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updated: 12/5/2013 5:48 AM

Dawn Patrol: Inside the pension deal; Palatine High sports legend dies

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  • Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, reacts as voting begins on the pension reform bill this week in Springfield.

    Illinois Senate President John Cullerton, a Chicago Democrat, reacts as voting begins on the pension reform bill this week in Springfield.
    Associated Press


How pension deal unfolded

State lawmakers' differences of opinion over what to do about Illinois' $100 billion in pension debt dragged on for years, with new proposals often giving them different reasons to disagree. But when Democratic and Republican leaders of the state House and Senate struck a deal for the first time the day before Thanksgiving, it was off to the races. Lawmakers are talking about how the deal unfolded. Full story.

Palatine High sports legend 'Chic' Anderson dies

For more than 30 years, Gerald J. "Chic" Anderson was one of the pioneers clearing the way for athletic excellence during the booming growth period for Palatine Township District 211. And before he retired in 1988, Anderson had built a solid foundation at Palatine High School that still thrives today. Anderson, who died Wednesday at 84 after a 20-year battle with Parkinson's disease, was a true champion of high school sports, say family and friends, and his positive attitude and tireless support for high school athletes were recognized throughout the state and by national organizations. Full story.

Controversial Des Plaines tent to come down

Almost three weeks after seeking permission to keep a controversial outdoor banquet tent, the owner of the Fountain Blue in Des Plaines has withdrawn his request, saying he determined it wouldn't be "worthwhile financially or practically." That means the 6,000-square-foot Lions Gate Pavilion tent that has been on the banquet hall's property at 2300 Mannheim Road for three years will have to come down. "Our two goals have been peace and quiet and protecting our property values," said Bill Dillon, a resident who has spoken on behalf of a group of neighbors opposed to the tent. "We're looking forward to enjoying our backyards this summer." Full story.

Kane County morgue freezer failure spawns call for new facility

Kane County Board Chairman Chris Lauzen is expressing grief about the black eye the county took when a freezer in the coroner's office failed on Thanksgiving. Lauzen said there should be a full inventory of the facility needs in Coroner Rob Russell's office. Russell said he notified the media about the freezer failure to be transparent about the expenses of his office, as his costs have been under heavy scrutiny in the 2014 budget process. He says he needs a new building. Full story.

Toy drive in need of donations

One of the largest toy drives in the Chicago area, which delivers 6,000 toys to 60 locations across the city and suburbs, is in need. "We're down," says Frank Davis of Prospect Heights, who has formed a full-fledged nonprofit organization called the 100 Percent Foundation, to organize the toy drive and other charitable projects. "It's already December, and donations are way down." He and his father-in-law, Jim Harney, are not out, however. They have faced adversity before -- and recovered even stronger. Full story.

Naperville Central celebrates state championship

Members of the Naperville Central High School football team don't really know what to do with themselves now that the season is over and their goal of winning a state championship is achieved. But on Wednesday afternoon, they celebrated as the grand finale of an all-school recognition assembly for fall athletics and activities. "I've been saying since August, this is a special group of guys," Head Coach Mike Stine said. "All the success they've gotten they've earned, and I told them that before we took the field Saturday." Full story.

Officials: Missing Gurnee woman committed suicide

Authorities say a woman who was reported missing from her Gurnee home committed suicide. The body of Anne Stroll, 64, was found in the area of the 32000 block of North Milwaukee Avenue near Libertyville at 2 p.m. Tuesday, according to the Lake County coroner's office. Gurnee police said she left a note indicating she was going for a bike ride but did not return. She was reported missing at 3:30 p.m. Monday by her husband. Full story.


Cloudy and 31 degrees to start this morning, but a cold snap works its way into the area, causing temperatures to dip to 16 degrees by the end of the day. Full story.


The cold weather is causing exceptionally slick roads on most roadways. People are urged to use caution when traveling this morning. In the meantime, motorists are reminded that Genoa Road is closed between Belvidere Road and I-90 due to bridge reconstruction. People should find an alternate route. More traffic from ABC 7 Chicago.

Konerko inks one-year deal with Sox

Paul Konerko doesn't need the money. And with 434 career home runs and 1,390 RBI, he doesn't need to keep playing to pad the statistics. But the team captain is coming back, having agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract, with $1 million being deferred to 2021. "I've been here so long. I'm a White Sox for life, and it killed me to see what went on last year ... I have an opportunity to come back to turn my back on that and help make it better." Full story.

Bulls will try for upset vs. Heat tonight

Thursday night's battle between the Bulls and Miami Heat might not be as intriguing now that Derrick Rose is out injured. Then again, the Bulls have won three games against Miami without Rose the past two seasons, plus one more in 2011-12 when Rose went 1-for-13 from the field and didn't play down the stretch. The Bulls host the Heat at 8:30 p.m. at the United Center. "It's always a big game when Miami comes to town," Joakim Noah said. "It's tough. We've got to fight through the adversity." Full story.

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