West Chicago teachers could strike Jan. 7
Teachers in West Chicago Elementary District 33 delivered an intent to strike notice to school district offices Friday -- a procedure that allows them to legally strike as early as Jan. 7. That would be the first scheduled day back from winter break, which started Friday afternoon after classes were dismissed. "We want to compromise and the board has pushed us into this corner because they will not meet us halfway," said Mary Catherine Kosmach, the union's chief negotiator. "We're asking for compromise on both sides." Full story.
Mentally ill say more suburban housing options needed
Having a home of their own is one more struggle for those living with mental illness. "People with mental illness in this area are forced to live with their parents or in nursing homes or they have to leave their communities to live in the city. Tragically, some of them end up homeless," an expert at one suburban agency says. The solution -- more specialized housing for them -- often proves difficult because of opposition from the residents who would be its neighbors. Full story.
Buffalo Grove 12-year-old struggles to control violent impulses
A Buffalo Grove mother wonders if the public really understands the challenges for the family in dealing with mental health issues. She has a son, 12, who is smart but can be violent. Her son is making progress, but she wishes more help was available from the state in dealing with the challenges. "I don't know why," the boy says of the violent threats he sometimes makes. Full story.
Chairman: Lake County Board 'best place to serve'
Only 30 years old, Aaron Lawlor has spent a third of his life in political office. Recently named the chairman of the Lake County Board, Lawlor talked to the Daily Herald about why he ran for the post, his goals and his political aspirations. Full story.
Fallen soldier's family celebrates Christmas with recruits
This is the third Christmas the Stack family has spent without their son, who died in Afghanistan, but this year the Arlington Heights family spent Christmas making the day brighter for a group of Navy recruits from Great Lakes Naval Station. "It was so wonderful to see their enthusiasm," Linda Stack said. "Our son definitely inspired us to do this. This has always been a day for family and they are part of our family now." Full story.
Foreclosure mediation plan revived in Kane County
Chief Judge Judy Brawka announced the details of her plan to bring foreclosure mediation to Kane County. The idea isn't new. Former Chief Judge F. Keith Brown pushed the idea back in 2010, but rules on the mediation from the Illinois Supreme Court were slow in coming. The housing market is rebounding, but Brawka said the current number of foreclosures will take up to five years to make it through the court system. Full story.
Waukegan High history teacher wins national award
For Josh Bill, teaching history isn't about asking students to memorize dates, places and names. He wants his students to become historians. It is his passion to teach history and his commitment to his students that led the Waukegan High School teacher to be named the National History Teacher of the Year. It is co-sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, HISTORY, and Preserve America. Full story.
Palatine Township school may start Wednesdays later next year
District 15 is finalizing a plan effective next year to start 40 minutes late on Wednesdays and 10 minutes early each of the other four days, giving teachers more professional development time. Supporters say it will result in less use of substitute teachers, but some are concerned about the strain on working parents. "Our goal is to have everything in place to let parents know the schedules for next year by January," Superintendent Scott Thompson said. Full story.
Woodridge murder suspect collapses in court
A man accused of murdering and then sexually assaulting his ex-girlfriend collapsed in front of a DuPage County judge Friday, seconds after she denied his request for release on bond. Adam Belmont, 23, curled into a fetal position and put his shackled hands over his face. From the galley, Belmont's father yelled for him to "breathe" while the room was evacuated. Full story.
Round Lake Park police get mystery $10,000 gift
Lake County's original Shop with a Cop program received quite a financial boost this week. Round Lake Park Police Chief George Filenko said an anonymous donor sent a $10,000 cashier's check to be used by he program. "Look, who sends us $10,000? We're a struggling little agency," Flenko said. Full story.
Three local drivers hauling 3,000 toys to Newtown
Peter Kasin of Grayslake, a board member of the Showmen's League of America, knew he wanted to do something for the kids in Newtown, Conn. So he made some calls, garnered 3,000 toys and, with two other drivers, drove 34 hours deliver some cuddly comfort. Full story.
108 arrested in shoplifting sting
A monthlong undercover sting operation during the holiday shopping season has resulted in the arrest of 108 individuals involved in large scale retail theft rings throughout Chicago and the suburbs, authorities said Friday. Cook County state's attorney officials announced that the arrests were made at Woodfield Mall, Gurnee Mills, the Aurora Outlet Malls, as well the North Riverside, Old Orchard and Orland Square malls and shops on Michigan Avenue and State Street in Chicago. Full story.
St. Charles to take charge of Charlestowne Mall with eminent domain?
St. Charles aldermen accepted a new report this week that may pave the way for officials taking the Charlestowne Mall my eminent domain. The report compiles evidence of the failings of the mall and goes as far as saying it is legally blighted property. That would be the first step in a city takeover. It that happens, aldermen may also move toward forming a new "business district" in the commercial area that surrounds the mall. That would allow them to impose a special sales tax and hotel tax on the properties in the district, which would include Pheasant Run. Full story.
South Elgin St. Nick has been delighting drivers for 20 years
Dressed in a Santa suit, Richard Ahrens is spending 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's done this every Christmas for more than 20 years. "To me," he says, "it's a lot of fun." Full story.
Waterleaf chef quits amid COD faculty complaints.
The resignation of the head chef at College of DuPage's professional run, upscale restaurant sparks renewed hostilities between the faculty and administration. Faculty members say the restaurant is losing a half million bucks a year and has strayed from its purpose of educating COD students. COD President Bob Breuder says the losses aren't that bad and the fine dining draws all sorts of unique visitors to campus and promotes the school in ways otherwise impossible. Full story.
World & Nation
Body found in home of man who ambushed firefighters. Full story.
Connecticut town celebrates Christmas, remembers shooting victims. Full story.
Over the fiscal cliff, how hard a landing? Full story.
U.S. holiday retail sales slowest since 2008. Full story.
Medicare premiums could rise for many retirees. Full story.
Health care tax hikes for 2013 may be just the start. Full story.
Parents buy armored backpacks after Connecticut school shootings. Full story.
Nasty storm makes holiday travel difficult. Full story.
Afghan policewoman kills US adviser in Kabul. Full story.
U.S. gun support runs deeper than politics. Full story.
Don't be fooled by January pay, higher taxes loom. Full story.
Hero dog missing snout seems to have beaten cancer. Full story.
Durning, Klugman: 2 actors we loved to watch. Full story.
Jessica Simpson confirms pregnancy. Full story.
Stakes couldn't be higher for Smith, Cutler. Full story.
Bears' offense needs to step up against Lions. Full story.
Bears hurting at safety, running back. Full story.
There might be ways to make Lovie just leave. Full story.
Pierzynski will be missed by the White Sox. Full story.
Bulls get holiday visit from old friend. Full story.
These gifts should be on Bulls' list. Full story.