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updated: 10/18/2012 5:59 AM

Dawn Patrol: Brenly leaves; protest at Duckworth's HQ

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Picnics, golf to cost more in Cook County?

It would cost more to picnic and golf at Cook County Forest Preserve properties next year under a proposed budget. The district's property tax levy won't increase from last year, officials said, but the golf fees would increase for the first time in five years and picnic permits for the first time in seven years. Those increases as well as small hikes in the district's other "nontax" revenue are expected to generate an additional $300,000. Full story.

Protesters rail against Duckworth firings

About two dozen Congressman Joe Walsh supporters protested Wednesday outside the Rolling Meadows campaign headquarters of his 8th Congressional District opponent, Democrat Tammy Duckworth, demanding answers to why she authorized the firing of two "whistle-blowers" from a veterans home in downstate Anna. Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, has denied the McHenry Tea Partyer's claims that she unfairly fired people when she was director of the state Department of Veterans Affairs. Full story.

Pros, cons of executive post aired

Two state representatives traded barbs and pats on the back in a lively debate Wednesday night about their opposing views on having a county executive in McHenry County. McHenry County voters will choose Nov. 6 whether they want a county executive form of government, now present in Illinois only in Will County. Cook County has a county board president with similar executive power. Full story.

Home catches fire in Schaumburg

Firefighters were called about 9 a.m. Wednesday to the 100 block of Scully Drive after residents smelled something burning. A fire had begun in the second floor bathroom and spread into the master bedroom and attic. Full story.

Candidates promise to fix state's attorney's office

As they have throughout their campaigns, the two men vying to be Lake County's next state's attorney sounded like crusading reformers during a debate Wednesday night. Democrat Chris Kennedy and Republican Mike Nerheim both criticized how incumbent Michael Waller has run the office, particularly in light of the wrongful prosecutions that have come to light in recent years. Full story.

No Santa train in Naperville

The Naperville Jaycees announced the cancellation of the annual Santa Train event that traditionally has taken hundreds of Naperville-area children and their families to the North Pole (which looks much like Brookfield) and back on a magical train ride with Santa and his elves. Full story.

Weather

Chilly and possibly wet day a head. Temperatures will only be about 50 degrees when you head out the dor, but then will only climb to 54 degrees this afternoon. Some rain is expected to roll in before the end of the night, with temperatures dipping back to 43 degrees. Full story.

Traffic

Reconstruction and widening continues on Walkup Road from just south of Route 176 to Burning Bush Trail in Crystal Lake. The construction works continues through November. More traffic.

Brenly to leave Cubs booth

Will former ace Kerry Wood be the new voice in the Cubs broadcast booth? The door was opened when Bob Brenly said he was leaving the WGN and Comcast SportsNet booth to pursue another broadcast opportunity. Since 2005, Brenly teamed with Len Kasper to form arguably the best local TV broadcast duo in baseball. "I'll never forget how easy it was to work with Bob. He made it so easy," Kaspar said. Full story.

Lions may be perfect tonic for Devin Hester

Devin Hester's last return touchdown was against the Lions in Week 10 last season, and expectations are that he's due for another. Hester couldn't ask for a better scenario than Monday night. The Lions are dead last in the NFL in average punt-return yardage allowed and No. 30 in kickoff-return average allowed. Hester and the Bears' return games are off to an uncharacteristically slow start, ranking just 20th in punt-return average and 17th in kickoff-return average. Full story.

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