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Daily Archive : Saturday March 1, 2014

News

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    Aaron Carpenter, 15, waves to hundreds of screaming girls at MAGCON in Itasca Saturday. The teenage boys who have become social media stars with their 6-second videos on Vine were at the Westin Chicago in Itasca to meet their fans.

    Girls go gaga for Vine video boys at Itasca meet and greet

    As the entertainment world focuses on tonight's Academy Awards, gaggles of screaming girls insist that the real screen stars are at MAGCON in Itasca, where teenage boys famous for their six-second Vine videos mingle with a select few of their 20 million adoring fans. The Itasca show sold out in 30 second for the two-day show that continues from 3-9 p.m. Sunday.

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    Meghan Rose sings with Company, the Prospect High School show choir, during the Chicagoland Showcase show choir competition Saturday in Arlington Heights.

    Buffalo Grove wins grand champion at show choir competition

    Buffalo Grove High School won the top title as grand champion at the 21st annual Chicagoland Showcase show choir competition featuring more than 30 middle school and high school show choirs from throughout the Midwest — and even as far away as California. Turquoise trophies also went to two other big winners Saturday: Prospect High School, in the unisex division, and Batavia High School, in...

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    Up to six inches of snow could fall across much of the suburbs in the latest winter blast.

    Snow tapering off, cold moving back in

    Another cold blast will hit the suburbs after a snowstorm tapers off early Sunday, forecasters say, and wind chills could dip to as low as 20 degrees below zero Monday morning. The bitter temperatures are coming on the heels of a snowstorm that dumped about two to five inches for much of the area. The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory that remains in effect until 9 a.m.

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    Tim Edwards from Rosemont tailgating before Saturday's Coors Light Stadium Series game at Soldier Field between the Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins.

    Hawks fans drink in outdoor game's special atmosphere

    It was perfect Penguin weather. Dense, swirling snow and a temperature of 17 degrees at puck drop greeted a packed house attending the NHL Stadium Series game Saturday night between the Chicago Blackhawks and Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field.

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    Spring Hill Mall will host Sunday's episode of “Food Court Wars” in which two Chicago-based, food truck teams will go mano a mano for a permanent restaurant spot in the mall's food court.

    Food truck teams on TV battle for Spring Hill spot

    The nation will be watching this weekend as a pair of Chicago-based food truck operators duke it out on “Food Court Wars” for a permanent eatery at Spring Hill Mall in West Dundee. Both teams, "Glutton Force 5" and "The Fat Shallot," are part of the daily grind of the Chicago food truck industry and jockey for limited parking spots in the city. But the teams couldn't be any more...

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    Unidentified gunmen wearing camouflage uniforms block the entrance of the Crimean Parliament building Saturday in Simferopol, Ukraine.

    Russian forces seize Crimea

    Russia and the West find themselves on the brink of a confrontation far more perilous than in 2008 over Georgia, Dmitri Trenin of the Carnegie Moscow Center wrote on his blog, referring to Russia’s previous war. The Ukrainian military, which has taken part in NATO operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and partnered frequently with its Polish counterpart, is far smaller than Russia’s.

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    More than 10 knife-wielding attackers slashed people at a train station in southwestern China late Saturday in what authorities called a terrorist attack, and police fatally shot five of the assailants, leaving 28 people dead and 113 injured, state media said.

    China: Train station attack an act of terrorism

    More than 10 knife-wielding attackers slashed people at a train station in southwestern China late Saturday in what authorities called a terrorist attack, and police fatally shot five of the assailants, leaving 33 people dead and 113 injured, state media said.

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    Russia’s U.N. Ambassador Vitaly Churkin heads toward the exit Saturday following an U.N. Security Council meeting.

    Ukraine asks U.N. to stop Russian ‘aggression’

    Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vitaly Churkin, said the new government in Kiev needs to get away from “radicals” and warned that “such actions they’re taking could lead to very difficult developments, which the Russian Federation is trying to avoid.” Churkin also accused the West of interfering in the recent Kiev demonstrations.

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    Then-Rep.-elect Gloria Negrete McLeod, a California Democrat. It took barely a year in Congress for McLeod to decide that she could do more for her California constituents by serving in county government.

    One term is plenty for California congresswoman

    “If you compare this Congress to any other Congress in history, it’s the worst in terms of getting things done. The people who came here with the expectation that this would be a vibrant legislative process have pretty good reason to be disappointed. It’s not a mystery that states and municipalities are moving much faster on many of these issues than the Congress is,”...

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    Rob Ulaszek of St. Charles scoops out a taste of his “Smokey the Bear Chili/Green Chili Pork Stew” to Erik Balisi of Batavia and his son, Eli, 9, at St. Charles Episcopal Church’s chili cook-off Saturday, March 1. Ulaszek’s son, Oliver, 4, left, noshes on his dad’s chili which took first place. Ulaszek’s wife, Lisel, took third place.

    A spectrum of flavors featured in St. Charles church’s chili cook-off

    Seven contestants showcased their signature chili recipes at St. Charles Episcopal Church’s first chili cook-off on Saturday. A spectrum of flavors, textures and spiciness were represented in the homemade dishes, six of which featured different meats and one a vegetarian option. A savory pork shoulder chili, brought by church member and contestant Dallas Heikkinen of Batavia, even included...

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    Members of team Tropic Thunder Nick Bernardino of Cary, left, and Peyton Day of East Dundee, both 17, scoop up balls to whip at The Ball Dodgers team during Carpentersville IAFF Local 4790’s fourth annual dodgeball tournament Saturday at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville.

    Carpentersville dodgeball tournament raises funds for local charities

    Forty teams competed at the fourth annual Carpentersville Professional Firefighters IAFF Local 4790 dodgeball tournament at Dundee-Crown High School in Carpentersville on Saturday afternoon. Teams comprised of six players took to four courts as 10 games were played simultaneously from 12 to 5 p.m., with winners advancing, hoping to reach the grand championship game.

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    Saki is ready to go as Iditarod musher Michelle Phillips of Tagish, Yukon, takes her dogs out for a run.

    Party atmosphere marks Iditarod’s ceremonial start

    Sixty-nine mushers and their teams of 16 dogs each inundated Alaska’s largest city for the annual ceremonial start of the race in a fan-friendly atmosphere. The real race starts Sunday, 50 miles north of Anchorage.Early Saturday morning, musher trucks lined city streets, and fans like Nancy Alstrand of San Diego spent hours meandering from musher to musher, stopping to chat or pet dogs.

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    Chessy Orozco sings and dances (center) in Prospect High School choir Mixed Company at the Chicagoland Showcase 2014 at Hersey High School on Saturday.

    Images from the 21st Chicago Showcase
    The 21st annual Chicagoland Showcase, featuring show choirs from across the suburbs and Midwest, took place all day Saturday, March 1 at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights.

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    New York officers save unresponsive baby in patrol car

    The belch of a 15-month-old baby girl has brought tears of joy to a couple of New York City officers.NYPD Officer Michael Konatsotis and his partner, Officer David Roussin, saved the non-breathing baby Saturday after her panicked parents called 911 when she turned blue.

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    Actor/director Harold Ramis celebrates The Second City’s 50th anniversary in Chicago in 2009.

    Notable deaths last week

    “Caddyshack.” “National Lampoon’s Animal House.” “Ghostbusters.” “Groundhog Day.” “Stripes.”Those titles are some of the most beloved and widely quoted comedy classics of the last 30 years. They’re also Harold Ramis’ filmography.Ramis leads the people of note who died this past week.

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    Emergency workers respond to a massive pileup Saturday on Interstate 25 in Denver.

    One killed, 30 injured in massive Colorado pileup

    Police say 104 vehicles were involved in crashes along a roughly 2-mile stretch of highway on Saturday morning, and the northbound lanes were closed for hours. The interstate has since reopened.

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    Mud-covered revelers frolic in ocean waters Saturday during the “Bloco da Lama” or “mud street party” in Paraty, Brazil.

    Mud madness: Brazilian town’s dirty Carnival party

    The “Bloco da Lama” was founded in 1986 by two local teens who became local Carnival sensations after they appeared in the city’s historic downtown covered in mud following a crab hunting expedition in a nearby mangrove forest, said Rodrigues, who was hired by Paraty’s City Hall to explain the history of the “bloco” to foreigners, who now come from as far...

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    Evan Sher, 5, of Hanover Park learns to stay up on his skates using an orange traffic cone at USA Hockey’s annual Try Hockey For Free event at the Triphahn Center on Saturday in Hoffman Estates.

    Kids learn to play hockey in Hoffman Estates

    Seventy-five kids tried learning to play hockey for the first time during Try Hockey for Free in Hoffman Estates. The 90-minute annual USA Hockey event was held on one of two ice rinks at Triphahn Center on Saturday.

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    Susan Moore of Antioch, center, and 35 others participated in line dancing at Fox Lake Business & Family Expo at Grant High School on Saturday in Fox Lake.

    Fox Lake holds Business & Family Expo

    Around 85 businesses participated in Saturday’s Fox Lake Area Chamber Business & Family Expo at Grant Community High School.

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    Dave Heun says Houston Street in Batavia carries its own “gateway” importance. Houston is see here looking east from Batavia Avenue.

    Geneva Film Festival opens Thursday

    There could be an Oscar winner in town in the next few days. That's because the Geneva Film Festival opens Thursday with films being shown at Dodson Place.

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    Several ewes of the Southdown sheep flock at Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago have given birth to lambs in recent days.

    Kline Creek Farm makes room for baby — lambs that is

    Ewes and rams make lambs. “It’s a mom-nature thing,” said Dave Barr, agricultural specialist at the 1890s living-history Kline Creek Farm in West Chicago, who along with other volunteers has patiently waited to oversee the arrival of this season’s newborn lambs. With six births down and 10 to go for the Southdown sheep flock, the approximate 145 day gestation period is...

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    Troops in unmarked uniforms stand guard Saturday in Balaklava on the outskirts of Sevastopol, Ukraine. An emblem on one of the vehicles and their number plates identify them as belonging to the Russian military.

    Analysis: Limited options in Ukraine crisis

    American efforts to punish Russia on Ukraine and other matters have been complicated by the White House’s need for Russian cooperation on stopping Syria’s civil war, negotiating a nuclear accord with Iran, and transporting American troops and equipment out of Afghanistan through Russian supply routes.

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    Troops in unmarked uniforms stand guard as they take control the Coast Guard offices in Balaklava on the outskirts of Sevastopol, Ukraine, Saturday, March 1. An emblem on one of the vehicles and their number plates identify them as belonging to the Russian military.

    Russian troops take over Ukraine's Crimea region

    Russian troops took over Crimea as the parliament in Moscow gave President Vladimir Putin a green light Saturday to use the military to protect Russian interests in Ukraine. The newly installed government in Kiev was powerless to react to the action by Russian troops based in the strategic region and more flown in, aided by pro-Russian Ukrainian groups.

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    Buffalo Grove has enough salt, official says

    Buffalo Grove’s public works director told the village board this week there is enough salt to get through the remainder of a rough winter. Michael J. Reynolds said the village has used just under 3,000 tons of salt, up 46 percent from last year and 114 percent more than two years ago. “We have about 1,000 tons, give or take, in the dome right now, so we should have plenty of salt...

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    Rescuers dig at the scene of an avalanche Friday n Missoula’s Rattlesnake Valley.

    Neighborhood helped to save avalanche victims

    Jeff Brandt of the Missoula Fire Department says the couple was in the home while the boy was playing outside.Brandt says the boy’s mother and sister witnessed the 200-yard slide but weren’t caught in it.

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    Mayor Martin Walsh speaks to reporters Saturday in Boston.

    Deal to allow gays in Boston St. Pat’s parade

    Boston Mayor Martin Walsh had threatened to boycott the city annual parade unless gay groups are allowed to march. He met parade organizers Saturday and hopes that a solution that works for all involved.

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    United States U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power arrives Saturday for a private U.N. Security Council meeting on the Ukraine at the United Nations headquarters. Members of the Security Council met in an emergency session on the rapidly developing events in Ukraine’s Crimea region.

    Top officials at White House meeting on Ukraine

    There was a high-level meeting at the White House Saturday after Russia’s parliament gave President Vladimir Putin the military go-ahead to protect Russian interests in neighboring Ukraine.

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    Illinois readies for major winter snowstorm

    The National Weather Service predicts 7 to 10 inches of snow and sleet in the St. Louis area Saturday evening. A winter storm warning is in effect from 6 p.m. Saturday through 6 a.m. Monday.

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    A sample of a concealed carry license is seen displayed during a news conference in Chicago where the Illinois State Police announced that 5,000 license applications have been approved and are in the process of being printed and mailed to gun owners. The red, white and blue permits are the size of a driver's license and include a photo of the license holder. They cost $150 and are good for five years.

    State police mail first concealed carry permits

    The last state in the nation to allow people to carry concealed handguns started mailing the coveted licenses to thousands of Illinois gun owners Friday, with supporters praising the Illinois State Police for getting the screening process off the ground quickly.

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    Pharrell Williams rehearses before the NBA All Star basketball game in New Orleans. The producer-rapper-singer's tune “Happy” is nominated for best original song at the Oscars on Sunday, March 2, 2014. Days ahead, the upbeat anthem has climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

    Pharrell, U2, Idina Menzel rock Oscar rehearsals

    Having the nation's No. 1 song does not exempt an artist from Oscar rehearsals. Pharrell Williams ran through his catchy hit "Happy" more than half a dozen times Friday in preparation for the Oscar telecast. He even shared the spotlight with a spate of stars: Jamie Foxx, Brad Pitt and Kate Hudson showed up to rehearse while he was on stage.

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    RV to tour state to promote Get Covered Illinois

    The Illinois Health Insurance Marketplace has planned a month of activities to call attention to the March 31 deadline for private insurance coverage under President Barack Obama's health care law.

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    UIC employee's film nominated for Academy Award

    A University of Illinois at Chicago employee could join the likes of Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks as an Oscar winner this weekend.

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    Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius stands inside a court during his bail hearing in February 2013 at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa. Pistorius will defend himself Monday against a charge of premeditated murder in the slaying of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

    ‘Blade Runner’ Pistorius’ murder trial begins Monday

    South African prosecutors face a struggle to win a premeditated murder conviction for Oscar Pistorius when the Paralympian gold medalist’s trial starts Monday, legal analysts said. While Pistorius, 27, has admitted to shooting his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three times in the middle of the night while she was in his bathroom on Valentine’s Day last year, prosecutors may find it...

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    District 25 puts time limits on board discussions

    Topics of discussion at Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board meetings will now come with suggested time limits. Although two board members are not happy with the limits, school board President David Page said the policy shift is meant to keep meetings moving more quickly and keep board members from getting on a soapbox. “It’s kind of disrespectful of...

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    Great Lakes Naval Station’s Fourth of July celebration has had a variety of fun options. Federal budget cuts led to cancellation of the 2013 festival, but it’ll return this year July 3 and 4.

    Great Lakes Naval Station back with Fourth of July celebration

    Great Lakes Naval Station plans to revive its Fourth of July festival that was scrubbed last year due to the federal government's mandatory budget cuts.

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    Samsung CEO J.K. Shin presents the new Samsung Galaxy S5 at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain. Samsung Electronics Co. has beefed up the camera in its Galaxy S5 smartphone due for April release and added smarter camera software, following Sony and Nokia in their upgrades of handset cameras.

    Several new phones coming, but all eyes on Samsung

    Sony unveiled a new waterproof phone that can take ultra-high-definition video. Nokia introduced three Android smartphones aimed at emerging markets. And Lenovo announced one with an all-glass exterior. Yet the spotlight was on Samsung, which announced a successor to its flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone.

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    Vandalized houses of worship
    Here's a complete list of the 21 houses of worship in Lake County that were vandalized between Feb. 14 and Feb. 20. Police have charged a 22-year-old Gurnee woman with the crimes.

Sports

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    Burlington Central sophomore Kayla Ross (4) drives to the basket against Sycamore in the semifinals of the Class 3A Belvidere sectional.

    Girls basketball: Scouting the Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional

    Previewing Monday's Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional girls basketball game between Burlington Central and Carmel Catholic.

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    Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford grabs a puck out of the air during the NHL Stadium Series between the Blackhawks and the Penguins Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Hawks win in 'best setting you could ever want'

    Led by captain Jonathan Toews, who had 2 goals and an assist, the Hawks got back on track by beating Pittsburgh 5-1 before a crowd of 62,921 at snowy and frigid Soldier Field. It started snowing roughly three hours before faceoff and was coming down heavy throughout the first period. “Probably the best setting you could ever want,” Hawks coach Joel Quenneville said.

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    Illinois’ Tracy Abrams (13) dishes off against Michigan State’s Gavin Schilling, right, and Adreian Payne during Saturday’s game in East Lansing. Abrams scored 12 points, leading the Illini to a 53-46 win over Michigan State.

    Illinois beats No. 18 Michigan State 53-46

    llinois is on a roll thanks in large part to its stifling defense. Fighting Illini coach John Groce, though, is not ready to celebrate. Tracy Abrams scored 12 points, leading Illinois to a 53-46 win over No. 18 Michigan State on Saturday. The Fighting Illini (17-12, 6-10 Big Ten) have held four consecutive opponents to fewer than 50 points for the first time since the 1947-48 season, according to STATS LLC.Missouri.

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    Joe Lewnard/jlewnard@dailyherald.comJordan O'Brien, left, of Metea Valley, left, and teammate Matt Salerno stand together after finishing first and second, respectively, in the 100-yard breaststroke during the boys state swimming meet at Evanston High School Saturday.

    Metea Valley savors ‘unbelievable’ finish

    As they neared the finish of the 100-yard breaststroke, one thing was certain — the winner was going to be from Metea Valley. Jordan O’Brien and teammate Matt Salerno edged slightly ahead of the field.

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    Steven Tan of Illinois Math and Science Academy waves from the award stand after finishing first in the 100-yard butterfly at state Saturday.

    Marmion takes 11th at state

    They didn’t have many entries with which to make an impact on the boys swimming state meet on Saturday — but Marmion’s three entries in the state finals each dropped time and collectively helped the Cadets rise to an 11th-place finish.

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    Boys swimming scoreboard: Saturday’s results
    Boys swimming scoreboard*State meetAt Evanstonteam sTANDINGs1. Normal University 123, 2. Libertyville 120, 3. Hinsdale Central 108, 4. Naperville Central 95, 5. Glenbrook South 85, 6. New Trier 80, 7. Metea Valley 76, 8. Peoria Notre Dae 65, 9. Normal Community West 44, 10. Evanston 38, 11. Marmion Acad. 35, 12. DeKalb 33, 13. Springfield Sacred Heart-Griffin 32, 14. IMSA 29, Oak Park-River Forest 29, 16. Fenwick 26, 17. Whitney Young 25, 18. Neuqua Valley 24, Andrew 24, 20. Bloomington 23, 21. Deerfield 22, 22. St. Charles East 20, 23. Lake Forest 19, O’Fallon 19, 25. Loyola Acad. 18, 26. Wheaton North Coop 16, 27. Mundelein 14, Riverside-Brookfield 14, 29. Jacobsw 11, 30. Stagg 10, 31. Chatham Glenwood 7, Plainfield Central Coop 7, Springfield 7, 34. Brother Rice 6, Dunlap Coop 6, St. Charles North 6, 37. Stevenson 5, 38. Lincoln-Way East 4, Naperville North 4, Peoria Richwoods 4, 41. Waubonsie Valley 3, Grayslake North 3, Glenbrook North 3, Rock Island 3, Niles North 3, 46. Elk Grove 2, Rolling Meadows 2, Lake Park 2, 49. Lyons 1, Maine South 1.*200 medley relay1. Libertyville (Alex Snarski, Bobby Snader, Matt Harrington, Atticus Rush) 1:31.55; 2. Hinsdale Central (Craig Smith, Franco Reyes, Brian Portland, Aneil Srivastava) 1:33.16; 3. Metea Valley (Trevor Sandberg, Jordan O’Brien, Alex Dillman, Matt Salerno) 1:33.66; 4. Naperville Central (Scott Piper, Phillip Sajaev, Connor Lamb, Eric Gerlach) 1:34.78, 5. New Trier (Drew Keenan, Jae Park, Connor Fotsch, Matt Weiser) 1:35.05; 6. Fenwick (Michael Hill, Conor Fabian, Cavan Smith, Zach Tieke) 1:35.15; 7. DeKalb (Daniel Hein, Ryan Schultz, Dylan Powers, Holden Mackey) 1:35.12; 8. Neuqua Valley (Brett Waley, Simon Shatinsky, Drew Dvorchak, Joe Widuch) 1:35.31; 9. Marmion Acad. (Jack Fergus, Mike Burke, Dan Creighton, Andrew Kasper) 1:35.49; 10. Dunlap Coop (Jared Tyre, Collin O’Brien, Tony Feng, Jake Vandermyde) 1:36.21; 11. Lake Forest (Daniel Smith, Coleman Mitchell, Michael LeMay, Symen Ooms) 1:36.23; 12. Glenbrook South (Jake Nelson, Sam Iida, Sam Salganik, Seamus Heneghan) 1:36.85.*200 freestyle1. Adam Drury (NrmlU) 1:38.96, 2. Jared Schimmelpfenning (PND) 1:40.18, 3. Murphy McQuet (NT) 1:40.54, 4. Matt Kamin (PND) 1:41.01, 5. Michael Wolfe (Blmtn) 1:41.54, 6. Kyle Fitzgerald (And) 1:42.20, 7. Stuart Hohm (CGlnwd) 1:41.11, 8. Kevin Benson (GbkS) 1:42.75, 9. Alex Reinbrecht (Jcbs) 1:43.21, 10. Josh Fleming (RI) 1:43.41, 11. Sean Gregor (LP) 1:45.43, 12. Nicholas George Koto (Stev) 1:46.97.*200-Yard Freestyle for Athletes with Disabilities 1. Cameron Lee (Niles West) 2:29.06, 1. Charlie Gentzkow (NT) 2:31.97, 2. Chaz Centore (Frankfort) 4:02.58, 2. Saniel Suero (Fremd) 3:11.92.*200 individual medley1. Jake Miller (NrmlU) 1:48.08, 2. Jae Park (NT) 1:50.21, 3. Sean Workman (O’F) 1:51.55, 4. Jordan O’Brien (MtVal) 1:53.33, 5. Connor Lamb (NapC) 1:52.63, 6. Will Shanel (StCE) 1:53.08, 7. Scott Piper (NapC): 1:52.62, 8. Max St. George (WhNCoop) 1:53.38, 9. Steven Fishman (NrmlU) 1:54.93, 10. Ayrton Kasemets (Mun) 1:55.03, 11. Mitch Strahlman (BrR) 1:55.30, 12. Lucas Smiarowski (Stagg) 1:56.37.*50 freestyle1. Ryan Held (SpSHG) :19.76, 2. Mossimo Chavez (WhtY) :20.80, 3. Matt Salerno (MtVal) :20.90, 4. Jon Salomon (GbkS) :20.98, 5. Quinn Risley (R-Bfld) :21.05, 6. Mark Hallman (OPRF) :21.22, 7. Brinton Wilkey (Spfld) :21.43, 8. Michael Hill (Fwk) :21.56, 9. Tyler DeDianous (NrmlComW) :21.68, 10. Brenden Bolman (GLN) :21.74, 11. Brian Powell (HC) :21.75, 12. Marco Padron (MS) :21.78.*50-Yard Freestyle for Athletes with Disabilities 1. Anthony Alonzi (Maine West) :27.02, 1. Charlie Gentzkow (NT) :30.35, 2. Daniel Suero (Fremd) :38.90, 2. Cameron Lee (Niles West) :29.47, 3. Brandon View (Lincoln-Way Central) :46.86, 4, Chaz Centore (Frankfort) :49.87.*diving

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    Gregg Braun of Glendale Heights dances after the Blackhawks beat the Penguins 5-1 in the NHL Stadium Series Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Hawks at Soldier Field truly an awesome spectacle

    Rip the conditions, rip the weather, rip the ice if you will, but remember: This wasn’t just a game, it was a spectacle. And as a spectacle, Saturday night at Soldier Field worked out pretty darn well, huh? The players: Did you see all those smiles as they awaited the opening faceoff, or how they celebrated goals like they did when they were kids on their old backyard rink? That’s stuff you don’t normally see. That’s spectacle stuff.

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    Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp (10) celebrates his goal with teammates on the bench during the first period of an NHL Stadium Series hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Soldier Field on Saturday.

    Sharp gets party going

    Just when it seems impossible, the perfect world of No. 10 keeps getting sprinkled with more perfection. Just when dizzying snow flurries made it look like scoring a goal in the opening period of Saturday night’s Stadium Series game at a capacity-filled Soldier Field would be highly improbable, who else but Blackhawks assistant captain Patrick Sharp fired a shot over the right shoulder of Pittsburgh goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with 4:25 left. “I honestly thought that was game, up 1-0,” said Sharp. “The way the conditions were out there, it was tough to get the puck anywhere near the net. And those guys defend well.”

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    Fireworks go off after the national anthem during the NHL Stadium Series between the Blackhawks and the Penguins Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Once again, Toews upstages Crosby

    Winter it most certainly was. Classic it was not. Amid blizzard conditions, the NHL Stadium Series probably looked beautiful on TV Saturday night when the Blackhawks hosted the Penguins, but it was anything other than cute for the players trying to secure a pair of important points.

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    Fireworks go off after the national anthem during the NHL Stadium Series between the Blackhawks and the Penguins Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Images: Blackhawks vs. Penguins hockey
    The Pittsburgh Penguins faced the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday, March 1 at Soldier Field as part of the NHL Stadium Series for outdoor hockey games. The Hawks beat the Penguins 5-1 during the snow filled game.

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    Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews celebrates a goal by Patrick Sharp in the first period Saturday against the Penguins at Soldier Field.

    Hawks in no hurry to react to Blues’ blockbuster trade

    Just because the Blues improved themselves this week with the acquisition of goalie Ryan Miller and gritty forward Steve Ott, don’t expect the Blackhawks to worry about making a counter move of their own as the trade deadline nears.

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    (23) Bennett Fuzak of Wheaton Academy drives the ball to the net during the Marmion at Wheaton Academy boys basketball game Friday in West Chicago.

    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball sectionals

    Scouting the DuPage County Class 3A and 4A boys basketball sectionals

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    Marmion takes third at team state

    It was as tough a loss as Ryan Cumbee has ever experienced.

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    St. Thomas More wins 2A championship

    Alexa Wallen scored 18 points while Tori McCoy added 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Champaign St. Thomas More to a 70-34 win over Prophetstown Saturday night in the Class 2A girls basketball state championship game at Redbird Arena in Normal.

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    Chicago Blackhawks left wing Patrick Sharp, left, jumps into the arms of Chicago Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews after scoring against the Pittsburgh Penguins Saturday at Soldier Field.

    Blackhawks beat Pittsburgh 5-1 at Soldier Field

    The swirling snow and frigid conditions made it even more fun for Jonathan Toews and the Chicago Blackhawks. Toews had two goals and an assist at a picturesque Soldier Field, and the Blackhawks beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 on Saturday night in the finale of the NHL Stadium Series. Patrick Sharp scored in the first period and Patrick Kane set up Kris Versteeg’s 100th career goal in the second, helping Chicago to its first win since Feb. 5 at Anaheim.

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    March 1, 2014 - Normal, IL - Lady Knights’ Rory Manion tries to dribble around Lady Shoes’ Haley Giles in the Class 2A third place game at the IHSA state basketball tournament on Saturday evening. Immaculate Conception led at the half 16-12. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

    IC Catholic not complaining about fourth place

    In terms of wins and losses, not a lot went right for the IC Catholic Prep girls this weekend at Redbird Arena. But perspective can help soothe. The Knights got just two points from their two leading scorers and the offense stalled to a season-low output as they fell to Teutopolis 32-28 in the third-place game of the Class 2A state tournament on Saturday night.

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    Larkin’s Kendale McCullum (10) drives to the basket against Streamwood earlier this season.

    Boys basketball: Scouting Fox Valley Class 3-4A sectionals

    Previewing the Class 3A and 4A boys basketball postseason in the Fox Valley.

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    Wheaton College claims CCIW title

    The Wheaton Thunder men’s basketball team defeated Illinois Wesleyan 87-66 on Saturday night in the CCIW Tournament championship game. By winning the CCIW Tournament, Wheaton earns the CCIW’s automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament. The NCAA will announce pairings and selections at 11:30 a.m. Monday at ncaa.org.

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    Montini rolls to 7th straight championship

    One week after crowning five Class 2A individual champions, the Montini wrestling squad achieved another milestone Saturday in Bloomington. The Broncos steamrolled Washington, Cahokia and Geneseo to win their seventh consecutive dual team state championship.

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    Mark Black/mblack@dailyherald.com Geneva celebrates their 48-24 win over Batavia in the Class 4A girls basketball sectional final game at Addison Trail in Addison, Thursday.

    Class 4A Judson supersectional preview: Geneva vs. Boylan

    At least one thing will be different for the Geneva girls basketball team when it takes the court Monday night in the Class 4A Judson supersectional.

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    Nancy Lindenmuth

    Geneva losing a one-of-a-kind in retiring Lindenmuth

    As a female in the pre-Title IX era, raised on a farm in northeast Kansas, Nancy Lindenmuth didn’t get a lot of plate appearances until hitting the adult coed softball circuit. Working the last 15 years as an assistant to Geneva athletic director Jim Kafer has helped keep her in the game.

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    St. Charles squads trying to clear Larkin hurdle

    It is go time. As in win or go home time for our local high school basketball teams that begin Illinois High School Association Class 4A and 3A regional tournament action this week.

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    Fremd and Matthew Ochoa, shooting while being guarded by Prospect’s Bobby Frasco in the Mid-Suburban League championship game, begin their postseason with a Tuesday regional matchup at Hersey. The unbeaten Vikings are the No. 2 seed in the Lake Zurich sectional.

    Strong field assembled for Lake Zurich sectional

    There’s sure to be some exciting boys basketball in this year’s Class 4A Lake Zurich sectional. Mid-Suburban League champion Fremd (25-0) is seeded No. 2 behind state power Stevenson, while St. Viator is No. 5. The sectional also features a surging Lake Forest team and a skilled group from Zion-Benton.

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    Burlington Central girls basketball coach Mark Smith high-fives assistant coach Kyle Molik near the end of the Rockets’ regional final win over St. Edward.

    Burlington Central relaxed and ready this year

    A year ago, the Burlington Central girls basketball team walked into the gym at Hoffman Estates High School, and then left it a couple hours later, a little like teams used to feel like after they’d played against Candace Parker.Dazed and confused.

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    Vernon Hills’ Sydney Smith has had much to celebrate in her four-year varsity career. This season she averaged nearly 20 points, a career best.

    Time for Lake County’s fun seasonal roundball ritual

    The Lake County boys and girls basketball all-area teams will appear next week. In advance of that, here's a presentation of various all-this and all-that honors winners.

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    Fremd’s Haley Gorecki and Rolling Meadows’ Sami Kay charge for the ball after Gorecki knocked it loose Thursday in the Barrington Class 4A sectional championship game. Rolling Meadows meets New Trier at 8 p.m. Monday in supersectional play at Hoffman Estates with a final four berth at stake.

    Rolling Meadows, New Trier in super matchup

    The saying goes ‘when the going gets tough, the tough get going.’ Rolling Meadows’ girls basketball team has certainly lived up to that adage in the state tournament. That’s why the Mustangs find themselves playing in the Elite Eight for the second straight time after 36 seasons without a sectional title. The state-ranked Mid-Suburban East champs (27-4) came back from halftime deficits in their two sectional wins to advance to Monday’s Class 4A Hoffman Estates supersectional against New Trier (27-4) at 8 p.m.

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    Elk Grove’s Colin Williams swims the 100-yard butterfly in the consolation finals during the boys swimming state meet finals at Evanston High School on Saturday.

    Williams, Barson make their point for Elk Grove, Meadows

    Was there something special in the water at Elk Grove High School’s pool this year? After all, the two high school programs who share that facility, Rolling Meadows and Elk Grove, were the only ones from the Mid-Suburban League represented in Saturday’s boys swimming state finals at Evanston Township High School on Saturday. The consensus is that yes, indeed, there was something special in that water: a pair of juniors named Colin Williams and Jake Barson. Williams and Barson wrapped up similar breakthrough seasons by scoring state meet points for a couple of boys swimming programs who’d gone without for quite a while. Fittingly, they had the same final placement in their events, 11th.

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    National power OPRF too much for Conant

    Conant came to the Class 3A dual-team wrestling state tournament hoping to put a dent in the side of the favored club from Oak Park-River Forest. But in the Cougars' quarterfinal opener at U.S. Cellular Coliseum, Conant was in a hit-and-run with the Huskies, who rolled right past the MSL champions, as well as two other subsequent foes, en route to a state title late Saturday night. The No. 1-ranked Huskies (28-1-0) sent out a strong message to their latter victims, Hononegah and Marist, after rolling over Conant 59-9 to start their day.

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    Hononegah finishes Libertyville’s stellar season

    The star-studded and much-anticipated state dual-team quarterfinal between Libertyville and Hononegah turned out to be everything all had expected, unless you were proudly wearing the orange and black of Libertyville. The Wildcats (21-3-0) were bounced out of the tournament following a heartbreaking 32-24 loss Saturday at U.S. Cellular Coliseum in Bloomington, thus ending a memorable season, as well as the wrestling careers of eight competitors in the Wildcats’ lineup Saturday.

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    Libertyville swimmers hoist their second-place team trophy following the boys swimming state meet finals at Evanston High School on Saturday.

    What a ride for runner-up Libertyville

    This wasn’t Bob Groseth’s first rodeo. The Libertyville swimming coach clearly must have a shelf at home with all of his college coach of the year honors. However, even this celebrated coach got a charge out of what happened to his Wildcats swim team on Saturday in Evanston. Led by Alex Snarski’s win in the 100-yard backstroke, teammate Matt Harrington’s second-place finish in the 100 butterfly and three strong relay performances, the Wildcats finished second in the state of Illinois, just 3 three points behind state champion Normal University.

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    Jacobs’ Alex Reinbrecht swims in the consolation finals of the 500-yard freestyle during the boys state swimming meet at Evanston High School Saturday. Reinbrecht, a senior, won the consolation championship in the event.

    Jacobs’ Reinbrecht shines in final high school race

    In his final race as a high school swimmer, Alex Reinbrecht didn’t want to leave anything to chance. So the Jacobs senior let loose with every ounce of energy left in him after a long weekend of competition, and the result was the finest performance of a storied high school career. Reinbrecht won the consolation heat of the 500-yard freestyle in the boys swimming state meet finals Saturday at Evanston Township High School, trimming a full three seconds off his previous best time after touching the wall at 4:34.53.

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    Annawan claims Class 1A title

    All-stater Celina VanHyfte scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds as Annawan won the Class 1A state girls basketball championship Saturday with a 59-23 rout of Carrollton at Redbird Arena in Normal.

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    Southern Illinois trips Illinois State 66-65

    Anthony Beane scored 21 points and freshman reserve Tyler Smithpeters hit a 3-pointer with 10 seconds left as Southern Illinois edged Illinois State 66-65 on Saturday. Smithpeters, who hit 3 of 4 treys, finished with 11 points and Desmar Jackson had 18 for the Salukis (13-18, 9-9 Missouri Valley Conference).

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    How long will Amar’e Stoudemire, left, and Carmelo Anthony be teammates? Anthony will be a free agent at the end of this season.

    Speculation swirls about Melo’s future

    As long as the Knicks continue to be a Midtown train wreck – they posted a 2-11 record in February – there is bound to be speculation about Carmelo Anthony wanting out, perhaps with an eye on the Bulls. New York visits the United Center on Sunday for an afternoon meeting with the Bulls.

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    Nebraska’s Shavon Shields (31) shoots against Northwestern center Alex Olah (22) during an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Lincoln. The Huskers beat the Wildcats 54-47.

    Shields leads Nebraska over Northwestern 54-47

    Shavon Shields had 17 points and 10 rebounds to lead Nebraska, which took a 10-point lead with 7 minutes left and held on to defeat Northwestern 54-47 Saturday. With the win, Nebraska (17-11, 9-7 Big Ten) is guaranteed a .500 conference record, a Big Ten first for the Huskers, now in their third season in the conference. Nebraska won nine conference games for the first time since 1998-99 and only the 10th time since World War II.

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    Libertyville swimmers hoist their second-place trophy following the boys state swimming meet at Evanston High School Saturday.

    Images: Boys state swimming finals
    The IHSA boys state swimming and diving finals were held Saturday, March 1 at Evanston Township High School. Libertyville High School took second place with Naperville Central taking fourth.

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    A person familiar with the situation says the Chicago Bulls and former Sacramento Kings guard Jimmer Fredette have tentatively agreed to a contract for the rest of the season.

    Source: Bulls, Fredette reach tentative deal

    The Bulls and former BYU sensation Jimmer Fredette have tentatively agreed to a contract after he parted with the Sacramento Kings earlier in the week, a person familiar with the situation said Saturday. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal has not been announced. The sharp-shooting guard was bought out by the Kings on Thursday and cleared waivers on Saturday. Now, he's getting a second chance with the Bulls.

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    Evansville edges Loyola 75-72

    D.J. Balentine scored 24 points and Evansville, leading by 18 in the second half, outlasted a Loyola comeback, winning 75-72 on Saturday. Evansville led by as many as 12 points in the first half before settling for a 37-27 lead over the Ramblers at the break.

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    DePaul women win Big East regular season title

    Doug Bruno and his DePaul Blue Demons were sitting at the airport watching the final seconds of Creighton’s game against Marquette on their phones. When the final buzzer sounded Saturday and Creighton lost, the team let out a big cheer having clinched the Big East regular season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament next weekend. It’s the first championship for the school since 2004-05 when DePaul was champions of Conference USA. “I’m really proud of our team, our staff, and am proud of the players for having the resiliency to fight back from a 2-2 start in the league,” Bruno said.

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    Rain washes out both Sox, Cubs

    The spring training game between the San Francisco Giants and a split squad of Cubs was rained out Saturday.A short but steady downpour fell about a half-hour before the scheduled start. Managers Rick Renteria of the Cubs and Bruce Bochy of the Giants repeatedly inspected the field and determined conditions were unplayable. And Saturday’s scheduled exhibition game between the Cleveland Indians and White Sox was also called off.

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    NIU falters against Eastern Michigan 56-52

    Mike Talley tied his career high with 21 points and Eastern Michigan scored the last 10 points of the game as the Eagles defeated Northern Illinois 56-52 on Saturday.

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    Pittsburgh forward Talib Zanna puts up a shot as Notre Dame guard Pat Connaughton looks on in the second half of an college basketball game Saturday, March 1, 2014 in South Bend, Ind. Pittsburgh won 85-81 in overtime with Zanna scoring 17 points. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

    Irish fall 85-81 in OT to Pittsburgh

    Lamar Patterson scored 20 points, including a pair of free throws with 2 seconds left, and Talib Zanna had 17 points and 14 rebounds as Pittsburgh overcame making one basket in the final six minutes of regulation to beat Notre Dame 85-81 in overtime Saturday.

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    UIC falls to Wright State 68-61

    AJ Pacher scored 16 points to lead Wright State to a 68-61 win over Illinois-Chicago on Saturday.Matt Vest added 11 points for the Raiders (18-13, 10-6 Horizon League), who shot 50 percent and had assists on 17 of their 23 field goals.

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    In this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, photo, Buffalo Sabres goaltender Ryan Miller reaches out with his glove to stop the puck during an NHL hockey game against the Carolina Hurricanes in Buffalo, N.Y. The Sabres traded Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues on Friday, Feb. 28, for goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 third-round pick. (AP Photo/Gary Wiepert)

    Sabres trade Ryan Miller, Steve Ott to Blues

    The Buffalo Sabres traded star goalie Ryan Miller and captain Steve Ott to the St. Louis Blues on Friday night for goalie Jaroslav Halak, forward Chris Stewart, prospect William Carrier, a 2015 first-round pick and a 2016 third-round pick.

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    In this Feb. 14, 2014, photo, former NFL safety Darren Sharper leaves a courthouse in Los Angeles. An arrest warrant has been issued for Sharper and another man, accusing them of raping two women in New Orleans last year. Sharper also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and has pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )

    (No heading)
    Former NFL All-Pro safety Darren Sharper surrendered to Los Angeles police after being named in a warrant involving a rape case in New Orleans.Sharper, 38, also is under investigation in sexual assault cases in Florida, Nevada and Arizona and has pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Los Angeles.

Business

  •  
    Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway Inc., speaks in 2012 during an interview at the Economic Club of Washington dinner event in Washington, D.C.

    Highlights from Warren Buffett’s annual letter

    Buffett had plenty of good news to discuss Saturday as he recounted the performance of his Omaha, Neb., based company with humor and wit. He also dispensed some investing advice.Here’s some of what Buffett had to say.

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    Taisia Bullard, who was born in central Ukraine, holds a banner Saturday reading “Glory to Ukraine” in front in the Russian embassy in Washington.

    U.S. calls on Russia to withdraw forces from Ukraine

    President Barack Obama on Saturday called on Russian President Vladimir Putin to de-escalate the tense atmosphere in Ukraine by pulling his forces back to bases in the country's Crimean region and to refrain from interfering elsewhere in the former Soviet satellite. Obama personally delivered the message to Putin during a 90-minute telephone conversation, the White House said late Saturday.

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    President Barack Obama speaks at Buck Lodge Middle School in Adelphi, Md. Six years into his presidency, Obama is unveiling a budget on Tuesday that for once does not herald a partisan legislative showdown. On Wednesday, he’ll stump for a raise in the minimum wage.

    Obama to push minimum wage this week

    Officials note that California, Connecticut, Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have raised the minimum wage since early 2013, when Obama first called on Congress to increase it. Obama recently used his executive power to enact a $10.10 minimum wage for the few hundred thousand people who work on federal contracts. Gap Inc., the clothing chain, recently announced plans to raise voluntarily the minimum hourly wage for its U.S. employees to $10 next year, a move Obama applauded.

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    Coca-Cola products sit on display in a supermarket in Princeton, Ill., on Thursday. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. has gained fame with equity investments in businesses like Coca-Cola, which appreciated after his purchase.

    Berkshire Hathaway profit up 10 percent

    Berkshire Hathaway Inc. owns roughly 80 subsidiaries, including railroad, clothing, furniture and jewelry firms. Its insurance and utility businesses typically account for more than half of the company’s net income. The company also has major investments in such companies as Coca-Cola Co., IBM and Wells Fargo & Co., and last year bought NV Energy and a major stake in H.J. Heinz.

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    Disney launches digital movies app

    Disney is launching a digital movies app that allows fans to store movie purchases online and play them back over Apple devices and computers. The launch of Disney Movies Anywhere coincides with the release of hit film “Frozen” on digital platforms.

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    Microsoft plans spring Windows, phone updates

    Microsoft will update its Windows system this spring to address some of the gripes people have had when they use devices without touch capabilities. Among other things, Microsoft Corp. will add search, power and settings buttons to the Start page.

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    An attendee tests a Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch at the Samsung Electronics Co. pavilion on the opening day of the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014.

    Samsung’s new smartwatches have fitness features

    BARCELONA, Spain — Samsung unveiled two new computerized wristwatches, this time including health sensors and related fitness features to give people a reason to buy one. Samsung’s first Galaxy Gear smartwatch came out last fall amid much fanfare, but it landed with a thud in the marketplace.

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    WhatsApp, the popular messaging service for smartphones acquired this week by Facebook, will soon be offering a voice service.

    WhatsApp to add voice to messaging service

    WhatsApp, the popular messaging service for smartphones acquired this week by Facebook, will soon be offering a voice service. CEO Jan Koum said the voice service will be deployed for Android and iPhones this spring, with Blackberry and Microsoft and Nokia phones coming later.

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    President and CEO of Sony Mobile Communications Kunimasa Suzuki presents the Xperia Z2 tablet during the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain.

    Sony showcases phone with ultra-HD video recording

    Sony is borrowing innovations from its audio and camcorder businesses and incorporating its new Xperia Z2 smartphone with noise-canceling technology and ultra-high-definition video recording.

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    Nokia targets emerging markets with Android phones

    Nokia is targeting emerging markets with three low-cost smartphones that use Google’s Android operating system rather than the Windows Phone software from Microsoft, which is about to take over Nokia’s handset business.

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    BlackBerry announces new phones, services

    BlackBerry will release a low-cost phone in Indonesia in April and plans a broader release of a phone that restores a beloved row of control keys with a track pad.

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    In this undated screenshot, the Google Maps application is demonstrated on an Android.

    How does Google Maps find out about traffic delays?

    When you use mapping software for directions, the app typically gives you two trip times: how long it would take to reach your destination driving the speed limit or a couple of miles per hour faster (a traffic-free utopia, of sorts) and the time it would take in current traffic. But wait a minute — how does a computer, which has never been stuck behind a jackknifed semi on the highway, know what traffic is like?

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    Copycat ‘Mario’ lures users as Nintendo resists smartphones

    Nintendo Co. isn’t offering Super Mario games on smartphones. Other people are. A game called “Super Mario” was available to download on Baidu Inc.’s 91 Wireless online app store in China and Wednesday was available on Samsung Electronics Co.’s online China app store.

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    Mark Zuckerberg Chairman and CEO of Facebook pauses, during a conference at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, Feb. 24, 2014. Expected highlights include major product launches from Samsung and other phone makers, along with a keynote address by Facebook founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg.

    Zuckerberg data stance faces privacy backlash in Europe

    Facebook’s announcement that it’s buying messaging service WhatsApp, with 450 million users, further underscores the issue of data security since the deal would give the company access to even more details of users’ lives.

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    Facebook mobile strength breeds apps in hunt for ad dollars

    Advertisers are betting a new breed of apps to create mobile ads, along with bigger smartphone displays and faster network connections, will grab consumers’ attention.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Jared Leto accepts the award for best supporting male on stage at the 2014 Film Independent Spirit Awards, on Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif.

    ‘12 Years a Slave’ rolls at Spirit Awards

    “12 Years a Slave” rolled at the Spirit Awards, winning five awards including best feature at the annual independent film celebration. On the eve of the Academy Awards, the slavery tale won awards for director Steve McQueen, actress Lupita Nyong’o, screenwriter John Ridley and cinematographer Sean Bobbitt. In a more laid-back, beachside ceremony in Santa Monica, just west of Los Angeles, “12 Years a Slave” was applauded as the clear favorite of the indie circuit.

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    Actor Merwin Foard is dressed as Gomez for “The Addams Family,” in a scene from the documentary “The Standbys.” Foard is a top standby, an actor hired to wait in the wings of Broadway shows each night, ready in full costume, just in case the star of the show gets injured or sick.

    Film ‘The Standbys’ probes quirky Broadway part

    Merwin Foard has one of the oddest jobs on Broadway: He gets paid not to perform. Foard is a top standby — an actor hired to wait in the wings of Broadway shows each night, ready in full costume, just in case the star of the show gets injured or sick. “It is a tricky thing. You have to eat a lot of humble pie,” says Foard, who is currently a standby in “Aladdin” at the New Amsterdam Theatre. This month, Foard finally gets his own starring part, but in a film: “The Standbys,” a documentary by director Stephanie Riggs that tells the professional and personal story of three Broadway standbys.

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    Jennie Garth arrives at KIIS FM’s Jingle Ball at Nokia Theatre LA Live on Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Katy Winn/Invision/AP)

    Book notes: Jennie Garth discusses ‘Deep Thoughts’ in Naperville
    Actress and author Jennie Garth discusses and signs copies of her book “Deep Thoughts From a Hollywood Blonde” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 6, at Anderson’s Bookshop in Naperville. Author Miyoko Hikiji discusses and signs copies of her book "All I Could Be: My Story as a Woman Warrior in Iraq" at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 5, at the First Division Museum at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

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    “Influx” by Daniel Suarez brings up intriguing questions ripe for discussion.

    ‘Influx’ is thought-provoking novel

    Imagine a world where scientific breakthroughs are kept under lock and key. This is the terrifying scenario in Daniel Suarez’s innovative and thought-provoking new novel, “Influx.” Physicist Jon Grady and his team create a device that can reflect gravity. This device could greatly benefit transportation, space and the construction industry. Grady hopes to win the Nobel Prize, but his lab is locked down and his data is destroyed by an organization called the Bureau of Technology Control.

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    Chiwetel Ejiofor earned an Oscar nomination for his role in “12 Years A Slave,” available on DVD March 4.

    DVD previews: ‘12 Years a Slave,’ ‘Hours’

    Two of the year's biggest films head to DVD next week: the Oscar-nominated "12 Years a Slave" and the "Hunger Games" sequel "Catching Fire."

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    Flight cancellations can put anyone in a bad mood. This winter, airports around the world have had trouble weathering the crowds.

    Grounded: Bad weather leads to bad behavior by air passengers

    If you were at O’Hare International Airport earlier this month when the snow was blowing sideways, you were more apt to fly into a rage than the wild blue yonder. O’Hare wasn’t the only place this winter where bad weather caused passengers to fly off the handle when they couldn’t fly on an airplane. Airports around the world have had trouble weathering the crowds.

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    Training schedule for a bobsledder

    The first step to becoming a bobsledder? Score high enough on this test: A 60-meter sprint (or a 45-meter sprint for women); Broad jump; Shot toss; Men throw a 16-pound shot, women a 12-pound shot;_ Power clean (1 rep max); Back squat (3 rep max).

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    Pharrell Williams rehearses before the NBA All-Star basketball game in New Orleans. The producer-rapper-singer’s tune “Happy” is nominated for best original song at the Oscars, to be announced Sunday, March 2.

    Ahead of Oscars, Pharrell hits No. 1 with ‘Happy’

    Calling Pharrell’s current state “happy” might be an understatement. The producer-rapper-singer’s tune “Happy” is nominated for best original song at Sunday’s Oscars. Days ahead, the upbeat anthem has climbed to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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    TJ Burns practicing box jumps; hurdles, box jumps and other plyometric exercises are standard for bobsled training.

    Get the scoop on bobsled’s inside track

    Shoving a pushcart loaded down with hundreds of pounds of weights is tough. What’s even harder is being quizzed while you’re doing it, says Mike Kohn. So when people would ask him what exactly he was up to as he struggled with his equipment around various spots in Maryland and Virginia, he’d just tell them, “I have this weird way I exercise.”They’d never believe the real answer: He was in training for the Olympic bobsled team.

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    Michigan’s Boyne Mountain holds a Carnival Weekend full of snow sports, music, parties, cookouts and live entertainment, March 14-16.

    On the road: Irish-themed party cruise on green Chicago River

    You’ll be testing your best Irish brogue while floating upon the Kelly green Chicago River via a Spirit of Chicago St. Patrick’s Day cruise. Cruise the river dining on a grand buffet of traditional foods, sipping green beer, enjoying iconic views, and dancing off the calories with interactive DJ entertainment.

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    Reverse mortgage requires home to be sold

    Q. My parents, who passed away in 2013, had a reverse mortgage on our family home. Evidently, they did not pay their property taxes and insurance premiums, so the costs were added to what they owed on the mortgage. The home is not worth the reverse mortgage balance. Is there any way to work with the mortgage company to refinance and get back our family home for less than the balance?

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    Boards do not all have same budget deadline

    Q. Is there a deadline by when an annual budget needs to be prepared and approved each year by the board of an association?

  •  
    First things first — get a sturdy toolbox.

    Upgrade your toolbox

    When you’ve moved beyond assembling cheap furniture for your first home, that second-rate toolkit won’t cut it anymore. A proper renovation, DIY project or home maintenance task requires heavy-duty equipment.

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    Would a HECM reverse mortgage work for you?

    In a recent article, I described a reliable and easy-to-use calculator that could improve the ability of seniors to determine whether or not their lives would be benefited by a HECM reverse mortgage. However, having a tool is one thing, knowing how to use it effectively is another.

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    Comedian Colin Quinn, seen here in his previous show “Long Story Short,” performs “Unconstitutional” at the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts in Skokie on Saturday, March 1.

    Weekend picks: Colin Quinn finds the funny in politics

    Former "Saturday Night Live" comedian Colin Quinn brings his political humor to the North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. See 20 running model railroads at the High Wheeler Train Show at Harper College in Palatine. And the Meltin' Blues Weekend brings all kinds of musical entertainment to downtown Long Grove.

Discuss

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    Saturday Soapbox
    Among the topics on the minds of Daily Herald editors are a new concert venue in Lake County, the best places to buy a suburban home, and a mayor who proves again that he's one tough guy.

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    Obama’s best hope for change

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: President Obama’s new outreach initiative to help at-risk boys of color — “My Brother’s Keeper” — is cause for cheer. It isn’t that we haven’t known for some time that minority boys are in trouble.

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