Trial begins for Cook County man accused of killing wife
A trial gets under way today for a man police allege stabbed his wife 34 times after an argument last year. Heriberto Ramirez is charged with first-degree murder in the Feb. 14, 2011, slaying of his wife, Alicia Ramirez, in their mobile home near Des Plaines in unincorporated Cook County. Ramirez could face 20 to 60 years in prison. Full story.
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Palatine officials deny chicken coop proposal
Despite mounds of positive research and an absence of concerns by the village staff, Palatine officials didn't get on board with a couple's effort to build and stock a backyard chicken coop. The village council last night unanimously voted down Vanessa and Jason Barsanti's proposal to house a small flock of two to six hens due to opposition from the household behind their home. Full story.
Grayslake District 46 teachers strike date set
Grayslake teachers expect to continue negotiating contracts throughout the month, despite setting a strike date. Instructors will strike Jan. 16 if no agreement is reached before then. That date factors in upcoming holidays. Differences between the union and teachers include pay and contract length. Full story.
Police ID Aurora man in Reagan rollover
An Aurora man killed after he was thrown from a vehicle that crashed early Tuesday morning off the Reagan Tollway has been identified. Samuel Sanchez Jr. was a passenger in a 2006 Ford Mustang traveling west on Interstate 88 near Oak Brook at about 5 a.m. Tuesday, when it exited the tollway at York Road, veered off the road, struck a guardrail and rolled over into the ditch. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries. Police continue to investigate the accident. Full story.
Daily Herald employee mourned after Elgin-O'Hare crash
Co-workers mourn the loss of Dhirajlal Ratanpara, an overnight bundle catcher in the Daily Herald's Paddock Printing Center in Schaumburg. Ratanpara, 57, of Hanover Park, was struck by a vehicle along the Elgin-O'Hare Expressway shortly after the winter's first snowfall Monday evening. He had been involved in a an earlier crash on the ice-slicked road and had exited his vehicle when he was struck. "He was one of the sharpest guys we've ever hired," said John Johnson, the center's packaging and distribution manager, adding that Ratanpara was always smiling and laughing. "He'll be missed by a lot of folks." Full story.
Batavia taps principal to lead district
Batavia High School Principal Lisa Hichens will take over as the superintendent of Batavia public schools at the end of the school year. She takes over for retiring Superintendent Jack Barshinger. Hichens began at Batavia High in 1994 as a teacher. She then became a dean, an assistant principal, then principal. "I'm so grateful for the opportunity and I won't let you down," Hichens said. Full story.
2% hike in Naperville electric bills
Naperville electric customers can expect a 2 percent rate increase for each of the next three years. And those increases are expected to accompany new user functions. Electric department Director Mark Curran Tuesday introduced the new rate structure to city council members who are likely to approve the measure in time for the new rates and features to go into effect May 1. Full story.
Clear but cool with a high of only 30 degrees when you head out this morning. Temperatures will climb to 47 degrees before dipping back to 33 degrees overnight. Full story.
Reconstruction and widening continues on Walkup Road from Route 176 to Burning Bush Trail in Crystal Lake. The construction is expected to last until December. Full story.
Injured Hinrich hopes to play
The Bulls hit the road for a five-game road trip, and after a disappointing 4-3 start, they're hoping to welcome Kurt Hinrich back to the floor. Hinrich missed a recent game with a right hip sprain. He expressed some frustration with several early season injuries. "I don't want to be in and out of the lineup. I want to be in the lineup, stay in the lineup," he said. Full story.