DuPage man guilty of hate crime in beating at gas station
A former Darien man has been convicted of a hate crime for the bizarre and apparently unprovoked attack on a man at a Woodridge gas station, authorities said yesterday. Ali Akel, 34, was charged June 20, 2011, after prosecutors said he hurled racial slurs at and spat on a black man waiting in line at a Mobil station, then threw the victim down and began punching him. Full story.
Driver in Libertyville crash identified
Libertyville police and the Lake County coroner's office are investigating the crash yesterday of a pickup truck that came to rest in an elementary school playground minutes before kindergarten students would have been released for the day. The 69-year-old male driver and sole occupant, identified as Libertyville resident James Hall, was found unresponsive. Full story.
District 158 levy stays flat for second year in a row
Officials in Consolidated School District 158 decided last night keeping the property tax levy flat is the "right thing to do" for taxpayers this year. It's the second year in a row the district hasn't had to ask for more money, but not because costs haven't gone up. The amount the district is asking for to cover its operating expenses is increasing, but the amount it is asking for to cover its debt payments is going down an equivalent amount. Full story.
Lombard passes budget, denies firefighter hiring
Lombard trustees passed the village's 2013 budget without dissent last night, but political divisions surfaced in split votes that narrowly passed a tax levy and blocked the hiring of a firefighter to bring the department closer to full authorized staffing. The hiring of one additional firefighter is included in the $86.8 million budget approved unanimously, but it would need separate board approval. Full story.
Four injured in four-car crash on Route 53
Four people were taken to Northwest Community Hospital after a four-vehicle crash on northbound Route 53 at I-90. One vehicle, she said, was stopped in traffic when another car struck from behind. A third vehicle then struck the second one from the rear. Full story.
State's attorney investigating West Aurora Dist. 129 in abuse reporting case
The Kane County state's attorney's office is investigating whether any criminal conduct occurred by West Aurora District 129 officials after they were told a former band director was found alone with a girl in a secluded band storage room in summer 2010, according to court documents. Stephen Orland of North Aurora eventually pleaded guilty to having sexual relationships with two of his female students and was sentenced to 12 years in prison in March; now the school district and others are being sued. But the school district said it learned of subpoenas issued by the state's attorney's office. Full story.
Batavia man charged with beating woman, 80, at knife point
A 49-year-old man with a long criminal record is accused of beating a woman and threating her with a knife in Batavia last weekend, according to court records. John A. Cunningham, of the 700 block of Fabyan Parkway, Batavia, was charged with threatening an 80-year-old woman with a knife on Sunday, striking her in the face and knocking a phone out of her hand when she tried to call police, court records show. Full story.
Don't expect much more in 2013, business experts say
If you're hoping for the economic boom to start in 2013, you'll be disappointed, according to a panel of business experts at the Daily Herald Business Ledger Newsmakers Forum: Business Outlook 2013 Thursday in Rolling Meadows. While two of the three panelists said the slow economic growth that occurred in 2012 will continue next year despite numerous challenges, panelist Kurt Anderson, CPA, principal-in-charge of the Tax Group at Corbett, Duncan & Hubly in Itasca, was not as optimistic for the coming year. "We're in a plow horse economy," Pierson said. Full story.
Cubs bring back Stewart, set to introduce Fujikawa
The Cubs left the winter meetings in Nashville yesterday, and they'll come home today with something new and something old. First, they'll introduce relief pitcher Kyuji Fujikawa during a late-morning news conference at Wrigley Field. The Cubs and the Japanese closer have agreed on a contract that will guarantee him $9.5 million over the next two years, plus options for 2015. For the old, the Cubs and third baseman Ian Stewart have agreed on a new one-year deal worth $2 million with incentives that could add $500,000 to the deal. Full story.
Rainy and chilly with a high temperature of 47 degrees today. Temperatures will be about 40 degrees as you head out the door, then dip back to about 36 degrees this evening.
Roadwork continues at Diehl Road between Route 59 and Raymond Drive in Naperville. More traffic.
Bears' Roach, Hayden will be in spotlight vs. Vikings
No one's disputing that the Bears will miss eight-time Pro Bowler Brian Urlacher at middle linebacker calling defensive signals, making plays and dispensing leadership as he's done for 13 years. But Urlacher's replacement, Nick Roach, has started 55 games for the Bears, and the middle is not foreign territory to Roach. Full story.