Daily Archive : Saturday December 8, 2012



    If-I-were-Santa essayists honored

    SPRINGFIELD — One essayist would give medicine to the sick and another would guide refugees to safety employing magic reindeer.Those were among the suggestions from children in a statewide essay contest that asked what they'd do if they were Santa.The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum is honoring ten winners and runners-up.


    Drug deaths increase steadily in Wisconsin

    MADISON, Wis. — A new report shows drug-related deaths are steadily increasing in Wisconsin.University of Wisconsin-Whitewater epidemiologist David Nordstrom took a look at nearly 5,000 deaths that were certified as drug-related between 1999 and 2008. Most were accidental overdoses or suicides and the majority involved male victims with an average age of about 43.


    98-year-old woman gets diploma - at last

    ROCKFORD — In her nearly century-long life, there was at least one thing that had bothered Violet Toscano: She had never received her high school diploma.But the 98-year-old Rockford woman has one now after receiving an honorary diploma on Friday.

    Bridgett Atwell of Mokena helps her 7-month-old son, Landon, hold onto the uneven bars Saturday in the gymnastics area of the Naperville Park District’s new 95th Street Center. The center hosted a grand opening Saturday morning for residents to explore its gymnastics, dance and culinary facilities.

    Naperville Park District expands south with 95th Street Center

    The Naperville Park District 95th Street Center hosted a grand opening Saturday allowing residents to sample the cooking, gymnastics, dance and fitness programs it will offer. "We're excited to have this type of space in south Naperville," said Brad Wilson, the park district's director of recreation.

    A telephone operator employee came up with the idea of mini-holiday lights while staring at a switchboard, but they didn’t become popular until the 1970s.

    History of Christmas lights

    Do you know when the first Christmas tree was adorned with lights? Or when blinking lights were invented? Here are some random Chrsitmas lights facts to chew on while we remind you about the Daily Herald's holiday lights contest.


    Person in custody in Lake Zurich stabbing

    Lake Zurich Police have taken a person of interest into custody related to a stabbing several days ago outside a McDonald's, officials said.


    Officials investigate possible cheating at Naperville Central

    Officials at Naperville Central High School are investigating cheating allegations involving a new technology program that allows students to use their cellphones and tablets in the classroom. Naperville Central Principal Bill Wiesbrook sent a letter to parents on Friday acknowledging the cheating, but did not say how many students were involved or in what classes.

    Michael Arnold won the 2011 Daily Herald holiday lights contest for his display at 106 Monroe St. in Elgin.

    Holiday lights flashback: 2011 winner

    All sorts of people know the house at 106 Monroe St. in Elgin, the winner of the 2011 Daily Herald Holiday Lights contest. When homeowner Mike Arnold visits the doctor's office, nurses look at his file and ask if his house is the one with the lights. Some college students on their way through town once sent a Christmas card telling the Arnolds how they had seen the house with the lights and just...

    Katrina Contreras of Carol Stream shops for her children Saturday during the 18th annual Christmas Store at the Outreach Community Center in Carol Stream. About 440 families made choices from about 3,000 gifts available at a 75 percent discount during the annual shopping event.

    Carol Stream ‘Christmas Store’ helps families afford gifts

    Christmas spirit surrounded shoppers at the Outreach Community Center's 18th Christmas Store in Carol Stream. About 440 shoppers chose two gifts for each of their children from a donated supply of 3,000 items and got to purchase them at 75 percent off. "Generally, these are working families trying to do the best they can for their household," the center's director said.

    Town hall meetings, like this one last year, have been a regular part of U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh's tenure in Congress. He held his final one on Saturday.

    Crowd cheers as Walsh hints at continuing political career

    Having started his successful campaign three years ago with a rousing town hall meeting, recently defeated Congressman Joe Walsh vowed to go out the same way. At his final public gathering at the American Legion post in Wauconda, Walsh hinted that his political career might not have ended. "It'd be kind of fun to run against Dick Durbin, wouldn't it?" Walsh teased.

    Side salads await the students of Eastside Elementary School in Clinton, Miss.

    USDA to allow more meat, grains in school lunches

    Last year, after USDA first proposed the new guidelines, Congress prohibited USDA from limiting potatoes and French fries and allowed school lunchrooms to continue counting tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable.

    Mikias Tibebu, 18 of Schaumburg, was killed in a hit-and-run early Saturday morning, but police are still trying to determine how it happened.

    Information sought on hit-and-run that killed Schaumburg teen

    Police are asking anyone with information about a hit-and-run crash early Saturday morning that killed a Schaumburg High School senior to come forward. Schaumburg police and fire departments responded to a call at 12:38 a.m. Saturday of a body lying in the street at Schaumburg Road and Branchwood Drive. “Anyone who was in the area of Schaumburg Road Friday night or early Saturday morning...

    House Ways and Means Oversight subcommittee Chairman Rep. Charles Boustany

    Boustany will return to Congress

    Louisiana congressman Charles Boustany has won a fifth term by handily defeating his Republican colleague, Jeff Landry, in a runoff election.

    Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, center, joined by wife Ann, right, talks with an unidentified spectator at ringside prior to a welterweight title fight between Juan Manuel Marquez and Manny Pacquiao in Las Vegas.

    Romney attends Pacquiao-Marquez fight

    Defeated presidential candidate Mitt Romney was a guest ringside Saturday night at the fourth fight between Manny Pacquiao and Juan Manuel Marquez.

    Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez , center, is flanked by his daughters; Rosa Virginia , right, and Maria Gabriela upon their arrival Friday to Simon Bolivar airport in Maiquetia, near Caracas, Venezuela. Chavez announced Saturday he will return to Cuba for cancer surgery.

    Venezuela’s Chavez says cancer back

    Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced Saturday night that his cancer has returned and that he will undergo another surgery in Cuba.

    A rescued green sea turtle swims in a tank Thursday at the New England Aquarium’s Animal Care Center in Quincy, Mass.

    Cold sea turtles flown from New England to Florida

    A New England Aquarium spokesman says a record number of endangered and federally protected sea turtles have been treated this year for cold stress.


    Born wild! Mom gives birth at upstate N.Y. zoo

    A woman gave birth on a wildlife path at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse on Friday, delivering her baby girl with the help of zookeepers not far from the bear exhibit.


    Man charged in subway rider’s death blames voices

    The man who police say pushed another man to his death in front of an oncoming New York City subway train says he was high on drugs and trying to combat voices in his head.

    Captain Becky Moschel lights a menorah made by students at Anshe Tikvah on the first night of Hanukkah while serving in Afghanistan.

    Kids help Jewish soldier light her own menorah

    Capt. Becky Moschel of Lincolnshire is celebrating Hanukkah as she serves in Afghanistan, and she got a little holiday help from her suburban congregation at Anshe Tikvah, who sent her a package with a menorah, candles and traditional holiday foods. "One of the highlights of this deployment for me was receiving the wonderful care package from the children of Anshe Tikvah," Moschel wrote.

    An Egyptian protester takes a picture Saturday with his mobile phone of his children on top of an Egyptian army tank outside the presidential palace.

    Morsi agrees to repeal some mandates; vote will go on

    The committee recommended removing articles that granted Morsi powers to declare emergency laws and shield him from judicial oversight. Panel members said Morsi had approved the recommendations.

    President Barack Obama, accompanied by members of his Cabinet, speaks at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Headquarters in Washington to discuss Superstorm Sandy.

    Budget constraints will affect Obama legacy

    Republicans argue the debt limit votes are their only leverage to curb excessive federal spending. They also have issued warnings in recent days that Obama's apparent refusal to budge on taxes threatens to damage any hopes of resetting bipartisan relations in his second term.

    Florida Gov. Charlie Crist talks to the media at the Miami airport, about the plan to restore voting and other civil rights to felons who have finished their sentences.

    Florida’s Crist may run again

    Now that former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist is a Democrat, pretty much everyone in Florida's political world expects him to seek his old job."I will consider it, and I will think about it," Crist said Saturday evening.

    New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority, floodwaters rise above the top stair of an escalator in New York City’s South Ferry station in the wake of Superstorm Sandy.

    New York mostly ignored warning of superstorm

    Some of the thorniest problems after Sandy, including a gasoline shortage, the lack of temporary housing and the flooding of commuter tunnels, ended up being dealt with largely on the fly.


    Police: Boy, 7, shot to death at gun store

    Joseph V. Loughrey, 44, was getting into the truck when the 9 mm handgun discharged, wounding Craig Allen Loughrey in the chest, according to state police. The boy died at the scene.

    Volunteer Jane Richlovsky puts finishing touches Saturday on one of five spots in Seattle City Hall where weddings will take place on Sunday.

    Same-sex weddings in Washington begin on Sunday

    Gov. Chris Gregoire and Secretary of State Sam Reed certified the election on Wednesday afternoon, and the law took effect at 12:01 a.m. Thursday, when couples in Seattle lined up to pick up their licenses just after midnight.Because the state has a three-day waiting period, the earliest that weddings can take place is Sunday.

    David Kosmecki, left, talks to Idaho State Police Trooper Justin Klitch in Fruitland, Idaho. Kosmecki was stopped and charged with possession of marijuana after leaving Oregon.

    Washington could become pot source for neighbors

    Idaho police say increased arrests for marijuana could intensify stress on county jails and caseloads for county prosecutors.

    Elena Ferrarin/eferrarin@dailyherald.com Naturalist and birdwatching expert Jack Pomatto, right, lead the “Woodpeckers in WinterÓ nature program Saturday morning at Fermilab in Batavia. Also pictured are Valerie Blaine, nature programs manager for the Kane County Forest Preserve District, middle, and Nancy Kopman of Batavia, left, who was among 19 participants.

    Bird-watching program at Fermilab accesses normally off-limits areas

    "Woodpeckers in Winter," a nature program held Saturday morning at Fermilab in Batavia, was led by naturalist and bird-watching expert Jack Pomatto. The group, which comprised 19 people, caught sight of a red-bellied woodpecker and a downy woodpecker, and got a quick look at a northern flicker.

    Dave Brubeck in 2009

    Notable deaths last week

    A roundup of people of note who have died in the past week.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev speaks during live televised interview from Moscow’s Ostankino TV Center on Friday.

    Russian premier jokes about secret files on aliens

    Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedevv has spoken about top secret files on aliens that may have landed in Russia.

    Afghan president Hamid Karzai gestures during a press conference Saturday at the presidential palace in Kabul Afghanistan.

    Karzai: Afghan spy chief bomber came from Pakistan

    The attack, carried out by a suicide bomber posing as a peace messenger, severely wounded Asadullah Khalid, dealing a setback to fragile efforts to reconcile with the Taliban and find a political resolution to the war in Afghanistan, now in its 12th year.

    A rare cloud formation is seen amidst a destroyed banana plantation, four days after typhoon Bopha left hundreds dead and rendered extensive damage to agriculture in southern Philippines.

    Storm that killed 600 threatens Philippines again

    The weather bureau raised storm warnings over parts of the main northern island of Luzon after Typhoon Bopha veered northeast. There was a strong possibility the disastrous storm would make a second landfall Sunday.


    Fire guts Des Plaines home, cat saved

    :Firefighters rescued a cat from an overnight fire Saturday in Des Plaines, but the fire left the home uninhabitable, forcing the couple and their cat into a motel.


    Fire destroys vacant home

    An early morning fire Saturday destroyed a large, unoccupied home in Wadsworth. "It was a significant fire. It was a total loss," said Mark Kirschhoffer, fire chief of the Newport Township Fire Protection District.

    A Canada goose flaps its wings after bathing in the Fox River near Boy Scout Island in St. Charles. Some readers wonder what the best way is to control goose overpopulation in the suburbs.

    Readers asked, Valerie Blaine answers

    People ask the darndest things. When someone sees the forest preserve district patch on my sleeve, it seems I'm fair game for just about any question — and there are some doozies. "Do you have to rake all these leaves?" "How many coyotes are in the preserves?" "What's the name of that bird that's blue, kind of small, you know — the one that sings a lot?"


    Nelson Mandela in hospital for tests, says Zuma

    JOHANNESBURG — South African President Jacob Zuma says that former President Nelson Mandela has been admitted to hospital in Pretoria to undergo tests.Zuma issued a statement Saturday saying that Mandela is "doing well and there is no cause for alarm."Mandela, 94, is frail health and has not made public appearances for a few years.


    Rotting whale in Malibu likely left to nature

    MALIBU, Calif. — No government agency is taking action to remove the decaying carcass of a whale on a California beach, making it appear the job will be left to Mother Nature.


    Obama request for Sandy aid could face hurdles

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama's proposal for $60.4 billion in federal aid for states hit by Superstorm Sandy adds a huge new item to an end-of-year congressional agenda already packed with controversy.


    FBI says Alaska man killed people for fun

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Confessed serial killer Israel Keyes admitted he enjoyed killing people, but couldn't or wouldn't give investigators a more meaningful answer when quizzed why he did it."There were just times, a couple of times, where we would try to get a why," said Anchorage Police officer Jeff Bell, who helped interrogate Keyes for hours.


    Student group urges campus-wide strike at IU

    BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University students concerned about reductions in state funding for higher education and IU's management of programs are calling for an all-campus strike in April in protest.A group called Student Power IU has been meeting to discuss concerns and is urging the action during the university trustees' meeting in Bloomington April 11-12.


    Chicago program puts injured painters back to work

    The city of Chicago has inked an agreement with the local painters union to allow injured employees to return to work more quickly, painting fire hydrants and curbs.Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement Friday the Transitional Return to Work agreement with the local Painters District Council No. 14 will save money while providing better services to city residents.


    Chicago Post Office offers holiday shipping tips

    The Chicago Post Office is offering tips to ensure gifts and greetings arrive on time this year.The U.S. Postal Service has seen a double-digit increase in package shipments already this holiday season. So postal officials say the earlier customers can mail, the better.

    A Nativity scene could be approved for installation in North School Park in Arlington Heights as early as Monday, according to park district officials.

    Nativity scene in Arlington Heights park just about a go

    A controversial Nativity scene is on the verge of approval in Arlington Heights, though park district officials say they still want some questions answered from the private group that is requesting the display. "Assuming everything that Mr. Finnegan needs to provide is provided, I would assume it would be approved," said park board President Maryfran Leno.

    U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert of Hinsdale reflected on her political past — and future — Friday in a taping of WBBM Newsradio 780’s “At Issue,” hosted by Political Editor Craig Dellimore and the Daily Herald, which will air in full Sunday morning.

    Biggert still mulling loss, looks ahead to future

    Departing Republican U.S. Rep. Judy Biggert talks about her unsuccessful campaign against Democrat Bill Foster in the 11th Congressional District, including her debate performance, where she says, "I didn't do a great job." The seven-term lawmaker from Hinsdale has spent recent weeks preparing to shut down her offices and is looking ahead toward what her next chapter might hold.


    Kaptain will testify at electoral board hearing next week

    An electoral board hearing regarding objections filed against Anthony Nance's petition to run for a seat on the Elgin City Council was postponed to Tuesday morning so Mayor Dave Kaptain can testify.

    Kirk Morris

    Trustee settles with Gurnee again over memorial for troops

    Gurnee Trustee Kirk Morri has struck another settlement agreement with the village regarding his private foundation's effort to build a memorial to troops who died in Iraq and Afghanistan on public land. The settlement should go before the Gurnee village board for approval on Dec. 17. "I'm OK with it because we need to move on," Morris said.


    Kane to fund private sector job training to spur hiring

    Kane County is piloting a new on-the-job training program to match unemployed residents with local businesses that are looking to fill positions. Businesses are telling the county they can't find a trained workforce locally, but they also lack the funds to do the training themselves. The county is making $85,000 available to help fund that training.

    Wayne Sobczak

    Retired Antioch Rescue Chief faces license suspension by state

    The Illinois Department of Public Health will consider suspending the paramedic license of the Antioch Rescue Squad's retired chief for failing to address a litany of misconduct problems, state officials confirmed Friday. The notice sent Nov. 14 said the IDPH will conduct a hearing into the actions of Wayne Sobczak that could result in the loss of his Illinois paramedic license for a year.

    Schaumburg resident Kristin Frey, 28, will join a team of four attempting a new world record by climbing stairs for 24 continuous hours Jan. 4 in Jacksonville, Fla.

    Schaumburg woman to attempt world-record stair climb

    Schaumburg's Kristin Frey, one of the top-ranked female tower runners in the world, will join with three others from across the nation to attempt a new world record in stair climbing next month in Florida. On Jan. 4, she and her teammates will attempt to repeatedly climb the 42 floors of stairs at the Bank of America Tower in Jacksonville to raise money and awareness for the American Lung...

    An Egyptian army officers detain and protect a man who was attacked by protesters accusing him of being an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood during protests Friday opposing Egyptian President Mohammed Mosri, at the walls of the presidential palace.

    Egypt delays early voting on constitution

    Legal Affairs Minister Mohammed Mahsoub said the administration was weighing several proposals — including calling off the referendum and returning it to the constituent assembly for changes. Another possibility was disbanding the constituent assembly and forming a new one, either by direct vote or an agreement among the political forces.



    Oak Park’s size too much for Schaumburg

    Schaumburg played in the land of the giants Saturday. And the Saxons came op a bit short on the giant-killing, dropping a 50-40 decision to Oak Park on Saturday in Schaumburg. The Saxons needed to plot a route around the Oak Park front line that averaged 6-foot-8. Schaumburg patiently found its course on offense. "I thought we played real hard tonight," Schaumburg coach Matt Walsh said. "They are a talented team with great guards and their bigs are long and athletic."

    Hampshire guard Sara Finn (5) dives for a loose ball as Burlington Central’s Kayla Ross (4) tries to gain control also during Hampshire at Burlington Central girls basketball Saturday December 8, 2012.

    Images: Hampshire vs. Burlington Central girls basketball
    The Whip-Purs of Hampshire and the Rockets of Burlington Central met in a girls basketball matchup Saturday in Burlington.

    Images from the Batavia vs. Glenbard East girls basketball game Saturday, December 8, 2012.

    Images: Batavia vs. Glenbard East girls basketball
    The Batavia Bulldogs and the Glenbard East Rams met in a girls basketball matchup Saturday in Oswego.

    This photo provided by the Irving Police Department shows Dallas Cowboys’ Josh Brent, who played for the University of Illinois in college. Brent has been charged with intoxication manslaughter after he was speeding early Saturday in Irving, Texas, and his vehicle hit a curb and flipped, resulting in the death of a teammate and another former Illini, Jerry Brown.

    Former Illini charged after another ex-Illini dies in auto accident

    Dallas Cowboys practice-squad linebacker and former University of Illinois player Jerry Brown was killed in a one-car accident Saturday and teammate Josh Brent, another former Illini, was charged with intoxication manslaughter. Irving police spokesman John Argumaniz said Brent was speeding when the vehicle hit a curb and flipped at least once.

    The Bulls’ Joakim Noah goes up for the block and fouls the Knicks’ Tyson Chandler on Saturday night.

    No worse for wear: Bulls zap Knicks
    Tom Thibodeau used another of his favorite lines after Saturday’s game: “In the NBA, you can find an excuse every night." The Bulls’ list of potential excuses is almost too long to list, but they still managed to beat the East-leading New York Knicks 93-85 at the United Center.


    Saturday’s wrestling scoreboard
    Here are the varsity boys wrestling results from Saturday as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Saturday’s girls gymnastics scoreboard
    Here are the varsity girls gymnastics results from Saturday's events, as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Saturday’s girls basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Saturday's varsity girls basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Saturday’s boys swimming scoreboard
    Here are varsity boys swimming results from Saturday's meets, as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Saturday’s boys basketball scoreboard
    Here are the results from Saturday's varsity boys basketball results as reported to the Daily Herald.


    Milestones for RM’s Kemph, MW’s Collins

    Junior guard Jackie Kemph played her first high school game in the big city Saturday night. And she pulled off a big milestone.The Rolling Meadows guard hit a free throw with about three minutes remaining for game-high 27 points and the 1,000 point of her career as the Mustangs topped Bishop Gorman High School (Las Vegas) 79-51 at Whitney Young High School in Chicago.


    Lakes is equal to the task in win over Antioch

    If only Congress could be as productive as the Lakes boys basketball team. Maybe the fiscal cliff would have been averted long ago. Here’s what the efficient Eagles did in just the last week: they won three games, including two rivalry games, and they learned a brand new scheme that is largely responsible for all of this winning in the first place. Although Lakes is new to its full-time, full-court pressing defense, Antioch would have never guessed it. The Eagles looked like experts, and were relentless with their pressure all over the floor Saturday night. At times, they nearly suffocated visiting Antioch en route to a commanding 64-28 North Suburban Conference Prairie Division victory.


    Hudson hits seven 3s for Conant

    Conant might have played its best game of the year. Senior guard Robert Hudson most certainly did, making 11 of 14 shots from the field — including seven 3s — to lift host Conant past Glenbrook North 46-31 in nonconference play Saturday.


    Kaneland struggles with Sycamore’s press

    Kaneland is still searching for an identity without the services of starting junior point guard Drew David. Sycamore unleashed a disruptive full court press throughout Saturday night’s Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division matchup, forcing the Knights into 23 turnovers. The host Spartans built a 19-7 first quarter advantage and kept Kaneland at arm’s length the rest of the way, securing a comfortable 60-46 victory.


    A much-needed win for Naperville Central

    Naperville Central’s boys basketball team wasn’t about to end another week without a win.Clawing back from a 9-point fourth-quarter deficit, the Redhawks rallied to a 69-64 overtime nonconference win over visiting Hinsdale Central to snap a two-game losing streak.


    McCameron comes through for Antioch

    Antioch girls basketball coach Tim Borries called on Carly McCameron against host Lakes on Saturday night, and the 6-foot sophomore didn’t disappoint. Borries credited McCameron for her strong work pressuring Lakes on inbounds passes, as the Sequoits pressed in the final four minutes of a tight game. Antioch ended up pulling out a 30-28 win, outscoring the Eagles 14-7 in the fourth quarter. McCameron came off the bench to finish with 5 points, 7 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.


    Palatine toughs one out at VH

    Adversity just made Palatine tougher in Saturday afternoon’s nonconference boys basketball game at Vernon Hills. Sophomore standout Roosevelt Smart couldn’t find his shooting touch as he was constantly hounded by multiple defenders. Sophomore point guard Chris Macahon spent more than nine minutes of the first half on the bench in foul trouble. Six-foot-5 senior starter Josh Baldus was away on a football recruiting trip. And Vernon Hills senior Stephen Curry was heating up from 3-point range in the third quarter. But the Pirates fought through all of it to win their third consecutive game 48-39 and improve to 5-3 after winning just 3 games last season.


    St. Francis defeats Aurora Christian

    The way St. Francis drove and kicked the basketball out to open shooters or penetrated and dished off inside, it seemed the Spartans offense was the key against Aurora Christian. But no.


    NBA roundup: Spurs knock down 19 3-pointers

    Charlotte Bobcats coach Mike Dunlap decided to pack the paint Saturday night and make the San Antonio Spurs beat them from the outside.Danny Green and company did just that.Green scored a season-high 23 points and the Spurs set a franchise record with 19 3-pointers to hand the Bobcats their seventh straight defeat, 132-102. Green was 7 of 9 from 3-point range and the Spurs shot 56 percent from behind the arc.Tony Parker had 22 points and 9 assists as the Spurs won for the ninth time in 10 games to push their record to 17-4.Green and Parker were a combined 18 of 22 from the field.“Tony was driving and the defense was collapsing on Timmy (Duncan), so there were a lot of open shots from the perimeter,” Green said. “We were driving and kicking and moving the ball. It makes the game a lot easier when you’re making shots. We haven’t been shooting the ball as well lately from the outside so I don’t blame them for trying to do that.”Dunlap said he decided to focus on the inside after the Spurs scored 60 points in the paint against the Houston Rockets.The strategy backfired.Kemba Walker led the Bobcats with 23 points and Gerald Henderson chipped in with 13. Charlotte received a scare in the second quarter when rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist injured his tailbone. But he returned to the game in the third quarter after receiving treatment in the training room. Heat 106, Hornets 90:Dwyane Wade scored 26 points, LeBron James finished with 24 points and 7 assists, and host Miami snapped a two-game slide by topping New Orleans. Miami took control by outscoring the Hornets 33-10 over the final 11 minutes of the first half. Mavericks 116, Rockets 109:O.J. Mayo scored 40 points, including 10 in the last three minutes, to lift visiting Dallas to a victory over Houston.James Harden had 30 points at halftime, but the Mavericks slowed him down in the second half. He scored just 9 points in the second half. Hawks 93, Grizzlies 83:Josh Smith had 24 points, Lou Williams scored 18 of his 21 in the second half, and visiting Atlanta won for the nine time in 10 games.


    Lake Zurich’s developing a winning identity

    Lake Zurich turned away pesky Libertyville 56-44 in a North Suburban Lake Division contest Saturday night. The Bears got a game-high 16 points from Mike Travlos, 12 from Ryan Roach, 9 and 8 rebounds from John Repplinger, 8 points from Brad Kruse and 7 boards from Will McClaughry.

    Braves Greg Maddux won 194 games — and four straight Cy Young Awards — in 11 seasons with the Atlanta Braves.

    The day Cubs tossed Maddux out the door

    Twenty years ago Sunday, Greg Maddux left the only team he had ever known, signing as a free agent with the Atlanta Braves after the Cubs shoved him out the door. It's a day that will haunt the Cubs forever.


    Montini withstands Geneva comeback bid

    At times Saturday Montini showed flashes of brilliance. Fortunate would be a better word for its finish. No. 16 Geneva stormed back from 11 down in the fourth quarter, No. 1 Montini holding on 58-55 in a controversial finish in Lombard.


    Jacobs comeback derails Cary-Grove

    Desperation seemed to be the inspiration for Jacobs in its search for its first victory Saturday night. The Golden Eagles were staring at a possible 0-5 start to the season when they came out for the second half of their Fox Valley Conference Valley Division boys basketball game with a 7-point deficit at Cary-Grove. But they came out with a different mentality for the final 16 minutes. They took control on the boards, confidently got rolling offensively and as retiring head coach Jim Hinkle put it, went strictly “mano-a-mano” defensively. And scoring the final 9 points of a wild fourth quarter sent Jacobs (1-4, 1-1) to a much-needed 55-48 victory.


    Westminster Christian falls

    Chicagoland Jewish 52, Westminster Christian 37: Colin Brandon led Westminster (3-5) with 15 points in a nonconference loss.


    Fremd all over Dundee-Crown

    Most teenagers use cellphones and social media to send messages. The Fremd boys basketball team used smothering defense to deliver theirs Saturday. “We wanted to make a statement and prove that we can beat some of the best teams in the area,” junior guard Riley Glassmann said after the Vikings thumped previously undefeated Dundee-Crown 49-31 in Carpentersville. “We just wanted to come out and play Fremd defense and get a win.”


    Wheaton Academy too tough for Aurora Central Catholic

    While Aurora Central Catholic enjoyed a fast start this year at 5-1, one problem the Chargers have had has been rebounding. That turned out to be a major problem Saturday night against relentless Wheaton Academy senior Brandon Ruggles and the rest of his Warrior teammates. Ruggles scratched and clawed his way to 19 rebounds and the Warriors beat the Chargers to the ball all night in a 66-51 victory in Aurora.


    Girls basketball/Fox Valley roundup

    Bartlett 43, Waubonsie Valley 36: Ally Giampapa and Alyssa Hernandez each scored 13 points and Elizabeth Arco added 9 to lead the Hawks (6-5, 3-1) to an Upstate Eight Valley win.Metea Valley 65, South Elgin 53: Nell Wentling had 19 points and Kennede Miller added 13 for South Elgin (5-5, 1-2) in the UEC Valley. Amanda Behles added 10 points for the Storm, which lost its third straight.CL South 43, CL Central 33: Sara Mickow had 17 points and 8 rebounds to lead the Gators (7-3) to a Fox Valley crossover win, their fifth straight. Lauren Del Vecchio added 9 points for Crystal Lake South.Schaumburg 74, Westminster Christian 60: Maddie Versluys had 22 points and 14 rebounds as the Warriors played Class 4A Schaumburg tough before falling in nonconference action. Claire Speweik had 8 points and 8 rebounds for Westminster, while McKaila Hays added 9 points and 4 steals.Rockford Christian Life 49, Harvest Christian 30: Kylee Knox had 9 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists for Harvest Christian in the Northeast Athletic Conference. Sarah Kott added 7 rebounds for the Lions (1-4, 1-1).


    Brewer looks back on days with Bulls

    Sitting in the visitors locker room before Saturday’s game, Ronnie Brewer had his audience laughing quickly. “I know I don’t miss Thibs’ practices,” Brewer joked when asked about his memories of Chicago.


    E. Wash. beats Illinois St. 51-35 in FCS playoffs

    CHENEY, Wash. — As Eastern Washington coach Beau Baldwin looked at the statistics from the Eagles’ 51-35 win over Illinois State on Saturday evening, he glanced at star wide receiver Brandon Kaufman and joked, “You just can’t get 200.”Kaufman failed to reach 200 yards, but he did have 191 and hauled in three of Kyle Padron’s school-record-tying six touchdown passes as the Eagles advanced to the semifinals of the Football Championship Subdivision playoffs.Second-seeded Eastern (11-2) will stay home to face Sam Houston State on Saturday afternoon.Padron, a transfer from SMU, connected with Kaufman on back-to-back scoring plays early in the third quarter, and then the duo hooked up again early in the fourth to turn back the Redbirds (9-4), who were 6-0 on the road coming into the game.“He’s definitely a special receiver, one of the best I’ve had the opportunity to play with,” Padron said after completing 19 of 33 passes for 358 yards. “You put the ball in his area, he’s going to come down with it.”With a 24-17 lead at the half, Padron dropped a perfect pass into Kaufman’s hands at the goal line. Ronnie Hamlin intercepted ISU quarterback Matt Brown on the next play, setting up Padron’s 17-yard strike to Kaufman in the back right corner of the end zone for a 38-17 lead at the 11:01 mark.But the biggest connection came a quarter later, after the Redbirds had scored 18 straight points to close with a field goal.Facing a third-and-9 on the 24, Padron lofted the ball down the right sideline and the momentum switched.“It was a little underthrown,” Padron said. “He’s 6-foot-5, went up and got it, shook off a couple of guys and ran for 40 yards or so. I didn’t do a whole lot.”Kaufman, who had his 18th 100-yard game and became the Big Sky Conference single-season record holder with 1,635 yards receiving, said, “It was an overall team effort. Balls are being put in the right places. But right now I have a fight in me I didn’t necessarily realize I had.” Padron’s last touchdown, a 10-yarder to Ashton Clark with 7:42 remaining, closed the scoring. Quincy Forte, who rushed for 116 yards on just seven carries, set up the score with a 57-yard burst. Brown was 27 of 48 for 372 yards but had that critical interception, plus another in the final seconds. Tyrone Walker had 148 yards receiving and a touchdown on nine catches, and Lechein Neblett caught six passes for 101 yards and a TD. Darrelynn Dunn rushed for 98 yards and a score to go over 1,000 yards for the season.“We played hard, we didn’t play well at times,” Illinois State coach Brock Spack said. “We made too many mistakes to win a game of this magnitude.”After Kaufman’s back-to-back TDs, ISU came back with a field goal, a 22-yard Brown-to-Neblett score and Brown’s 13-yard TD on a quarterback draw. With a two-point conversion, the Redbirds pulled within a field goal with 13:55 to play.At that point, EWU had run seven plays for minus-21 yards since opening a three-touchdown lead. “When you get down to the final eight in the country, you know you’re going to go through some highs and lows in the football game,” Baldwin said. “That game had a lot of emotion, a lot of momentum swings. Every time it felt like maybe we were losing the momentum, we found ways to make plays again. No one panicked on the sidelines.”The game started out like a track meet, highlighted by a handful of huge plays, before EWU took a 24-17 lead into halftime.Illinois State opened the game with a long drive that stalled inside the 10, resulting in a Nick Aussieker 23-yard field goal. Eastern Washington responded with Padron’s 44-yard scoring pass to Daniel Johnson, who slipped out of the backfield and was wide open down the middle.


    Big Ten basketball roundup

    Eastern Michigan had the prettiest number in an ugly game.Derek Thompson scored 8 points, and the Eagles turned the ball over just five times and held off Purdue 47-44 on Saturday. The win was the school’s first against a Big Ten team since 1997 at Michigan, and just the 10th in school history.“It feels really good,” said guard J.R. Sims, who finished with 7 points. “We haven’t beaten a major program in a long time.”The Boilermakers (4-5) rebounded a missed free throw and had a chance for a tying basket with 8.7 seconds to play, but Dru Anthrop threw the ball away near midcourt. It was a fitting end for Purdue, which coughed up the ball 18 times and lost despite outrebounding its hosts 51-33.“We’re frustrated,” coach Matt Painter said. “We feel like we continue to beat ourselves.”Eastern Michigan’s Daylen Harrison had 11 rebounds on an afternoon that saw both teams struggle from the floor. Purdue made just under 30 percent of its field-goal tries, and the Eagles were barely over that number.“In 20 years I don’t think I’ve ever had a game when we didn’t allow a double-figure scorer but lost the game,” Painter said.Michigan St. 73, Loyola 61:Gary Harris scored 20 points and No. 19 Michigan State (8-2) broke away in the second half to beat visiting Loyola (6-3). Down 32-30 at the break, the Spartans went on a 22-9 run to take control. Harris hit three 3-pointers during the burst.Ben Averkamp had 25 points, including four 3s, and 8 rebounds for the Ramblers.Loyola held its own on the boards against one of the nation’s top rebounding programs, getting outrebounded by only 33-31. The Ramblers overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half and took a 28-25 lead on a 3 from Cully Payne, a transfer from Iowa who had played in Breslin Center in 2010.Marquette 60, Wisconsin 50:Junior Cadougan scored 13 of his 18 points in the final 10 minutes and Vander Blue added 17 points to lead Marquette (6-2) past rival Wisconsin in Milwaukee.Marquette led the entire game but wasn’t able to shake the Badgers (6-4) until the closing minutes.No Wisconsin player scored in double digits with Jared Berggren and Ryan Evans each scoring 9 points.Neither team had success with free throws. Marquette missed 10 of 17 and Wisconsin missed 14 of 23.Michigan 80, Arkansas 67:Jordan Morgan scored a season-high 12 points and matched a season high with 10 rebounds to help No. 3 Michigan beat visiting Arkansas (4-4). The Wolverines (9-0) are off to their best start since they won the first 11 games of the 1988-89 season, when they went on to win the program’s only national title.Indiana 100, Cent. Conn. St. 69:Christian Watford scored 21 points and Cody Zeller had 19 points and a career-high 19 rebounds, and No. 1 Indiana (9-0) suffocated visiting Central Connecticut State (4-4).Ohio St. 89, Long Beach St. 55:Deshaun Thomas had 18 points, including a 3-pointer in an 11-point run in the first half, to lead No. 7 Ohio State (6-1) past tired visiting Long Beach State (3-6). LaQuinton Ross had 16 points in a reserve role for the Buckeyes.Penn State 78, Army 70:D.J. Newbill scored 19 points and Jermaine Marshall added 16 as host Penn State (5-4) survived a second-half surge by Army (4-4).


    Ebube’s big night powers Mundelein

    Mundelein senior Chino Ebube experienced a first of sorts Saturday night in the Mustangs’ North Suburban Lake boys basketball contest with visiting Warren. As he walked out of the locker room after the game, Ebube took a few minutes to sign his first autograph — and why not, after what Mundelein coach Dick Knar called “a human highlight reel performance?” “I told Chino that with the type of defense that Warren plays he would have a lot of opportunities for dunks tonight, and he did,” Knar said. Ebube soared over, around and even seemingfly through a few of the Blue Devils with an array of dunks that would make just about best-of reel. More importantly, his career-best 27-point output gave Mundelein another first — well, at least a first in a long time: a win over Warren, 67-56.


    Carmichael, Illinois St. down W. Michigan 85-63
    $PHOTOCREDIT_ON$Associated Press$PHOTOCREDIT_OFF$NORMAL, Ill. — Jackie Carmichael scored 24 points and Illinois State rolled to an 85-63 victory over Western Michigan on Saturday night.Illinois State (6-3) also benefited from 50.8 percent shooting from the floor (31 of 61) and a 39-8 scoring advantage off the bench.Tyler Brown scored 13 points for Illinois State, and Johnny Hill contributed 10 assists.Western Michigan (6-3) could not get untracked with its shooting, making just 33.9 percent from the floor (33.9 percent). It did have a 41-35 rebounding edge.Nate Hutcheson scored 15 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Western Michigan. Darius Paul scored 14 points and Brandon Pokley scored 13.


    Toledo turns back Eastern Illinois 67-59
    CHARLESTON, Ill. — Rian Pierson had 22 points and nine rebounds to lead Toledo to a 67-59 win over Eastern Illinois Saturday night.Dominique Buckley scored 13 points for the Rockets (3-6). Julius Brown and Matt Smith added 10 points for Toledo, which has played eight of its nine games on the road.Alex Austin scored 21 points to lead Eastern Illinois (3-8). Josh Piper added 17 points and Sherman Blanford scored 10 for EIU.The Rockets led by as many as 13 points in the second half. Piper’s 3-pointer with 1:25 left got the Panthers within 63-59, but they didn’t score again.


    Hampshire knocks off Burlington Central

    In case Saturday night was the final occassion Shane Hernandez played Burlington Central, the Hampshire senior wanted to make it memorable. Hernandez did just that in a nearly full gym at Central, scoring a game-high 22 points and grabbing 6 rebounds as the Whip-Purs topped the Rockets, 62-51 in nonconference boys basketball action. “This may be the last time playing Burlington so that just ups it,” Hernandez said. “We knew it was going to be a close game.”

    Notre Dame guard Cameron Beidscheid, right, drives the lane as Brown guard Tyler Ponticelli, defends during the second half Saturday in South Bend, Ind. Beidscheid lead with 17 points as Notre Dame won 84-57.

    No. 22 Notre Dame cruises past Brown 84-57

    SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Notre Dame freshman Cameron Biedscheid missed practice this week after catching the flu. He felt a lot better Saturday night.Biedscheid had a career-high 17 points to lead the 22nd-ranked Fighting Irish to an 84-57 victory over Brown. The reserve forward was 7 for 10 from the field in 17 minutes and has scored in double figures in three of the past four games.“We came out ready to play,” he said. “I’m just really getting a lot of help from the veteran guys. They talk to me a lot out on the floor and it helps keep me focused, and I’ve just really been stepping up and knocking the shots down.”There were plenty of opportunities for shots because Notre Dame took such good care of the ball, finished with three turnovers and 22 assists. “How about Eric Atkins for the Heisman?” coach Mike Brey quipped, referring to his point guard on the same night Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o was the runner-up for college football’s most prestigious award. “Amazing.”Atkins had 10 points and 12 assists. He led the team in minutes with 38, but had no turnovers.“I really don’t think about my turnovers too much, I’m just out there playing,” Atkins said. “I’m just trying to stay aggressive and these guys are getting open and helping me out, so it makes it easy for me.”The Irish (8-1) had five players score in double figures. Jack Cooley added 15 points and 12 rebounds, Scott Martin scored 14 and Jerian Grant finished with 12.Notre Dame dominated inside, outrebounding Brown 42-32 and outscoring the Bears 38-16 in the paint.Matt Sullivan scored 18 for Brown (3-5). He was 4 for 8 from 3-point range.Notre Dame led 42-27 at halftime and put the game away midway through the second half. Grant and Martin made back-to-back 3-pointers to cap a 12-0 run that gave the Irish a 71-45 lead with 6:02 to go. Irish sixth man Garrick Sherman was out after bruising a knee in practice this week, creating some playing time for Zach Auguste and Tom Knight. Knight, a senior who draws praise from his teammates for his work ethic in practice, had four points and seven rebounds.“I’m thrilled with the lift Tom Knight gave us,” Brey said. “It’s interesting how it makes me think a little differently here as we move forward. That may be our seventh guy.”Sean McGonagill added 15 points for Brown.“I was disappointed with our team’s effort for 40 minutes,” first-year Brown coach Mike Martin said. “I thought we showed flashes ... but against a team like this in a building like this, you’ve got to do it for 40 minutes, otherwise they’re going to make you pay.”


    Metea Valley smothers South Elgin

    Metea Valley forced 17 turnovers, made 8 of its first 14 3-point attempts and had a pair of players reach double figures Saturday night. And that was just the first half. The Mustangs (4-4, 3-1) raced out to a 26-4 first-quarter advantage, led by 30 points at halftime and eventually cruised to a 78-33 Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division triumph over host South Elgin (2-6, 0-3).

    New York Knicks’ Raymond Felton goes up for a shot against Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah during the fourth quarter in Chicago Saturday. The Bulls won 93-85.

    Bulls end Knicks’ 5-game winning streak

    Marco Belinelli and Luol Deng scored 22 points apiece as the Chicago Bulls beat the Knicks 93-85 on Saturday night, snapping New York’s five-game winning streak. Belinelli scored 15 points in the first quarter, while Deng had 10 in the fourth, giving the Bulls their first three-game winning streak of the season.

    Butler’s Kellen Dunham (24) drives to the basket around Northwestern’s Alex Olah during the first half Saturday in Evanston.

    Butler downs Northwestern 74-65

    Andrew Smith scored a season-high 24 points and Butler pulled away in the second half for a 74-65 win over Northwestern on Saturday night.Smith had 19 points in the second half — including nine straight — and added 10 rebounds for the Bulldogs (7-2), who shot 48 percent en route to their fourth straight win overall and fourth straight against the Wildcats (7-3).Rotnei Clarke was 4 for 6 on 3-point attempts and finished with 13 points for Butler. Kellen Dunham added 11 points and Roosevelt Jones had 10.Dave Sobolewski scored 21 points for Northwestern, which shot just 32.7 percent from the field but stayed close by converting 22 of 31 free throws. Tre Demps added 15 points and Reggie Hearn had 13.Butler, which led 34-31 at the half, pulled away with a 10-4 run to open the second half.


    Larkin runs past Batavia

    When Deryn Carter’s Larkin Royals get key outside shots to fall from good penetration, turnovers, kick outs or on outlet passes, they can put a deadly run on you in a flash. In a 3-minute span that bridged the first and second quarters, Larkin used that effort to create a 15-0 run and within that sequence, 3-pointers from Quantice Hunter, Quentin Ruff and Taylor Boley helped Larkin set the tone offensively and grab a 56-47 Upstate Eight River boys basketball win over Batavia in Elgin Saturday night.

    Burlington Central’s Alison Colby (42) rips down a rebound during the Rockets’ 48-37 win over Hampshire at Burlington Central Saturday.

    Burlington C. ends long drought vs. Hampshire

    Burlington Central’s girls basketball team looked unstoppable for 3 quarters Saturday night. The Rockets opened a 22-point lead after 24 minutes, then survived a Hampshire comeback for a 49-37 nonconference win on Pack the Place night in Burlington. Alison Colby scored 11 points and Samantha Pryor and Rebecca Gerke added 9 apiece off the bench to lead the Rockets’ balanced attack as BC snapped an 11-game losing streaking against its longtime rival that dates back to Dec. 5, 2007.


    Bartlett outlasts Waubonsie in 3 OTs

    Bartlett senior forward Billy Kramer hadn’t hit a game-winning shot in his varsity career. That changed Saturday night in the Hawks’ 58-56 triple overtime win over Waubonsie Valley in Upstate Eight Conference Valley Division boys basketball action at Bartlett. With 6.8 seconds left in the third overtime, the Hawks (6-2, 3-0) inbounded the ball under their own basket and Justin Busch fed the ball to Kramer, who knocked down a 12-footer with 1.5 seconds on the clock to seal the win.


    Kenny, Neuqua produce in time

    For three quarters unbeaten Neuqua Valley couldn’t make its half-court offense click against Lake Park. Senior center Pat Kenny, in particular, couldn’t find room to deliver against the Lancers’ consistent double-teams. “They were fantastic against Pat,” said Neuqua Valley coach Todd Sutton. “That’s the best job anyone’s done all year.” But with the Upstate Eight Valley game on the line, Kenny produced three baskets in the opening 3:21 of the fourth to help the Wildcats push a 2-point edge into a 48-38 triumph Saturday night in Naperville.

    Northern Illinois players pose for photographers after defeating Kent State 44-37 in double overtime in the the Mid-American Conference championship game at Ford Field in Detroit.

    NIU basking in the glow of Orange Bowl berth

    DEKALB — Northern Illinois defensive end Alan Baxter walked into a finance class the other day and wound up dodging oranges. Not exactly what he was expecting, but, hey, these are unusual times.His teachers were having fun. And, really, who isn’t around campus these days?The Huskies are headed to the Orange Bowl, a mid-major school that’s now crashing the BCS party and creating quite a stir around the country.To some, they’re unwanted guests. To others, they’re the quintessential feel-good story, along the lines of Boise State and Texas Christian, or Butler in basketball with a chance to show up the big boys.Either way, it’s been quite a week.All they did was capture a conference championship, lose a coach and land a golden ticket.Now, they’re headed to Miami to face Florida State on Jan. 1 after going 12-1 and winning their second straight Mid-American Conference title. They’re coming with a record-setting quarterback in Jordan Lynch and a debuting head coach in Rod Carey after they squeezed into the top 16 of the final BCS standings.Wild times? Definitely. And the Huskies are enjoying the moment.“Everyone’s just really excited,” Baxter said. “Never has this happened.”It’s the first BCS game for Northern Illinois, the first for a MAC team, and in a town of 44,000 where barbed wire was invented and Cindy Crawford was born, it’s all about the Huskies at the moment.Even so, Baxter wasn’t anticipating this.He was in that finance class on Monday when some teachers yelled out, “Hey Alan!” Next thing he knew, they were throwing oranges at him. Usually, Lynch said, “It’s pretty dead out here.”Not now.“Probably the craziest 48 hours I’ve been involved in,” defensive end Sean Progar said early in the week.It hasn’t always been this way, and if anyone can appreciate just how far the program has come, former coach Joe Novak certainly can.It’s fair to say he wasn’t thinking about a major bowl when he took over in 1996. Back then, he was just trying to collect a few wins — and it wasn’t easy.The Huskies went 1-10 in Novak’s first year after finishing with a losing mark the previous five, and the record actually got worse the following season at 0-11. Things weren’t much better, either, in 1998 at 2-9. “Most of the western suburb high schools had better facilities than Northern Illinois did,” Novak said. “(Our old offices) were a joke. It was awful, but you know what we did? We kind of used that as a chip on our shoulder to be honest with you and we made due without it. From Day One, I started right out saying we needed facilities.”Over time, that changed. So did the mindset in general.From 1969-99, Northern Illinois had just seven winning seasons. Only twice since then have the Huskies have failed to finish above .500. “We had to clean it out, to be honest with you,” said Novak, 63-76 in 12 seasons. “We got rid of some players. To start my second year in 1997, I think we probably were legitimately the worst Division I football program in the country. I’m not proud of that, but it’s a fact.”Now, they’re in new territory. A program that’s clawed its way into the Top 25 occasionally over the past decade is about to step onto a bigger stage. And University President John Peters gets an assist. He argued for more access to the BCS for mid-majors as a member of the presidential oversight committee. Now, NIU gets its moment.“Let me tell you, it’s electric in Nebraska when it happens and it’s electric in Tennessee,” said Peters, who was an administrator at both schools. “But for us, it compares with winning the national championship at Nebraska and Tennessee.”In the three-day period after the Orange Bowl announcement, the school saw a 53-percent rise in applications over the same time frame as last year, and there was a big spike in Huskie paraphernalia sales this week — double at the school bookstore and about five times the norm online.

    Heisman Trophy finalist Johnny Manziel, a quarterback from Texas A&M, speaks during a news conference before the announcement of the trophy winner Saturday in New York.

    ‘Johnny Football’ Manziel wins the Heisman

    Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel became the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy. Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o finished a distant second and Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein was third in the voting. In a unique Heisman race, with two nontraditional candidates, Manziel broke through the class barrier and kept Te’o from becoming the first purely defensive player to win the award.

    Chicago Bears cornerback D.J. Moore laughs as the referee signals interception late in the game at Soldier Field Monday night.

    Bears’ Moore getting another opportunity

    After being benched four weeks ago, D.J. Moore gets another shot at the nickel back spot he lost to Kelvin Hayden. Moore says he's not entirely sure why he lost his spot, but he still considers himself the best man for the job and is confident he can prove it. “You never really know sometimes with the way that coaches want you to play or stuff like that. It could be a lot of stuff.”


    Chapman, Geneva nip Elgin in OT

    Geneva’s boys basketball players enjoying a post-game pizza after knocking off Elgin 67-65 in overtime Saturday night didn’t want center Connor Chapman to have any. Maybe they were afraid he’d dominate the pizza eating in the same manner he ate up the Maroons. Chapman poured in a career-high 31 points, including 8 in overtime, to help host Geneva (8-1, 1-1) bounce back with an Upstate Eight River Division victory after suffering its first loss of the season the night before at St. Charles East.

    Chicago Bears defensive end Julius Peppers (90) battles with Houston Texans tackle Duane Brown (76) during the game Sunday November 11, 2012 at Soldier Field in Chicago.

    Sack attack lacking as Bears’ numbers fall

    Through the first half of the season, the Bears' pass rush was among the league's best, but the pressure has diminshed in the past few weeks, especially from the defensive line.


    Crystal Lake Central tops Crystal Lake S.

    It was good news, bad news night for Crystal Lake South. The good news was the Gators outscored host Crystal Lake Central 40-36 in the first, second and fourth quarters. It was the nightmarish second quarter where Central blitzed the stunned Gators 23-7 which cost South dearly. The final result was a Central 59-47 win over the Gators in Fox Valley Conference crossover action Saturday night. The game was part of the Hoops for Heroes day which saw girls and boys games between Central and South. Proceeds from the games were distributed to local military families.

    Daniel White/dwhite@dailyherald.com Waubonsie Valley's Adam Stacklin anchors the winning leg of the 500 yard freestyle relay, during the 30th Annual Wildcat Relays, held at West Chicago High School.

    Waubonsie’s Stacklin back and ready to ‘star’

    Last year Waubonsie Valley’s Adam Stacklin swam the entire high school season with an injured back and still finished seventh at state in the 100 freestyle. This year Stacklin, a senior, is healthy, swimming at 100 percent effectiveness and he’s leading the Warriors in what could be a very good season.


    Fremd steps it up, in unison

    Unfortunately, Fremd's leading scorer and rebounder Haley Gorecki had to watch from the sidelines this weekend with a sprained ankle. That meant the Vikings girls basketball team needed a few other players to step up. How about the whole team? The Vikings won their second game in as many days without their standout sophomore by posting a 61-27 victory over visiting Jacobs on Saturday.


    Great day for Libertyville at Hoffman Estates

    Libertyville once again showed measures up nicely against some of the state's best team after narrowly missing out on upending Lincoln-Way Central in the 35th annual Hoffman Estates Hawks Invitational on Saturday. Lincoln-Way Central held off Libertyville by 10½ points to capture the team championship.


    Perfect day for Hersey at Dundee-Crown

    Hersey saved its best for last, finishing off a three-match sweep with a 38-33 victory in Carpentersville against host Dundee-Crown in Saturday afternoon's wrestling quad. The Huskies flexed their upper-weight strength, using pins from Hunter Rollins and Matt Korff to take a slim lead over the Chargers. Hersey then slowly pulled away down the stretch with a major decision by Deon Rice (195) and Ed Beyer’s second pin of the day before 106-pounder Andy MacTavish iced the Chargers with a pin of his own at 5:13.

    Allison Hansen of Glenbard East and Erin Bayram of Batavia go up for a rebound during the Batavia vs. Glenbard East game at the Oswego holiday tournament.

    Batavia dominates Glenbard East

    One play symbolized the Batavia mastery over Glenbard East on Saturday afternoon in Oswego.


    Illinois-Chicago beats Colorado State 64-55

    Gary Talton scored 20 points, including a perfect 12 for 12 from the free-throw line, and added five rebounds and five assists to lead Illinois-Chicago to its seventh straight victory by defeating Colorado State 64-55 on Saturday afternoon.UIC (8-1) trailed 46-45 with 5:45 remaining after Wes Eikmeier hit a free throw for Colorado State. Seconds later, Will Simonton made a layup to give the Rams a 47-46 lead and Colorado State went on a 17-9 run from that point on to seal the victory.Daniel Barnes scored 14 points, Marc Brown had 12 points and four rebounds and Josh Crittle chipped in with 10 for the Flames, which haven’t suffered a loss since Nov. 16 when New Mexico beat them 66-59 in the Paradise Jam Tournament.Greg Smith scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Colorado State (6-2) and Pierce Hornung had eight points and 10 rebounds.


    Barrington shows its depth

    Barrington proved to be the class of its own relay invitational on Saturday, edged runner-up Lake Forest.

    Carmel’s Lauren Feely competes on the vault during the Conant girls gymnastics invite Saturday. She won the event with a 9.75 and also won the all-around to lead the Corsairs to the team title.

    Feely leads Carmel at Conant

    Carmel Catholic used the top performances on balance beam and floor exercise and an exceptionally strong effort from all-arounder Lauren Feely to take the team title in Conant's girls gymnastics invitational on Saturday. Feely won balance beam (9.85), uneven bars (9.6) and vault (9.75) and tied for first on floor exercise (9.5) to run away with the all-around at 38.7.

    Navy head coach Ken Niumatalolo celebrates after Navy recovered a fumble by Army in the final minutes of the second half Saturday in Philadelphia. Navy won 17-13.

    Navy tops Army 17-13, 11th straight win in series

    Keenan Reynolds extended Navy's dominance against Army, scoring the winning touchdown late in the fourth quarter in a 17-13 victory in the 113th rivalry game Saturday. Navy (8-4) beat Army for the 11th straight time and won the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy awarded to the team with the best record in games among the three service academies.


    Vernon Hills’ Tran transfers medal quest to this season

    Alli Tran of Vernon Hills proved herself as an elite high school gymnast last season, whe she narrowly missed out on state meet medals on parallel bars and vault. Those close calls stung, but there's a brighter perspective for Tran these days as she tries to make it back to state — and this time wear one of those medals. On Saturday, Tran was standing atop the podium and after winning the bars with a 9.4 routine in the Spartan Classic Invitational at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook.


    Patriots hoping for return of two key players

    FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — With six straight victories and their fourth consecutive AFC East title already wrapped up, the New England Patriots are playing perhaps their best football of the season.And a large chunk of their recent run has come without two of their top players.So, imagine the big boost the Patriots will receive from having one of their best players on each side of the ball return for what is being billed as the game of the year.After practicing in a limited capacity all week, starting left guard Logan Mankins and standout rookie right defensive end Chandler Jones are both listed as questionable for Monday night’s much-hyped matchup against the first-place Houston Texans (11-1), a game with major playoff ramifications for both teams.“Just got out there a little bit this week and tried to move around. We’ll see where it goes from today,” said Mankins, who injured his ankle in the second half of New England’s victory over Buffalo on Nov. 11 and has missed the last three games. “We were just trying to do as much as we can. I can’t do everything yet, so I guess we might find out Monday.”Jones, the 21st overall selection in the draft and considered by many to still be a top candidate for Defensive Rookie of the Year honors with six sacks, skipped the last two games with an ankle injury suffered during the first quarter of the Patriots (9-3) win over Indianapolis on Nov. 18.His status, he said, rests in the hands of coach Bill Belichick.“Ready to play against the Texans,” Jones said. “We went out there and we won a championship and I wasn’t out there. But I’m still thankful to be a part of this team.”Mankins, a four-time Pro Bowl player, has missed five games this season with various ailments, the second-most of his eight-year career.“It’s been a couple games here and then miss a couple and then a couple here, miss a few. It’s just one of those years I can’t get on track yet,” he said. “Every game you want to be out there, you just got to wait until you’re ready to get out there.”The pair couldn’t have picked a more perfect time to return, either.Despite playing a pivotal part in the Patriots’ top-ranked offense and valiantly protecting quarterback Tom Brady amid constant change due to injuries, the Patriots offensive line certainly will be bolstered with Mankins out there as they prepare to face their stiffest test of the season.Houston defensive end J.J. Watt is wreaking havoc on just about every opposing offense he’s faced thus far. The second-year standout ranks second in the league with 16 1/2 sacks and has knocked down 15 passes this year.Watt’s sensational season also has overshadowed the strong play of defensive end Antonio Smith, who has five sacks of his own, along with Watt forming one of the most feared pass rushes in the league.“He’s a guy that’s getting overlooked down there,” Mankins said. “J.J. Watt’s getting a lot of attention deservedly, but Antonio Smith’s a very good player. He’s a slippery guy inside that has good quickness, good power and he really understands how to work blockers, so he does a good job.“They get ahead and teams have to start throwing it to catch back up, so that plays right into their strength. They’re a great pass-rushing team.”Houston boasts a strong offense, too. In fact, quarterback Matt Schaub, running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson have combined to lead the league’s second-highest scoring attack — behind only New England — making Jones’ return all the more important.“They have a great offensive line, they have great wide receivers and they’re quarterback’s good,” Jones said. “Our job is just to bottle those guys up and eliminate the big play.”Mankins’ extended absence has been somewhat of a surprise, though.

    Justin Weber of Stevenson, right, takes down Mitch Cook of Sandburg and wins the 152-pound class at the Wheeling wrestling invite.

    Sandburg in command at Wheeling

    The 28th Annual Wheeling Wildcat Invitational gave area teams and individuals an up-close look at the top team in the state Saturday. Sandburg more than lived up to its reputation as the Eagles built a commanding lead over runner-up Lake Zurich heading into the final round before easily capturing the championship of the nine-team meet by a comfortable 287-138 margin over the Bears. Wheaton Warrenville South took third place with 108.5 points followed closely by Stevenson (104 points) in fourth and Maine West (100 points) in fifth.


    Robert Morris beats woeful Hampton 66-54

    HAMPTON, Va. — Coron Williams and Karvel Anderson each scored 12 points to lead Robert Morris to a 66-54 win over woeful Hampton on Saturday.Lucky Jones had 10 points, seven rebounds and three steals for the Colonials (6-4), who have won three straight games. After trailing by one point, Robert Morris went on a 14-0 run that was capped by Velton Jones’ three-point play to give it a 25-12 lead with 6:36 left in the first half. Hampton (1-7) managed to cut the score to 34-31 on a 3-pointer by Ramon Mercado. But the Colonials answered with a 7-0 run to claim a 41-31 lead when David Appolon made a 3-pointer.Williams knocked down a jumper with 7:33 left to play to give Robert Morris an 18-point advantage — its largest of the game.Ramon Mercado was the only Hampton player to score in double figures with 13 points, making three 3-pointers.

    Michigan State’s Gary Harris (14) drives against Loyola’s Devon Turk during the second half Saturday in East Lansing, Mich. Harris led Michigan State with 20 points in a 73-61 win.

    Loyola can’t handle No. 19 Michigan

    EAST LANSING, Mich. — Gary Harris scored 20 points and No. 19 Michigan State broke away in the second half to beat Loyola of Chicago 73-61 Saturday.Adreian Payne added 14 points and 10 rebounds for Michigan State (8-2).Down 32-30 at the break, the Spartans went on a 22-9 run to take control. Harris hit three 3-pointers during the burst.Ben Averkamp had 25 points, including four 3s, and eight rebounds for the Ramblers (6-3).Harris shot 7-for-11 overall, including a 5-for-7 showing on 3s. Travis Trice had 11 points while Keith Appling, the Spartans’ top scorer this season, had eight points and seven assists.Devon Turk added 10 points for Loyola. Down 52-41, the Ramblers closed within three before Appling made a jumped and Payne dunked.Loyola held its own on the boards against one of the nation’s top rebounding programs, getting outrebounded by only 33-31. The Ramblers overcame a 10-point deficit in the first half and took a 28-25 lead on a 3 from Cully Payne, a transfer from Iowa who had played in Breslin Center in 2010.Appling and Denzel Valentine, the starting guards for the Spartans, were scoreless in the first half.Michigan State had allowed just 39 and 44 points in its previous two games. It was a different story against an improved opponent that didn’t win its sixth game last season until Feb. 11.But the Spartans regrouped and left with their 70th straight home win against an unranked nonconference opponent.


    Malmberg gets Grant past Johnsburg

    Matt Malmberg hit a pair of free throws with 13 seconds left in overtime, lifting Grant's boys basketball team to a 73-72 win over visiting Prairie Ridge in a nonconference thriller Friday night.


    Cobbs, Montini dunk St. Edward

    Montini forward Simmie Cobbs was looking for the right opportunity to put St. Edward away in Friday's Suburban Christian Conference boys basketball showdown. When Cobbs stole the ball at midcourt late in the fourth quarter and finished the play with an authoritative dunk, he came up with the spark needed to help the Broncos pull away from the Green Wave to capture a 59-44 home victory in Lombard.


    Driver Terence Mundt operates a snowplow simulator during a North Texas Tollway Authority training class in Plano, Texas. The NTTA is using the computer generated simulator to help snowplow operators become better at handling slick roads in a region not used to ice and snow. Highway officials in at least nine states are using the sophisticated simulator to give plow drivers a chance to practice snow removal in any weather. It works like a video game, recreating slick pavement, poor visibility and even children or animals bolting across the road.

    Snowplow simulator offers rare chance to practice

    Highway officials in at least nine states are using a sophisticated simulator to give plow drivers a chance to practice snow removal in any weather. It works like a video game, recreating slick pavement, poor visibility and even children or animals bolting across the road. In a virtual collision, drivers hear crashing noises and see a cracked windshield.

    Local and international activists demonstrate Saturday inside a conference center to demand urgent action to address climate change, at the U.N. climate talks in Doha, Qatar.

    U.N. conference adopts extension of Kyoto accord

    The decisions in Doha mean that in future years, the talks can focus on the new treaty, which is supposed to apply to both rich and poor countries. It is expected to be adopted in 2015 and take effect five years later, but the details haven't been worked out yet.

    Saudi deputy minister of foreign Affairs Prince Abdulaziz Bin Abdullah Al Saud, right, talks to an aide Saturday during the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS) conference in Manama, Bahrain.

    Saudi shares rise to 3-Week high
    Oil posted its first weekly decline since early November and the dollar strengthened against the euro after the U.S. job data.

    The new Lumina series phones run on Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 operating system.

    Refined Nokia, HTC phones gamble on Microsoft

    SAN FRANCISCO — How should we think about the Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC 8X?Should we view them as the twin flagships of Microsoft’s new Windows Phone 8 operating system? By that standard, they’re impressive: two polished, highly capable new devices that show off Microsoft’s colorful, innovative software to great effect.Or do we take into account external issues, like the business struggles of both companies and the fact that WinPhone 8 versions of such critical applications as Spotify, Instagram and Pinterest are missing in action? In that case, these look more like desperate efforts by two also-rans in hardware to hitch their fates to an also-ran in mobile-device software.I prefer to think the former. But a little caution is in order.On the surface, Windows Phone 8 looks a lot like its predecessor, Windows Phone 7. It preserves the same distinctive, tile-based interface, albeit with a few tweaks.You can now, for instance, choose from three sizes of tiles, giving you additional control over your start screen. New “Kid’s Corner” parental controls let you lock down certain features and content before you hand the phone over to Junior to play with.While the visible changes are few, things are vastly different beneath the hood. Essentially, Microsoft pulled out the engine and rebuilt it from scratch.The operating system now supports more powerful processors and higher-resolution screens than Windows Phone 7 could handle. The flip side is that apps written for the new software won’t run on WinPhone 7 hardware.As for the new phones, if you put the Lumia 920 and 8X side by side, it isn’t easy to tell them apart. The Lumia has a marginally larger screen — 4.5 inches, versus 4.3 inches for the 8X — but both displays are beautiful, with bright colors, deep blacks and even more pixels per square inch than the iPhone 5’s 4-inch Retina display.The glass is also rounded at the corners and framed by very thin bezels. Both phones have polycarbonate bodies and are available in a selection of colors.Pick them up, though, and a big difference becomes apparent: The Lumia is a brick.At 6.5 ounces, it’s one of the heaviest current-model smartphones — 65 percent heavier than Apple’s iPhone 5 and 39 percent heavier than the Samsung Galaxy S III, which has a larger screen. It’s even heavier than Samsung’s Galaxy Note II, which, with its enormous 5.5-inch screen, is almost more tablet than phone.And speaking of tablets, the Lumia is almost 50 percent thicker than an iPad mini. In short, this is one big hunk of hardware.There are, however, offsetting benefits.Start with the price: In the U.S., the Lumia costs only $100 on a two-year contract with AT&T. For that, you get a generous 32 gigabytes of storage, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor and, a specialty of Nokia’s, a high-quality 8.7- megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss optics.It also runs over AT&T’s ultrafast 4G LTE network, if you’re lucky enough to live in one of the 100 or so markets where the service has been rolled out.Then there are the extras. One is the ability to charge the phone wirelessly simply by laying it on top of an optional $49 charging pad. (AT&T is including the pad for a limited time at no extra cost.) And there’s an excellent maps application. (Nokia owns Navteq, one of the world’s major providers of geographic data.)While the Lumia 920 is so far available only on AT&T, HTC’s 8X is appearing on both AT&T and Verizon Wireless, where it can access LTE, as well as on T-Mobile, whose non-LTE “4G” network generally provides slower speeds. The Verizon version also supports wireless charging, though I wasn’t able to try it out since my test unit was from AT&T.


    App reviews: HERE, SnipSnap

    Throwing its hat into the ring for iPhone mapping apps, Nokia has put its technology into its new HERE app. Coupon clippers who are sick of the scissors can use SnipSnap, a coupon-management app that lets users take pictures of coupons to redeem at different stores.

    "Angry Birds Friends" was the fifth highest rated Facebook game in 2012.

    25 top-rated Facebook games from 2012

    This week, Facebook Inc. issued a list of the 25 top-rated games that launched on Facebook in 2012. The company says the rankings are based on user ratings and engagement with the games. It's the same methodology that Facebook uses to rank apps in its App Center. Some of the games are played on Facebook's website, while others are only on Apple Inc.'s iOS or Google Inc.'s Android devices using Facebook's app.

    This screenshot shows AccuWeather.com’s app for mobile phones. The home screen also offers temperature, humidity, wind, UV index and visibility conditions, plus sunrise and sunset. The Android version lists wind gusts, not just wind speeds. The iPhone version has information on dew point, while Android does not.

    Review: 3 weather phone apps help you on the go

    During recent travels, I tried several free weather apps for the iPhone and Android phones. (Versions for tablet computers also are available, but I didn't test those extensively.) I didn't try to determine which is more accurate at predicting the weather. They are all generally good, but not error-free. Rather, I evaluated each based on features and ease of use.

    Rupert Murdoch, right, Chairman and CEO of News Corporation, and Eddy Cue, vice president of Apple, attend the launch of The Daily. News Corp. said it will cease publication of The Daily on Dec. 15. News Corp. had hoped The Daily would lure both paying subscribers and advertisers to a digital newspaper that included news, gossip and opinion.

    ’The Daily’ doomed by dull content and isolation

    It was too expensive. It lacked editorial focus. And for a digital publication, it was strangely cut off from the Internet. That's the obituary being written in real time through posts, tweets and online chats about The Daily, the first-of-its-kind iPad newspaper that is being shut down this month. The Daily had roughly 100,000 subscribers who paid either 99 cents a week or $40 a year for its daily download of journalism tailored for touch screens. But that wasn't enough to sustain some 100 employees and millions of dollars in losses since its launch.


    The greatest hoodie around, made in America

    American Giant has figured out a way to do what most people in the apparel industry consider impossible: It's making clothes entirely in the United States, and it's doing so at costs that aren't prohibitive. American Apparel does something similar, of course, but not especially profitably, and its clothes are very low quality. Winthrop, on the other hand, has found a way to make apparel that harks back to the industry's heyday, when clothes used to be made to last.

    This image provided by Amazon shows a new subscription service for children’s games, videos and books aimed at getting more kids to use its Kindle Fire tablet devices. Amazon.com Inc. announced that the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service will be available in the next few weeks as part of an automatic software update.

    Amazon launches Kindle content service for kids

    Amazon is launching a subscription service for children's games, videos and books aimed at getting more kids to use its Kindle Fire tablet devices. Amazon.com Inc. announced Wednesday that the Kindle FreeTime Unlimited service will be available in the next few weeks as part of an automatic software update.


    Targets of online criticism strike back

    WASHINGTON — Angered by what she thought was shoddy work on her home, Fairfax, Va. resident Jane Perez did what has become the go-to form of retail vengeance in the Internet age: She logged onto Yelp and posted scathing reviews of the Washington firm that did the job.Perez ticked off a list of accusations, including damage to her home, an invoice for work the contractor did not perform and jewelry that disappeared. She closed one post by fuming, “Bottom line do not put yourself through this nightmare of a contractor.”The contractor’s response to her one-star takedown? Fight back.Christopher Dietz filed a $750,000 Internet defamation against Perez last month, saying the postings on Yelp and others on Angie’s List were false and sent customers fleeing. He is also asking a Fairfax County court for a preliminary injunction to keep her from writing similar reviews. A hearing will be held Wednesday.Lawyers say it is one of a growing number of defamation lawsuits over online reviews on sites such as Yelp, Angie’s List and TripAdvisor and over Internet postings in general. They say the freewheeling and acerbic world of Web speech is colliding with the ever-growing importance of online reputations for businesses, doctors, restaurants, even teachers.It’s snark vs. status.No one keeps track of how many suits are filed over online reviews, and lawyers say the numbers are still small but are getting larger. Most of the suits fail because juries and the courts have sided with free speech and the rights of the reviewers to express their opinions.With 84 million visitors a month and 33 million reviews, Yelp especially has become a legal battleground given that the reputations of restaurants, nail salons, dry cleaners and other businesses can be made or shredded in a few keystrokes. For instance, a Chicago plastic surgeon sued after a Yelp reviewer said he gave her “Frankenstein breasts.”Perez, a retired captain in the armed services, said she never fathomed that her Yelp review could land her in court. It has left her reeling and potentially facing thousands of dollars in legal bills to defend herself.“I don’t want to see what happened to me happen to anyone else,” Perez said.Nevertheless, she stands by her reviews, saying that everything she wrote was truthful about the work Dietz did on the townhouse, where she lives with her dog.Some reviewers and free-speech advocates, including Perez, see the cases as free-speech issues: They say the lawsuits are heavy-handed attempts to stifle critical — but valuable — consumer information that has forced businesses to be held accountable.On the other side, businesses owners such as Dietz say they are forced to take extreme legal measures because the Internet has made defamation that much more damaging. A single false post can live virtually forever on a site and reach millions, causing untold harm.Lawyers say such cases are a cautionary tale for a new era: Those who feel targeted by defamation on the Web are more likely to file suit, and judges and juries are more likely to take such claims seriously than in years past, raising the legal stakes over vitriolic reviews, nasty blog comments and Facebook feuds.“As the Internet has matured, more and more people are feeling the sting of negative posts against them, and the public and jurors are getting more educated about the impacts this speech can have,” said Aaron Morris, a lawyer who handles Internet defamation cases.Dietz said his small seven-year-old design and contracting firm had a good reputation. Two reviews on Yelp give him the highest rating — five stars — and one praises him as showing a “high degree of professionalism.”But that reputation was devastated by Perez’s reviews, he said. He alleges in the lawsuit that they cost him $300,000 in business. The situation has also taken a toll on him personally.

Life & Entertainment

    It’s difficult to know where outdoor space ends and the master bedroom begins in this carefully designed composition.

    Five most common yard design mistakes

    If you're planning to fork over big bucks to create the outdoor living space of your dreams, or even do it yourself, you can't afford mistakes. There are five important design mistakes that can break your project. Avoiding them eliminates unpleasant surprises, misunderstandings and general dissatisfaction, not to mention unexpected cost overruns at construction time.

    Gasoline-powered equipment that is likely to be stored a month or more needs some looking after if it’s to be ready when the weather warms again. Preventive maintenance also extends its service life.

    Now is time for tool maintenance

    You can avoid the silent treatment from your power tools in the spring by providing some tender loving care before storing them in the fall. Gasoline-powered garden gear isn't guaranteed to start when it's left idle for extended periods of time, say 30 days or more. A thorough cleaning is essential.

    People walk past Charles Dickens’ home, left, part of the Charles Dickens Museum in London. For years, the four-story brick row house where the author lived with his young family was a neglected museum.

    Best of times for renovated Dickens Museum

    Charles Dickens' London home has gone from "Bleak House" to "Great Expectations." For years, the four-story brick row house where the author lived with his young family was a dusty and slightly neglected museum, a mecca for Dickens scholars but overlooked by most visitors to London. Now, after a $4.8 million makeover, it has been restored to bring the writer's world to life. The house reopens this week, and its director says it aims to look "as if Dickens had just stepped out."

    Sheepdog Sir Lancelot of Barvan placed as the Westminster Best In Show winner. Sheepdogs have been recognized by the American Kennel Club since the late 1800s and won best in show at Westminster in 1914 and 1975.

    Owners preferring pocket pets over sheepdogs

    There was a time when old English sheepdogs dominated television screens and newspaper comic strips. Now it's hard to find one beyond a dog show. Numbers of the high-maintenance longhaired breed, which can weigh close to 100 pounds, are dropping as more owners choose pocket pets and designer puppies that are smaller, travel-ready, easy to care for and cost much less to feed.

    Robbie Fretzin hired architect David Wytmar, partner in Groundwork Ltd. of Buffalo Grove, to build her kosher kitchen, which includes two islands and an abundance of cabinet space that help the family keep meat and dairy separated, as well as other requirements of the family’s Jewish faith.

    Architect designs kosher kitchens
    When Robbie Fretzin made plans for the kitchen in her new home, she knew she needed to turn to professionals who understood her family's lifestyle — and faith. Fretzin, who is Jewish, needed a kosher kitchen — one that allowed the separation of meat and dairy throughout the entire cooking process, from food storage, to preparation, to consumption and even cleanup.

    A dress from the Zac Posen spring 2013 collection features the rich, vibrant shade of emerald green.

    Emerald green colors 2013 fashion, beauty choices

    Emerald is no longer green with envy. The green shade is Pantone LLC's Color of the Year for 2013. The company, which creates and matches colors for the fashion, home and beauty industries, picks its top hue based on both how it's already being used and a prediction of sustained popularity.

    “American Lady: The Life of Susan Mary Alsop” by Caroline de Margerie

    ‘American Lady’ fine portrait of socialite

    At its heart, this engaging, gentle biography is a tale of how a particular slice of the other half lived in the mid-20th century. With its focus on class, events of the day, and love affairs, it's a one-woman "Downton Abbey" for the Yankee political class. Dubbed an "American Lady" by biographer Caroline de Margerie, Susan Mary Alsop (1918-2004) certainly fits both words.

    See colorful scenes, created with thousands of Lego bricks, at the annual Lego Holiday Train Show at Cantigny Park in Wheaton.

    Weekend picks: Calling all Lego lovers to Cantigny

    It's all about those colorful bricks this weekend as the Northern Illinois Lego Train Club presents its annual Lego Holiday Show at Cantigny Park and First Division Museum in Wheaton. Be dazzled by the Ruth Page Civic Ballet's version of “The Nutcracker” at the Elgin Community College Arts Center this weekend. Fans of the BoDeans won't want to miss singer-songwriter Sammy Llanas's solo show Saturday at the Montrose Room in Rosemont.


    Mortgage professor: Making a lease-to-own sale worth your while

    A lease-to-own (LTO) transaction is one in which a potential homebuyer occupies the home as a tenant but has an option to purchase it within a specified period at a specified price. In exchange, the potential buyer pays a nonrefundable option fee upfront plus a monthly rent.


    Home fix: Add joists, beam to correct sagging floors

    Q. I have an older home with a crawlspace foundation. My problem is the floors sag in the living room to the point where it's hard to keep a lamp steady on the end tables.


    Condo Talk: Who gets the surplus of a unit taken over by board?

    Q. Our association took possession of an owner's unit after an eviction for nonpayment of assessments. The unit's delinquency has been paid off, and the association continues to lease out the unit.

    Accessories for fireplaces make great gifts for this time of year.

    Cozy up to the fireplace with accessories, gift items

    The holidays come at a good time of year for those who love fireplaces because there is a wide selection of fireplace-related gift items, ranging in price from $13.95 to more than $1,000, said Neal Kaplan, owner of Fireplaces Plus stores in Vernon Hills and Chicago.


    On homes and real estate: If I have a buyer, should I use a broker or attorney?

    Q. I will be selling my house early next year and may have a buyer. Should I use a broker or an attorney to handle the paperwork?

    This representation of a ‘36 Ford is an Avon bottle.

    An Avon aftershave decanter is worth little
    Q. I just need to know if there is any value to this Avon aftershave decanter that is dated 03/21/67.



    The Soapbox

    Daily Herald editors have much to say about the holidays, benevolent people and advances in technology in the suburbs, among other topics.


    Think about true cost of bargains
    A Wonder Lake letter to the editor: Typically it is these very rich people that are attacking people for being on public assistance. Yet they are the very ones creating the necessity for such programs.


    The Romney who’s a true hero, patriot
    In 1965, an aspiring presidential candidate named Romney took a fact-finding trip to our utterly senseless and failed war zone in Vietnam. On Sept. 4, 1967, the now-leading GOP presidential candidate for the 1968 nomination said the generals who led him around by the nose through the Vietnam jungles “brainwashed” him into supporting that war. The media, the Johnson administration and his own Republican colleagues howled in scorn that a serious presidential contender could admit to being “brainwashed.” His real sin to them, however, was his break with the military-industrial complex which needs endless war to maintain its power and wealth, regardless of how many innocents on both sides suffer and die.Using the “B” word may have doomed Romney’s presidential aspirations, but they were transferred to the son who spent most of the past six years grasping for the Holy Grail of American politics. Though the younger Romney failed twice, he carefully avoided the truth-telling that doomed his father. Rather than utter a word of scorn or protest about our failed, murderous wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, he hired many of advisers to America’s foremost warmonger, Sen. John McCain, in 2008. With the president’s convincing win, we’ve been saved from possibly more needless war as we wind down the second of Bush era pre-emptive wars. We will be much safer without Mitt Romney directing foreign policy. Had his father been hailed as a patriot for calling out our criminal Vietnam War, and elected president in 1968, many of the 30,000 GI’s killed under President Nixon’s needless prolonging of that war would still be alive. Regardless of what Mitt Romney does with the rest of his life, it’s doubtful he could ever measure up to his father, the true patriot and hero, George Romney. Walt ZlotowGlen Ellyn


    Henrickson inspired others’ creativity
    A Wisconsin letter to the editor: Outside of my own family, Art had perhaps the most positive and constructive impact on my creative life than anyone. My gratitude for his contribution is matched only by my sadness at his passing.


    Find better way than ‘life without parole’
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Of course, life imprisonment is not the most promising career path one can look forward to, but it has some perks, too, like free food, shelter, medical and dental care, no more worries about job security or mortgage payments or taxes or neighborhood shootouts for life.


    ‘Gap year’ could help for college
    I believe that all high school graduates should be encouraged to take a gap year. If you’re not aware of this, a gap year is when a high school graduate takes a year off schooling before entering college.Many people argue that the high school graduate most likely will not want to go to college after experiencing the gap year. But I argue against that point. I believe a high school graduate will mature and learn to be more independent during the year off. I often hear of people not being able to go to college because of money issues. The gap year can fix that problem. It will allow the high school graduate to earn and save money over a full year and this money will help pay for college.George PopeAlgonquin


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