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Daily Archive : Friday March 28, 2014

News

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    Karey Burton and her niece, Elaina Burton, 3, both of Naperville, share a hug after Karey performed with other members of the GreatWorks Touring Theatre Company at the Vernon Area Public Library on Friday in Lincolnshire.

    Lincolnshire library hosts ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’

    Karey Burton of Naperville performs the roles of a chicken, a cow, a rabbit and a clothing designer — all in one-hour. Burton is one of eight members of GreatWorks Touring Theatre Company that performed six short children’s stories Friday at the Vernon Area Public Library in Lincolnshire.

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    Photo courtesy of Milka Overton CTA Blue Line train crash at the O’Hare station.

    CTA, union at odds over hours engineer in crash worked

    The union representing Chicago Transit Authority motormen says the driver of the train that crashed at O’Hare International Airport worked 69 hours in the seven days before the accident.

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    Des Plaines gas station robbed

    Des Plaines police release about an armed robbery at a gas station.

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    Fran Morris retired Friday after 26 years of working as a dispatcher in Vernon Hills.

    Vernon Hills dispatcher is first to retire from that position

    Fran Morris answered the phones for a last time Friday as the first Vernon Hills dispatcher to retire in that position. She started in 1988, when the village had half the population and the center shared space with the public works department

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    Retiring Elgin Police Sgt. Don Thiel holds up the badge he was given in 1988 when he was sworn in to the department during his retirement speech at police headquarters. Friday’s event was a combined retirement, promotion and swearing in ceremony.

    Police force says hello and goodbye on the same day

    The Elgin Police Department celebrated several new hires, a few retirements and a promotion in a ceremony Friday afternoon.

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    Kevin Echevarria

    Farnham’s replacement to be selected Saturday

    Local Democratic Party leaders will meet Saturday to select a new state representative for the 43rd District, who will take the oath of office on Sunday, officials said in a news release Friday afternoon. Elgin businessman Kevin Echevarria is among candidates interviewed by Democratic officials for the seat left vacant by Keith Farnham’s March 19 resignation, Kane County Democratic Party...

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    Grenade found, removed from Long Island street

    Police say they’ve successfully removed a hand grenade from the curb of a Long Island street in New York after a pedestrian spotted the explosive and called 911.

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    Possible source of fumes uncovered at nuclear site

    While the investigation to identify other potential sources of vapors is continuing, Hanford Challenge, a Seattle-based watchdog group, says not enough is being done.

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    Jet diverts safely to NYC with damage from bird

    A seagull put a hole in the nose of a JetBlue airliner shortly after the plane took off from a suburban New York airport Friday, but the jet and its 142 passengers landed safely at nearby Kennedy International.

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    Asbestos gone, St. Charles library ready to re-open

    The St. Charles Public Library closed this week when a renovation in progress uncovered asbestos. It will re-open Saturday. A look at the changes and how they fit into the library’s overall plan for the future.

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    The North Aurora Activity Center will remain closed while village officials decide whether it is worthwhile to repair its roof and supports.

    Costs to fix it could be prohibitive, Berman says

    An engineer's report about the roof, its supports and a ceiling in the North Aurora Activity Center isn't good. "The roof is under a great deal of stress. It's really bad," Village President Dale Berman said Friday. Which leads to the question of whether it is worthwhile to repair the building, given its age.

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    New Republican faces line up for central committee posts

    Only one suburban member of the Illinois Republican Party State Central Committee is running for re-election next month. In the 10th Congressional District, committeeman Mark Shaw of Lake Forest is running for another term against challenger Louis Atsaves, also of Lake Forest. Other districts feature battles between newcomers.

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    Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to the Daily Herald editorial board on Friday about his proposal to make permanent the 2011 income tax increase.

    Quinn defends tax plan, calls Rauner ideas a ‘scheme’

    In defending his own plan to make 2011’s Illinois income tax hike permanent, Gov. Pat Quinn Friday called Republican Bruce Rauner’s plan to let the tax lapse and make deep cuts to government a “scheme.” Quinn met with the Daily Herald editorial board Friday as he works to persuade voters and lawmakers that the higher tax is necessary.

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    Ex-president Bill Clinton speaks at a student conference for the Clinton Global Initiative University at Arizona State University, in this file photo.

    Clinton aides pursued legacy in his 2nd term

    President Bill Clinton’s top aides began debating how to build a presidential legacy days after he won re-election in 1996, newly released documents show.The 2,500 pages of documents released Friday from the Clinton Presidential Library in Little Rock, Ark., ranged from drafts of Clinton’s speeches to memos exploring ways of dealing with climate change, Republican opponents and the...

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    Ex- Wauconda firefighter admits to sex abuse

    A former Wauconda firefighter pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse Friday and will serve 18 months of periodic imprisonment in the Lake County jail, authorities said.

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    McHenry man gets 16 years in machete attack

    A McHenry man has been sentenced to 16 years in prison in connection with a machete attack.33-year-old Orlando Ferral-Mujica of McHenry was sentenced Friday. Prosecutors agreed to reduce charges against him if he agreed to cooperate with a continued investigation into the December 2011 attack.

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    Jason Boettcher

    Police: Child porn suspect in Lake Villa Township nabbed

    Authorities say a Lake Villa Township man has been charged with child pornography possession. Jason C. Boettcher, 26, of the 39200 block of North Spruce Street, was arrested Friday, according to an announcement by the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

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    Alex Clifford

    Ex-Metra CEO trades Windy City for West Coast

    Metra's former CEO Alex Clifford is headed back to the Sunshine State after a lively introduction to Illinois politics. His sooner than expected departure likely means Metra will save thousands in a separation agreement.

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    Writer visiting library:

    Daily Herald staff writer Russell Lissau, who also pens comic books for different publishers, will talk to patrons at the Fox Lake District Library on Saturday about writing comics.

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    Tri-Cities police reports
    Jordan Thompson, 21, of Aurora, was charged with marijuana possession at 8:35 p.m. Sunday after deputies went to the Motel 6, 2380 N. Farnsworth, where Thompson was living, to serve him with outstanding warrants from Kendall and Will counties, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Fox Valley police reports
    Myryenichelle Christian, 43, of Carpentersville, was charged with felony obstructing justice/destroying evidence and possession of drug paraphernalia after a traffic stop at 8:28 p.m. Sunday at Williams and Kings roads near Carpentersville, according to a sheriff’s report.

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    Lincolnshire drug initiative:

    The Lincolnshire Police Department will participate in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s National Drug Take Back Initiative on Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to noon.

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    Dog adoption event:

    Our House of Hope K-9 Rescue hosts a special dog adoption event from 1 to 3 p.m. April 5, at Pets General Store in the Country Court Shopping Center, 432 Peterson Road, Libertyville.

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    Shoreline reimbursement program:

    Lindenhurst residents with lakeshore property rights can participate in a planting program designed to prevent erosion and filter unwanted nutrients and pollutants that run into lakes.

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    WINGS benefit Thursday in Hoffman Estates

    he 4th annual Taste Takes Flight to benefit WINGS will be held Thursday, April 3, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at the Chicago Marriott Northwest, 4800 Hoffman Blvd., Hoffman Estates. WINGS (Women in Need Growing Stronger) serves women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

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    Men get 21 years for Rolling Meadows armed robbery

    Two men pleaded guilty Wednesday to stealing about 100 cellphones from a Rolling Meadows store last August. In exchange for their guilty pleas to armed robbery involving a handgun, Christopher Nesbitt, 45, and Jerome Bruessard, 45, were sentenced to 21 years in prison, according to prosecutors.

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    Warren Township High School District 121 President John Anderson listens to public comment during a school board meeting Tuesday at Warren Township High School in Gurnee.

    Warren District 121 looking to boost communications, may restart newsletter

    Warren Township High School officials are mulling whether to restart a newsletter in what they say would be an effort to boost communications to residents. John Anderson, board president at Warren District 121, said it’ll be "critically important" to provide information to all residents about high school accomplishments and generally what’s happening there.

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    John and Ethel Legg recently enjoyed a romantic dinner together — complete with a cocktail hour, live violin music and a woodcarving demonstration — thanks to Wynscape Health and Rehabilitation’s new wish-granting program. The Wheaton center launched “Sharing Moments” in late March and plans to continue fulfilling the wishes of other residents on a monthly basis.

    Wheaton senior community launches new wish-grant program

    A new wish-grant program at the Wynscape Health and Rehabilitation Center in Wheaton has started to provide residents and their families with warm memories on a monthly basis. The first wish requested through the center’s new Sharing Moments program was granted on March 22 to John and Ethel Legg. The couple asked for a romantic dinner catered by John’s Tavern in Winfield, which is...

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    Schaumburg officials take a tour of the model during the ceremonial opening of the new Pleasant Square subdivision at the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads Thursday afternoon.

    New Schaumburg subdivision opens model

    Columbus, Ohio-based M/I Homes has opened its model at the long-anticipated Pleasant Square subdivision at the northwest corner of Schaumburg and Roselle roads in Schaumburg. Village officials were on hand for the ceremonial opening and a tour.

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    Ballpark Brew Fest in Schaumburg May 3

    Empire Productions LLC has once again joined with the Schaumburg Boomers baseball team for the second annual Ballpark Brew Fest from 2 to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 3, at Boomers Stadium, 1999 S. Springinsguth Road in Schaumburg. This four-hour brewery sampling festival features craft and specialty beers from over 45 breweries.

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    Richard W. Harrod

    Glendale Heights man faces child porn charges

    A 67-year-old Glendale Heights man has been charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography following an investigation by Glendale Heights police and the Illinois Attorney General’s Internet Crime Against Children Task Force. Richard W. Harrod of the 2100 block of Whitman was taken into custody Thursday, authorities said in a news release issued Friday.

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    Wauconda businesses, schools and other officials will promote autism awareness next week.

    Wauconda businesses, officials to boost autism awareness

    Wauconda business owners, teachers and officials will raise autism awareness next week with a variety of promotions and activities.

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    A 43 year old Congolese patient, center, who has been confirmed to have Ebola hemorrhagic fever, following laboratory tests, is comforted by Doctors without Borders personnel.

    Ebola death toll rises to 66

    The outbreak involves the Zaire strain of Ebola, the most common and deadly of the five known varieties, with a mortality rate of as much as 90 percent. The virus is transmitted through contact with blood or bodily fluids of an infected person or animal, according to the WHO. Guinea has forbidden the sale and consumption of bats, which may serve as natural reservoirs of the virus, and warned...

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    Jeffrey Wright

    Naperville man held on child porn charges

    A 57-year-old Naperville man is being held on $150,000 bond after being charged with six counts of possession of child pornography. Assistant State’s Attorney Bethany Jackson said Jeffrey A. Wright of the 700 block of Royal St. George was taken into custody Thursday after a three-month investigation of files being downloaded to his home IP address.

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    Tyrone M. Young

    Aurora man gets 25 years for sex assaults at garden, store

    A 31-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years in prison this week after pleading guilty to two Aurora sex attacks: a 2010 rape at a community garden plot and an attempted rape 2011 at a hardware store. Tyrone M. Young, of Aurora, was linked to the attacks by DNA and must serve 85 percent of his sentence, or about 21 years.

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    Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years.

    Illinois House OKs measure to allow bobcat hunting

    Illinois lawmakers have advanced a proposal to allow bobcat hunting for the first time in more than 40 years. The Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises reports the Illinois House voted 91-20 Thursday in favor of the measure. It now goes to the Senate.

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    Kane County on verge of $6.2 million tech upgrade

    Kane County will embark on a massive upgrade to technology in its court system later this year. The updgrade will cost taxpayers about $6.2 million, much less than original estimates.

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    Stephan A. Russell

    Chicago man charged with murder of Bensenville shop owner

    A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted armed robbery in the Jan, 19 slaying of a Bensenville convenience store owner. Stephan A. Russell, 20, pleaded not guilty Friday morning and is being held without bond after being accused by his co-defendants and prosecutors as being the gunman who killed Hussein Saghir. If convicted, he faces natural life in prison.

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    Chicago museum items can’t be seized to pay Iran judgment
    A federal judge in Chicago says survivors of a 1997 terrorist attack blamed partly on Iran can’t seize museum pieces in U.S. collections to help pay a $412 million judgment against Iran.

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    Elk Grove police K9 Vasco is retiring after eight years on the job with Officer Rick Meyers.

    Elk Grove Village Police Department’s crime-fighting K9 retires

    One of Elk Grove Village’s most effective crime fighters is retiring — but he won’t be handing in a standard issue uniform or police radio. Police dog Vasco, who has been the partner of Officer Rick Meyers since 2005, is stepping down from the force, as is required of police K9s after a number of years.

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    Robin Youngblood survived the massive mudslide that hit the nearby community of Oso, Wash. last Saturday, and was rescued by a helicopter as she floated on a piece of a roof.

    Slide survivor tells of ‘wave’ of mud hitting home

    The roar of the hillside collapsing was so loud that Robin Youngblood thought an airplane had crashed. But when she looked out the window of her mobile home, all she saw was a wall of mud racing across her beloved river valley toward her home. “All I could say was ‘Oh my God’ and then hit us,” Youngblood said. “Like a wave hit our mobile home and pushed it up.

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    Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday, March 28, 2014 extended federal recognition to the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place in Michigan before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold.

    U.S. recognizes Michigan same-sex couple marriages

    Attorney General Eric Holder on Friday extended federal recognition to the marriages of about 300 same-sex couples that took place in Michigan before a federal appeals court put those unions on hold. Holder’s action will enable the government to extend eligibility for federal benefits to the Michigan couples who married Saturday, which means they can file federal taxes jointly, get Social...

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    Abortion rights supporters demonstrate outside the Capitol auditorium in Austin, Texas. A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld Texas’ tough new abortion restrictions that shuttered many of the abortions clinics in the state.

    Court hands setback to Texas abortion law critics

    Dr. Lester Minto knows he won’t be able to reopen his clinic after a federal appeals court upheld tough new abortion restrictions in Texas. But he insists he won’t be silenced. Minto has been providing abortions for three decades, but he closed his clinic near the Mexico border earlier this month because of a law that imposes some of the nation’s strictest limitations on the...

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    Tom Karambelas, right, with his father, Pete.

    In a freezer all along: St. Charles missing man case fuels blame game

    More than 19 months after police began searching for missing St. Charles man Tom Karambelas, he was found in the most likely -- and unlikely -- of places. The end of the search left loved ones unsatisfied and police blaming each other. “How does everybody miss the same thing when they are being told exactly where to look? You didn’t miss the needle; you missed the haystack,”...

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    Chemical spill cleaned up at The Centre of Elgin

    A hazardous materials remediation company cleaned up a chemical spill early Friday morning at The Centre of Elgin, officials said. The spill was cleaned on time for the facility — including the pool — to open normally Friday morning, a staff member said.

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    Illinois man sentenced for misconduct during driver’s tests

    A former Illinois state driver’s license examiner convicted of sexual misconduct involving teenager girls during their road tests has been ordered to spend four years in prison.

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    Public support for President Barack Obama’s health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll.

    Poll: Obama health law fails to gain support

    Public support for President Barack Obama’s health care law is languishing at its lowest level since passage of the landmark legislation four years ago, according to a new poll. The Associated Press-GfK survey finds that 26 percent of Americans support the Affordable Care Act. Yet even fewer — 13 percent — think it will be completely repealed. A narrow majority expects the...

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    Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James, accompanied by Air Force Global Strike Command (AFGSC) Commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Wilson, take questions.

    At core of nuke cheating ring: 4 ‘librarians’

    Investigators dubbed them “the librarians,” four Air Force nuclear missile launch officers at the center of a still-unfolding scandal over cheating on proficiency tests. “They tended to be at the hub” of illicit exchanges of test information, said Adam Lowther, one of seven investigators who dug into details of cheating that has embarrassed the Air Force and on...

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    A sign outside of a coffee shop serves as a call for donations Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Arlington within Snohomish County, Wash. At least 25 people are known to have died when a colossal mudslide occurred on Saturday, unleashing a wall of earth that destroyed dozens of homes near the rural town of Oso, Wash., 55 miles northeast of Seattle.

    Search for mudslide missing comes down to shovels

    There is only one way searchers are narrowing the list of 90 people still missing seven days after a landslide obliterated the mountain community of Oso: by digging. There are no more phone calls being to determine whether some on the list were away and just haven’t checked in since Saturday morning’s slide. That left authorities to prepare the public for an announcement Friday...

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    House Intelligence Committee Chairman Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said he won’t seek re-election. He says he’ll serve out the end of his term and plans to start a national radio program.

    U.S. Rep. Rogers of Michigan won’t seek re-election

    U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers of Michigan, who has taken on an increasingly sharp profile in Washington as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee in a time of widening global security crises, has decided to give up Congress for a career in broadcasting.

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    President Barack Obama waves as he boards Air Force One at Fiumicino Airport, Friday, March 28, 2014 in Rome. Obama departs Italy for Saudi Arabia, to meet with King Abdullah, the final stop on a weeklong overseas trip.

    Obama makes fence-mending trip to Saudi Arabia

    President Barack Obama is making a fence-mending mission to Saudi Arabia, an important Middle East ally that’s grown nervous as the U.S. negotiates with Iran and pulls out troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama left Friday for an overnight trip to Saudi Arabia that has only two items on its public schedule: a meeting and a dinner with King Abdullah at his desert camp, a 30-minute...

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    Malaysia’s acting Transport Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, right, answers a reporter’s question.

    New Malaysia plane search area turns up objects

    Australian officials moved the search area for the lost Malaysian jetliner 680 miles to the northeast Friday following a new analysis of radar data, and planes quickly found multiple objects in the new zone. Five out of 10 aircraft hunting for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 found objects of various colors Friday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said.

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    Bill Johnston

    District 116 to vote on leasing space for high school health center

    Round Lake Area Unit District 116 board members Monday will be asked to approve a lease with a Lake County agency for a high school-based health clinic. If the lease is approved, the path would be cleared for Round Lake High School to have the first-of-its-kind health center in Lake County that has been in works since 2010.

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    Construction is expected to begin soon on the Fort Payne Learning Playscape at Naper Settlement, which will offer water, nature and climbing play features beginning as soon as this summer.

    Playscape coming to Naper Settlement this summer

    Kids ages 2 to 7 should have a new place to explore this summer at Naper Settlement, as construction is expected to begin soon on an Early Learning Playscape with water features, climbing structures and new ways to explore nature and history. “It can be an experience in and of itself for families with children in those age groups,” said Debbie Grinnell, vice president of museum...

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    McDonald’s is giving away free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.

    McDonald’s offering free coffee amid breakfast war

    McDonald’s is giving away free coffee to its customers for a limited time as competition for the breakfast crowd intensifies.The world’s biggest hamburger chain, based in Oak Brook, announced Friday that participating U.S. locations will offer free small McCafe coffees during breakfast hours from March 31 through April 13.

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    Quinn orders ‘lights out’ at state facilities
    Gov. Pat Quinn has ordered state facilities to turn off their lights for one hour as part of a global conservation effort. Quinn on Thursday ordered lights out from 8:30 to 9:30 in the morning at many state facilities on Mar. 29.

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    Emanuel to host mayors to discuss city challenges

    Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will host a group of other mayors from around the country next month at an event in which they’ll kick around ideas for solving big-city problems.

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    Samuel Wesley Samples, an 88-year-old World War II veteran, at the American Best Value Inn in Marion.

    Homeless WWII veteran finds friend

    Shannon Wimberly removed homeless World War II veteran Samuel W. Samples, 88, off the streets, provided him shelter and has begun a fund drive to help him. “He deserves to live the rest of his days with dignity. That’s not asking too much. And, he can afford and knows how to live on his own,” Wimberly said about Samples.

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    Ex-Indiana financier found at fault in Duesenberg sale
    A former Indianapolis financier in federal prison for a $200 million investment fraud has been ordered to pay $1 million over the disputed auction of a 1930 Duesenberg automobile.

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    Illinois plans midnight insurance sign-up events

    Illinois officials are planning late-night enrollment events ahead of the deadline to sign up for private insurance under the national health care law.

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    Hearing awaits ex-Illinois judge in courthouse drug case

    A former southwestern Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal soon could hear his punishment on federal gun and heroin charges. Michael Cook is to appear Friday for a scheduled sentencing hearing in federal court in East St. Louis.

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    A South Dakota judge on Thursday refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit against ABC related to its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef, which critics have dubbed “pink slime.”

    Judge won’t dismiss ‘pink slime’ defamation suit

    A South Dakota judge on Thursday refused to throw out a defamation lawsuit against ABC related to its coverage of a meat product called lean, finely textured beef, which critics have dubbed “pink slime.” Beef Products Inc. sued the television network in 2012 seeking $1.2 billion in damages.

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    Jobless rates fall in most Illinois metro areas

    Jobless rates fell in February in most Illinois metropolitan areas compared to the same time last year, although most areas also lost jobs. Figures released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Employment Security show the jobless rate dropped in eight of Illinois’ 12 metro areas compared to February of 2013.

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    The crux of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to prevent big budget cuts is making permanent an income tax increase, which he acknowledges isn’t palatable for many Illinoisans.

    Extension of income tax hike may be key 2014 theme

    The crux of Gov. Pat Quinn’s plan to prevent big budget cuts is making permanent an income tax increase, which he acknowledges isn’t palatable for many Illinoisans. And the move is even riskier in an election year as his Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, has blasted the idea in hopes of appealing to tax-weary voters.

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    Illinois restocking ponds with rainbow trout

    Workers with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources are restocking dozens ponds across Illinois ahead of next month’s trout fishing opener. The (Dixon) Telegraph reports crews deposited about 3,800 rainbow trout into a Centennial Park lake on Tuesday.

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    Dawn Patrol: Guilty plea in street racing death; millionaire tax

    Guilty plea in Gurnee street-racing death. Illinois House panel moves new tax on millionaires. State police to do safety checks honoring Vernon Hills trooper. Zion man charged with Waukegan bomb threat. Elgin councilwoman among 8 candidates for Farnham's seat. Bruins get revenge on Blackhawks.

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    Police equipped with overdose reversal drug save two lives

    For the second time in less than a week, police officers who participated in a DuPage County program have used the opiate overdose reversal drug Narcan to save someone's life. On Wednesday night, two Hanover Park police officers gave Narcan to a 29-year-old man who was overdosing on heroin, according to county health officials. The officers learned how to administer the drug through the DuPage...

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    East Aurora High School seniors Sara Franklin and Janice Sanchez make their way down Maple Avenue in Lisle as part of “Tomcats’ Journey to Remember.”

    Aurora teens walk 38 miles for former African child soldier

    More than 60 teens, most taking a class called Survivor Literature at East Aurora High School, spent all day Wednesday walking from their school in the Western suburbs across at least 10 towns in three counties to the lakefront home of the Chicago Bears. It was all to bring a speaker to their school next month: a man named Ishmael Beah, who, at age 12, was forced into an African army as a child...

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    This beautiful sunset behind the trinity of crosses located on Marmion’s property caught my eye. The warmth of the glow captured the essence of the season.

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

Sports

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    Cubs starting pitcher Carlos Villanueva won the job as the team’s fifth starter. How long that lasts is anyone’s guess because Villanueva is also a valuable asset in the bullpen.

    Versatile Villanueva will be Cubs’ 5th starter

    Perhaps one day in his role as a union player representative, Carlos Villanueva can take up a new cause. “Hopefully, I can be one of those people that advocates, that fights for the rights of the swing guy,” Villanueva said Friday at Chase Field as the Cubs got set to take on the Arizona Diamondbacks. Villanueva received the good news that he has been named the Cubs’ fifth starting pitcher.

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    Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Antti Raanta (31), of Finland, lies injured near his net as referee Marc Joannette looks at him during first-period NHL hockey game action against the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa, Ontario, Friday, March 28, 2014. Raanta stayed in the game.

    Questions mount after another frustrating loss

    There were more questions than answers following the Blackhawks' second loss in two days, this time a 5-3 decision at the hands of host Ottawa The most pressing of which being what's the deal with the Hawks lately? “There were some good moments where we did have control of the puck and had second efforts ... but other than that there were just sloppy turnovers and sloppy mistakes that we really need to get out of our system,” Hawks captain Jonathan Toews told reporters. “We have to play some character hockey."

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    Michigan State forward Adreian Payne, top, blocks a shot by Virginia forward Akil Mitchell during second half of a regional semifinal at the NCAA men's college basketball tournament, early Saturday, March 29, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

    Michigan State outlasts Virginia 61-59, heads to Elite 8

    Branden Dawson had 24 points and 10 rebounds and Michigan State beat top-seeded Virginia 61-59 on Friday night to advance to East Regional final.The fourth-seeded Spartans (29-8) will play Connecticut (29-8) on Sunday with a Final Four berth at stake. The seventh-seeded Huskies beat third-seeded Iowa State 81-76 earlier Friday.

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    Kentucky’s Alex Poythress and Aaron Harrison, right, celebrate after they beat Louisville Saturday in Indianapolis, 74-69.

    Kentucky moves on again, beating Louisville 74-69

    OK, so maybe they’re not the quickest learners. Still, the kids at Kentucky figured out Louisville just in time. Aaron Harrison hit a 3-pointer for the go-ahead score with 39 seconds left and Julius Randle made a pair of clutch free throws to lift the fantastic freshman of Kentucky to a 74-69 victory over their in-state rivals.

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    Prospect starter Mike Smith delivers against Hinsdale Central at Heritage Park in Wheeling on Friday.

    Shutout by committee for Prospect in season opener

    Prospect’s baseball team opened its season with a 2-0 victory over Hinsdale Central on Friday. Mike Smith, Jim Kennedy and Justin Placko combined to blank the Red Devils. The trio allowed just 2 hits while striking out six.

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    Softball: Friday’s results
    *Friday’s results*IC Catholic Prep 14, Queen of Peace 2Queen of Peace 000 20 —2-2-3IC Catholic Prep 016 7X —14-14-02B: QP: Janosik. IC: Conenna. 3B: IC: Farmer. HR: IC Montoya, Salvi. WP: Conenna (4-0) LP: Cudecki.*Downers Grove North 4, Reavis 0Reavis 000 000 0 —0-3-3Downers North 200 002 X —4-6-02B: DGN: Ryndak. WP: Ryndak (1-0) LP: Balandis (0-1).*Jacobs 12, Marian Central 1 (5 Innings)Marian C. 100 00 -1-4-3Jacobs 513 30 -12-8-02B: J — Spirling, Cummings.HR: J — Lach 2.WP: Peters; LP: Giesey.*Jacobs 17, Marian Central 2 (5 Innings)Marian C. 001 01 -2-4-3Jacobs 654 20 -17-11-02B: J — Borchert, Lonigro, Brog.WP: Borg.*Prospect 12, MAIne east 1 (5 inn)Maine East 100 00 —1-4-0Prospect 532 2x —12-16-02B: Pro: Schuldt (2) Lenski 3B: ME: Villobos, Murphy, Pro: Lenski, GilhoolyWP: Delilah Malczewski; LP: Villobos*george Rogers Clark 11, vernon hills 8Vernon Hills 200 031 2 —8-12-5George Rogers Clark 222 203 x —11-12-32B: VH: Cirone.3B: VH: Meline.WP: Edwards; LP: Stern.*At Orlando FLSt. Ignatius Prep 11, GraYSLAKE CENTAL 32B: GC: Long, Truskowski; St. I: Gallagher.HR: GC: Frusolone; St.I: Gallagher.WP: Hoffman; LP: Brown.*At The Dome, RosemontGrant 8, Palatine 7 Palatine 202 002 1 —7-6-3Grant 301 301 x —8-7-63B: Pal: Kozlowski; Grnt: Sancken, Moran.WP: Moran LP: Boisvert.*At The Dome, RosemontBarrington 7, Stevenson 2Barrington 002 110 3 —7-12-0Stevenson 010 000 1 —2-4-12B: Bar: Krzysko 2; Stev: O’Connor.3B: Stev: O’Connor.WP: Dolezal LP: Peterson.*Thursday’s resultAt George Rogers Clark HS, Lexington, Ky.MADISON CENTRAL 14, VERNON HILLS 4Vernon Hills 111 01 —4-4-7Madison Central 340 34 —14-16-42B: VH: Saliba.WP: Wilder; LP: Stern.

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    Girls soccer: Friday’s results
    *Friday’s results*huntley 2, hersey 0Hersey 0 0 —0Huntley 1 1 —2Huntley — Jakubowski (Nordeen), Jakubowski (PK).Goalkeepers — Hers: Harris 3, Galason 5.*

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    Boys volleyball: Friday’s results
    *Friday’s results*Conant invitationalteam standings1. Lake Park, 2. Lyons, 3. Walter Peyton, 4. Highland Park, 5. York, 6. Conant, 7. Elgin, 8. Guerin Prep.*team scoresConant d. Guerin Prep 25-13, 25-7; Lyons d. Highland Park 25-15, 25-18; Lyons d. guerin Prep 25-2, 25-9; Highland Park d. guerin Prep 25-18, 25-19; Lake Park d. Elgin 25-3, 25-8; Walter Peyton d. York 25-16, 25-14; York d. Elgin 25-8, 25-6; Lake Park d. Walter Peyton 25-13, 25-11; Lake Park d. York 25-18, 25-9; Walter Peyton d. Elgin 25-18, 25-17.*Championship game: Lake Park d. Lyons 25-20, 25-21. 3rd Place: Walter Peyton d. Highland Park 25-16, 20-25, 15-13. 5th Place: York d. Conant 25-12, 25-12. 7th Place: Elgin d. Guerin Prep 25-15, 25-22.*individual resultsAttack: LP: Krisik 8 kills, Moore 19 kills, Burke 6 kills, Fritsche 25 kills, Yost 19 kills; Serving: LP: Krisik 6 aces, Moore 4 aces, Burke 2 aces, Fritsche 4 aces, Yost 1 ace; Setting: LP: Krisik 74 assists, Amore 6 assists: Digs: LP: Amore 17, Fritsche 24, Yost 10; Blocks: LP: Moore 3, Fritsche 7, Yost.*At MaristScores: Elk Grove d. Benet Ac. 25-20, 24-26, 15-13Elk Grove d. Argo 25-7, 25-17*Other area resultsschaumburg d. st. charles north25-17, 18-25, 25-15Attack: Sch: Kolev 13 kills, Knitter 6 kills, Rios 8 kills, Nolan 7 kills; Serving: Sch: Kolev 3 aces; Setting (passing): Sch: Dietrich 10-11, Rios 25-26: Digs: Sch: Knitter 10, Rios 7; Blocks: Kolev 6, Nolan 4.*

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    Baseball: Friday’s results
    *Friday’s results*At ESPN Sports Complex, Orlando, Fla.FENWICK 10, GRAYSLAKE NORTH 2Fenwick 000 340 3 —10-12-1Grayslake North 100 010 0 —2-5-4 LP: Alvarez.*WARREN 12, VERNON HILLS 4WP: Kain.*PALATINE 15, LAKE ZURICH 5 (6INN)Lake Zurich 020 003 —5-5-0Palatine 130 10 (10) —15-14-32B: Pal: Serna 2, Saltess, Bauer3B: Pal: Orlando, Macahon.WP: Seeberger.*MUNDELEIN 4, LAKE VIEW 0Mundelein 001 003 0 —4Lakeview 000 000 0 —02B:Mund: Parola.3B: Mund: Reckert.WP: Kozaritz.*At Cal Ripken Experience, North CarolinaSt. viator 3, morgantown 2St. Viator 002 000 1 —3-7-0Morgantown 000 001 1 —2-6-12B: StV: Napoleon. WP: Piet.*At Wild World of Sports Complex, Orlandowheeling 13, brooke (WVa) 1Wheeling 201 141 1 —13-14-2Brooke 000 001 0 — 1- 6-6WP: Deblasio; LP: Lombardi.*naperville Central 4, Palatine 1Palatine 000 100 0 —1-3-2Naperville Central 000 040 x —4-7-22B: Pal: Devero. NapC: Daley.WP: Maloney; LP: Breytenbach.*naperville central 14, lake zurich 2Naperville Central 007 16 —14-9-0Lake Zurich 110 00 — 2-2-32B: NapC: Dolehide, Wegner; 3B: NapC: Clifford. WP: Wooldridge. *Prospect 2, Hinsdale Central 0Hinsdale Central 000 000 0 —0-2-1Prospect 110 000 0 —2-3-0WP: Smith; LP: Butler; Save: Placko.*Thursday’s resultWARREN 5, HARRISBURG 32B: War: Nickell.WP: Gordon; S: Falish.

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    Who will win Cubs’ final bullpen spots?

    The last piece of the puzzle for the CUbs' roster is the bullpen. Manager Rick Renteria is using the final two exhibition games against the Diamondbacks to finalize his relief staff.

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    Against a Portland squad playing its fourth game in five nights, it was the Bulls who looked exhausted and sluggish. They let the Trail Blazers open a 24-point lead early in the third quarter and zombie-stepped their way to a 91-74 loss at the United Center.

    Listless Bulls battered by Blazers

    Against a Portland squad playing its fourth game in five nights, it was the Bulls who looked exhausted and sluggish. They let the Trail Blazers open a 24-point lead early in the third quarter and zombie-stepped their way to a 91-74 loss at the United Center.

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    Wheaton CO-OP’s Ethan Sansone performs his still rings routine during the Ralph Krupke Invitational at Lake Park High School.

    Wheaton’s Krupke win is worthy of a feast

    A couple hot dogs with some fries and a chocolate shake were on David MacDonald’s mind as he departed Lake Park in Roselle on Friday night. The Wheaton co-op senior was excited about a post-meet meal with his team at Portillo’s, and he had plenty of reasons to be thrilled about more than just the menu. He was as dominant as one could be during the Krupke Invite, winning all six events and, obviously, the all-around title with a 55.6. MacDonald’s effort helped Wheaton co-op roll to a huge victory with 160.05 points, as the team surpassed the 160 mark for the second time this season.

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    Binstock, Warren battle past Vernon Hills

    Stephen Binstock went 3-for-3, knocked in 3 runs and scored twice to lead Warren’s baseball team to a 12-4 win over Vernon Hills on Friday.

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    Grant’s a winner at The Dome

    Grant’s softball team opened its season indoors Friday and pulled out an 8-7 win over Palatine at The Dome in Rosemont.

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    Metea Valley’s McCoy celebrates birthday with goal

    Metea Valley senior defender Tracey McCoy celebrated her 18th birthday on Friday by scoring just her second varsity goal.

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    Eventually, Palatine wins at The Dome

    After dropping a tough 8-7 decision to Grant in the comforts of The Dome at Rosemont on Saturday afternoon, Palatine’s softball team got another opportunity to play a second game against Evanston in the 72-degree indoor temperatures. The Pirates took full advantage by rolling to a 12-2 victory for their first win of the season.

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    Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah walks off the court after the Bulls' 91-74 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers after an NBA basketball game Friday, March 28, 2014, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

    Bulls routed by Trail Blazers, 91-74

    Mo Williams scored 18 points to lead five players in double figures as the Portland Trail Blazers won on the road for a second straight night with a 91-74 rout of the Bulls on Friday night.Damian Lillard had 16 points, Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez each had 13, Wesley Matthews had 11 and Thomas Robinson added 10 for the Blazers, who won in Atlanta on Thursday after dropping the first three games of their road trip.

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    Ottawa Senators goaltender Craig Anderson (41) clears the puck as teammate Jared Cowen (2) and Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews (19) battle in front of the net during second-period NHL hockey game action in Ottawa, Ontario, Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Fred Chartrand)

    Hawks come out flat, lose 5-3 to Senators

    Craig Anderson had 46 saves and Clarke MacArthur had a goal and two assists and the Ottawa Senators beat the Blackhawks 5-3 on Friday night.It was Anderson’s first game back since being injured March 10.

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    Barrington’s Parker DeLoye runs the last leg of Barrington’s 4 x 100 meter relay during the Lake County meet at Lake Zurich last spring.

    Deloye looms large for standout Barrington team

    Barrington senior Parker Deloye is unusually large for sprinter and jumps specialist, but he's got big goals to match his large frame.

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    Connecticut’s DeAndre Daniels has plenty of reasons to celebrate Friday. He scored 27 points, including 19 in the second half, to lead the Huskies over Iowa State to earn a berth in the East regional championship.

    Daniels just dandy for UConn

    NEW YORK — DeAndre Daniels scored 27 points, 19 in the second half, and UConn held off Iowa State 81-76 on Friday to reach the East regional final a year after the Huskies were barred from the NCAA Tournament.Daniels hit his first 6 shots after halftime, the only UConn player to make a field goal for over 8½ minutes. His 3-pointer gave seventh-seeded UConn a 49-32 lead.The Cyclones rallied late, pulling within 67-63 with 2½ minutes remaining. But senior Niels Giffey hit a 3 in the corner for his first points since the opening moments, and when the Huskies (29-8) made their free throws in the final minute, the UConn fans packing Madison Square Garden could celebrate.Dustin Hogue scored a career-high 34 points for third-seeded Iowa State (28-8), but Big 12 player of the year Melvin Ejim was 3 of 13 for 7 points.UConn will face top-seeded Virginia or fourth-seeded Michigan State on Sunday for a trip to the Final Four.The Cyclones, in the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 2000, were playing their second game without third-leading scorer Georges Niang, who broke his foot in their tournament opener.Iowa State’s Naz Long missed a 3-pointer with UConn clinging to a 70-65 lead and less than a minute left, and 6-1 Shabazz Napier pulled down the rebound and was fouled by Hogue. The senior calmly drilled both free throws.Napier, the American Athletic Conference player of the year, drained four early 3-pointers, then made only one more field goal the rest of the way. But the quick start by Napier and backcourt mate Ryan Boatright opened up space for the 6-foot-9 Daniels, an inconsistent junior who can score all over the court when he’s on.Since a stretch in late February and early March when he failed to reach double figures in four straight games, Daniels had averaged 15 in his last six outings before Friday. He shot 10 of 15 and pulled down 10 rebounds against Iowa State.After Napier’s difficult early 3-pointers — he was falling away on two of them and stepping back to open a sliver of space on a third — Boatright and Daniels took over. The three combined for all but six of the Huskies’ points as they built a 36-26 halftime lead.UConn is back in the NCAA tournament after academic sanctions kept the Huskies out last season. They were also ineligible for their last Big East tournament at the Garden as a member of the conference, but looked right at home Friday.The last time UConn made it this far, the Huskies won a national title when Napier and Giffey were freshmen.

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    Allen, Harper looking forward to improvement

    After a difficult start to the Cray Allen era, the Harper College softball tream is looking to bounce back following last season’s 4-20 overall record. The Hawks went 4-14 in the North Central Community College Conference in the distinguished coach’s first year of NJCAA play.

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    Michigan’s Nik Stauskas celebrates after the second half of an NCAA Midwest Regional semifinal college basketball tournament game against Tennessee Friday in Indianapolis. Michigan won 73-71.

    Michigan holds on late to beat Tennessee 73-71

    INDIANAPOLIS — Jordan Morgan scored 15 points and Nik Stauskas had 14 including a key free throw to help Michigan hold on for a 73-71 victory over Tennessee in Friday’s first Midwest Regional semifinal.The second-seeded Wolverines now play either Louisville, who they lost to in last year’s national championship game, or 2012 national champion Kentucky Sunday.The Wolverines (28-8) led by 15 with 10:55 to go, but committed four turnovers in the final 97 seconds. Tennessee (24-13) cut the lead to 72-71 and had a chance to take the lead, but Jarnell Stokes was called for an offensive foul with 6 seconds left.Stauskas then made 1 of 2 free throws and Tennessee’s long desperation heave was off the mark.Jordan McRae scored 24 to lead the 11th-seeded Vols.For most of the first 36 minutes, Michigan was in firm control.Then came a stunning turnaround by Tennessee, a bubble team that had to win a first round game just to get into the round of 64. When Stauskas, the Big Ten player of the year, knocked down a 3-pointer with 3:37 to go, the Wolverines led 70-60 and looked like they would cruise.Instead, Tennessee gave up just one more basket and steadily took advantage of Michigan’s miscues. When McRae completed a three-point play with 1:56 left, the Vols trailed 72-67. Richardson’s layup made it 72-69 with 24.6 seconds left and when the Wolverines threw away the ball on the next possession, McRae’s layup cut Michigan’s lead to 72-71.Another turnover on an inbounds play gave Stokes the chance to put Tennessee ahead. But Stokes, who contended he did not commit the foul, was called for the charge and the Vols’ comeback was over.Michigan should be getting used to these sorts of finishes in Indianapolis.Two weeks ago when they were in Indy for the Big Ten tourney, the Wolverines had to hang on twice after seemingly having comfortable leads against Illinois and Ohio State. Eventually, they wound up losing to Michigan State in the title game.Their inability to put a team away nearly did them in Friday.It sure didn’t look like it would come down to the final shot when Michigan shot 61.5 percent from the field in the first half and led by as much as 13. Or even in the second half when they led by as much as 15.But Tennessee buckled down defensively and rallied to cut the lead to six with 6:41 to play before the closing rally.

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    MLB toughens drug agreement provisions

    NEW YORK — Baseball players suspended during the season for a performance-enhancing drug violation will not be eligible for that year’s postseason under changes to the sport’s drug agreement announced Friday.In the most significant toughening to the drug rules in eight years, Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association said the penalty will increase from 50 games to 80 for a first testing violation and from 100 games to a season-long 162 for a second. A third violation remains a lifetime ban.Baseball started testing with penalties in 2004, established a 10-day suspension for a first testing violation in 2005 and increased the discipline to 50 games in 2006.While there were two-to-four major league suspensions annually from 2008-11, the number increased to12 in 2012 and 14 players were penalized following last year’s investigation of the Biogenesis of American anti-aging clinic. Among them were All-Stars Jhonny Peralta and Nelson Cruz, former NL MVP Ryan Braun and three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez, who is suspended for the entire 2014 season.“Our hope here is that the adjustments that we’ve made do inevitably get that number to zero,” said new union head Tony Clark, a former All-Star himself. “In the event that that doesn’t happen, for whatever reason, we’ll reevaluate and move forward from there. But as I sit here, I am hopeful that players make the right decisions that are best for them, for their careers and for the integrity of the game.”Peralta and Cruz returned from their suspensions in time to participate in the playoffs, which angered some of their colleagues. Clark said the union membership wanted to make sure “a player is not coming back and affecting a change in the postseason as a result of the decision that particular player made earlier in the year.” In addition to the postseason ban, players who serve PED suspension will not be eligible for automatic postseason money shares but may be given cash awards at the discretion of their teammates.A player serving a season-long suspension will lose all his pay. Under the previous rules, Rodriguez gets 21-183rds of his salary this year, or $2,868,852.“Although we had the strongest program in professional sports before these changes, I am committed to constantly finding ways to improve the program in order to eradicate performance-enhancing drugs from the game,” baseball Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement.An arbitrator would be allowed to reduce a suspension for a first or second testing violation by up to 50 percent if a player proves by “clear and convincing evidence” that a positive test was not caused by his “significant fault or negligence.” However, penalties may not be cut for muscle-building substances such as testosterone, human growth hormone, Boldenone, Nandrolone and Stanozolol.In-season random urine tests will increase from 1,400 to 3,200 overall in addition to the minimum two for each player, and offseason tests will rise from 250 to 350.There will be 400 random blood collections used to detect human growth hormone in addition to the mandatory one for each player during spring training.Players with PED violations, other than those who penalties are reduced for mitigation, will receive six additional random urine tests and three more blood tests annually for the rest of their careers. Foreign players entering the major leagues and those not subject to the major- or minor-league testing program for at least a year will be required to take urine and blood tests before signing contracts.“There are certain considerations we need to make in an effort to put guys in a position where the guys who are doing it correctly aren’t being adversely affected any more than necessary,” Clark said.

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    Jacobs sweeps Marian Central

    Butler recruit Alyssa Lach hit 2 home runs and had 4 RBI to lead the Jacobs softball team to a 12-1 win over Marian Central Friday in Game 1 of a doubleheader played on the turf field at Lippold Park in Crystal Lake.

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    Trail Blazers guard Mo Williams fires up a jump shot as the Bulls’ Taj Gibson leaps on defense Friday during action at the United Center.

    Bulls’ Shengelia somewhat of a mystery man

    One relative mystery on the Bulls’ roster is power forward Toko Shengelia, who arrived from Brooklyn on Jan. 21 in the Marquis Teague trade. He hasn’t played any meaningful minutes for the Bulls, which makes him an unknown commodity. So coach Tom Thibodeau provided some insight before Friday's game against Portland.

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    Same winning result for new-look Barrington

    Barrington opened its softball season with 12 hits against Stevenson on Friday afternoon at The Dome in Rosemont. Half of those hits came from two players who combined for 3 at-bats last season, when the Fillies marched all the way to third place in the Class 4A state tourney. Junior pitcher Keenan Dolezal, who batted three times as a sophomore, and Rachel Krzysko, who was in middle school a year ago, each went 3-for-4 as Barrington topped Stevenson 7-2 in the enclosed 72-degree temperatures.

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    South Elgin’s Nate Marotta celebrates a win against Schaumburg last season.

    Boys volleyball: Scouting the Fox Valley

    Scouting the boys volleyball season in the Fox Valley.

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    Huntley’s Taryn Jakubowski (11) jumps into the arms of teammate Katie Costantino after scoring on long strike in the first half against Hersey during Friday’s game in Huntley.

    Jakubowski, Huntley solve Hersey

    After starting the 2014 season with a 1-0 loss to Palatine, Huntley girls soccer coach Kris Grabner was looking for improvement in Friday afternoon’s second game of the campaign against Hersey. The Red Raiders’ veteran coach got what he was looking for.With sophomore midfielder Taryn Jakubowski providing the offensive fireworks with 2 goals, the Red Raiders evened their record at 1-1 with a 2-0 nonconference win over the visiting Huskies in a game played at Huntley Stadium.

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    chi fire scout
    Chicago Fire at D.C. UnitedWhen: 3 p.m. at RFK StadiumTV: NBCSNScouting the Fire: The Fire (0-1-2, 2 points) is looking for its first victory of the season, and this could be the game. The Fire will try to possess more than it did last week and finish its scoring chances better. Fullbacks Gonzalo Segares (injury) and Lovel Palmer (suspension) will miss the game. Scouting D.C. United: Despite talented offensive players like Eddie Johnson, Luis Silva and Fabian Espindola, United (0-2-0, 0 points) hasn’t scored this season. Goalkeeper Bill Hamid earned another call-up to the U.S. men’s national team for next week’s game vs. Mexico.Next: Philadelphia Union, 4 p.m. April 5 at Toyota Park— Orrin Schwarz

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    Girls soccer: Top 20 rankings
    Here are the preseason Top 20 rankings for girls soccer teams in the Daily Herald area.

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    DePaul's Megan Rogowski, game-high scorer with 22 points, beats Duke's Richa Jackson, on floor, to a loose ball during the second half of Duke's 74-65 loss in their second-round game in the NCAA basketball tournament in Durham, N.C., Monday, March 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ted Richardson)

    With Rogowski’s shooting, DePaul aiming high

    The fun-to-watch, 3-point shooting DePaul women's basketball team is hoping to make program history on Saturday. A win over Texas A&M in the Sweet 16 would give the Blue Demons their first-ever Elite Eight appearance.

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    From left to right, Philadelphia 76ers' Henry Sims, Hollis Thompson, Michael Carter-Williams and James Anderson watch the final minutes during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Houston Rockets, Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Houston. Houston won 120-98. (AP Photo/Bob Levey)

    76ers on cusp of NBA record 27th straight loss

    PHILADELPHIA — The Philadelphia 76ers are on the cusp of winning the NBA’s version of The Biggest Loser.Think of all the can’t-watch-this bad basketball in the league’s history. The seven-win Charlotte Bobcats in 2011-12 could only muster a 23-game skid. The 1972-73 Sixers that went 9-73; just 20 straight losses. Those old Clippers and Grizzlies teams that couldn’t even crack double-digit win totals didn’t come close to 26.None of them lost as many consecutive games as the Sixers. They have lost 26 straight games, a winless stretch has been matched in NBA history only by the 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.Houston’s 120-98 win over the Sixers on Thursday night matched the mark, prompting the back page of Friday’s Philadelphia Daily News to run with the headline, “The Big SKID MARK.”The 76ers can set the record for NBA ineptitude at home against Detroit on Saturday.“I’m not even thinking about it,” veteran forward Thaddeus Young said. Added guard James Anderson, “We try not to pay attention to it. But it’s tough. There are a lot of people talking about it. It’s kind of hard to ignore it.”Try impossible. Not even general manager Sam Hinkie, who orchestrated the takedown that left the roster for scraps, could have predicted this kind of carnage. The Sixers’ streak started on Jan. 31 with a 125-99 loss to Atlanta. It stretched into a winless February. An 0-for-March seems possible.Hope just might be on the way: The Sixers play a Detroit Pistons team that is 26-45 and has lost eight of 10. Here are five things to know headed into Saturday’s gameREMEMBER WHEN: Remember the good ol’ days when the 76ers were just 2013-14 bad and not historically awful? Evan Turner thought better days were ahead when he led the Sixers to their last win, a 95-94 victory over Boston on Jan. 29. Turner drove into the key and went up for the short shot that gave the 76ers the win and helped jump them out last place in the Atlantic Division and ahead of the Celtics in the standings. Turner said the win was “huge” for the team’s confidence. “We pulled through and came back from giving up a lead.” It was the last postgame celebration. The losing streak started two nights later. BY THE NUMBERS: Oh, where have you gone Darius Johnson-Odom? The Sixers have treated their roster like a deck of cards, constantly shuffling the deck looking for something better. (Or worse?). The latest 10-day pickup was guard Casper Ware. He was playing in Italy for Virtus Bologna of Lega Basket Serie A. The 76ers have used 22 players and seven times this season signed a player to a 10-day contract. OUR FELLOW LOSERS: The Sixers are closing in on setting the longest losing streak in sports history. According to STATS LLC, the longest streaks in the four major sports are held by: The Cavaliers lost 26 straight from Dec. 20, 2010-Feb. 9, 2011; the NFL’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost 26 straight from Sept. 12, 1976-Dec. 4 1977; baseball’s Philadelphia Phillies lost 23 straight from Jan. 29, 1961-Aug. 20, 1961; and the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins lost 18 from Jan. 13, 2004-Feb. 22, 2004.NOT THE WORST: As bad as the season has been in Philly, the Sixers (15-57) still aren’t the worst team in the NBA. The Milwaukee Bucks are 14-58 heading into Saturday and are riding an impressive one-game winning streak.

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    FILE - In this Nov. 16, 2013 file photo Northwestern quarterback Kain Colter (2) passes the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Michigan in Evanston, Ill. Colter has become the face of a movement to give college athletes the right to form unions and bargain. After a decision this week by a regional director of the National Labor Relations board, he also could leave a legacy as the athlete who formed the foundation of a dramatic overhaul of college sports that could potentially give athletes a chance to fight for a piece of an industry that generates billions based on their performance. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)

    Family plays key role in Colter’s union push

    Kain Colter’s grandmother often spoke about rights and equality, values she brought home from her job managing an office of a Colorado law firm.Those conversations planted a seed for Colter, who would go on to become a quarterback at Northwestern University — and the face of an exploding movement to give college athletes the right to form unions and bargain.

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    Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera is seen during a news conference where the details of Cabrera's eight-year contract extension was officially announced in Lakeland, Fla., Friday, March 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

    Tigers’ Cabrera gets record $292M, 10-year deal

    This is one number put up by Miguel Cabrera that is not subject to debate.The Triple Crown winner agreed Friday to the richest contract in American sports, a $292 million, 10-year deal with the Detroit Tigers.“I want to finish my career here. I have worked hard to get better, and Detroit is like a house for me,” Cabrera said.

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    Tough to keep up with all these college achievers

    What a winter that was. Here are some local collegiates who excelled during it.

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    Parpet finds good fit at Lisle

    What better way to fill a head coaching position than with a legend. Paul Parpet, inducted into the halls of fame of both the Illinois High School Football Coaches Association and the Illinois High School Baseball Coaches Association primarily due to his leadership at Addison Trail, has been officially announced as the new head varsity football coach at Lisle Community High School.

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    Chicago White Sox's Adam Eaton, right, is safe at second under the tag by Colorado Rockies shortstop Josh Rutledge during the sixth inning of a spring exhibition baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz., Sunday, March 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

    Eaton likes what he sees on White Sox roster

    Can the White Sox go from worst to first this season? They are facing low expectations after losing 99 games last year, but new center fielder Adam Eaton says anything is possible.

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    Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge gets the rebound and lays it up for 2 of his team-high 25 points Thursday night at Atlanta.

    Second-guessing Aldridge trade finally makes sense

    It’s a lot easier to second-guess the past than predict the future. But with Derrick Rose sitting out with another knee injury and Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge having his best season, it makes more sense to look back at whether the Bulls regret not keeping Aldridge in 2006.

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    Bulls not about to concede anything in East

    The Indiana-Miami game on Wednesday delivered the expected hard hits and drama, as well as high ratings. But the Bulls wouldn't be doing their jobs if they conceded those teams are destined to meet in the Eastern Conference finals.

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    Former Minnesota Vikings defensive end Jared Allen should be a big help to a Bears defense that struggled last season. If the Bears stay healthy, Mike North believes they'll make the playoffs.

    With DE Allen, playoffs in play for Bears

    The acquisition of defensive end Jared Allen looks like it will help heal an ailing and broken Chicago Bears defense, and Mike North looks for them to make the playoffs if they stay healthy.

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    Bulls game day
    Bulls vs. Portland Trail Blazers at the United Center, 7 p.m. FridayTV: WCIURadio: ESPN 1000-AMOutlook: All-star PF LaMarcus Aldridge (23.4 points, 11.1 rebounds) missed seven games with a back injury before returning Thursday and finishing with 25 points and 16 rebounds in Portland’s 100-85 victory at Atlanta. After starting the season 24-5, the Blazers were just 4-9 in the 13 games before facing the Hawks. PG Damian Lillard is averaging 21.1 points, followed by SG Wesley Matthews (16.6 ppg) and SF Nicholas Batum (13.0). The last time the Bulls saw the Blazers (Nov. 22), they led most of the night, but not only lost the game but also Derrick Rose to a knee injury. The Bulls have lost five straight against the Blazers.Next: Boston Celtics at the TD Garden, 6 p.m. Sunday — Mike McGraw

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    Blackhawks game day
    Blackhawks stories, graphics and photos

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    Arizona guard T.J. McConnell (4) runs to his bench after a regional semifinal NCAA college basketball tournament game as San Diego State forward Matt Shrigley (40) looks away.

    Arizona holds off San Diego State 70-64

    ANAHEIM, Calif. — Nick Johnson scored all of his 15 points in the last 2:45, after missing his first 10 shots, and Arizona rallied to beat San Diego State 70-64 Thursday night and advance to the final eight of the NCAA tournament.Aaron Gordon and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 15 points each for the top-seeded Wildcats (33-4). They next play Wisconsin in the West Regional final Saturday.Xavier Thames scored 25 points and Dwayne Polee added 13 points for the Aztecs (31-5). Those two tried to bail out SDSU in the final minute, each hitting 3-pointers before Thames’ basket cut the deficit to 65-61 with 38 seconds left.The drama wasn’t over yet in a game featuring tenacious defense and rabid intensity by both teams.SDSU got called for a 10-second violation, and the Wildcats regained the ball. Johnson got fouled and made both for a 67-61 lead with 26 seconds to go. Thames got fouled on a 3-point attempt, and he sank all three shots to leave SDSU trailing 67-64. The Aztecs had Johnson trapped near their bench, but he passed out of the double team and Gabe York got fouled at the other end. He missed the first and made the second, keeping Arizona ahead 68-64. Thames missed, and Johnson went to the line again where he ended the scoring with two free throws.Hollis-Jefferson fouled out with 4:42 to play, but Johnson made his first basket a couple minutes later and carried the Wildcats across the finish line after they trailed much of the second half.Arizona coach Sean Miller joined his brother Archie in the final eight. The younger Miller coached Dayton to an 82-72 victory over Stanford of the Pac-12 in the South Regional semifinals.The Aztecs controlled the boards 37-29, with three of them often battling at once on the defensive end. Josh Davis had 14 rebounds for SDSU. Johnson, the Pac-12 player of the year, finished 2 of 12 from the field, but made all 10 of his free throws.T.J. McConnell’s layup gave Arizona its first lead, 50-49, of the second half after the Wildcats got within one three times. SDSU answered with baskets the first two times, but couldn’t stop McConnell, who finished with 11 points.The Wildcats started getting some of the offensive rebounds that eluded them much of the game, and Kaleb Tarczewski scored after his teammates grabbed two on the same possession to keep Arizona ahead 54-51.The Aztecs built their lead back to eight points early in the second half, with Thames scoring six of their first eight points. The Wildcats scored six in a row, capped by Gordon’s one-handed dunk off York’s alley-oop pass on a turnover by Davis, and Hollis-Jefferson added two free throws to leave them trailing 42-40.Polee’s defense helped keep Johnson scoreless in the first half, when he went 0 for 7 and missed all three of his 3-point attempts. He finally hit a jumper at the buzzer, but typical of Arizona’s early luck, it was ruled no good. Tarczewski picked up his third foul with 5:13 to go, leaving the Wildcats without their 7-footer to protect the basket.Neither team led by more than four points until the Aztecs closed the half on a 12-6 run to lead 32-28. Polee ignited the SDSU fans when he stepped in front of Johnson, swiped the ball and tore downcourt for a huge dunk. He and Skylar Shepard had four points each in the spurt.

  •  
    Florida forward Casey Prather (24) celebrates a 3-point shot against UCLA during the second half in a regional semifinal game at the NCAA college basketball tournament, Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Memphis, Tenn. Florida won 79-68.

    Gators win their 29th straight, down UCLA 79-68

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Florida Gators are back where their last three seasons have ended with yet another chance to go to the Final Four.Michael Frazier II hit five 3-pointers and finished with 19 points as the Gators beat UCLA 79-68 Thursday night to reach its fourth consecutive NCAA regional final.The Gators (35-2) also extended the best winning streak in school history to 29 straight in reaching the South Regional final. “From a team aspect, I think we’ve done a great job of just staying in the moment and just trying to chase greatness,” Frazier said. “When you do that, complacency isn’t a factor so I think we’ve done a great job all year of just staying in the moment and chasing greatness.”The tournament’s overall top seed will play 11th-seeded Dayton on Saturday night for a trip to the Final Four. Dayton beat Stanford 82-72 earlier Thursday night.“Right now we got to put this game behind us and get focused on Dayton,” Florida senior Scottie Wilbekin said. “They’re a great team. Everybody is at this point in the season, and so we got to be locked in and ready because it’s going to be a battle.”Wilbekin added 13 points for Florida. Casey Prather had 12 points, and Dorian Finney-Smith had 10. Kasey Hill had 10 assists. The Gators have not lost since Dec. 2. The Gators lost to Michigan a year ago in a regional final.“But it’s a new team that we have, and we’re playing a new team so it’s a totally different situation,” Wilbekin said. “We’re just excited to get this win and move onto the next game. We’re totally focused on that. The past has no impact.”UCLA (28-9) was back in a regional semifinal for the first time since 2008 under first-year coach Steve Alford. But the Bruins just couldn’t match Florida’s physical defense or outshoot the Gators.“They played very well,” Alford said of the Gators. “They are an outstanding basketball team.”Florida shot 50 percent for the game (29 of 58), including 59.3 percent in the second half. UCLA finished 42.2 percent (27 of 64) shooting in only their fifth game scoring under 70 points this season. The Bruins were a cold 1 of 12 beyond the arc in the second half.Jordan Adams led the Bruins with 17 points, Kyle Anderson had 11 and five assists with nine rebounds. Travis Wear added 14. Frazier showed off the Gators’ shooting skills. He had hit only 3 of 13 beyond the arc through the Gators’ first two tournament wins but hot five of his first six against UCLA.The Gators led 36-30 at halftime and clicked on a different level in the second half. They hit their first six shots and eight of their first 10. Every time UCLA tried to make a run, Florida answered. First, it was Frazier hitting consecutive 3-pointers as UCLA pulled within 43-39. When the Bruins pulled within 56-55 on a layup by Norman Powell midway through the half, Finney-Smith hit a jumper for the first of 10 straight points. The Gators had UCLA running up and down the court so much that Adams couldn’t even hit the rim with a jumper despite having an open look at the basket.Wilbekin finished off the run with a three-point play that had the Gators solidly in control, up 66-55 with 5:34 left.“He hit two big shots down the stretch,” Anderson said. “That’s what you expect out of your senior point guard. He’s been here in the Sweet 16 four years. He made big shots. Credit to him.”For all the talk of Florida’s stingy defense, UCLA opened the game blocking the Gators’ first two shots. The Bruins only blocked two more shots the rest of the game.

Business

  •  
    Trader Daniel Trimble, left, works Friday on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks edge higher on consumer spending data

    The higher they rise, the harder they fall, investors say. Biotechnology stocks had been among the hottest sectors in the stock market for the last two years, with the S&P 500 Biotechnology index rising 74 percent in 2013 and 38 percent in 2012. That momentum stopped dead in the month of March.

  •  

    Winds, waves delay survey of Indiana oil spill

    Crews were scheduled to remove oil-covered pebbles Saturday along the lake some 20 miles southeast of downtown Chicago where a refinery malfunction discharged oil earlier this week.

  •  
    A General Motors Co. 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt sits on the lot of Les Stanford Chevrolet in Dearborn, Michigan, U.S., on Tuesday, March 2, 2010. General Motors Co. plans to recall 1.3 million Pontiac and Chevrolet vehicles in North America, including 2005-2010 Cobalts, to fix power-steering systems after U.S. regulators received more than 1,100 consumer complaints about failures. Photographer: Jeff Kowalsky/Bloomberg

    GM adds 971,000 vehicles to ignition recall

    GM says it sold 95,000 faulty switches to dealers and aftermarket wholesalers for use as replacement parts. Of those, 90,000 were used to repair vehicles from the 2003-2007 model years. But 5,000 of the switches were used to fix cars from the 2008-2011 model years.

  •  
    This combination of undated family photos shows, from left, Amber Marie Rose, Natasha Weigel, and Amy Rademaker. All three were killed in deadly car crashes involving GM’s Cobalt during 2005-2006.

    NTSB oversight of GM problems raises questions

    An Associated Press review of complaints to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that over a nine-year period, 164 drivers reported that their 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts stalled without warning. That was far more than any of the car’s competitors from the same model years, except for the Toyota Corolla, which was recalled after a government investigation in 2010.

  •  
    A floor hand signals Monday to the driller to pull the pipe from the mouse hole on Orion Drilling Co.’s Perseus drilling rig near Encinal in Webb County, Texas. The debate over methane emissions comes as oil and gas drilling has expanded across the country amid improvements in drilling techniques.

    White House plan targets methane emissions

    The White House plan, which could lead to several new regulations on energy production and waste management, comes amid concerns about increased methane emissions resulting from an ongoing boom in drilling for oil and natural gas.

  •  
    A worker walks Friday near the site where section of a parking structure under construction collapsed.

    Workers alerted before parking garage collapses

    A section of the structure measuring about 50 by 75 feet came crashing down just before 9 a.m. in the heavily congested area. Minutes earlier, 180 people had been working on the structure, said Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokesman Marc Littman.

  •  

    Pilots at American Eagle reject contract offer

    Bill Sprague, chairman of the union’s managing council for Eagle, said the contract offer was unacceptable because it froze pay scales until 2018 and then provided annual raises of just 1 percent. Seniority raises would also be curtailed.

  •  
    Associated Press A “Made In SC” plate sits prominently Friday on a new BMW X4 vehicle as it is unveiled during a news conference at the BMW manufacturing plant in Greer, S.C.

    BMW plans $1 billion expansion in South Carolina

    BMW first started making cars in South Carolina in 1994 after months of courtship from around the country. The plant has become as much of a part of the state’s modern cultural landscape as the Shag and barbecue. The company said access to interstates, rail lines and the Atlantic Ocean were the state’s biggest draws.

  •  
    A federal appeals court is allowing labels on certain cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered.

    Appeals court rules in favor of meat labels

    A federal appeals court is allowing labels on certain cuts of meat to say where the animals were born, raised and slaughtered. The decision dismissed an attempt by the meat industry to block the rules, which took effect last year and require packaged steaks, ribs and other cuts of meat to include country of origin labels.

  •  
    The Sunland Inc. peanut butter and nut processing plant in eastern New Mexico, near Portales. Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of Sunland Inc. the bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

    Nearly a million jars of peanut butter dumped

    Nearly a million jars of peanut butter are being dumped at a New Mexico landfill to expedite the sale of a bankrupt peanut-processing plant that was at the heart of a 2012 salmonella outbreak and nationwide recall.

  •  

    Illinois wants company to return $2 million Internet grant

    The state government is trying to get $2 million in grant money back from a company that was supposed to be installing high-speed Internet service on Chicago's South Side.

  •  
    Oil spill response crews remove oil absorbent material placed on the beach between Stewart Beach and East Beach in Galveston on Thursday March 27, 2014. The material was placed on the stretch of beach as a precaution as cleanup continues after 168,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil spilled in to Galveston Bay on Saturday.

    Investigation far from over in Houston oil spill

    The barge operator that spilled nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the Houston Ship Channel, closing one of the nation’s busiest seaports for several days, will be fined by Texas regulators regardless of the outcome of state and federal investigations.

  •  

    Commission rejects E. Dundee’s ComEd complaint

    The Illinois Commerce Commission has thrown out a $500,000 complaint East Dundee filed over a ComEd-owned easement that the utility blocked an auto auction business from using. Village President Lael Miller says he's not going to challenge the ruling. “I’m not going to fight that, it’s not worth it,” Miller said.

  •  
    Ettore Gotti Tedeschi

    Vatican bank’s ousted president comes out swinging

    The ousted president of the Vatican bank has come out swinging, accusing the bank’s board of causing “grave damage” to the Holy See by firing him. Ettore Gotti Tedeschi ended a nearly two-year silence with a statement Friday by his lawyers.

  •  
    General Motors has told dealers to stop selling some 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars.

    GM tells dealers to stop selling some Chevy Cruzes

    General Motors has told dealers to stop selling some 2013 and 2014 Chevrolet Cruze compact cars. But the company won’t say why. Dealers say stop-sale orders are routine and almost always made to fix a safety problem. They received the order in an e-mail Thursday, but no reason was given.

  •  
    A sale sign in a shoe store in the Shadyside shopping district of Pittsburgh. Americans spent slightly more in February but the gain still left consumer spending growing at a modest pace, held back by severe winter weather.

    U.S. consumer spending up modest 0.3 percent

    Americans spent slightly more in February but the gain still left consumer spending growing at a modest pace, held back by severe winter weather. The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.3 percent in February following a 0.2 percent rise in January.

  •  
    Amazon says it has no plans to offer a free streaming media service.

    Amazon says no plans to offer free video service

    Amazon says it has no plans to offer a free streaming media service, addressing speculation ahead of a media event in New York next Wednesday. Spokeswoman Sally Fouts said Thursday that Amazon runs ads ahead of movie and game trailers, but the company has no plans to offer a free streaming media service.

  •  
    Facebook is giving more details about its effort to connect remote parts of the world to the Internet — and it involves drones, lasers and satellites. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that Facebook is hiring “key members of the team” from Ascenta, a U.K. company whose founders created early versions of the world’s longest-flying solar powered drone.

    Facebook launches lab to bring Internet everywhere

    Facebook is giving more details about its effort to connect remote parts of the world to the Internet — and it involves drones, lasers and satellites. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said Thursday that Facebook is hiring “key members of the team” from Ascenta, a U.K. company whose founders created early versions of the world’s longest-flying solar powered drone.

  •  
    An Royal Australian Air Force AP-3 Orion aircraft takes off from Pearce Airbase, north of Perth, Australia, Friday.

    Technology hindered, helped search for Flight 370

    The disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has presented two tales of modern technology. The limitations of tracking and communications devices allowed the plane to vanish from sight for nearly three weeks. But satellites’ advanced capabilities have provided hope that the mystery won’t go unsolved.

  •  
    A man steadies himself as he and others work on framing new houses, in Odessa, Texas. America’s energy boom is fueling population growth west of the Mississippi River.

    Energy boom spurs growth west of the Mississippi

    America’s energy boom is fueling population growth west of the Mississippi River. Census Bureau data released Thursday shows 6 of the 10 of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas and 8 of the 10 fastest-growing counties are located in or near the oil- and gas-rich Great Plains and Mountain West.

  •  
    GlaxoSmithKline is recalling the weight loss drug Alli after receiving reports of unknown pills and tablets in the bottles.

    Weight-loss drug Alli recalled after foreign pills found in bottles

    GlaxoSmithKline is recalling the weight loss drug Alli after receiving reports of unknown pills and tablets in the bottles. The over-the-counter drug comes in a turquoise blue capsule with a dark blue band and the text “60 Orlistat.”

  •  
    U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year loans rose to a two-month high, increasing borrowing costs for homebuyers as the market’s recovery showed signs of weakening.

    U.S. mortgage rates rise with 30-year reaching a two-month high

    U.S. mortgage rates for 30-year loans rose to a two-month high, increasing borrowing costs for homebuyers as the market’s recovery showed signs of weakening. The average rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.4 percent this week, up from 4.32 percent, Freddie Mac said today.

  •  
    The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell for the eighth straight month in February.

    Contracts to buy U.S. homes fell in February

    The number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes fell for the eighth straight month in February, a sign of slow real estate sales over the next few months. The National Association of Realtors says its seasonally adjusted pending home sales index dropped 0.8 percent to 93.9.

Life & Entertainment

  •  
    Don't cry, Ron Burgundy! You and Veronica Corningstone are coming home to Blu-ray on April 1.

    Want more Ron Burgundy? You got it

    Fans of 2004's “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” had to wait nearly 10 years for a sequel. Now, just a little more than three months after the Channel 4 Action News Team returned to theaters, fans can bring home three different versions of that sequel.

  •  
    “Rosie the Riveter” dressed in overalls and bandanna, was introduced as a symbol of patriotic women joining the work force during World War II.

    $1.5 million needed by May 1 to save Rosie’s plant

    A group trying to save the Detroit-area factory where Rosie the Riveter became an icon of American female empowerment during World War II said Friday that it must raise $1.5 million in the next few weeks to save the site from being demolished.

  •  
    Joey deBettencourt and Megan Stern star in the national tour of “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which plays Chicago's Bank of America Theatre from Wednesday, April 2, through Sunday, April 13.

    Skokie native takes flight in 'Peter' prequel

    These are a few reasons why Skokie native and Jeff Award-winner Joey deBettencourt hopes that local theatergoers will take to “Peter and the Starcatcher” at Chicago's Bank of America Theatre from Wednesday, April 2, through Sunday, April 13. Cast as “The Boy” who eventually becomes Peter Pan, deBettencourt thinks hometown pride might factor into audience turnout.

  •  
    Mary Lorenz is an ensemble member of Laugh Out Loud Theater. The Schaumburg-based comedy troupe is part of the 17th annual Chicago Improv Festival, and it will also host other short-form improvisers from around the country (and New Zealand) at the Woodfield Mall.

    Improv festival brings acts far and wide to Chicago, Schaumburg

    Local residents have earned the right to be a bit smug when it comes to boasting about Chicago's impact on comedy. So it makes sense that the Chicago Improv Festival, now in its 17th edition from March 31 to April 6, can lure acts from across the globe. The majority of improv troupes audition to perform at the festival's dozen-plus intimate venues scattered around Chicago and in Schaumburg.

  •  
    Miguel Thompson uses his life experiences and feelings to help create his hip-hop music.

    Moving picture: Streamwood teen creates own sound

    Streamwood High School junior Miguel Thompson likes to hide away from other students during his free time at school, but it's not because he's shy or doesn't want to interact. It's just that he would prefer to be in the school's recording studio working on his own freestyle hip-hop rap, and mixing his own songs to share with friends on social media."I make music through my feelings," he says.

  •  
    Foster the People — featuring Jacob “Cubbie” Fink, left, Mark Foster and Mark Pontius — drew on global influences for “Supermodel.” The band’s May 16 show at Chicago’s Riviera is already sold out, but they return for a Saturday, Aug. 2, performance at Lollapalooza.

    World travels shaped Foster the People’s latest

    Mark Foster’s favorite hit songs are the ones written without thought given to eventual chart potential. So when it came time for him to pen the smash follow-up to his band Foster the People’s unexpected out-of-left-field 2011 hit “Pumped Up Kicks,” he didn’t even bother to try. “I feel like trying to write a song in order to be a big hit is just not something I’m interested in because it’s not going to come from an authentic place of expression,” Foster said. The band plays Lollapalooza on Aug. 2.

  •  
    Virginia Umberger, 104, of Elgin, has a collection of gourd creations on display at the Elgin Public Museum. An Elgin resident for the past 64 years, she and her late husband grew gourds and decorated them, and collected gourds from around the world.

    Elgin artist, 104, displays gourds at museum

    Virginia Umberger spent a great deal of her 104 years growing and collecting gourds, plants that she said never ceased to surprise her. The Elgin Public Museum is hosting the traveling exhibit “Gourds: The Creations and Collections of Virginia Umberger,” featuring a reception at 2 p.m. Saturday. “They are so variable and fascinating,” the Elgin resident said. “All of the challenges to look into what to do with each of them.”

  •  
    Actor Russell Crowe attends the premiere of “Noah” at the Ziegfeld Theatre on Wednesday in New York.

    Russell Crowe calls ‘Noah’ criticism ‘irrational’

    Russell Crowe calls the criticism that the film “Noah” has received “irrational” and says he’s happy audiences can finally see it for themselves. Crowe spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday night at the New York premiere of the biblical epic, directed by Darren Aronofsky and featuring Emma Watson and Jennifer Connelly. “Noah” has been the subject of controversy with some religious groups claiming the story has been inaccurately portrayed. That has prompted Paramount Pictures to add a disclaimer to its marketing material saying “artistic license has been taken” in telling the story.

  •  
    Jill Lindsay as Windy Lindy and her stage partner, Jackie Krueger, right, both of Milwaukee, perform at the World Clown Association's annual convention Thursday.

    Clowns gather for contests, latest trends at world convention

    Less is more for today's clowns gathering at a world convention in the suburbs this week. The jokesters embrace the latest — real hair and subtle makeup — in the spirit of competition at the convention in Northbrook. "Clowns like to have fun," said John Joseph, of Arlington Heights. "But if you look at all the people here, you will find that the majority of them are type-A personalities."

  •  

    Theater events: Broadway star reprises role in Drury Lane’s ‘Les Mis’

    Ivan Rutherford, who played Jean Valjean in more than 2,000 performances of “Les Miserables” on Broadway and during the 20th anniversary revival and tour, stars in Drury Lane Theatre’s production. Plus, Writers Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Conor McPherson's Strindberg adaptation and Metropolis Performing Arts Centre stages "The Diary of Anne Frank" for young audiences.

  •  
    The sun peeks through the scaffolding around the Washington Monument at dawn in Washington. The National Park Service has announced they will reopen the earthquake-damaged structure May 12.

    Washington Monument to reopen May 12 after repairs

    The National Park Service says the Washington Monument will reopen to visitors May 12 after being closed for nearly three years due to a 2011 earthquake. The park service says the remaining scaffolding around the monument is coming down this week.

  •  
    A puppy rests by a gate that prevents her from entering a formal dining room where there are fragile items and furniture with sentimental value. Experts advise puppy-owners to gate off rooms where they don’t want their puppy to roam.

    Puppy-proofing? Protect your dog — and your home

    We bought food bowls, borrowed a crate and dusted off baby gates. But soon after we adopted our 13-week-old puppy, we discovered the house really wasn’t ready. Clove, a Labrador retriever mix, chewed wires we thought were hidden and investigated stairs we thought she’d ignore. “It’s a lot like having an infant in the household,” said Pamela Barlow, animal behavior counselor at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ adoption center in New York City.

  •  
    Tickets for Bill Cosby’s Nov. 15 performance at the Rosemont Theatre go on sale April 4.

    Bill Cosby tour plans Rosemont stop
    Tickets for Bill Cosby's "Far From Finished Tour" at the Rosemont Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 15, go on sale to the public 10 a.m. Friday, April 4.

  •  
    Emma Watson stars in Darren Aronofsky's “Noah.”

    Emma Watson 'more spiritual' than religious

    Emma Watson was no believer. She just couldn't see “Black Swan” director Darren Aronofsky telling the biblical story of Noah. “Darren does these very dark, very intense, very gritty, very real films,” the “Harry Potter” actress explained. “And then Noah is kind of — you see this guy with the long beard and there's the animals. ... You can't really picture it.” Then the 23-year-old Watson read the script by Aronofsky and Ari Handel.

  •  
    Bistro Chen's almond duck offers a nod to past long-time occupant Chin's.

    Bistro Chen making a name for itself in Arlington Heights

    Bistro Chen was opened late in 2013 on Miner Street in Arlington Heights by the same people who run Bistro Dragon in Elk Grove Village. The space formerly housed Chin's, an Arlington Heights institution that closed in 2012 after 54 years. Food editor Deborah Pankey stopped in for dinner recently and gives us the low down.

  •  
    Visitors stroll along a path near the Bunker Hill Monument, in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston. The capital of Massachusetts is a vibrant modern city with a history that goes back centuries. Scattered throughout the downtown are buildings, churches and meetinghouses dating back to the American Revolution and earlier.

    5 free things to do in historic Boston

    The city of Boston is known for its “wicked” rich history, to use a term the locals love, going back to the Boston Tea Party and roots of the American Revolution. But pride is not limited to the past: The city is also home to the World Series champion Red Sox team. Historic landmarks are scattered across the downtown from 17th-century churches and meetinghouses to some of the nation’s oldest schools. And taking in the sites won’t cost you a penny. Just remember that the cramped vintage streets are better tackled on foot than by car.

  •  

    Make your glass cooktop shine again

    Glass cooktops are very popular. When you first get them, they look sleek, shiny and very nice. But over time, they can lose their shine and get a buildup of burned food on them that is hard to clean off.

  •  

    Telltale signs that a roof is going kaput

    No homeowner wants to pay to repair a worn-out roof, but fixing the problem now could save thousands of dollars later. Here is a telltale sign you may have a problem.

  •  

    An FHA retreat, with one hitch

    Can you be charged interest on your mortgage even after you’ve fully paid it off? Can the meter keep running when you owe the bank nothing — your principal balance is zero?

  •  

    Debate over bedroom closets continues

    Q. In a recent article, you stated that a closet is not required in a bedroom. This was incorrect. As an ex-chief Appraiser for FHA, any bedroom without a closet is not considered a bedroom.

  •  
    Homes at Serosun Farms will be built in clusters around the property to maintain the rural character.

    These communities celebrate the great outdoors

    Inspired by the beauty of nature, the joy of sustainable living or the tranquillity of water, these homes beckon you to unplug and head outdoors. It’s what’s on the outside that matters at these new home communities.

Discuss

  •  
    Daily Herald file photo Boats are docked for the evening on the Chain O’ Lakes.

    Editorial: Study waterway agency before pulling plug
    A Daily Herald editorial says state Sen. Terry Link was right to pull down his proposal to eliminate the Fox Waterway Agency in favor of more study. Now, let's do the study.

  •  
    Peter Braxton

    Abusive patent lawsuits hurting new businesses

    Guest columnist Peter Braxton: "Patent trolls" hold our economy hostage, sending threatening demand letters and alleging patent infringement where there is none, and demanding unjustified licensing fees as the price of avoiding costly litigation. I know because my company was recently targeted.

  •  

    Obama showed his hand early to Russia
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: By now most American’s are probably aware of President Obama’s open mic gaffe with the Russian president, to tell Russian President Putin “after my election I have more flexibility” in deals with Russia.

  •  

    Leopoldo needs our help with his report
    Letter to the editor: A fifth-grader in California is doing a report on Illinois and is asking for help from Illinoisans. Leopoldo may not know what he's let himself in for.

  •  

    Public sector unions undermine local control
    A Mount Prospect letter to the editor: I was struck by the recent comments of retiring police and fire board Chairman George Busse Daily Herald, Feb. 25) regarding the loss of local control over the hiring, promotion and discipline of Mount Prospect’s public safety personnel. This loss illustrates a very disturbing strategy of public sector unions: persuading state lawmakers to pre-empt the authority of local elected officials by shifting decisions about local government employees to the state level.

  •  

    Judges forced concealed carry on us
    A Palatine letter to the editor: The federal judges who forced “concealed carry” on Illinois ignored the rights of the 90 percent of us who don’t own guns and the even larger percentage who don’t want to have to worry about whether the next angry person they encounter is carrying a concealed handgun. We need to speak up to counter the gun industry’s lies.

  •  

    Breakdown of anti-choice arguments
    A Lake in the Hills letter to the editor: For all those that fight to abolish Roe v. Wade. For all those who believe in the right to life. For all those that believe life begins at conception. For all those apposed to birth control in any form, I pose this simple question to you.

  •  

    A clear-cut choice in November
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: I agree with the editors that Illinois voters have a real choice between Governor Quinn, a career politician, and Bruce Rauner in the November election. I do not necessarily agree that this election will define the direction of the state for decades to come.

  •  

    Eliminate legislature veto-proof majority
    An Elgin letter to the editor: On March 20 political editor Mike Riopell had two informative articles in the Daily Herald. In the last paragraph of the one on expensive campaigns, I found a point that needs greater emphasis.

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