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updated: 12/31/2012 9:26 AM

Weekend in Review: Local adoptions, 'fiscal cliff' and pensions

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  • It took Brian and Kelly Bielski of Roselle much longer than anticipated to adopt their son Mason, now 4, from a Russian orphanage in 2011 because of political and legal entanglements that have only gotten worse in recent days.

      It took Brian and Kelly Bielski of Roselle much longer than anticipated to adopt their son Mason, now 4, from a Russian orphanage in 2011 because of political and legal entanglements that have only gotten worse in recent days.
    Courtesy of the Bielski Family

  • Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) recovers a loose ball and is stopped by Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the second quarter Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit. The Bears would ultimately beat the Lions but lose out on the playoffs after the Minneosta Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers.

      Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) recovers a loose ball and is stopped by Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) during the second quarter Sunday at Ford Field in Detroit. The Bears would ultimately beat the Lions but lose out on the playoffs after the Minneosta Vikings beat the Green Bay Packers.
    Associated Press

 
Daily Herald report

Group home misconceptions often create worry

You'd be hard-pressed to pick out many of the hundreds of nondescript group homes throughout the Chicago suburbs. But the uproar -- from neighbors concerned about their property values and who will be living next door or from municipal officials who cite a number of nuisance and life safety issues -- has kept some homes from opening, despite having federal law on their side. And there is the occasional problem home that reinforces negative fears. Full story.

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Suburban families bemoan Russian adoption ban

Adoption is a long and arduous process to begin with, but in recent years, it's become even more difficult for American families seeking to adopt Russian children. With Russian President Vladimir signing a law banning Americans from adopting Russian children in response to an American law that deems some Russians as human-rights violators, some adoptive parents and adoption agency officials say a burgeoning diplomatic crisis has put the well-being of children at risk. Full story.

School officials skeptical of pension reform

Northwest suburban school officials greeted Rep. David Harris' outline for attacking the state's pension problems with skepticism Saturday, but said they know they must be part of a solution. The Arlington Heights Republican hosted board members and administrators from the school districts in both his current House District 66, and District 53, the redrawn one he represents after Jan. 9. Full story.

Hastert talks GOP, compromise

At the end of the year, J. Dennis Hastert will formally close the door of his government office, provided to U.S. House speakers for five years after they leave the chamber. In his final interview in that public role, Hastert reflected on his past and future, and what the Republican Party must do to successfully transform itself in future elections. Full story.

Hockey fundraiser for 'Super fan'

When Anthony Mustari was a student at Prairie Ridge High School in Crystal Lake, he never failed to support his school, always cheering at games of football, basketball, baseball and hockey. Anthony, whose nickname is "Moose," was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia this summer after graduating high school. Since then, the Miracles for Moose Foundation has organized several benefits for the Crystal Lake teen, the most recent one a hockey game Saturday morning at Leafs Ice Centre in West Dundee. Full story.

State OKs Round Lake Park recycling plant

Groot Industries Inc. has received a state permit to build a demolition and construction debris recycling center in Round Lake Park, the first of two separate proposals the company is pursuing for an industrial area north of Route 120. The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency recently issued a permit authorizing the development of what will be known as the Groot Industries Eco-Campus on 14 acres at 200 S. Porter Drive. Full story.

Crystal Lake man arrested after armed standoff

A 45-year-old Crystal Lake man who police say barricaded himself inside a home Saturday while armed with a gun and threatening violence was behind bars Sunday facing multiple felony and misdemeanor charges. Michael J. Walls was charged with domestic battery, unlawful restraint, aggravated assault to a peace officer and aggravated assault after his arrest ended a nearly two-hour standoff with police. Full story.

Glen Ellyn residents unnerved by man's behavior

A DuPage County judge set tighter bond conditions for a Glen Ellyn man Friday after neighbors unnerved by the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., raised concerns about his growing arrest record and unusual behavior. Christopher Shukin, 22, has been arrested 10 times since November 2011 on a variety of charges, from walking around naked to window peeping and grabbing a 4-year-old child he didn't know. Full story.

New theater coming to Arlington Heights

Downtown Arlington Heights may be losing out on the current holiday movie season but expects to be back in show business by summer with a new theater that will include a restaurant and bar. The village of Arlington Heights and property managers LNR Partners announced a deal for Houston-based Star Cinema Grill to locate in the former Arlington Theaters building, which closed in July. Full story.

World & Nation

'Fiscal cliff' deal proving elusive. Full story.

Deal reached to stop huge spike in milk prices. Full story.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton hospitalized for blood clot. Full story.

In gun debate, two sides speak different languages. Full story.

Obama wants gun violence measures passed in 2013. Full story.

Ten reasons India has a rape problem. Full story.

Now you, too, can become a prophet. Full story.

Will retailers rebound after weak holiday season? Full story.

5 issues small business owners will face in 2013. Full story.

Colleges help students scrub online footprints. Full story.

Woman charged with hate crime to undergo psych eval. Full story.

Entertainment

View the best of the Daily Herald 2012 images here.

TV in 2012: Horses, 'Homeland' and 'Honey Boo Boo.' Full story.

Ryan Seacrest: Rockin' in another year. Full story.

Jimmy Kimmel ready to take on Leno, Letterman. Full story.

'The Hobbit' is No. 1; Bond hits $1 billion. Full story.

Dann Gire picks best movies of 2012. Full story.

Sports

Will Bears' GM listen to fans? Full story.

Bears out of the playoffs. Full story.

Bears, Lovie run out of luck. Full story.

Marshall's peers finally step up for Bears. Full story.

Bulls coach plans to watch Hamilton's minutes. Full story.

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