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Article updated: 12/26/2012 5:45 AM

Dawn Patrol: Armed robbery, fire in Naperville; body found

Nichole Gibson of South Elgin takes a photo of her daughters Alyssa Goerr, 16, and Danielle Gibson, 9, with Richard Ahrens of East Dundee in South Elgin yesterday. The empty lot behind them is where Ahrens former home once stood, and is where his tradition of dressing up as Santa for fun started over 20 years ago. Even though he moved to East Dundee about eight years ago, he still comes back to the same corner for a few hours every Christmas Day.

Nichole Gibson of South Elgin takes a photo of her daughters Alyssa Goerr, 16, and Danielle Gibson, 9, with Richard Ahrens of East Dundee in South Elgin yesterday. The empty lot behind them is where Ahrens former home once stood, and is where his tradition of dressing up as Santa for fun started over 20 years ago. Even though he moved to East Dundee about eight years ago, he still comes back to the same corner for a few hours every Christmas Day.

 

Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer

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Man robs Naperville gas station at gunpoint

A masked man with a semiautomatic handgun robbed a Naperville gas station early yesterday morning, and Naperville police are searching for him. Naperville police received a report at 3:07 a.m. that the Mobil station at 1304 Plainfield/Naperville Road had been robbed. He got away with an undisclosed amount of cash. Police seek information. Full story.

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Bensenville man's body found in Elmhurst

Elmhurst police said yesterday they are investigating the death of a Bensenville man whose body was found along the banks of Salt Creek Monday afternoon. The body of Russell Winkler, 45, was identified by members of his family that evening, Elmhurst police said. Full story.

Naperville fire causes $125,000 in damage

A fire caused $125,000 in damage to a home early Christmas morning in Naperville. There were no injuries, Naperville fire officials said, but the Will County Building Department will determine if the home will remain habitable. Naperville firefighters received the call at 4:16 a.m. from a resident on 96th Court. Full story.

Teen in camouflage with fake rifle alarms Geneva neighborhood

Geneva police yesterday took a 15-year-old boy into custody who at first was thought to be carrying a rifle, but it was later found to be a replica. Police said Geneva units were called after someone saw the boy just before noon, wearing camouflage and carrying a rifle, along Route 31 near Stevens Street. Full story.

Fallen soldier's family celebrates Christmas with recruits

This is the third Christmas the Stack family of Arlington Heights has spent without their son, but this year they were surrounded by a few dozen young men who reminded them a lot of him. Marine Lance Cpl. James Stack was killed in Afghanistan in November 2010, leaving behind his 19-year-old widow, Katie, a 1-year-old daughter, parents Linda and Bob, and sister Megan. This year, the family spent Christmas making the day brighter for 25 Navy recruits from Great Lakes Naval Station. Full story.

South Elgin St. Nick delights drivers for 20 years

Dressed in a Santa suit, Richard Ahrens spent Christmas morning standing near his white pickup truck at N. La Fox Street (Route 31) and Stone Street in South Elgin, waving to people who pass. He wasn't wearing a sandwich board, and he wasn't hired to dress up as Santa to hawk pizza or an income tax service. He was out there because he likes it, as he has for the past 20 or 25 years. And he looks awfully authentic, too. Full story.

Weather

A cold windchill gets the morning off to a brisk start with "feels like" temperatures around 15 degrees. The actual low for the day is 25 degrees with a high of 35. It will stay overcast most of the day with snow showers early, but only accumulating to a coating or about an inch of snow in most areas.

Traffic

All major expressways and tollways in the suburbs are clear early Wednesday morning, but expect traffic to build later in the morning as some people head back to work and back home from holiday travel. For drivers heading out of Chicago and into the suburbs, a crash on the outbound I-90/I-94 Kennedy Expressway near Kimball Avenue is blocking two left lanes, ambulance, fire and IDOT are on the scene. Full story.

Omar Asik tells Bulls, Merry Christmas

On Tuesday, after playing his best game as a pro against his former team, Omar Asik didn't let things go to his head. The 7-foot center piled up 20 points, 18 rebounds and 3 blocks as the Houston Rockets ran past the Bulls 120-97 last night at the United Center. "I'm just happy we won the game," Asik said. "It's a regular-season game. It's good to win. That's it." But Asik certainly doesn't miss riding the bench as Joakim Noah's backup. Full story.

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