNE, Ind. — Fort Wayne International Airport officials are looking into adding a solar farm that would cover up to 75 acres.Airport Executive Director Scott Hinderman tells The News-Sentinel that Carmel-based Telamon Corp. will determine whether Allen County receives enough sunlight to make the project feasible.


    Dawn Patrol: Governor candidates on attack; fake website in 8th race

    GOP governor candidates sharpen attacks. Deceptive website controversy in 8th GOP primary. Naperville police seek suspect in 2 burglaries. Car hits tree in Carpentersville. Carpentersville planning layoffs. Hawks and Cubs lose.

    Brad Wilson, director of recreation for Naperville Park District, explains preliminary designs Thursday night for the indoor activity center the park district is building at Quincy Avenue and Fort Hill Drive by the end of 2016. The park board on Thursday night hired a Wight Construction, Inc., to manage the project at a guaranteed maximum cost of $20.9 million.

    Naperville hires construction firm for activity center

    Naperville Park District commissioners on Thursday night hired a construction manager for the district’s next major project, approving a guaranteed maximum cost of $20.9 million for construction of an indoor activity center. “Looking back at the top responses over our last three community surveys, this building and the spaces in it hit all the major spaces identified in those surveys...

    Liz Biondi

    Warren Twp. board member: ‘You’ve tapped my phone’

    Warren Township High School board member Liz Biondi claimed at a meeting this week that “someone in the district” has wiretapped her telephone. John Anderson, board president at Gurnee-based Warren District 121, scoffed at the accusation. “That is the most outrageous thing I’ve ever heard,” he said. “Like anybody here is interested in what you say on the...

    Members of Courtside Ministries offer prayer to Steven Garner of Bartlett, center left, outside the DuPage County courthouse. The volunteers are, from left, Ken Schrock, Nick Popescu and Kate Perkins.

    Volunteers give spiritual help at DuPage courthouse

    Embroiled in a bitter divorce and custody battle last August, Giovanni Zoppe wasn’t in the best of spirits as he headed into court. Near the front doors of the DuPage County Courthouse in Wheaton hung a banner asking, “Need prayer?” “It was like God needed me to see that sign.” His case went well that day, and Zoppe is grateful for the help offered by volunteers of...


    Two weeks before Election Day, early voting starts

    Early voting starts Monday. So if you have something to do March 18 — or otherwise need an excuse to get out of work for a few minutes — you can go cast a ballot in person well in advance, then press fast forward on your DVR during political ads guilt-free the rest of the spring.

    A whale breaches the water during a whale watching expedition in the Sea of Cortez, off the coast of Cabo San Lucas last month.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finalists. Here are the finalists for the week of February 24th.


    Steve Lundy/slundy@dailyherald.comHawks tailgaters pose for a picture prior to the Blackhawks vs Penguins NHL Stadium Series Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Stage is set for cold, snowy Hawks-Penguins game

    The weather forecast for Saturday night calls for temperatures of 15 degrees with a 60 percent chance of snow — at least three inches is expected. This will be the second game outdoors for the Hawks and third for the Penguins. Both teams practiced at Soldier Field on Friday night and both teams were pleased with the ice conditions, although the Penguins found it challenging skating against the wind.


    IC Catholic grabs regional title

    Aurora Christian’s R.D. Lutze, on fire, curled off a screen at the top of the key and buried yet another 3-point shot for a 1-point lead. The home fans went nuts. IC Catholic came downcourt, approaching the last minute of this 2A regional final. Rhashaun Epting coolly drained his own 3 for the silencer.


    Second-half chemistry leads St. Viator past Mt. Carmel

    Although he doesn't have his own children yet, St. Viator boys basketball coach Mike Howland knows the value of sharing your toys. His Lions were completely unselfish on Friday night in Chicago. They rallied in the second half to stun host Mt. Carmel 70-67.


    Neuqua Valley knocks off Larkin

    Two Upstate Eight Conference powers admittedly looking ahead to next week’s state playoffs nevertheless put on an entertaining show in Elgin Friday night. The Neuqua Valley boys basketball team avenged a 20-point loss to Larkin on Jan. 10 with a 46-43 victory in the third annual crossover between UEC division winners, though how much the result mattered to either team on the eve of March Madness was debatable.


    Boys basketball scoreboard: Friday’s results
    Boys basketball scoreboard*Fox Valley Conference CrossoversHUNTLEY 55, GRAYSLAKE CENTRAL 45Huntley — Wicks 2 0-1 4, Gorney 8 4-5 22, Egekeze 5 5-6 15, Slonka 0 0-0 0, Jacobs 2 0-0 6, Spoeth 1 0-0 3, Bessey 2 0-0 5, C. Boesch 0 0-0 0, Shields 0 0-0 0, Dion 0 0-0 0, Cruz 0 0-0 0, P. Boesch 0 0-0 0, Oslance 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 9-12 55.Grayslake C. — Anderson 6 1-1 14, Ruhlmann 0 0-0 0, Lennartz 2 1-1 5, Mudd 2 1-5 5, Reed 1 8-8 10, Beckman 1 0-0 2, Llorens 1 0-0 2, Vargo 1 0-0 3, Benko 0 2-2 2, Loeffl 0 0-0 0, Fleming 0 0-0 0, Zygmunt 0 0-0 0, Graf 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 13-17 45.Huntley 18 4 15 18 —55Grayslake C. 9 7 14 15 —453-point baskets: H — Gorney 2, Jacobs 2, Spoeth, Bessey; GC — Anderson, Vargo.Fouled out: H — Slonka.*Jacobs 68, Hampshire 55Jacobs — Mack 3 5-6 11, Boeckh 1 0-0 3, Orange 8 10-11 26, Canady 0 0-0 0, Murray 2 3-4 8, Krutwig 4 2-4 10, Peltier 2 2-2 6, Bindi 2 0-0 4. Totals 24 22-27 68.Hampshire — Doran 3 4-4 11, Bridges 2 8-10 14, Oghale 0 0-0 0, Schramm 0 0-0 0, Spaeth 0 0-0 0, Cork 6 3-5 17, Woods 4 2-2 11, Yap 1 0-0 2. Totals 16 17-21 55.Jacobs 16 14 15 23 —68Hampshire 7 13 19 16 —553-point baskets: J — Orange, Murray; H — Doran, Bridges 2, Cork 2, Woods.*Woodstock 52, Cary-Grove 48Cary-Grove — Blair 0 0-0 0, Perkins 0 0-0 0, Szydlo 6 0-2 13, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Coleman 1 0-0 2, McDonough 1 0-0 3, Gregoire 4 2-2 11, Sutherland 0 0-0 0, Franz 0 0-0 0, Barr 4 0-3 10, Krich 3 0-0 9. Totals 19 2-7 48.Woodstock — Ferguson 0 0-0 0, Ammiran 4 0-0 12, Stoneking 4 1-2 9, Shook 0 2-2 2, Chonos 1 0-2 2, Cullum 1 0-0 2, Grisolia 0 0-0 0, Sutter 3 3-5 9, Kohley 2 2-4 6, Kubiak 3 4-8 10. Totals 18 12-23 52.Cary-Grove 14 3 10 21 —48Woodstock 19 10 11 12 —523-point baskets: C-G — Szydlo, McDonaugh, Gregoire, Barr 2, Krich 3; W — Ammiran 4.Fouled out: C-G — Szydlo.*Dundee-Crown 68, Crystal Lake Central 45Dundee-Crown — Dunner 2 2-2 6, Co. Parson 4 6-7 15, Buckley 4 1-2 9, Munson 5 5-5 18, Steinmetz 1 2-2 4, Seals 2 3-4 7, Pochop 1 1-4 4, Stewart 1 1-2 3, Barker 1 0-0 2, Nash 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 21-30 68.CL Central — Peisker 0 1-2 1, Murphy 5 3-4 18, Vesely 2 0-0 4, Fritz 0 0-0 0, Brandwein 0 0-0 0, Cook 4 2-3 10, Olson 0 2-2 2, Price 1 2-2 4, Ortner 2 0-2 4, Panicko 0 0-0 0, Schoenfeld 1 0-0 2, Macalpine 0 0-0 0, Franzen 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 10-15 45.Dundee-Crown 19 12 18 19 —68CL Central 12 13 6 14 —453-point baskets: D-C — Munson 3, Co. Parson, Pochop; CLC — Murphy 5.*Richmond-Burton 76, Burlington Central 67Burlington Central — McCurdy 2 0-0 4, Hunnicutt 9 7-9 27, S. Fitzgerald 1 0-0 2, Rau 10 0-2 23, Ozburn 4 1-6 9, Schutta 0 0-0 0, Raney 0 0-0 0, R. Fitzgerald 1 0-0 2, Jochum 0 0-0 0, Moxness 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 8-17 67.Richmond-Burton — Rygiel 2 3-4 7, Wells 7 6-8 23, S Kaufman 2 2-2 8, Kaska 3 0-1 9, St. Pierre 6 0-0 12, Bayer 2 0-0 6, Banks 4 1-1 9, J. Kaufman 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2. Totals 27 12-16 76.Burlington Central 13 24 11 19 —67Richmond-Burton 21 13 20 22 —763-point baskets: BC — Rau 3, Hunnicutt 2; R-B — Wells 3, Kaska 3, S. Kaufman 2, Bayer 2.*st. viator 70, mt. carmel 67St. Viator — Arogundade 8 2-6 23, McNamara 5 0-0 14, Falotico 3 4-4 14, Smart 5 0-4 11, Cannella 1 2-2 4, Muench 1 0-0 2, Martin 0 0-0. Totals 23 8-16 70.Mt. Carmel — Nichols 11 1-1 23, Grant 8 4-5 20, Searles 5 2-2 13, Byrd 2 0-0 5, Charles 1 1-2 3, Okafor 1 0-1 2, Thomas 1 0-0 2. Totals 29 8-11 67.St. Viator 11 12 25 21 —70Mt. Carmel 12 20 17 18 —673-point baskets: StV: McNamara 4, Arogundade 3, Falatico 2, Smart; MtC: Grant 3, Byrd, Searles.*Glenbard South 65, Fenton 42

    Jake Barson of Rolling Meadows qualifies ninth in the 100 breaststroke during the boys swimming state meet prelims Friday at Evanston Township High School.

    Meadows’ Barson, Elk Grove’s Williams earn second day of state racing

    Rolling Meadows junior Jake Barson and Elk Grove junior Colin Williams have secured spots in Saturday's boys swimming state finals; both will race in the consolation championship heats.


    Boys swimming scoreboard: Friday’s results
    Boys swimming scoreboard*IHSA State meetAt EvanstonState finalists(Top 6 qualify for championship finals; second 6 qualify for consolation finals.)200 medley relay1. Libertyville (Alex Snarski, Bobby Snader, Matt Harrington, Justin Fu) 1:32.80; 2. Hinsdale Central (Craig Smith, Franco Feyes, Brian Portland, Anell Srivastava) 1:33.75; 3. Metea Valley (Trevor Sandburg, Jordan O’Brien, Alex Dillmann, Matt Salerno) 1:34.10; 4. Fenwik (Michael Hill, Conor Fabian, Cavan Smith, Zach Tieke) 1:34.38; 5. Naperville Central (Scott Piper, Phillip Sajaev, Connor Lamb, Eric Gerlach) 1:34.63; 6. New Trier (Dreaw Keenan, Jae Park, Connor Fotsch, Matt Weiser) 1:35.01.7. Neuqua Valley (Brett Whaley, Simon Shatinsky, Drew Dvorchak, Joe Widuch) 1:35.38; 8. Marmion Acad. (Jack Fergus, Mike Burke, Dan Creighton, Andrew Kasper) 1:35.56; 9. Glenbrook South (Jake Nelson, Sam Iida, Sam Salganik, Seamus Heneghan) 1:35.75, 10. DeKalb (Daniel Hein, Ryan Schultz, Dylan Powers, Holden Mackey) 1:35.82; 11. Dunlap Coop (Jared Tyre, Collin O’Brien, Tony Feng, Jake Vandermyde) 1:36.02; 12. Lake Forest (Daniel Smith, Coleman Mitchell, Michael LeMay, Symen Ooms) 1:36.25.*200 freestyle1. Adam Drury (Normal Univ.) 1:40.27, 2. Murphy McQuet (New Trier) 1:40.31, 3. Jared Schimmelpfenning (Peoria Notre Dame) 1:41.35, 4. Matt Kamin (Peoria Notre Dame) 1:41.44, 5. Kyle Fitzgerald (Andrew) 1:41.68, 6. Michael Wolfe (Bloomington) 1:41.73.7. Stuart Holm (Glenwood) 1:42.03, 8. Kevin Benson (Glenbrook South) 1:41.11, 9. Josh Fleming (Rock Island) 1:42.56, 10. Alex Reinbrecht (Jacobs) 1:42.76, 11. Nicholas George Koto (Stevenson) 1:43.03, 12. Sean Gregor (Lake Park) 1:43.22.*200 individual medley1. Jake Miller (Normal Univ.) 1:49.98, 2. Jae Park (New Trier) 1:50.48, 3. Connor Lamb (Naperville Central) 1:51.03, 4. Sean Workman (O’Fallon) 1:51.79, 5. Jordan O’Brien (Metea Valley) 1:52.33, 6. Will Shanel (St. Charles East) 1:52.77.7. Scott Piper (Naperville Central) 1:52.86, 8. Steven Fishman (Normal Univ.) 1:53.25, 9. Max St. George (Wheaton North Coop) 1:53.59, 10. Mitch Strahlman (Brother Rice) 1:54.31, 11. Ayrton Kasemets (Mundelein) 1:54.77, 12. Lucas Smiarowski (Stagg) 1:55.38.*50 freestyle1. Ryan Held (Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin) :19.89, 2. Jon Salomon (Glenbrook South) :20.89, 3. Quinn Risley (Riverside-Brookfield) :29.99, 4. Mossimo Chavez (Whitney Young) :21.03, 5. Matt Salerno (Metea Valley) :21.11, 6. Mark Hallman (Oak Park-River Forest) :21.21.7. Brinton Wilkey (Springfield) :21.30, 8. Tyler deDianous (Normal Community West) :21.46, 9. Marco Padron (Maine South) :21.51, 10. Michael Hill (Fenwick) :21.53, 11. Brenden Bolman (Grayslake North) :21.54, 12. Brian Powell (Hinsdale Central :21.62.*diving(Top 12 overall qualify for finals.)1. Joey Cifelli (Chicago Heights Marian) 346.50, 2. Christopher Canning (Loyola Acad.) 319.40, 3. Michael Klemm (Rockford Christian Life) 316.60, 4. Sean Scarry (Deerfield) 315.90, 5. Ryan Church (Deerfield) 302.55, 6. Peter Rusenas (Naperville Central) 300.25, 7. Aaron Ach (Glenbrook South) 294.10, 8. Ryan Nash (Loyola Acad.) 284.05, 9. Maxim Royzen (Niles North) 382.35, 10. John-Michael Diveris (Lake Forest) 281.25, 11. Thomas Petersen (Naperville North) 278.85, 12. Max Reynolds (Peoria Notre Dame) 274.80.*100 butterfly1. Steven Tan (IMSA) :48.41, 2. Matt Harrington (Libertyville) :48.74, 3. Justin DeDianous (Normal Community West) :49.13, 4. Alex Snarski (Libertyville) :49.44, 5. Franco Reyes (Hinsdale Central) :49.45, 6. Drew Dvorchak (Neuqua Valley) :49.49.7. Murphy McQuet (New Trier) :50.23, 8. Cavan Smith (Fenwick) :50.32, 9.(T) Daniel Hein (DeKalb) :50.68, Michael Schwers (waubonsie Valley) :50.68, 11. Zackary Amendola (Stagg) :51.14, 12. Colin Williams (Elk Grove) :51.16.*100 freestyle


    Girls basketball scoreboard: Friday’s results
    Girls basketball scoreboard*Class 1A semifinalsCarrolton 40, Central A&M 38Annawan 71, Eastland 45*Class 2A semifinalsSt. Thomas More 63, Teutopolis 43Prophetstown 57, IC Catholic Prep 48IC Catholic Prep — Radoha 3 1-1 7; Manion 4 2-3 10; Gaudio 0 0-0 0; Maloney 1 3-4 5; Vitek 12 0-0 24; Reardon 0 0-0 0; Curran 0 0-0 0; Farmer 1 0-0 2; Carver 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 6-8 48.Prophetstown — Stafford 6 1-2 13; Kramer 6 4-6 17; Reiley 1 6-7 8; Strike 3 3-6 11; Adams 1 1-1 3; Henrekin 1 1-1 4; Kovarik 0 0-0 0; Westen 0 0-0 0; Remley 0 1-2 1; BOton 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 17-25 57.IC Catholic Prep 6 16 5 21 —48Prophetstown 10 17 16 14 —573-point baskets: P: Strike 2. Fouled out: IC: Maloney.*

    John Starks/jstarks@dailyherald.comBobby Alexander of Conant High School is declared the winner after beating Ameen Hamdan of Marist High School Saturday in the 132-pound weight class third place match of the wrestling IHSA Class 3A state tournament at State Farm Center in Champaign.

    State team wrestling: Scouting Northwest

    Conant's never-say-die wrestling team is looking forward to the challenge it faces in Saturday's dual-team state quarterfinals against Oak Park-River Forest.


    St. Charles East avenges loss to Metea Valley

    A.J. Washington should have no problem remembering his last basket on St. Charles East’s home floor. With the game already in hand, the 6-foot-5 senior forward applied the exclamation mark to his varsity home career as his emphatic 2-hand reverse dunk with 11 seconds remaining capped the Saints’ 80-67 victory over Metea Valley (15-12) during Friday’s Upstate Eight Conference crossover series between the second-place finishers in their respective divisions.

    Will Shanel of St. Charles East qualified sixth in the 200 IM during the IHSA state swimming prelims Friday at Evanston High School.

    Shanel channels his efforts into dual final appearances

    Will Shanel, a four-time boys swimming state meet state qualifier for St. Charles East, comes from long line of swimming success.


    Stage a little too big for IC Catholic

    The big bruise on the back of senior forward Rory Manion’s left arm is indicative of a basketball team’s long, grueling season full of grit and fight. The grit and fight didn’t go away Friday. Unfortunately, the jitters and butterflies didn’t go away soon enough for the IC Catholic Prep girls as the Knights fell to Prophetstown 57-48 in a Class 2A semifinal at Redbird Arena.

    Daniel White/dwhite@dailyherald.com Glenbard South’s Chaun Rickette moves up court against Fenton in Bensenville, Friday.

    Glenbard South clips Fenton

    Glenbard South’s boys basketball team felt stuck on 18 points for an eternity. The Raiders, though, did their best to make up for lost time.In both teams’ final regular-season tuneup before the playoffs begin next week, Glenbard South struggled early but eventually pulled away to Friday’s 65-42 Metro Suburban Conference victory over Fenton in Bensenville.


    Dundee-Crown gets a leg up on regional

    Location, location, location. Maybe it’s time to call Dundee-Crown coach Lance Huber “the realtor.” Maybe not. And he sure wasn’t the director of the Oscar-nominated movie Silver Linings Playbook. But there was a distinctive advantage for Huber’s Chargers in Friday night’s Fox Valley Conference crossover at Crystal Lake Central, which the Chargers won 68-45 in Crystal Lake.

    Alex Snarski of Libertyville celebrates after being the fastest for Saturday’s championship heat of the 100 backstroke during the boys swimming state meet prelims on Friday at Evanston Township High School.

    Snarski, Libertyville primed for big finish

    Libertyville senior Alex Snarski is the top qualifier for Saturday's state championship heat of the 100-yard backstroke, and the Wildcats are well positioned to earn their first top-three trophy after Friday's prelims.

    The Bulls’ Jimmy Butler draws a foul from Samuel Dalembert of the Mavericks on Friday night. Butler scored 19 points, snared 7 rebounds and made a key blocked shot.

    Bulls exact measure of revenge on Mavs

    Taj Gibson produced 20 points and 15 rebounds, while the Bulls rallied from an early 16-point deficit to beat Dallas 100-91 on Friday at the Amercian Airlines Center. After starting the season 1-9 against Western Conference teams, the Bulls have gone 9-4 since.

    DeKalb’s Jace Kitchen attempts to steal the ball from Kaneland’s Ryan David in the fourth quarter on Friday, February 28.

    Kaneland captures share of conference crown

    Kaneland is Northern Illinois Big XII East champions again — but it sure wasn’t easy to get there, and it wasn’t easy Friday to finish it. Not until DeKalb missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer was Kaneland able to celebrate a 57-55 win. Combined with a Sycamore blowout Friday of Morris, Kaneland’s victory created a three-way tie for first place between the Knights, Sycamore and Morris at 7-3.

    Grayslake Central’s Jack Beckman, center, is pressured by a host of Huntley players Friday night in Grayslake.

    Huntley gains some playoff momentum

    Consider Huntley’s boys basketball team ready for the pressure that comes with March Madness. The Red Raiders ended the month of February by not only prevailing in the Fox Valley Conference’s first-place crossover Friday night, after back-to-back losses the last two years, but they remained unfazed by the defensive pressure applied by Grayslake Central on the Rams’ home court. Zach Gorney scored a season-high 22 points, and 6-foot-8 Amanze Egekeze added 15 points, 11 rebounds and 4 blocked shots, as Huntley captured the unofficial FVC championship thanks to a 55-45 win.


    Woodstock drops Cary-Grove

    Woodstock 52, Cary-Grove 48: The Trojans (15-12) fell behind early, losing 29-17 at half, and saw their comeback effort fall just short in this Fox Valley Conference crossover game on the road. Tyler Szydlo led all scorers with 13 points while Jason Gregoire and Nick Barr added 11 and 10 points, respectively.


    Parrilli comes up big for Geneva

    Chris Parrilli failed to score from the field for Geneva in the final quarter Friday. But his intangibles in the last quarter against Waubonsie Valley preserved the Vikings’ 44-39 win in Geneva.


    Jacobs dumps Hampshire

    There is no real way to prepare for the playoff atmosphere most teams will be facing in the coming weeks, with crowd noise, nerves and weathering the inevitable runs that teams will go on. But Friday night at Hampshire was a pretty good warm-up.


    St. Thomas More rolls into title game

    Tori McCoy scored 18 points and grabbed 8 rebounds as Champaign St. Thomas More rolled to a 63-43 win over Teutopolis Friday in the Class 2A girls state basketball tournament semifinals at Redbird Arena in Normal.

    (24) Gordon Behr of Wheaton Academy takes a shot as (22)Jacob ESP of Marmion Academy attempts to block during the Marmion at Wheaton Academy boys basketball game Friday in West Chicago.

    Wheaton Academy goes unbeaten in SCC

    After clinching the Suburban Christian Conference Blue Division the Wheaton Academy boys basketball team crossed something else off of its list Friday — an undefeated conference season.


    Richmond denies Burlington C. share of title

    Even though Burlington Central lost to Richmond-Burton, Central coach Brett Porto had a big smile on his face afterward. Then he darted off to be with his wife, who just gave birth to the couple’s second child. That made what happened on the court — a 76-67 Richmond victory — something of an afterthought.

    Chicago Bulls guard Jimmy Butler (21) is fouled by Dallas Mavericks center Samuel Dalembert (1), of Haiti, during the first half of an NBA basketball game on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/John F. Rhodes)

    Bulls stun Mavs with fourth quarter comeback, 100-91

    Taj Gibson had 20 points and 15 rebounds, Mike Dunleavy hit a go-ahead 3-pointer and the Bulls overtook the Dallas Mavericks in the fourth quarter of a 100-91 victory Friday night. The Mavericks led by 16 in the first half and had erased a six-point Chicago edge when Dunleavy put the Bulls back in front and started a 10-0 run with a 3-pointer for an 87-85 lead.

    Senior Alex Reinbrecht of Jacobs had the 10th-best time in the 200-yard freestyle during Friday’s state meet preliminaries at Evanston.

    Jacobs’ Reinbrecht ready to race again

    Jacobs senior Alex Reinbrecht had already qualified to the boys swimming state meet three times before — on relays as a freshman, and the previous two seasons in the 200 and 500 freestyles. And yes, he’d watched Saturday’s event finals before, but only as a spectator. This year, Reinbrecht will have a much different perspective on the last day of the boys swimming season. Reinbrecht will compete in the consolation finals in both the 200- and 500-yard freestyles at Evanston Township High School.

    Jordan O’Brien of Metea Valley, Aurora, qualifies second in the 100 breaststroke during the IHSA state swimming prelims Friday at Evanston High School.

    Metea Valley off to a good start

    It was the kind of start to the boys state swimming preliminaries that Metea Valley expected Friday at Evanston High School.

    Westminster Christian’s Dillion Rejman (12) and Sam Carani (14) hoist the championship plaque following their win over Harvest Christian during Friday’s regional championship game at Harvest Christian Academy in Elgin.

    Regional title for Westminster Christian

    Westminster Christian junior Sam Carini can remember when the Warriors team his brothers, Ben and Luke, lost in regional title games. Carini was in the same position, his team trailing in the fourth quarter, Friday night to the hosts in the Class 1A Harvest Christian regional title game. He scored 7 points in the final quarter, including hitting 2 free throws with 4 seconds remaining, to help Westminster beat Harvest Christian, 45-42.

    Rocky Wirtz

    Blackhawks game day

    Blackhawks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field, 7 p.m.TV: NBCRadio: WGN 720-AMThe skinny: This is the fifth of six outdoor games being played in the NHL this season and the first for the Hawks since the 2009 Winter Classic at Wrigley Field. The Hawks have lost two games in a row, including Thursday’s 2-1 setback in New York to the Rangers. Corey Crawford starts in goal against Marc-Andre Fleury.Next: Colorado Avalanche at the United Center, 7 p.m. Tuesday.— Tim Sassone

    Jordan O'Brien of Metea Valley qualifies second in the 100 breaststroke.

    Images: Boys state swimming prelims
    The IHSA boys state swimming and diving prelims were held Friday, February 28 at Evanston Township High School.

    Westminster Christian’s Dillion Rejman and Sam Carani hoist the regional championship plaque.

    Images: Westminster Christian vs. Harvest Christian boys basketball
    Westminster Christian won over Harvest Christian Academy for the Class 1A boys regional basketball title Friday night in Elgin.

    Images from the Wheaton Academy vs. Marmion Academy boys basketball game on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014.

    Images: Wheaton Academy vs. Marmion Academy boys basketball
    Wheaton Academy hosted Marmion Academy for boys basketball action in West Chicago.

    Glenbard South’s Chaun Rickette, left, defends Fenton’s Johnny Geraci, right.

    Images: Glenbard South vs. Fenton boys basketball
    Fenton hosted Glenbard South for boys basketball action on Friday in Bensenville.

    DeKalb’s Micah Fagerstrom, left, and Kaneland’s Ryan David wrestle for a loose ball .

    Images: Dekalb vs. Kaneland boys basketball
    Dekalb traveled to Kaneland to take on the Knights in boys basketball action Friday night in Maple Park.

    Acquired in July from the Tigers, Avisail Garcia plans to keep things simple: “I just try to hit to right, to center, to left. Just see the ball and hit.”

    Garcia features power, size, speed

    When the White Sox pulled the plug and started trading away veterans last July, Avisail Garcia was the first young building block to reach the South Side. Now, the 22-year-old right fielder is looking to build on his impressive debut with the Sox.


    Carrollton, Annawan to meet for Class 1A title

    McKenzie Ruyle made a free throw with 40 seconds to play to break a 38-38 tie, then made another with 24 seconds left, as Carrollton held off Moweaqua Central A & M 40-38 in the first Class 1A girls basketball state semifinal at Redbird Arena in Normal Friday.

    Rocky Wirtz

    Rocky Wirtz happy, but hungry for more

    It was a game that some point to as signaling the rebirth of the Blackhawks.The last time the Hawks played outdoors was on New Year’s Day 2009 — in the Winter Classic at Wrigley Field.Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane were in their second seasons in the league and the Hawks were building a team after many down years that would go on to win two Stanley Cups in four years starting in 2010.“(At the 2009) Winter Classic, people were just starting to discover the Hawks,” chairman Rocky Wirtz said Friday, the day before the Hawks were to host Pittsburgh at Soldier Field in a Stadium Series game (7 p.m., NBC).“After winning a couple championships, the fan base is a little bigger but we have a long way to go. But it’ll be exciting. We have a little bit of snow; it’ll be much like the New Year’s Day game. It’ll be a lot of fun.”Hawks president and CEO John McDonough strongly lobbied NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman for a second crack at an outdoor game.Now it’s here.“What it does is it brings in people who are normally not thinking about hockey; it expands the reach,” Wirtz said. “It brings people in from out of town and it’s great for the city. At least 20,000 fans are coming in for Pittsburgh and in general, and those not going to the games are going to their favorite watering holes to watch the game. So it’s great for restaurants and bars.”Chicago is back on the hockey map — and Toews, Kane, Wirtz and McDonough have put them there.“It’s just an exciting thing to do (before) the beginning spring, when it’s 20 below and there’s snow in the air,” Wirtz said.


    City champion Curie forfeits games

    Chicago Curie Metropolitan High School’s basketball team has forfeited this year’s games because several players were academically ineligible to compete.

    Chicago Cubs’ Chris Rusin throws a pitch in the first inning during a spring training baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, in Tempe, Ariz. The Angels won 15-3. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Cubs roughed up by Angels, but Byrant homers

    TEMPE, Ariz. — Mike Trout wasted little time in showing off his million-dollar swing.The young star hit a grand slam onto the berm by the left-field foul pole and drove in five runs Friday in the Los Angeles Angels’ 15-3 win over the Chicago Cubs.Trout struck out in the first and hit an RBI single that capped a four-run second against Cubs starter Chris Rusin. He hit the grand slam against James McDonald in a nine-run fourth.Trout agreed Wednesday to a $1 million deal, a record for a one-year major league contract for a player not yet eligible for arbitration who wasn’t coming to the big leagues from Japan or Cuba or wasn’t required to have a larger amount because of the maximum-cut rule.Jered Weaver allowed one hit in three innings, Darwin Barney’s infield single in the first, against a Cubs team that featured mostly backups and players bound for the minors.Chris Iannetta homered and drove in three runs for the Angels. Barney homered against Brian Moran in the fourth, and prospect Kris Bryant hit a two-run drive off Jarrett Grube in the seventh.J. B. Shuck played left in place of injured Josh Hamilton and went 2 for 3 with a triple with three RBIs. Hamilton strained a left calf muscle Tuesday and is expected to be sidelined for at least two weeks.

    Nate Schierholtz, who won two World Series rings with the Giants, put up some decent numbers and played a solid right field for the Cubs in 2013.

    Schierholtz’s stats a split decision

    Journeyman Nate Schierholtz played a respectable right field for the Cubs last season and enjoyed a career year in some respects. The reasons for Schierholtz' success can be found in the statistical splits. Meanwhile, the Cubs are eager to get a full season of development in the minor leagues from Jorge Soler.

    Former Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine at Indianapolis.

    Former EIU QB Garoppolo earns rave reviews

    Former Rolling Meadows High School and Eastern Illinois University quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo has been impressing NFL scouts throughout the off-season, first with his performance in all-star games and most recently at the Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. The Arlington Heights native is projected to go as high as the second round in May's draft.


    Kelly: Returning Golson better understands offense

    Quarterback Everett Golson is back at Notre Dame s0tronger, sturdier and with a much better understanding of offensive concepts than when he led the Fighting Irish to the national championship game more than a year ago, coach Brian Kelly said Friday.

    Daytona 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. talks to the media during a victory tour stop, Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, in Austin, Texas. Earnhardt won his second Daytona 500 Sunday. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

    Earnhardt going fast and furious on Twitter

    NASCAR’s most popular driver won the sport’s biggest race last weekend.It may not have been the most exciting news of the week, at least when it comes to fans of Dale Earnhardt Jr.A reluctant participant on Twitter for years, Earnhardt burst into the Twitterverse this week with a flourish of revealing tweets that have given fans insight into his life they never knew before.

    Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee, here celebrating his goal against Montreal last season, should be available to play in the March 9 opener, Fire officials said Friday.

    Fire’s Magee should be available for opener

    Chicago Fire forward Mike Magee should be available for selection when the team plays its season opener March 9 at Chivas USA, coach Frank Yallop said Friday. Yallop will decide later in the week how much Magee will play based on veteran’s fitness now that he is back in training camp with the team.


    Sale sharp in spring training debut

    Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed two hits over two innings in his first spring training start, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the White Sox 5-0 Friday.White Sox starter Chris Sale also made his exhibition season debut, striking out four in 2⅔ scoreless innings, allowing one hit and walking none.

    After missing all of last season, Chicago Bears defensive back Kelvin Hayden has agreed to a one-year contract for the 2014 season.

    Bears, Hayden agree to one-year deal

    The Bears re-signed nine-year veteran cornerback and Chicago native Kelvin Hayden on Friday to a one-year contract. The former Illini won the nickel cornerback job midway through the 2012 season, but he suffered a season-ending torn hamstring early in last year's training camp.

    Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane carries out the Stanley Cup from Grant Park after the celebration in Chicago.

    Plenty of memorable big events in Hawks' past

    The Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins square off before 60,000 plus fans at Soldier Field on Saturday night, creating yet another special memory for Chicago fans. The Hawks have had the opportunity to host many special events, and Tim Sassone ranks his favorites, and explains where he see Saturday's big event landing.

    Workers construct a large Blackhawks logo Thursday as they continue to transform Soldier Field for Saturday's Stadium Series NHL hockey game between the Blackhawks and the Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Blackhawks flying high since last outdoor game

    Blackhawks Team Historian Bob Verdi takes a closer look at the history and symmetry surrounding Saturday's NHL Stadium Series game involving the Blackhawks at Soldier Field. Inasmuch as the Bears once played where the Blackhawks played, it is only sporting that the Blackhawks again skate into a lair of the Bears.

    Chicago White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu has a $68 million contract that comes with a lot of pressure for a 27-year-old rookie.

    Sox fans hoping Abreu is worth his contract

    Expectations are high for the first baseman Jose Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, and Mike North hopes Abreu proves he is deserving of his $68 million contract.


    Workers labor at the ‘C’ Tank Farm at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, near Richland, Wash. Documents obtained by the Associated Press show that there are “significant construction flaws” in some newer, double-walled storage tanks at the nuclear waste complex.

    Concerns raised about Hanford nuke storage tanks

    One of the 28 giant underground tanks was found to be leaking in 2012. But subsequent surveys of other double-walled tanks performed for the U.S. Department of Energy by one of its Hanford contractors found at least six shared defects with the leaking tank that could lead to future leaks, the documents said. Thirteen additional tanks also might be compromised, according to the documents.

    An employee works on a Passat sedan at the Volkswagen plant in Chattanooga, Tenn.

    No sign of expansion at plant where UAW lost

    Workers at the Chattanooga plant ended up voting 712-626 against the UAW, in an election the union claims was tainted by threats and intimidation from Republicans like Sen. Bob Corker, Gov. Bill Haslam and state lawmakers.The UAW last week filed a challenge with the National Labor Relations Board, seeking to have results voided and a new election to be held.


    Burger chain owner aims for sizzle with Maxim buy

    Seeking some sizzle, the owner of the Steak ‘n Shake burger chain is buying men’s magazine Maxim.Alpha Media Group Inc. put Maxim up for sale a year ago. The publication has struggled, with ad dollars dropping 28 percent last year to $80.7 million, bucking a 1 percent gain for consumer magazines overall, said the Association of Magazine Media.Terms of the deal with Biglari Holdings Inc. were not released. The San Antonio-based company, headed by CEO Sardar Biglari, says Maxim will continue under its current management team and stay based in New York.

    Associated Press/Jan. 14, 2014 A person walks past a Citibank location in Philadelphia. Citigroup reduced its 2013 earnings by $235 million on Friday.

    Citigroup lowers 2013 profit on Mexico fraud

    Citigroup reduced its 2013 earnings by $235 million on Friday, saying it was a victim of fraud committed by a Mexican oil services company to secure hundreds of millions of dollars in short-term loans.

    The setting sun is reflected on a window with the Sears logo, in Springfield, Ill. Sears may have suffered a cyber attack that breached the company’s data systems.

    Bloomberg: Secret Service probing possible Sears data breach

    Sears Holdings Corp., the retailer run by hedge fund manager Edward Lampert, said it’s investigating a possible security breach after a series of cyberattacks on retailers.Sears is working with a private digital forensics company and with the U.S. Secret Service to determine the extent of any incursion, according to two people familiar with the matter.

    A GrubHub sticker is displayed next to photographs of items on the menu in the window of a restaurant in New York’s Times Square.

    GrubHub orders up an IPO

    The Chicago company, formerly known as GrubHub Seamless Inc., connects more than 28,000 restaurants with diners in more than 600 U.S. cities. It had 3.4 million active diners at the end of the yearend. An active diner is considered a unique diner account that has placed an order in the last year.

    A ball rolls around a spinning roulette wheel.

    Sands: Some customer data stolen by hackers

    Sands said it was still working to determine whether customer information from other properties was breached, a process made more time-consuming by the destruction the hackers wrought. The company runs the Italian-themed Venetian and Palazzo on the Las Vegas Strip, and several hotel-casinos in China and Singapore.

    Mt. Gox CEO Mark Karpeles speaks at a news conference Friday at the Justice Ministry in Tokyo.

    Chicago investor sues over bitcoin losses

    “This catastrophic loss has not only revealed the instability of a burgeoning new industry, it has also uncovered a massive scheme to defraud millions of consumers into providing a private company with real, paper money in exchange for virtual currency,” Illinois resident Gregory Greene said in a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Chicago.

    First Minister of the Welsh Government Carwyn Jones, right, visits the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange Friday with NYSE Vice President Scott Cutler before ringing the opening bell.

    Strong February wipes out S&P 500’s January loss

    Spring will come, at some point, and the winter storms that have kept businesses closed and consumers away from stores will fade, investors say. All that pent-up demand will help the economy recover some of the ground lost in January and February.


    S&P 500 reaches further into record territory

    Stocks moved solidly higher Friday, pushing the Standard & Poor’s 500 index further into record territory, as investors focused on a surprisingly strong report of growth in manufacturing in the Midwest.


    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. acquires equity interest in JAO & Partners

    Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Friday announced that it has partnered with Grupo CP to acquire a 56 percent equity interest in JAO & Partners, located in Lima, Peru, which has annualized revenues of approximately $4 million.

    In this Nov. 30, 2011 photo, two pilots from Cathay Pacific walk in the Hong Kong International Airport in Hong Kong. The U.S. airline industry will need to hire 1,900 to 4,500 new pilots annually over the next 10 years due to an expected surge in retirements of pilots reaching age 65 and increased demand for air travel, the Government Accountability Office said in the report obtained late Thursday, Feb. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu, File)

    Report finds ‘mixed evidence’ of airline pilot shortage

    Regional airlines report difficulty over the past year in finding enough pilots to hire, according to a government watchdog report obtained by The Associated Press, but it isn’t clear whether there is a shortage of pilots. Researchers found “mixed evidence” of a shortage, said the Government Accountability Office.

    Poul Thomsen, the director of the IMF’s mission to Greece enters the Finance Ministry Friday during a rally in Athens. Hundreds of teachers, municipality workers, school guards and cleaning women who have been suspended on reduced pay pending transfer to other public sector jobs or dismissal, took part in the protest as the officials from the European Union, European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund, together known as the troika, were holding talks with the Minister of Administration Reform Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other government officials. The conservative-led government has committed to sack thousands of civil servants this year, as part of its austerity commitments to bailout creditors whose rescue loans have kept Greece afloat since 2010.

    Protesters scuffle with riot police in Athens

    Scuffles broke out Friday between demonstrators and police outside the finance ministry in central Athens, as Greece’s international debt inspectors met with ministers to discuss the pace of fiscal reforms. The demonstrators, mainly finance ministry cleaning ladies, school guards and municipal workers, were protesting job cuts required under Greece’s bailout agreement.

    Bitcoin trader Kolin Burges stands in protest outside an office building housing Mt. Gox in Tokyo. The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection, acknowledging that a significant amount of the virtual currency had gone missing. The exchange’s CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras Friday, bowing deeply for several minutes. Burges said he had picketed the building since Feb. 14 after flying in from London, hoping to get back $320,000 he has tied up with the exchange.

    Tokyo bitcoin exchange files for bankruptcy

    The Mt. Gox bitcoin exchange in Tokyo filed for bankruptcy protection Friday and its chief executive said 850,000 bitcoins, worth several hundred million dollars, are unaccounted for. The exchange’s CEO Mark Karpeles appeared before Japanese TV news cameras, bowing deeply for several minutes.

Life & Entertainment

    “The Grey,” a survival drama, features one of Liam Neeson’s best screen performances.

    Liam Neeson the actor, not the action star

    Liam Neeson, who rose to considerable fame and acclaim in 1993 with Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-winning “Schindler’s List,” has in recent years found a lucrative niche playing middle-aged action heroes in movies like “Non-Stop,” which opens Friday. His most iconic roles — as opportunistic businessman-turned-savior Oskar Schindler, Jedi Knight Qui-Gon Jinn in “Star Wars: Episode I” and a vengeful father with a “particular set of skills” in “Taken” — have perhaps overshadowed a career full of fine and diverse performances. Here are Sean Stangland's five favorites.

    Miley Cyrus brings her Bangerz Tour to the Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Friday, March 7.

    Best bets: Miley, Charlie Murphy coming to town
    See if Miley Cyrus is worth all of the tabloid ink when she brings her Bangerz Tour with Icona Pop tonight to the Allstate Arena. If you love comedian Charlie Murphy from TV’s “Chappelle’s Show,” “Boondocks” and more, then don’t miss his standup set this weekend at the Improv Comedy Showcase. Conductor Andrew Lewis leads the forces of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra, the Elgin Choral Union and the UIC Symphony Choir for the concert “Beethoven Inspired” this weekend at the Hemmens Cultural Center.

    Miley Cyrus headlines the Allstate Arena in Rosemont on Friday, March 7.

    Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons among March's musical offerings in the suburbs

    Let's face it — winter's been rough. But here's the good news: March is not just about basketball and cleaning. It's also that special time of year when fans of live music and entertainment start seeing their favorite performers hit the road, and this year is no exception. Superstars Miley Cyrus, Imagine Dragons and George Strait are among the biggest names coming to the suburbs in the next four weeks.

    In one of the closest contests in the last three decades, “12 Years a Slave” should win the Best Picture Oscar.

    Oscar's wild! Which film will win best picture?

    The Best Picture Oscar race boils down to this: Will voters go for Steve McQueen's “12 Years a Slave,” a classically constructed, historically based prestige drama of the sort traditionally selected for Best Picture? Or will Academy voters go rogue by choosing Alfonso Cuaron's groundbreaking, out-of-this-world survival tale “Gravity” that expands the boundaries of cinematic storytelling?


    Chicago The Musical - Review by Diana Martinez

    Short and Sweet host Diana Martinez of Broadway in Chicago discusses the highlights of Chicago the Musical, playing through March 2 at the Bank of America Theatre.

    Odd Thomas (Anton Yelchin), right, confronts a very irate dead person in Stephen Sommers’ “Odd Thomas,” based on a Dean Koontz novel.

    Dumb-downed ‘Odd Thomas’ not overly scary

    “Odd Thomas” should have been a scary horror movie with comic overtones, or a flat-out comedy with horror overtones. Instead, Stephen Sommers opts for a live-action version of a dumbed-down Scooby Doo adventure in which evil cops brandish “prince of darkness” tattoos.


    Wes Anderson graces 'Grand Budapest' screening

    Meet director/writer Wes Anderson when Chicago's Music Box Theatre hosts an advance screening of “The Grand Budapest Hotel” at 4 p.m. Saturday, March 1. Plus, readers respond to Dann's Oscar snubs story. One wrote: “I concur with your feeling that 'Out of Africa' winning best picture over 'Color Purple' was a farce.” Other unjust Best Picture wins include “Titanic” over “L.A. Confidential.” “Shakespeare in Love” over “Saving Private Ryan.” “Terms of Endearment” over “The Right Stuff.” A reader considers this as “the worst injustice of all time.”

    “Heartbeat of Home” a new dance and music revue by the producers of “Riverdance,” plays Chicago's Oriental Theatre from Tuesday, March 4, through Sunday, March 16.

    'Heartbeat of Home' builds on legacy of 'Riverdance'

    "Heartbeat of Home," the latest international dance revue by the producers of "Riverdance," makes its American debut at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago from Tuesday, March 4, through Sunday, March 16.


    Make your Oscar picks
    2014 Oscar nomineesBest Picture “American Hustle” “Captain Phillips” “Dallas Buyers Club” “Gravity” “Her” “Nebraska” “Philomena” “12 Years a Slave” “The Wolf of Wall Street”Actor in a Leading Role Christian Bale, “American Hustle” Bruce Dern, “Nebraska” Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street” Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave” Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”Actress in a Leading Role Amy Adams, “American Hustle” Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine” Sandra Bullock, “Gravity” Judi Dench, “Philomena” Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”Actor in a Supporting Role Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips” Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle” Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave” Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street” Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”Actress in a Supporting Role Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine” Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle” Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave” Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County” June Squibb, “Nebraska”Animated Feature Film “The Croods” “Despicable Me 2” “Ernest & Celestine” “Frozen” “The Wind Rises”Cinematography  “The Grandmaster,” Philippe Le Sourd “Gravity,” Emmanuel Lubezki “Inside Llewyn Davis,” Bruno Delbonnel “Nebraska,” Phedon Papamichael “Prisoners,” Roger A. DeakinsCostume Design  “American Hustle,” Michael Wilkinson “The Grandmaster,” William Chang Suk Ping “The Great Gatsby,” Catherine Martin “The Invisible Woman,” Michael O’Connor “12 Years a Slave,” Patricia NorrisDirecting  “American Hustle,” David O. Russell “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón “Nebraska,” Alexander Payne “12 Years a Slave,” Steve McQueen “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin ScorseseDocumentary Feature  “The Act of Killing” “Cutie and the Boxer” “Dirty Wars” “The Square” “20 Feet From Stardom”Documentary Short Subject  “CaveDigger” “Facing Fear” “Karama Has No Walls” “The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” “Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall”Film Editing  “American Hustle,” Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers and Alan Baumgarten “Captain Phillips,” Christopher Rouse “Dallas Buyers Club,” John Mac McMurphy and Martin Pensa “Gravity,” Alfonso Cuarón and Mark Sanger “12 Years a Slave,” Joe WalkerForeign Language Film  “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium “The Great Beauty,” Italy “The Hunt,” Denmark “The Missing Picture,” Cambodia “Omar,” PalestineMakeup and Hairstyling  “Dallas Buyers Club,” Adruitha Lee and Robin Mathews


    Night life: Eddie Merlot’s offering cakes, cocktails
    Eddie Merlot’s invites brides-to-be for cocktails and cake; Pinot’s Palette hosts an open house Sunday; Tap House Grill to school you in stouts.

    Even the best garden planning can be second-rate if you don’t choose the right plant assortment. Garden centers with their vast collections of plant colors, sizes and shapes can be intimidating places for inexperienced buyers, so work from a list and ensure you’re buying only healthy plants.

    Fast route to successful gardening? Buy smart

    Garden centers, with their vast collections of plant colors, sizes and shapes, can be intimidating to inexperienced buyers. But you can become a discerning purchaser with a little homework and by quizzing the sales people as you shop. “Usually, when shopping, I go early before the crowds and also before the staff are worn out,” said Jack McKinnon, a garden coach.

    Perfume can be crafted at home though yours may not smell exactly like the exotic whiffs from expensive brands, but there’s satisfaction in doing it yourself, and saving some cash.

    For signature scent, concoct your own perfume

    Think it would be nice to have your own signature fragrance? Try making it. Perfume can be crafted at home. Yours may not smell exactly like the exotic whiffs from expensive brands, but there’s satisfaction in doing it yourself — and saving some cash. It’s not difficult to concoct your own perfume. For some, the process is downright addictive.

    The Arroyo Seco area of Pasadena, Calif., is known for hiking, running and dog walking that includes 22 miles of trails next to a seasonal river and canyon.

    Pasadena, Calif.: 5 free things for visitors to do

    Street-side viewing of the nationally televised annual New Year’s Day Rose Parade isn’t the only free thing to attract visitors to Pasadena, Calif., a mere 10 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. A charmingly quaint, quiet city flanked by the San Gabriel Mountains, Pasadena was founded in 1874 by folks from Indiana desperate to escape their winter doldrums for warmer Southern California weather. The nice climate means Pasadena boasts plenty to do year-round, and many of them at no cost. Pasadena is nicknamed “Crown of the Valley,” but you don’t need a crown to enjoy it.

    The 1922 movie “Blood and Sand” inspired its own cocktail — a mix of scotch, cherry brandy and sweet vermouth. Sip it as you watch the Oscars on Sunday.

    Classic movie cocktails leave film fans shaken and stirred

    James Bond without his martini? “The Big Lebowski” dude without his White Russian? Unthinkable. You won’t see any “Best Supporting Drink” in Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremonies, but cocktails play a major role in movies, serving as props, symbols and reflections of what’s going on behind the scenes.

    Donna Steele and Pat Able play ex-spouses who reunite for their daughter’s engagement party in Steel Beam Theatre’s world premiere of “The Bay of Portugal” by Richard Culliton.

    Steel Beam’s ‘Portugal’ needs work

    One thing about Steel Beam Theatre, it’s not afraid to take a chance on a new work. Over the years, the St. Charles company has produced several new shows and for that, it deserves commendation. But premiering a new play involes risk: sometimes that risk pays off and the show’s a delight. Other times, it’s a disappointment. “The Bay of Portugal” falls into the latter category.


    Theater events: ‘Schoolhouse Rock’ comes to Marriott

    "Schoolhouse Rock Live!" comes to Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire and actor-comedian Colin Quinn brings his one-man show to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie, this week in suburban theater.

    KLM Builders features a palette of warm earth tones in its Sonoma model, a popular ranch plan at Thousand Oaks in Spring Grove.

    Modern kitchen is multipurpose

    The recipe for today’s best kitchen is to create a space where family and friends will love to hang out — because today’s kitchens are for living. The kitchen is no longer just for cooking, but part of a larger kitchen/dining/living space.


    Kitchen islands don’t have to cost a fortune

    You don’t have to be a millionaire to own an island. You could have your own personal island right in your kitchen. If you kitchen is large enough, you can add a central workspace, or island, in just a weekend and without spending a fortune.


    Valentine’s flowers are gone, but ‘pre-nup’ questions never die

    Most betrothed couples don’t need a prenuptial agreement when a home is involved, but there are some exceptions.


    Americans again cash in on home equity

    One of the mortgage products that contributed to the housing crash is booming again: New home equity credit line borrowings soared by 42 percent in the final three months of 2013 and were up sharply for the entire year, to $111 billion.


    Association warns of “hot spots” in aluminum wiring

    Q. Our condo was built in 1971, and the electrical system is wired with aluminum. Fortunately, all of the wire ends were retrofitted with copper “pigtails” about five years ago.


    A man passes by a sculpture of a chaparral on the campus of College of DuPage. Travel reimbursements to COD trustees are raising eyebrows.

    Editorial: COD trustees wrong on mileage reimbursement
    A Daily Herald editorial slams the practice of two College of DuPage elected trustees requesting mileage reimbursement to get to the school.


    Honor African-Americans for their contributions
    An Elgin letter to the editor: Black History Month was initially created by Carter G. Woodson in 1926 to recognize the significant contributions of blacks who were not traditionally acknowledged in American history or classroom teachings. During February, many institutions and organizations choose to honor blacks and the accomplishments they have made in various political, educational, literary and athletic arenas.


    Organ donations needed from all races
    A letter to the editor: Today the number of African-Americans in need of donated organs far exceeds those who have signed up on the state Organ/Tissue Donor Registry. In Illinois, African-Americans make up 56 percent of those awaiting organs, but represent only 32 percent of the donor registry.


    Cash dash pushing party politics aside

    Guest columnist Paul Green: To paraphrase an old folk song, “Where have all the politicians gone?” American electoral politics is in the middle of a revolution that is seeing political parties become mere campaign vehicles without drivers or even fuel. Replacing the old party system and its party operatives is money — simple and clear. How has this happened and, more importantly, why?


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