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Daily Archive : Thursday March 6, 2014

News

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    Lake County officials on Tuesday are expected to approve a contract to widen Peterson Road from Franklin Boulevard to west of Route 83. Property, such as this on the northeast corner of Peterson and Midlothian roads, remains available, but county officials regard the area as a future growth corridor.

    Peterson Road corridor viewed as key to growth in central Lake County

    Lake County officials are expected to approve a $10.8 million contract to widen a segment of Peterson Road as part of a bigger plan in the central part of the county. "This is an area the county really has been targeting for economic development in the future," said Lake County board Chairman Aaron Lawlor.

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    Andy DuRoss

    Dist. 54 reprimands DuRoss, will renegotiate contract

    Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 board members Thursday issued a letter of reprimand to Superintendent Andy DuRoss and called for his five-year contract to be renegotiated two days after he pleaded guilty to a charge of reckless driving. “The entirety of what occurred on that evening evidences poor decision making that calls into question your ability to lead this District...

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    David Beckmann

    Roselle man admits to animal cruelty in death of pet peacock

    A Roselle man accused of sexually abusing a pet peacock that was later found dead in his garage has pleaded guilty to an animal cruelty charge. David Beckmann, also pleaded guilty on Thursday to battery, unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and telephone harassment.

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    Peter Breen, left, and Sandra Pihos, right, are candidates in the race for 48th state House District in the March 18 GOP primary.

    Values, party division debated in 48th House race

    48th House Rep. Sandra Pihos acknowledges that Republicans have let their varying philosophies create tension within the party. “We can’t let our differences divide us if we really want to take over in this state,” she said. Her challenger in the March 18 primary, Lombard Peter Breen, says the district needs a representative that will advocate the Republican set of principals...

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    Lou Bianchi

    Bianchi vows to fight on after $15 million federal lawsuit dismissed

    A judge has dismissed a $15 million federal lawsuit that McHenry County State's Attorney Lou Bianchi filed against a special prosecutor who twice indicted him on misconduct charges. Bianchi was acquitted twice in 2011, and he vowed to continue seeking damages through an appeal. “We're still looking for justice and we're going to keep going forward until we get it,” he said. “It...

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    Batavia Battalion Chief Jami White walks into the Master Cast building at Mallory Avenue and First Street on Thursday where members of the Kane County Fire Investigation Task Force are investigating the fire from Wednesday night.

    Investigation continues in to Batavia factory fire

    The cause of a Wednesday-night fire at a Batavia factory remains undetermined, officials said Thursday. Batavia Deputy Fire Chief Randy Banker said Thursday it appears the Master Cast building at 106 S. Mallory Ave. might be a total loss.

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    “Heartbeat of Home,” a new music and dance spectacular from the producers of “Riverdance,” is making its U.S. debut at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago through Sunday, March 16.

    Synthetic ‘Heartbeat’ doesn’t step too far from ‘Riverdance’ roots

    There’s no denying the amazing talent onstage in “Heartbeat of Home,” the new music and dance revue by the producers of “Riverdance.” Now making its U.S. debut at the Oriental Theatre, “Heartbeat of Home” should please die-hard “Riverdance” fans and Chicagoans should consider themselves lucky to be getting so many of the original 2013 Dublin...

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    One dead in Woodstock fire

    One person is dead after a house fire in Woodstock, officials confirmed on Thursday night. Firefighters responded to the 500 block of Kimball Avenue around 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, said Woodstock Fire Captain Michael Hill.

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    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, right, jokes with New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, left, to the amusement of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed on Thursday during a mayoral panel discussion at the University of Chicago.

    Mayors say big cities are driving U.S. resurgence

    Mayors of some of America’s biggest cities said Thursday that cities, not Washington, D.C., are driving the country’s economic growth. Bill de Blasio of New York, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Rahm Emanuel of Chicago and Kasim Reed of Atlanta spoke at a forum at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics.

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    Linda Chapa LaVia

    Should voters get say in charter schools?

    A new proposal would give local voters a chance to say whether they want a charter school in their district. Last year 18 suburban school districts rejected adding a proposed online charter school in the area.

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    A mock-up cover of Barbie on a Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is displayed at the Mattel booth at the American International Toy Fair in New York last month. A few weeks after her foray into the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, Barbie is entangled in controversy again, this time over her ties with the Girl Scouts.

    Girl Scouts asked to end partnership with Barbie

    America's top doll, Barbie, finds herself in controversy once again, this time over a business partnership between her manufacturer, Mattel, and the Girl Scouts. On Thursday, two consumer advocacy groups often critical of corporate advertising tactics — the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood and the Center for a New American Dream — criticized Barbie as a flawed role model...

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    Local residents hold a Soviet flag as members of Cossack militia guard the local parliament building in Simferopol, Ukraine, Thursday. Lawmakers in Crimea declared their intention to split from Ukraine and join Russia instead, and scheduled a referendum in 10 days for voters to decide the fate of the disputed peninsula.

    Crimea to vote to split from Ukraine, join Russia

    Ukraine lurched toward breakup Thursday as lawmakers in Crimea unanimously declared they wanted to join Russia and would put the decision to voters in 10 days. President Barack Obama condemned the move and the West answered with the first real sanctions against Russia.News: Speaking from the White House, Obama said any decisions on the future of Crimea, a pro-Russian area of Ukraine, must include...

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    Bryan Pece

    Former Carol Stream cop pleads guilty to DUI

    A former Carol Stream police sergeant on Thursday pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol in connection with a crash last May in Hanover Park in which he and two others were injured. The victims dropped the request for jail time. “I am sorry for the pain I have caused you and your family,” Brian Pece said. “That’s all I wanted to hear,” one...

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    Co-owner Patrick “Deep Dish” Bertoletti sweeps the floors Thursday while helping to prepare for the opening of Taco in a Bag, a new restaurant in the Spring Hill Mall food court. Bertoletti and his partner, Tim “Gravy” Brown, a Barrington native, won a challenge on “Food Court Wars” on the Food Network, and the prize was their own store in the mall. Taco in a Bag is expected to open March 14.

    ‘Food Court Wars’ eatery opens next week in W. Dundee

    It’s only about a week before suburbanites can sink their teeth into Mexican-inspired food from a new eatery that, thanks to “Food Court Wars,” recently won a rent-free space at Spring Hill Mall. The two-man team that makes up Taco in a Bag hopes to open March 14. “I am super excited and super, super scared,” said Tim "Gravy" Brown, a Barrington native.

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    Oscar Mayer’s bacon app for the iPhone is available at www.wakeupandsmellthebacon.com.

    Wake up and smell the bacon ... with Oscar Mayer’s app

    Oscar Mayer says it has created a bacon-scented app for the iPhone, developed by the Madison-based company’s Institute for the Advancement of Bacon. The company says that to emit a small puff reminiscent of bacon, the phone needs an external device that plugs into the headphone jack. The app itself produces the sound of bacon sizzling in a pan.

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    Army Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair, seen here leaving court in 2012 with a member of his defense team, is accused of sexual assault. On Thursday, he pleaded guilty to three lesser charges in a move his lawyer hopes will strengthen his position going into trial.

    General admits guilt on 3 counts; denies assault

    In his immaculate blue dress uniform, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Sinclair stood ramrod straight before a judge Thursday and pleaded guilty to three charges that could send him to prison for up to 15 years. It was a remarkable admission sure to end the military career of a man once regarded as a rising star among the U.S. Army’s small cadre of trusted battle commanders.

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    Lake Villa firefighter James Howell removes debris after a fire destroyed a house Thursday on the 34000 block of North Michael Road in Ingleside.

    Fire destroys house in Ingleside

    Firefighters are still investigating what caused a fire in an Ingleside home on Thursday afternoon. Crews arrived on the scene at 1:19 p.m. and reported fire coming from the second story of the house on the 34000 block of North Michael Road.

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    Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, chair of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Personnel, saw a controversial bill she sponsored voted down in the Senate Thursday. It would have stripped senior military commanders of their authority to prosecute rapes and other serious offenses,

    Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases

    Bowing to the Pentagon, the Senate agreed after impassioned debate Thursday to leave the authority to prosecute rapes and other serious crimes with military commanders in a struggle that highlighted the growing role of women in Congress. The vote was 55-45 in favor of stripping commanders of that authority, but that was short of the 60 necessary to move ahead on the legislation.

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    Igor Karlukov

    Palatine man indicted in food delivery attack case

    A Palatine man used a fast food sandwich delivery to burst into an apartment and attack a woman the same day she had an order of protection issued against him, authorities said. Igor Karlukov, 36, of the 1300 block of Turtle Creek Circle, was indicted Thursday in Lake County court on a dozen criminal counts,

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    Fifth pension lawsuit filed

    A fifth lawsuit has been filed by state employees challenging Illinois’ new pension law. The lawsuit from current and former employees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Parkland Community College was filed in Champaign County circuit court Thursday.

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    Alan Stoeckel

    Palatine chooses new police chief

    Alan Stoeckel has been named the new chief of the Palatine Police Department, the village announced Thursday. Stoeckel, a 29-year veteran of the department and currently deputy chief of operations, will replace retiring Chief John Koziol. “Deputy Chief Stoeckel will be an outstanding leader for our police department,” Village Manager Reid Ottesen said.

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    District 95 preschool program:

    Applications are being accepted for the Little Leaders Preschool offered by Lake Zurich Unit District 95. Enrollment in the tuition-based program is open to families who live within district boundaries.

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    Woodlands Academy collecting books:

    The public is invited to help Woodlands Academy of the Sacret Heart reach its goal of collecting 3,000 books for Bernie’s Book Bank, which will distribute them to children ranging in age from infants to sixth grade students.

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    Dance show at LHS:

    Libertyville High School’s Orchesis dance troupe will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday in the school auditorium, 708 W. Park Ave., Libertyville.

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    Housing study suggests more rental inspections in North Aurora, Batavia

    The Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning has returned with suggestions for North Aurora, Batavia, Geneva and St. Charles about what to plan for housing in the next 20 years.

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    Artwork from Oakton students on display

    Artwork from students at Oakton Community College is now on display at the Brickton Art Center in Park Ridge as part of a special exhibit, The Nature Project. The exhibit emphasizes “going green” and features paintings, ceramics, sculpture, photography, and drawings, according to a news release.

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    Des Plaines hosts Coffee with a Cop

    The Des Plaines Police Department will host its fourth Coffee with a Cop event Friday, March 28, officials said. The informal event will give residents the opportunity to ask questions, voice concerns and get to know Des Plaines police officers, Police Chief Bill Kushner said.

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    Buffalo Grove could merge planning, zoning boards

    Buffalo Grove is looking to simplify and streamline its process for reviewing potential developments. Village board members this week heard a variety of proposals from staff to ease the planning and zoning process by, among other things, merging the plan commission and the zoning board of appeals and eliminating the Appearance Review Team.

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    Lake Zurich Middle School South students Ria Talukder (Madhatter), left, Morgan Coirier (Alice), Emma Belew (the March Hare) and Lindsey Lang (the Door Mouse) perform a scene during Thursday’s dress rehearsal for “Alice in Wonderland.”

    Lake Zurich Middle School South students set to perform ‘Alice in Wonderland’ this weekend

    Lake Zurich Middle School South students went through dress rehearsal in elaborate costumes for “Alice in Wonderland” Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s performances.

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    Harper adds program to help low-income students

    One Million Degrees, a Chicago-based nonprofit organization that assists low-income, highly motivated community college students, will be expanding its scope into the Northwest suburbs through a partnership with Harper College.

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    Rendering of the proposed Brainerd Coummunity Center in Libertyville.

    Proposed community center plans in Libertyvile heat up

    Give and take is expected Thursday at the third and final town hall meeting on a proposal to create a community center in Libertyville. Voters will be asked on March 18 to authorize the village to borrow up to $11.5 million through bonding to convert the shuttered former Libertyville High School.

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    Woodland Primary lauded by state:

    A school in the Gurnee-based Woodland Elementary District 50 system has received kudos from the state.

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    Firefighter/paramedics Anthony Minarcik, left, and Matt Tackoy unload a pallet with the assistance of Deputy Fire Chief Henry Dawson, right, as Feed the Children delivered a trailer full of food to Mount Prospect Fire Station 14 on Kensington Road.

    Not too much of a good thing; 25,000 pounds of donated food arrives in Mt. Prospect

    A truck filled with food and other essential items was unloaded Thursday morning in Mount Prospect, where they will be distributed to families in need. The truck, which came from Feed the Children, was sponsored by Sam's Place restaurant in Mount Prospect. Village officials said they were "thrilled" by the donation.

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    Lake County Sheriff’s deputy injured in crash

    A Lake County Sheriff’s deputy was injured in a crash with a garbage truck on Wadsworth Road in Waukegan early Thursday, authorities said. The deputy was treated and released from Advocate Condell Medical Center.

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    The Geneva High School girls basketball team poses for a picture before boarding a bus Thursday bound for Illinois State University and the state tournament.

    Geneva, Burlington girls head to state

    Geneva and Burlington Central girls basketball teams take off for the state tournament at Redbird Arena in Bloomington. The teams play in the Class 4A and Class 3 semifinals, respectively, Friday.

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    Oscar Pistorius, puts his hands to his head while listening to evidence from a witness speaking about the morning of the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in court on the fourth day of his trial at the high court in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday.

    Witness: Pistorius prayed over his shot girlfriend

    As the girlfriend he shot in the head lay dead or dying in his home, a weeping, praying Oscar Pistorius knelt at her side and struggled in vain to help her breathe by holding two fingers in her clenched mouth, a witness testified Thursday at the double-amputee runner's murder trial. “I shot her. I thought she was a burglar. I shot her,” radiologist Johan Stipp, a neighbor, recalled...

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    Rate of uninsured children drops, but demographic disparity grows

    Suburban counties have had significant drops in uninsured children, Voices for Illinois Children reported. However, the disparity between minority children and white children, especially in the suburbs, is still a reality.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Ellen K. Patterson-Weathers, 46, of Streamwood, was charged Wednesday with assault and unlawful use or possession of weapons by a felon after she pointed a stun gun at someone in Elgin, according to court documents.

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    This rendering depicts the proposed Centegra Hospital-Huntley that would house 128 beds, a women’s center and an emergency department. The $233 million, 360,000-square-foot facility would go up on Haligus Road, between Algonquin and Reed roads.

    Site work begins on Centegra’s Huntley hospital

    While construction won’t begin in earnest until late spring, crews have begun moving dirt on the site that will house Centegra Health System’s new 128-bed hospital in Huntley. Construction is expected to take 30 months to complete and the hospital will begin treating its first patients in fall 2016, said Susan Milford, Centegra’s senior vice president of strategy and...

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    Bartlett police name officer of 2013

    The Bartlett police department has chosen its top officer and civilian employee of 2013. The honors went to Sgt. Jessica Crowley, a 19-year veteran, and Michael Brady, who acts a liaison for the department and courtrooms across the suburbs.

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    Construction continues Thursday on a new Dave & Buster's at Westfield Hawthorn Mall in Vernon Hills. The arcade is scheduled to open March 26.

    Work to transform Westfield Hawthorn well under way

    A $50 million makeover of the Westfield Hawthorn mall in Vernon Hills is well under way, with a Dave & Buster's arcade set to open this month. A 1,200-seat AMC theater and several restaurants also are in the works. "By creating an entertainment mecca, it can do nothing but hlep the overall health of the mall," said village Trustee Jim Schultz.

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    U of I adds sex changes to insurance

    University of Illinois trustees have voted to add coverage for sex-change operations to the health insurance plan used by many students at the flagship campus. To cover the cost of the coverage, undergraduates in Urbana-Champaign next fall will pay $2 more per semester for the insurance, while graduate students will pay $3 more.

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    3 more counties to issue gay-marriage licenses now

    The list of counties that will start issuing same-sex marriage licenses immediately is growing. Cass and St. Clair counties now are granting licenses, and the clerk in Jackson County said he will soon.

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    Geneva RR crossing to be closed for repairs

    The Third Street railroad crossing in Geneva will be closed March 7-10 for repairs.

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    Tyler E. White

    Drug court for Geneva man facing heroin, Ecstasy charges

    A 22-year-old man who was arrested after apparently shooting heroin at a Geneva coffee shop last July has been admitted into the Kane County Drug Rehabilitation Court. Tyler E. White, of Geneva, has been clean since September, and faces four to 15 years in prison if he can't complete drug court, which is a last resort for defendants facing long prison terms.

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    State universities warn of perils if budgets are cut

    Illinois’ public university presidents Thursday spelled out a doomsday scenario of cuts should the state’s temporary tax increase expire as scheduled next January, a move they say would disproportionately affect the number of low-income students while others flee to schools outside the state.

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    Jewel buys five more Dominick’s stores

    Five additional former Dominick’s Finer Foods stores, including two in the Northwest suburbs, will reopen as Jewel-Osco supermarkets under a deal inked Thursday, company officials said. Stores in Fox River Grove and Lake Zurich were part of the deal, officials said.

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    State senator, chief justice debate judges’ pay

    An Illinois state senator is suggesting lowering starting salaries for judges in Illinois. But Chief Justice Rita Garmin says she’s worried that lowering the starting salaries would adversely affect the quality of judges on the bench.

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    Body found in Chicago drain pipe

    Chicago police are investigating the discovery of a woman’s body inside an underground basin by a city water department employee.

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    Cicero man accused of making false bomb threat

    The Cook County sheriff’s office says that 34-year-old Carlos Davila of Cicero is suspected of phoning in a bogus bomb threat against the Maywood courthouse.

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    Gang leader convicted of ordering hand-smashing

    A Latin Kings street-gang leader in Chicago has been convicted of ordering an enforcer to smash the hands of a subordinate with a hammer and other crimes.

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    Workers were on the roof of Mundelein’s new village hall Thursday morning. The building is under construction on the 200 block of East Hawley Street. This is the view from Archer Avenue.

    New Mundelein village hall nearing completion

    With an estimated $10 million price tag, construction of Mundelein's new village hall is set to wrap up in May. Moving day is scheduled for June.

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    Palatine awaits thaw to know how roads fared through winter

    The full impact this winter has had on Palatine’s roads won’t be fully known until spring comes, whenever that may be. Matt Barry, the village’s director of public works, said this winter has caused the road to “heave,” more than it has in previous, gentler winters.

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    Occupational therapist Amy Payton works with students in a hallway at Steeple Run Elementary School in Naperville Unit District 203 because there are no small-group spaces available. A $2.7 million construction project set to begin this spring will allow the school's current offices to be renovated into flexible areas for specialists such as Payton to teach.

    Addition to create 'space to spread out' at Steeple Run in Naperville

    Small groups of students will no longer be working in hallways once a $2.7 million construction project wraps up in September at Steeple Run Elementary School in Naperville Unit District 203. In addition, officials say, the facility's gym and lunchroom no longer will be one and the same and after-school programs will have space to spread out.

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    Lawmakers are moving forward with creating an exclusion list of people the Illinois Gaming Board deems shouldn’t be involved with video gambling.

    Illinois lawmaker pushes for gaming “exclusion” list

    Lawmakers are moving forward with creating an exclusion list of people the Illinois Gaming Board deems shouldn’t be involved with video gambling. The measure is sponsored by Chicago Democratic Sen. Ira Silverstein. It was unanimously passed Wednesday by a Senate committee.

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    One person killed in Aurora crash

    Aurora police are investigating a Thursday morning accident that killed a 56-year-old Aurora woman. Police spokesman Dan Ferrelli said authorities responded at 4:15 a.m. to reports of the accident at Randall Road, just south of Sullivan Road.

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    John Jung Jr., from left, Michael Rein and Zane Seipler are candidates for McHenry County Board District 5.

    McHenry District 5 incumbent takes on 2 challengers

    The McHenry County Board GOP primary in the 5th District finds three Woodstock men vying for the party’s two nominations: an incumbent looking to cut spending, a challenger with admitted political baggage and a third candidate looking to lower taxes in the county.

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    Steve Lentz

    Mundelein Mayor Steve Lentz launches math contest

    More than 100 Mundelein-area students will compete in the first Mayor's Cup Math Challenge on Sunday at Mundelein High School. Mayor Steve Lentz came up with the idea because he thought a math contest would inspire kids to compete and bring attention to the growing educational focus on science, technology, engineering and math.

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    The Kinder House, operated by the Des Plaines History Center, is reopening for public tours after budget cuts forced it to close about two years ago. The house’s interior is a reflection of life in 1907, when it was built by hardware merchant Benjamin F. Kinder.

    Historic Kinder House reopens for tours in Des Plaines

    History buffs will be able to take a step back in time again at the historic Kinder House in Des Plaines, which has reopened for public tours. A grim financial situation at the Des Plaines History center led to the Kinder House’s doors closing a couple of years ago.

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    Arlington Heights budget includes new website

    Arlington Heights began what officials predicted will be a straightforward budget approval process with the first of four public meetings on Wednesday night. “I think this is the most important thing that we do as elected officials,” said Mayor Thomas Hayes. “To really determine where the people's money is going to go and how it's going to be spent for the betterment of this...

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    For some kids, self-defense can become offensive

    Our Ken Potts says self-defense training for young children might be taking a good thing a little too far.

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    “Oklahoma” cast members include, back row, from left, Bradley Smith as Carnes, Daniel Mikhail as Ali, Jim Chrouser playing Jud, Justin Santostefano as Will; front row, from left, Joseph Beaty as Curly, Maddie Hayes as Laurey and Grace Comerford as Aunt Eller.

    ‘Oklahoma’ comes to South Elgin High School

    "Oklahoma,” the musical being staged this weekend by South Elgin High School, may be set in a simpler era, but it is filled with complexities. "It’s a fun musical with underlying serious tones,” said Joseph Beaty of Elgin, who plays Curly, the male lead.

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    John Dillinger

    Gun stolen by Dillinger gang returning to N. Indiana

    The FBI plans to return a .45-caliber Thompson submachine gun stolen by members of the John Dillinger gang from a northeastern Indiana police station to the department. The Star of Auburn reports Auburn Police Chief Martin McCoy is inviting the public to attend Thursday’s presentation at the DeKalb County Courthouse.

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    Melissa Dunning measures ingredients for a batch of cookies at her home in Kinsman.

    Illinois woman bakes cookies for troops

    Since August 2013, Melissa Dunning of Kinsman has been on a mission to supply cookies to troops stationed with her brother, Bruce Boling, and her brother-in-law, Jason Dunning. Jason, from South Wilmington, is in the Army National Guard and is on deployment in Saudi Arabia. Boling, originally from Mazon, is in the Air Force and is on deployment in Afghanistan.

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    Wisconsin committee to hear Common Core bill

    School district superintendents from across Wisconsin are preparing to testify against a bill that would give the Legislature power to approve and write academic standards.

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    Contaminated Skittles sold at Indiana store

    Two people who ate from a package of contaminated Skittles required hospital treatment for burning throats, cramping and diarrhea, Indiana authorities said Wednesday night.

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    Citywide nursing school planned in Chicago

    Chicago’s city college system plans to consolidate its nursing programs at Malcolm X College on the city’s West Side. The citywide nursing school will be part of the $251 million Malcolm X College and School of Health Sciences that’s under construction.

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    The Illinois House has approved a plan to study alternative ways for people to pay for college.

    ‘Pay it Forward’ college plan gets House approval

    The Illinois House has approved a plan to study alternative ways for people to pay for college. The “Pay it Forward” plan calls on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to consider programs other states have adopted to address the rising cost of a college education.

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    Moline-bound American jet in Texas makes emergency landing

    An American Eagle jet flying from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Illinois has made a safe emergency landing at a small North Texas airport amid reports of smoke in the cabin.

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    In the last month, Comcast has offered to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. Pharmaceutical giant Actavis is buying Forest Laboratories for $25 billion.

    U.S. companies spend heavily on big mergers in 2014

    So far, 2014 is looking like the year of the big deal. Flush with cash and high stock prices, companies are buying up the competition at levels not seen since the dotcom bubble. And with Washington providing more clarity on government spending plans, CEOs are more confident their expansion hopes will pan out — especially if the economy keeps growing.

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    Emanuel: Revised parking meter pact saving money

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel says a renegotiated parking meter contract appears to be paying off. Emanuel said Wednesday that the city and motorists saved about $2.1 million in the last six months of 2013 under a revised deal between the city and a private parking meter company.

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    Dawn Patrol: Batavia foundry burns; fires in Schaumburg, St. Charles

    Batavia foundry burns. Smaller fires in Schaumburg, St. Charles. Some Elgin city pipes freeze. Attorney wants to suppress Mundelein man’s statements. Gun owners march in Springfield. Fugitive in Bartlett fatal crash gets extradited. Mount Prospect OKs $8.3 million road program. Winfield trustee in hot water Roosevelt Road email. Bulls beat Pistons.

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    Barb Wojnicki

    5% raises for Kane officials move, with dissension

    Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen promised his plan to give the highest-level county employees 5 percent raises won't cost taxpayers any more money in winning support from his Executive Committee Wednesday. There was some notable new dissent, including from Kane County Republican Party Chairman Barb Wojnicki, who said this is not the kind of economy where public employees need raises that...

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    James Atten and Rick Erickson need $5 million to renovate the Wheaton Grand Theater.

    Saving downtown theaters: Wheaton Grand headlines a long list

    Two dreamers hope to find $5 million to save the downtown Wheaton Grand Theater. Their story is the latest among many such efforts — some unsuccessful and some a rousing success — that can be told throughout the suburbs. “Theaters are one of the few things you can talk about that everybody seems to have a story," says Richard Fosbrink, executive director of the Theatre...

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    Bartlett’s response to the emerald ash borer — a beetle destructive to thousands of trees in town — is partly behind spending growth in the village’s proposed $57.5 million budget.

    Emerald ash borer, flood relief project slated for Bartlett budget

    Bartlett officials have prepared a $57.5 million budget for the next fiscal year that calls for two ambitious projects. Trustees will continue to review the proposed spending blueprint March 18.

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    Durbin calls for Russian troops to leave Ukraine

    U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is condemning Russia for sending military troops into the Crimean region of Ukraine. The Springfield Democrat introduced a resolution Wednesday calling for the troops’ withdrawal and a negotiated settlement of any issues involving Crimea.

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    Former Chicago man sentenced in absentia to start serving term

    A former Chicago man sentenced in absentia for bilking a female acquaintance out of $93,000 has been arrested after years on the lam and will begin serving his 10-year prison term.

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    Technology Coach Allison Honaker helps kindergartner Meghan O’Donnell as kids learn how to create a blog at Oak Grove Elementary School in Green Oaks.

    Teacher chosen to attend prestigious Apple training in California

    As a first-grade teacher and now a technology coach at Oak Grove Elementary School, Allison Honaker recognizes how important it is that students utilize the latest technology to help them learn. Honaker now can show staff how to use the latest Apple devices in the classroom after being selected to participate in a prestigious Apple training at its headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

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    Kendra Standish, right, and Sarah Swiston, middle, play cello with the Youth Symphony of DuPage. The symphony performs three concerts a year, with its next one coming on Sunday, March 9.

    Youth Symphony of DuPage celebrates 50 years of teaching young musicians

    For 50 years, Youth Symphony of DuPage has been challenging students in fifth grade through high school to appreciate and perform great music. Music director Meng-Kong Tham, who has been the symphony's music director for 37 years, is preparing the musicians to present their "Stellar Gala VII" concert on March 9.

Sports

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    Alondra Chavarria

    Girls basketball: All-area team, Northwest

    Introducing the Daily Herald's Northwest all-area girls basketball team.

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    Ali Andrews

    Girls basketball: All-area team, Fox Valley

    Presenting the 2013-14 girls basketball all-area team for the Fox Valley.

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    David MacDonald of Wheaton Co-op on the Still Rings during the 2013 Team Championship Gymnastics State Finals at Lincoln-Way East in Frankfort Friday.

    Scouting DuPage County boys gymnastics

    Here's a look ahead at the boys gymnastics season from the perspective of teams in DuPage County.

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    Chrissy Baird

    Girls basketball: All-area team, DuPage County

    Presenting the 2013-14 DuPage County All-Area girls basketball team.

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    The Chicago Fire signed Victor Pineda to its youth development program when he was just 17. Now 20, the Bolingbrook native could see action in MLS play this season.

    Fire’s local talent pipeline gaining momentum

    The Chicago Fire's youth player pipeline is showing signs it is just starting to pay off on the club's investment.

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    Stevenson senior Matt Helller capped an emotional stretch recently by scoring an overtime winner in a playoff game.

    Wild ride for Stevenson’s Heller

    Matt Heller has had an emotional skate of late — part surreal, part celebration. Tears of sadness comforted with tears of joy and a wild celebration of the Stevenson hockey team, with Heller in the middle, the man of the hour.

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    Andrew Shaw, far right, celebrates his goal with teammates Duncan Keith, Brandon Saad and Jonathan Toews. Shaw and Toews each had 2 goals in the Hawks’ rout of the Blue Jackets.

    Shaw makes most of step up to Hawks’ first line

    Credit Joel Quenneville for knowing the right buttons to push.But it’s easier to find those buttons when you have a player like Jonathan Toews on your team.After 2 losses in three games coming out of the Olympic break, Quenneville promoted Andrew Shaw from the third line to the first with Toews, and the gritty winger responded with 2 goals Thursday night in the Blackhawks’ 6-1 rout of Columbus at the United Center.Toews also scored 2 goals as the Hawks ran their winning streak over the Blue Jackets to 12 at 9-0-3.Bumping Shaw to right wing on the first line with Toews and Brandon Saad was part of the line shake-up designed by Quenneville in his search for more offense. The Hawks had scored just 10 goals in the previous five games with 5 of them coming in the game at Soldier Field against Pittsburgh.“I thought it was time to try something different,” Quenneville said. “I think our offense has been a little bit light across the board.“Shaw gives us some sandpaper. I think he’s got some skill, as well. I think he knows the scoring area, and he can make some nifty plays. Shaw took advantage of the chance.”Shaw, who has spent most of the season playing center on the third line, hasn’t been happy with his play of late. He had no points and was minus-2 in his last five games.“I got excited and pumped myself up for the game,” he said. “But I have to prepare myself to play like that every game. I’ve got to be first on pucks and be physical, have that competitive edge where I win those 1-on-1 battles and get those loose pucks back.”Shaw’s 15th goal of the season came at 16:44 of the first period and snapped a 1-1 tie. He busted in on goalie Sergei Bobrovsky down the right side on a pass from Sheldon Brookbank and put a shot under the crossbar. He got his second goal at 17:44 of the second period to cap the Hawks’ 3-goal outburst. Shaw tipped in a shot by Brent Seabrook for his 16th goal.Toews scored at the eight-minute mark on a tap-in after Saad’s sweet feed to make it 3-1, then Bryan Bickell scored on a rebound at 12:29. Bickell’s goal was the Hawks’ fourth on 18 shots, chasing Bobrovsky.Toews’ second goal came early in the third period on a power play.“It’s good for us to get back on track,” he said. “That’s a hardworking, simple team that doesn’t give up much, and we went out there and we worked hard and we skated and we wore them down and eventually we just got plenty of scoring chances.”Brandon Bollig’s seventh goal opened the scoring at 4:12 of the first period. Bollig tipped a pass from Marcus Kruger through Bobrovsky. The play was reviewed, but Bollig’s stick was ruled to be even with the crossbar.Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards wasn’t pleased with his team’s performance.“At this stage of the season, we can’t be saying, ‘Well, we’ll bounce back from this,’ ” Richards said. “Listen, every game is important. Every point is important. The way it is right now at Game 63 or whatever it is that we’ve played, we should be in tune with our game.“You might be off a little bit, but this was nowhere close to where we can play and where we should be playing.”•Follow Tim’s Blackhawks and hockey reports on Twitter @TimSassone.

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    Rundblad likes fit with Blackhawks offense

    His numbers might not show it, but new Blackhawks defenseman David Rundblad considers himself an offensive player. Rundblad hopes coming to the offensive-minded Hawks will allow him to show what he can do. Tim Sassone has more in today's Blackhawks notebook.

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    Butler defeats DePaul 79-46

    Alex Barlow scored a career-high 19 points to lead Butler to a 79-46 victory over DePaul on Thursday night. Khyle Marshall added 18 points for Butler (13-16, 3-14 Big East) as the Bulldogs put an end to a season-high seven-game losing streak.

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    Gordon Behr

    Boys basketball: All-area team, DuPage County

    Presenting the Daily Herald's boys basketball all-area team for DuPage County.

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    The Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, driving around the Timberwolves’ Dante Cunningham on Wednesday, finished with 33 points in New York’s 118-106 victory.

    Will Bulls be willing to recruit free agents?

    When a big-time free agent hits the market this summer, Bulls players may not be content to sit back and let the decision happen. According to an espn.com story, Joakim Noah spoke with Carmelo Anthony about the possibility of joining the Bulls during all-star weekend.

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    West Aurora’s Jontrell Walker has a streak of 30 straight free throws.

    Nothing but net for West Aurora’s Walker

    Included in the capsules printed in West Aurora’s senior night program, Blackhawks guard Jontrell Walker named his brother, Johnny, as the person who has inspired him the most. It’s an inspired choice. Johnny “Little J” Walker earned a unanimous vote to the DuPage Valley All-Conference Team in 2006, point guard for the last West Aurora squad to win the DVC before this season’s co-championship with Glenbard North.

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    Boys basketball: Scouting the Class 3A Genoa-Kingston regional final
    Class 3A Genoa-Kingston regional finalNo. 1 Sycamore (21-7) vs. No. 2 Wheaton Academy (20-8)Outlook: Sycamore is led by 6-3 forward Devin Mottet, averaging 14 points; and 6-3 center Ben Niemann, an Iowa-bound footballer who grabs 10 rebounds. Guard Jake Winters rounds out an all-senior starting five that tied for the Northern Illinois Big 12 East lead. Coach Andrew Stacy’s Spartans beat Montini 83-49 and seek a first regional since 2004. First-year Wheaton Academy coach Peter Froedden questioned the Warriors’ toughness early but down the stretch they’re 11-1, the sole loss to Benet. They gutted out a 45-44 win over Burlington Central to seek a first regional title since 2011. Gordon Behr, 6-8, had 15 points, 13 boards and must avoid fouls. Three ace Josh Ruggles didn’t score but that probably won’t last.Advancement: The winner advances to play the winner of the Woodstock regional final between Marengo and Marian Central in Wednesday’s Hampshire sectional semifinal.

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    Huntley senior Amanze Egekeze is the honorary captain of the Daily Herald’s Fox Valley all-area boys basketball team. ,

    Hard work turned Huntley’s Egezeke into standout

    Huntley standout Amanze Egekeze couldn’t catch a wink. Though he had played in front of bigger audiences on larger stages throughout his well-traveled AAU career with the Illinois Wolves, the looming Feb. 21 clash at rival Jacobs made the Lake in the Hills’ resident a most restless insomniac. “From Monday on I just wanted it to be Friday,” the 6-foot-8 forward said. “I didn’t sleep much that week.”

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    Vernon Hills’ Sydney Smith captains the Daily Herald’s all-area girls basketball team for Lake County.

    Smith lives strong, plays strong at Vernon Hills

    Vernon Hills senior Sydney Smith overcame plenty of adversity while delivering a standout four-year varsity girls basketball career. She's been chosen to captain the Daily Herald's all-area team for Lake County.

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    Stevenson’s Jalen Brunson hoists the North Suburban Conference trophy after the Patriots’ win over North Chicago. Brunson, who captains the Daily Herald’s all-area team for Lake County, are hoping for more postseason hardware.

    Stylish footware suits Brunson’s feats

    Stevenson star guard Jalen Brunson is the honorary captain of the 2014 Daily Herald Lake County all-area boys basketball team.

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    Carmel’s Michael Barr defends during the 2nd annual Lake Zurich Martin Luther King Classic at Lake Zurich High School.

    Boys basketball: All-area team, Lake County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's boys basketball all-area team for Lake County.

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    Taylor Buford

    Girls basketball: All-area team, Lake County

    Introducing the Daily Herald's all-area girls basketball team for Lake County.

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    Isaiah Butler

    Boys basketball: All-area team, Fox Valley

    Presenting the 2013-14 boys basketball all-area team for the Fox Valley.

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    Huntley sophomore Ali Andrews (50) co-captains the Daily Herald’s Fox Valley all-area girls basketball team.

    Huntley’s Andrews sisters were rock-solid standouts

    A foundation for the future of the Huntley girls basketball program has been cemented the past two seasons. Sam and Ali Andrews drove the truck, and poured the concrete.

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    Scouting Tri-Cities boys basketball regional championship games
    Preview of Kaneland-Marmion, St. Charles East-South Elgin, Geneva-Bolingbrook and West Aurora-Plainfield North regional championship games.

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    Batavia’s Liza Fruendt drives for 2 of her school-record 51 points in a win at Geneva this year.

    Batavia’s Fruendt finishes record-setting career on top

    When we last left off with the Fruendt sibling bragging rights in our 2012-13 Liza Fruendt All-Area Captain feature, she and her brother Nick were taking out their competitive juices on the tennis courts during spring break in Mexico. A year has passed, it’s now time for our 2013-14 Liza Fruendt All-Area Captain feature, and she and her older brother have been at it again.

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    Dom Adduci

    Boys basketball: All-area team, Tri-Cities

    Introducing the Tri-Cities boys basketball all-area team.

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    Wheaton Warrenville South’s Meghan Waldron drives past Ashley Williams, left, of West Aurora.

    WW South’s Waldron one of the best

    As a young girl bouncing a basketball, Meghan Waldron set some pretty lofty goals. She wanted to be a varsity basketball player at Wheaton Warrenville South. Heck, she even thought it might be cool to make varsity as a freshman. But now that Waldron’s high school basketball days have come to an end, those goals turned out to be minuscule achievements in a brilliant four years that ended with a heartbreaking 55-54 sectional loss to Geneva last month.

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    Benet’s Sean O’Mara captains the Daily Herald’s boys basketball all-area team in DuPage County.

    Benet’s O’Mara stands with the elite

    You just don’t picture Sean O’Mara wearing a different kind of uniform. Regardless of opportunities in other sports, he’s basketball...through and through. If you can’t tell by his 6-foot-9 stature, you’re convinced by the Benet senior’s fierce dedication to the game. Almost 15 years of investment yielded a result no one would dare question. In a basketball season matched by few others in terms of statewide talent, O’Mara stands among the elite. In another year, perhaps all eyes in Illinois would be on Benet’s big man. As it is, he stands alone in the western suburbs. After one of the most-dominant performances in recent memory by an area post player, O’Mara is the 2013-14 Daily Herald DuPage County All-Area Boys Basketball Captain.

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    Boys basketball: Scouting the Class 4A Addison Trail regional final
    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball regional finals

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    Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Curtis McElhinney makes Blackhawks center Jonathan Toews shoot wide of the net as Derek MacKenzie also defends during the second period Thursday in Chicago.

    Blackhawks shuffle lines, beat Blue Jackets

    Andrew Shaw and Jonathan Toews had two goals apiece, and the Blackhawks beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 6-1 on Thursday night. Brandon Bollig and Bryan Bickell also scored as Chicago bounced back from a 4-2 home loss to Colorado on Tuesday night.

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    Bev Horne/bhorne@dailyherald.comPhotos from the Neuqua Valley vs. Benet Academy girls basketball at Joliet Central High School Monday, Feb. 24.

    Benet’s Paul taking many good memories into retirement
    Sincerity. Humility. Class. Oh, and 617 career victories. Those are among the hallmarks in the tenure of retiring Benet girls basketball coach Peter Paul, whose last game came in a Class 4A Joliet Central sectional semifinal loss, 54-37 to Neuqua Valley on Feb. 24.

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    Rolling Meadows’ Jackie Kemph, left, drives on New Trier’s Jackie Welch in the most recent of her big-game triumphs, the Mustangs’ 60-43 supersectional victory at Hoffman Estates.

    Energetic Kemph completes relentless run

    Rolling Meadows girls basketball coach Ryan Kirkorsky has often said he’s run out of words to describe the talents of Jackie Kemph. But one thing he and assistant Nick Nichols know is that Kemph will never run out of energy. “She’s just relentless,” said Nichols, who also serves as the school psychologist. “Every second, every minute of every practice and every game.” With that energy, the 5-foot-6 all-state guard has done everything from score points, to assist on points to make steals for points. No one at Rolling Meadows has ever scored points the way Kemph has. The point is, Kemph is the most productive player in school history and honorary captain of the 2014 Daily Herald’s Northwest all-area girls basketball team. Heading into Friday’s Class 4A state semifinal match with Geneva, Kemph has a school-record 2,129 points.

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    Matt Acevedo

    Boys basketball: All-area team, Northwest

    Introducing the Northwest boys basketball all-area team.

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    St. Viator’s Ore Arogundade, left, drives along the baseline against Hersey defender Alex Mueller during their nonconference matchup earlier this season.

    St. Viator’s Arogundade chillingly good in the clutch

    St. Viator senior Ore Arogundade has been chillingly good in the clutch this year, scoring more than 20 points per game and netting honorary all-area captain honors for the Northwest all-area boys basketball team.

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    Jalen Brunson of Stevenson and Sydney Smith of Vernon Hills are the Daily Herald All-Area honorary team captains for basketball in lake County for 2014.

    Images: Daily Herald All-Area Basketball Honorary Team Captains
    Images of the Daily Herald All-Area basketball honorary team captains for 2014.

  •  
    Dundee-Crown graduate Jake Romano is off to a strong start to his sophomore season at Miami (Ohio).

    Dundee-Crown grad Romano off to hot start at Miami

    When things aren’t going right in the batter’s box, Dundee-Crown graduate Jake Romano has been working hard to make sure he comes out on top. Romano, now a sophomore center fielder on the Division I Miami-Ohio baseball team, has made it a point to embrace the team’s focus on improving 2-strike hitting.

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    Penn State smothers Northwestern 59-32

    A stifling defensive effort by Penn State against Northwestern Thursday at Welsh-Ryan Arena was exactly what the Nittany Lions needed. The Wildcats had no answer for Penn State’s zone defense as the Nittany Lions cruised to a 59-32 win.

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    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball regional finals
    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball regional finals

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    Geneva’s Grace Loberg, left, and Janie McCloughan are the top two scorers on the Vikings this year as they head to the Class 4A state tournament Friday night in Normal.

    Geneva preparing for toughest test yet

    In 2009 Geneva made school history by reaching the girls basketball state tournament for the first time. This weekend the Vikings would like to make more history by how they do there.

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    Boys basketball: Scouting the Class 4A Leyden regional final
    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball regional finals

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    Boys basketball: Scouting the Class 2A Bureau Valley sectional final
    Here's a look a the Class 2A Burea Valley sectional final between IC Catholic (23-6) and Newman Central Catholic (28-2).

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    Boys basketball: Scouting the Class 3A St. Joseph regional final
    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball regional finals

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    Boys basketball: Naperville Central regional final scouting
    Scouting DuPage County boys basketball regional finals

  •  
    Kathleen Ratzek

    Burlington Central senior Ratzek having the time of her life

    If I had a dollar for every time this line has been written I could think about retiring: “Burlington Central, with just one senior on the roster …” It happens often. A team has only one senior, whose playing time is limited and who is not “the star” of the team, and quickly that player becomes the “one senior on the roster.” Well, those seniors have names, and in this case the name is Kathleen Ratzek.

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    Burlington Central’s Shelby Holt (12) works through the Carmel defense at the Class 3A Hoffman Estates supersectional.

    Scouting the 3A semifinal: Montini vs. Burlington Central

    Previewing the Class 3A state semifinal girls basketball game Friday between Montini (32-2) and Burlington Central (27-4).

  •  
    Nate Jones, who has been slowed by a strained muscle this spring, has a bright future as a closer according to teammate Matt Lindstsrom.

    If healthy, Jones could grow into closer’s role

    The White Sox are preparing to head into the season without a proven closer. But as past years have shown, the Sox have been successful finding new relievers to take over in the ninth inning and get the job done.

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    Bears sign DE Scott

    The Bears signed six-year veteran, free-agent defensive end Trevor Scott to a one-year contract on Thursday.

  •  
    Associated Press Jose Veras, who somehow saved 19 games for the woeful Astros last season and added 2 more for the Tigers, will open the season as the Cubs’ closser.

    Is Veras keeping the mound warm for Strop?

    The Cubs are hoping for a little peace and quiet, in addition to saves, from the closer's role this year. After a bumpy ride last year, which saw the Cubs go from Carlos Marmol to Kyuji Fujikawa to Kevin Gregg in the ninth inning, they acquired veteran Jose Veras to do the job this year.

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    Associated Press Why should the Bears re-sign cornerback Charles Tillman? How about to cover the Lions’ Calvin Johnson (81).

    To keep or not to keep, that is the question

    The Bears have a lot of decisions to make on their own free agents before the market opens next Tuesday. So we take a quick look at the pros and cons of re-signing each Bears player who will be eligible for free agency. Today, defense.

  •  

    Sox Danks strong in spring traning start

    Jesus Montero had two singles and an RBI and Scott Baker continued to make a good impression in his bid for winning a rotation spot Thursday as the Seattle Mariners beat White Sox split-squad 7-4. Lleft-hander John Danks allowed one hit, walked two and struck out two in his first three innings of the spring as he looks to bounce back from going 4-14 in 2013.

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    Wood sharp, goes 3 shutout innings, Cubs still fall

    GOODYEAR, Ariz. — Travis Wood gave up one hit and struck out three in three scoreless innings Thursday as the Cubs fell to the Cleveland Indians 1-0.Wood, an All-Star in 2013, had his first scheduled start rained out last Saturday.Indians starter Justin Masterson gave up three hits and a walk, striking out three in three shutout innings.Masterson worked himself into a bases-loaded jam in the first by giving up one-out hits to Donnie Murphy and Anthony Rizzo and walking Nate Schierholtz. He got out of it by striking out Welington Castillo and getting Mike Olt on a flyball.Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera drew a bases-loaded walk in the fourth to score Nick Swisher for the game’s only run.Rizzo got two hits. He is 5 for 10 with two doubles in four games.

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    Well-rounded Meadows players measure up

    While they have proved to be one of the top girls basketball teams in the state, Rolling Meadows also has to be one of the top teams in the classroom. The Mustangs sported a 4.59 GPA average (5.0 scale) and 4.98 weighted average for the first semester this school year. The eight seniors on the team take a combined 60 advanced placement courses. Not to mention, the eight seniors are playing a combined 19 sports.

  •  
    Rolling Meadows coach Ryan Kirkorsky encourages his team during the Class 4A supersectional against New Trier at Hoffman Estates on Monday. The Mustangs meet Geneva in Friday’s 6:30 p.m. state semifinals.

    Rolling Meadows repeats downstate march

    For the fifth time since 2008, the Mid-Suburban League East will be represented in the final four of the Class 4A girls basketball state finals at Illinois State’s Redbird Arena. Rolling Meadows, led by second-year coach Ryan Kirkorsky, has become the first MSL team in 38 years to make repeat visits to the semifinals of the tourney which began in 1977. The Mustangs (28-4) face Geneva (26-5) in Friday’s 6:30 p.m. semifinal followed by Marian Catholic vs. Whitney Young in the second semifinal.

  •  
    After setting several team and NFL records in his eight years in Chicago, the Bears have decided not to offer Devin Hester another contract. Hester becomes a free agent on Tuesday.

    Bears make it official and cut Hester loose

    The Bears waived goodbye to record-setting return specialist Devin Hester in a news release Thursday morning, just hours after the eight-year veteran said farewell via social media. Hester's 18 combined kick-return touchdowns are the most in NFL history.

  •  

    Boys basketball scoreboard: Wednesday’s results
    Boys basketball scoreboard*Class 4A St. Charles North regionalSt. Charles East 65, St. Charles North 50SCE — Washington 3 1-4 7, Adduci 1 4-8 7, Gentry 4 2-4 12, Vyzral 7 2-4 17, Asquini 4 0-0 11, Mason 2 1-1 5, McQuillan 0 0-0 0, Clodi 1 2-2 5, Bronec 0 0-0 0, Settle 0 1-2 1, Champine 0 0-0 0, Manibog 0 0-0 0. 22 13-25 65.SCN — Goetz 5 0-0 11, Ludwig 1 2-2 5, Miller 1 2-4 4, Callaghan 6 0-1 15, Johnson 2 0-0 4, DeMoss 3 0-2 6, Cotter 1 0-0 2, Pozna 0 0-0 0, Davern 1 1-2 3, Gianacakos 0 0-0 0, Dunteman 0 0-0 0, Hedges 0 0-0 0. 20 5-11 50.St. Charles East 21 12 12 20 —65St. Charles North 11 9 11 19 —503-point baskets: SCE: Asquini 3, Gentry 2, Clodi, Adduci, Vyzral; SCN: Callaghan 3, Ludwig, Goetz.Rebounds: SCE: 37 (Vyzral 12); SCN: 35 (Callaghan 10).*Class 3A St. Joseph regionalTimothy Christian 53, Clemente 41*Class 3A Kaneland regionalMarmion 73, St. Francis 57Marmion — Sheehan 2 1-2 6; Esp 5 6-6 16; Maryanski 3 3-4 10; Glasgow 9 1-3 21; Bicknell 0 2-4 2; Friel 4 4-4 15; Fletcher 0 0-0 0; Murphy 0 2-2 2; Young 0 0-0 0; Pickard 0 0-0 0; Grahovec 0 1-2 1; Betzelos 0 0-0 0; Doroff 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 20-27 73.St. Francis — Prociuk 5 2-2 12; Sullivan 6 0-0 14; Blank 0 0-0 0; Hart 2 2-3 7; Bruan 7 7-12 21; Fabianski 0 0-0 0; Shaw 1 0-0 2; Kurtyka 0 0-0 0; French 0 0-0 0; Purdom 0 0-0 0; Fassnacht 0 0-0 0; Valdez 0 0-0 0; Murphy 0 1-2 1; Bobowski 0 1-2 1. Totals 21 12-19 57.Marmion 22 14 13 24 —73St. Francis 14 15 9 19 —573-point baskets: M: Friel 3, Glasgow 2, Maryanski. SF: Sullivan 2. Fouled out: SF: Hart.*Class 3A Genoa-Kingston regionalWheaton Academy 45, BUrlington Central 44Burlington Central — McCurdy 1 0-0 2, Hunnicutt 6 5-6 17, S. Fitzgerald 4 0-0 11, Rau 2 3-8 8, R. Fitzgerald 1 0-0 2, Ozburn 0 0-4 0, Schutta 1 2-4 4, Raney 0 00 0, Jochum 0 0-0 0, Moxness 0 0-0 0. TOTAL 15 10-22 44Wheaton Academy — Smith 1 3-4 5, Ruggles 0 0-0 0, Burdett 2 0-0 6, Behr 4 7-9 15, C. Fuzak 0 0-0 0, Johnson 0 0-0 0, Williams 2 6-6 10, B. Fuzak 2 0-1 5, Sandberg 1 0-0 2, Lindstedt 1 0-0 2. TOTAL 13 16-20 45Burlington Cent. 18 9 13 4 —44Wheaton Acad. 16 5 12 12 —453-point baskets: BC: S. Fitzgerald 3, Rau. WA: Burdett 2, B. Fuzak. Fouled out: None*Class 4A Plainfield East regionalGeneva 64, Plainfield East 58Plainfield East — Jordan 5 4-6 14, Ward 0 2-2 2, Novak 8 2-3 23, Smith 2 0-2 4, Goss 2 0-0 4, Claar 0 2-2 2, Wright 0 0-0 0, Esker 0 2-2 2, Reed 1 4-4 7. Totals: 18 16-21 58.Geneva — Cook 3 8-8 15, Temple 2 4-5 8, Parrilli 1 9-12 11, Navigato 7 0-0 18, Vollbrecht 2 1-2 5, Landi 3 1-1 7, Durante 0 0-0 0, Santacaterina 0 0-0 0. Totals: 18 23-28 64.Plainfield East 7 18 15 18 —58Geneva 12 15 17 20 —643-point baskets: PE: Novak 5, Reed; G: Navigato 4, Cook. Fouled out: PE: Novak, Smith*Class 4A West Aurora regionalPlainfield NOrth 48, Neuqua Valley 46Plainfield North — Conway 5 2-5 12, Krieger 3 0-0 8, Nowak 2 2-2 8, Webster 1 0-0 2, Stumpe 7 3-3 18, Winston 0 0-0 0, Speas 0 0-0 0 Totals: 18 7-10 48Neuqua Valley — Robertson 6 0-0 13, George 3 1-2 8, Raridon 0 2-4 2, Piotrowski 2 1-1 5, Incaudo 4 3-4 11, Kedrowski 2 0-0 5, Eminger 1 0-0 2, Lendino 0 0-0 0, Tesmond 0 0-0 0 Totals: 18 7-11 46Plainfield North 10 6 10 22 —48Neuqua Valley 9 13 16 8 —463-point baskets: PN: Krieger 2, Nowak, Stumpe; NV: Robertson, George, Kedrowski. Fouled out: none*Class 4A Naperville Central regionalNaperville Central 74, Metea Valley 49Metea Valley — B. Oliver 3 5-6 11, Goldston 0 0-0 0, M. Oliver 3 4-11 11, Dodson 2 0-0 4, Konkle 3 3-6 9, Helwig 5 0-0 14, Kuehn 0 0-0 0, Schlosser 0 0-0 0, Edwards Jr. 0 0-0 0, Sfikas 0 0-0 0, Klepper 0 0-0 0, Hermann 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 12-23 49.

  •  
    The Cardinals had no problem bringing Mark McGwire, left, back into the family, so it’s about time the Cubs did the same for Sammy Sosa.

    No good reason to keep Sosa away

    Tom Ricketts was asked on the radio what he called "a really good question." The really good answer would have been that he'll invite Sammy Sosa back into the Cubs' family.

Business

  •  
    Steve Baab of ComEd speaks at the Daily Herald Business Ledger’s Newsmakers’ forum on energy efficiency Thursday at Medinah Banquets in Addison.

    Energy efficiency programs benefit business, utilities

    Representatives from ComEd and Nicor Gas's energy efficiency programs for business highlighted the need for efficiency measures at the Daily Herald Newsmakers' Forum Thursday. “Saving energy is saving money, it’s that simple,” said Ed Kriz, program manager for energy efficiency at Nicor Gas.

  •  
    Stocks rose Thursday, sending the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to an all-time high, as data showed jobless claims fell to the lowest level in three months and investors watched developments in Ukraine.

    Encouraging report on U.S. jobs lifts stock market

    Investors were looking for any reason to look past the cold weather that has hampered the U.S. economy in the last few weeks, and they found it. Stocks mostly rose Thursday, lifted by a report that showed the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits fell last week to the lowest level in three months. The gains were enough to give the Standard & Poor’s 500 index its third all-time high this week.

  •  
    A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014.

    Stock and housing gains put U.S. net worth at record

    A surging stock market and rebounding home prices boosted Americans’ wealth to a record in the final three months of last year, though both trends have slowed so far in 2014. Household net worth jumped nearly $3 trillion during last year’s fourth quarter to $80.7 trillion. Stock and mutual fund portfolios gained nearly $1.7 trillion, or 9 percent, according to a Thursday report by the Federal Reserve.

  •  
    Staples will close 225 stores by the end of next year and the office-supply retailer is initiating a plan to save about $500 million annually by 2015,

    Staples to shutter 225 stores as sales move online

    Staples has become the second major chain to announce the mass closing of stores this week, providing the latest evidence of how the retail landscape is being remade by shifts in American shopping habits. The nation’s largest office-supply company said Thursday that nearly half of its sales are now generated online, and it is working aggressively to cut costs and become more efficient.

  •  
    Bob Hanson

    New app offers consumer protection for devices

    Bob Hanson of Cary wants to make sure consumers have enterprise-quality protection on their devices. That means, get a free download of ViaProtect, an app that offers technology, on the same level used by businesses, in order to protect your privacy and avoid identity theft, said Hanson, vice president of sales for Oak Park-based ViaForensics.

  •  
    Recruiter Valera Kulow, left, speaks with job seeker Monic Spencer during a career fair in Dallas.

    U.S. applications for jobless aid reach 3-month low

    The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits dropped 26,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 323,000, the lowest level in three months as layoffs remain at pre-recession levels. The Labor Department said Thursday that the four-week average of applications, a less volatile measure, fell slightly to a seasonally adjusted 336,500.

  •  
    The departure of Target’s chief information officer Beth Jacob in the wake of the company’s massive pre-Christmas data breach highlights the increased pressure facing executives who are charged with protecting corporate computer systems from hackers whose attacks are on the rise and becoming more sophisticated.

    Target exec’s departure puts spotlight on CIOs

    The departure of Target’s chief information officer in the wake of the company’s massive pre-Christmas data breach highlights the increased pressure facing executives who are charged with protecting corporate computer systems from hackers whose attacks are on the rise and becoming more sophisticated.

  •  
    People line up at a food pantry at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose, Calif.

    Silicon Valley boom eludes many, drives income gap

    Silicon Valley is entering a fifth year of unfettered growth. The median household income is $90,000, according to the Census Bureau. The average single-family home sells for about $1 million. But the river of money flowing through this peninsula has also driven housing costs to double in the past five years while wages for low- and middle-skilled workers are stagnant.

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    Ships and boats leave the Waukegan Harbor. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend $25 million on navigation projects in the Great Lakes, including dredging of harbors choked with silt because of low water levels.

    Corps spending $25 million on Great Lakes projects

    The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will spend $25 million on navigation projects in the Great Lakes, including dredging of harbors choked with silt because of low water levels. Michigan U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow announced the funding Wednesday.

Life & Entertainment

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    War will perform on Saturday, June 21, at Waukegan’s Genesee Theatre.

    War, Average White Band to play Genesee
    Tickets for the War and Average White Band concert on Satruday, June 21, at the Genesee Theatre in Waukegan go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. Friday, March 7

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    A hooker and two henchmen beat up a mob delivery guy (John Cusack) in “The Bag Man.”

    'Bag Man' burdened down by nonsensical clichés

    You know “The Bag Man” is headed for the cinematic toilet the moment it opens with bad guy Robert De Niro calmly eating dinner, alone, while conducting a business meeting with John Cusack. That's one of those absurd, nonsensical clichés passed around from one Hollywood movie to another. David Grovic's directorial debut “The Bag Man” loves these clichés so much, there's hardly room for invention to breathe.

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    'In Fear' packs some thrills, but lacks direction

    The gimmick in Jeremy Lovering's atmospheric thriller “In Fear” stems from the director's idea to never tell his stars what will happen next, so that when something shocking occurs, cameras will capture true, visceral reactions. In theory, this sounds intriguing. Except the actors' “real” reactions can't hold a torch to the fake ones cast members create, augment and flavor as needed in other thrillers.

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    Irrfan Khan, right, stars as a Mumbai claims adjuster in the carefully crafted romance “The Lunchbox.”

    Expressive 'Lunchbox' a well-plotted romance

    Not a moment goes by in Ritesh Batra's romance-of-the-heart “The Lunchbox” where we can't read the thoughts and feelings of its two main characters. In this movie, a single look speaks paragraphs and silence answers questions. It's a subtle and infinitely restrained ode to the need for human connection and appreciation, executed with superbly nuanced performances.

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    “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” — starring Josh Hutcherson as Peeta Mellark and Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen — will face off against “12 Years a Slave” at the MTV Movie Awards.

    ‘12 Years’ vies with ‘Hunger Games’ at MTV Awards

    Oscar winner “12 Years a Slave” will face off with blockbusters like “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” at the MTV Movie Awards. The network announced Thursday the nominees for its 24th annual Movie Awards.

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    Miami prosecutors have released police video of Justin Bieber giving urine for a drug test, with sensitive portions blacked out as ordered by a judge.

    Police video of Bieber’s urine test released

    Miami prosecutors have released police video of Justin Bieber giving urine for a drug test, with sensitive portions blacked out as ordered by a judge. The clips released Thursday show the 20-year-old singer standing behind a low partition to provide the sample. A black box is imposed over his lower half.

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    Tony Award-winning actress, singer and songwriter Idina Menzel is enjoying success from the Oscar award-winning song “Let It Go” from the “Frozen” soundtrack while also getting ready to star in the new musical “If/Then” on Broadway.

    Idina Menzel, ‘Frozen’ heat up pop charts

    Tony-winning Idina Menzel — or Adele Dazeem if you’re John Travolta — is enjoying massive success with “Let It Go” from the animated film “Frozen,” but the entertainer is still perplexed that she’s finally triumphing on the pop charts with a show tune-esque track. “I’ve had a lot of self-introspection about this. This business is so hard, especially the music business, and I’ve tried so hard to crossover, to convince people just because I was in a Broadway show I didn’t have the street cred to be a rock or a pop singer,” she said in a recent interview. “And then the one time I have it, it’s the arrangement from the Disney movie.”

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    Time-traveling Mr. Peabody (voiced by Ty Burell) has to contend with his dimwitted human “son” Sherman (Max Charles) in “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.”

    Low-brow humor, botched tone make 'Mr. Peabody' a dog of a tale

    It's possible that some children may find things to like about “Mr. Peabody & Sherman.” The animated feature about a time-traveling dog with a genius IQ and his human companion has even more than the recommended daily allowance of scatological humor and B.O. jokes for the average 8-year-old. Anyone much older than that — and certainly anyone who remembers the cartoons on which the film is based, which ran as segments accompanying Jay Ward's Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons — is in for a big disappointment.

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    Night life events: Karaoke for all at Duke’s
    Hit up Duke’s Alehouse in Crystal Lake for free karaoke beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, March 7. And Rock Bottom Brewery says “ale to the chief” with its latest fiery menu offerings that go to benefit local fire departments and related charities.

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    Visitors wander around a new exhibition entitled “Vikings: Life and Legend” at the British Museum in London. The centerpiece of the show is the biggest Viking ship ever found, which was unearthed on the banks of a Danish fjord in 1997. It is 120 feet long and had 40 pairs of oars.

    Exhibition argues Vikings more than hairy raiders

    They had names like Thorfinn Skull-splitter, Erik Bloodaxe and Ragnar Hairy Pants. No wonder the Vikings have a rough and bloody reputation. A new exhibition at the British Museum strives to make people think again about the Scandinavian pillagers whose name means “pirate” in Old Norse. Through their ships, weapons, crafts, words and even skeletons, “Vikings: Life and Legend” aims to show how Viking energy and ideas redrew the map of the world.

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    Australian actor Sullivan Stapleton plays the leader of the Greek forces in “300: Rise of an Empire,” a busy, visually tedious and overblown sequel.

    The ‘Empire’ strikes out with pompous storytelling

    How many throats can be slashed, eyeballs pierced, limbs severed, and bodies decapitated before “300: Rise of an Empire” becomes monotonous, visual white noise? (Make that black noise, considering that’s the color of most of the “blood” in this story.) The rest of the movie is a travesty of storytelling. Lena Headey’s queen narrates the film as if it were on the Boring Documentary Channel.

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    Reel life: Catch the Geneva Film Fest wrap party

    Dann highlights the 7th Geneva Film Festival, continuing through Saturday, March 8. Also, movies of the amazing Meryl Streep (record holder for most Oscar nominations) at Dann & Raymond's Movie Club, 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 14, at the Arlington Memorial Library, plus the Chicago Film Critics Assn. presents “Love, Actually” at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, March 11, at the Elk Grove Theatre.

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    Fall-fruiting raspberries should be pruned to the ground this month.

    Trim tangled mess from raspberries

    March is a good time to prune raspberries. These thorny bushes can grow into a tangled mess and produce poorly if not pruned properly.

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    For grasses, try Panicum Cape Breeze.

    Horticulturist picks the best new plant varieties

    University of Georgia professor Allan Armitage knows the "tough birds" of the plant world. The top performers promise to ward off disease, deer and drab landscaping.

Discuss

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    Editorial: Limiting discussion not the way to control public meetings

    A Daily Herald editorial says a new Arlington Heights District 25 school board policy unwisely limits board members' discussion of public issues.

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    Stories highlight more than a single agency’s need

    Columnist Jim Slusher: Few things are more gratifying to us than a lead like this one that appeared in our Wednesday editions: “After an outpouring of community support, the (Deicke home for adults with disabilities) is expected to remain open at least until the end of July.”

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    Once upon a moonbeam

    Columnist Kathleen Parker: All things conservative are not always sane, needless to say. And liberals have moved the country forward in necessary ways. Balance is the key, and it would appear that Jerry Brown has found his center.

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    Vote for true conservative in Dist. 51
    A Libertyville letter to the editor: Bob Bednar is the conservative choice for state House District 51.

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    DuRoss must leave Schaumburg Dist. 54
    Letter to the editor: Roger Buelow of Schaumburg says Andrew DuRoss must either resign or be dismissed by the District 54 board after his DUI charge in Naperville on Feb. 1.

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    Avila a strong advocate for cleaner water
    A letter to the editor: I was dismayed by the lack of endorsement of Frank Avila for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District commissioner. The Daily Herald is correct that Avila “certainly has the engineering experience and has been an important asset to the board”; however, the Herald is erroneous in stating that Avila seems reluctant to confront the pressing issue of pharmaceuticals in our waterways.

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    A way to ‘find’ state’s lost computers
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: Read with interest an article in your Feb. 22 edition, “Missing state computers total close to 500, auditor reports.” No wonder our taxes keep going up!

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    Be pro-life for both animals, humans
    A Glenview letter to the editor: Unborn fetuses and animals have no voices. That’s why we must be voices for the voiceless to end abortion and to stop killing animals for food, sport, fashion, science and entertainment. Let’s be a nation that is pro-life for both humans and our fellow creatures.

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    Will anything change after the election?
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: How about talking about fixing the problems in this state? The candidates cannot do that because they have no answers. And we are supposed to vote for these people?

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    Time to take the hint, Mt. Prospect
    Letter to the editor: Brian DeValk says Mount Prosepct is snakebit, but should take advantage of all the recent misfortune to rebuild a stronger downtown.

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    Former mayor says stay with city water
    Letter to the editor: Former Streamwood mayor Jack Fehlandt was among the suburban leaders who turned on the "tap" that brought lake water to a number of suburbs. Despite the rate hike, he counsels Elk Grove Village to sit tight and not drop out.

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    Transparency a must in local government
    Letter to the editor: Asking our local governmental bodies to be transparent in all ways helps residents become more knowledgeable in how they are being served, writes Linda Waycie of Mount Prospect.

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    Taxes go down if park vote defeated
    A HUntkley letter to the editor: The Huntley Park District is grabbing for $18.75 of your real estate taxes. I have spoken with very many people about the upcoming referendum by the Huntley Park District. Almost without exception they plan to vote against it.

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    Ending bereavement fares is unfair
    A Cary letter to the editor: So American Airlines is eliminating their bereavement fares because their sister company US Air does not offer it. Did American Airlines ever give it a thought to have US Air change their policy to offer a bereavement fare?

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    Economical way to meet student needs
    A Lombard letter to the editor: Please support Glenbard District 87’s referendum on the March 18 ballot. The referendum does not add any cost, but would allow District 87 to issue bonds for capital improvements to all four of the high schools.

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    With Lietzow, GOP can move forward
    Letter to the editor: Tim Burns says the problem with the leader Republican leadership in Elk Grove Township is its lack of progress in interesting young members, or going after residents who are new to the area. He supports Scott Lietzow for Elk Grove Township GOP committeeman.

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    Time to shake up the township GOP
    Letter to the editor: Michael Dill says the Elk Grove Township Republican Party has become moribund, unable to recruit young and enthusiastic workers. He says he will will be working for Scott Lietzow for GOP committeeman.

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