Daily Archive : Friday January 18, 2013


    Jerald Bartels

    Should Barrington Hills, East Dundee mayors debate IAA?

    Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud has taken to the airwaves to challenge East Dundee Village President Jerald Bartels to debate the merits of the Insurance Auto Auctions proposal. So far, Bartels has declined.


    Fremont Township CERT training

    Fremont Township’s Community Emergency Response Team, or CERT, is seeking volunteers and is hosting training classes in February and March.


    MHS to host financial aid workshop

    Mundelein High School will host a free workshop to help students or parents complete financial aid forms and apply for many types of financial aid. It will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5.

    Richard Vanecko, right, who has been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of David Koschman of Mount Prospect, leaves the Rolling Meadows courthouse with one of his attorneys, Terence Gillespie, after a hearing Friday.

    Vanecko makes Rolling Meadows court appearance

    Richard Vanecko appeared for the first time Friday in a Rolling Meadows courtroom to face charges of involuntary manslaughter in the 2004 death of Mount Prospect resident and Harper College student David Koschman. Vanecko, 38, a nephew of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, pleaded not guilty to the charges in December..

    The Island Lake Police Department's dispatchers will be laid off and the service outsourced to Lake Zurich, officials have decided.

    Island Lake to lay off dispatchers, outsource service to Lake Zurich

    The Island Lake Police Department's dispatch unit will be disbanded and the service outsourced to neighboring Lake Zurich, village officials have ruled. The decision, made during a special board meeting Thursday night, is expected to save Island Lake at least $144,000 annually, according to village documents.

    Dr. Julie Morita, Director of Immunizations at the Chicago Dept. of Public Health, gives Gary Chavarria a flu shot at a North Side clinic .

    Flu continues in Illinois; 50 deaths this season

    Illinois is among 30 states reporting high flu activity in a season where the virus is striking earlier than usual and the main flu strain is one that tends to make people sicker. Illinois Department of Public Health spokeswoman Melaney Arnold said Friday that 476 people have been admitted to hospital intensive care units with the flu this season and 50 have died. Public health officials continue...

    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o insisted he “wasn’t faking it,” ESPN reports.

    Te’o tells ESPN he was duped

    Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o insisted he had no role in the bizarre hoax involving his "dead" girlfriend and told ESPN on Friday night that he was duped by a person who has since apologized to him. In an off-camera interview with ESPN on Friday night, Te'o said Ronaiah Tuiasosopo, a 22-year-old acquaintance who lives in California, contacted him two days ago and confessed to the prank.

    Genealogical searches can reveal a trove of fun facts about your family.

    Poll Vault: How far back can you trace your family tree?

    How far back can you trace your family tree? Are you a genealogy website subscriber? Do you have ancestors who were Revolutionary War veterans, or Vikings? Leave a bit of your history.

    Brandon Biggs

    Man accused of selling pot-laced candy

    A 23-year-old Elmhurst man is suspected of selling candy laced with marijuana to local customers, authorities said Friday. Brandon J. Biggs, 23, of the 200 block of Kimbell Avenue, was arrested on charges of possession of cannabis with intent to deliver following execution of a search warrant at his residence, according to the Elmhurst Police Department.


    Driver injured in Crystal Lake crash

    A Flight for Life helicopter transported the driver of a car that crashed into a utility pole near Crystal Lake Friday afternoon, authorities said. The one-vehicle accident occurred about 4 p.m. on Route 176, about one mile west of the Fox River, according to the Nunda Rural Fire Protection District.

    Residents of Ain Amenas, Algeria, gather Friday outside the hospital trying to get information concerning relatives wounded during the terrorist attack at the gas plant.

    American dead in Algerian standoff

    One American worker at a natural gas complex in Algeria has been found dead, U.S. officials said Friday as the Obama administration sought to secure the release of Americans still being held by militants on the third day of the hostage standoff in the Sahara.

    Actor Daniel Radcliffe poses at the premiere of “Kill Your Darlings” during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival on Friday.

    Radcliffe explores daring territory in new film

    Daniel Radcliffe has really left Harry Potter behind with a startling and explicit Sundance Film Festival role as poet Allen Ginsberg.


    Lincolnshire names finance director

    The village of Lincolnshire has named Michael Peterson as its new finance director.

    A President Barack Obama license plate sits on display for sale Friday at the Presidential Inaugural Committee store in Washington, D.C..

    Inauguration Day marks rare intersection with King

    President Barack Obama plans to use a Bible that belonged to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. as he takes his oath of office on the holiday honoring the slain icon, marking what some say is an inextricable tie between the nation's first black president and the civil rights movement.

    Associated Press/Sept. 15, 2012 Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o points to the sky as he leaves the field after a 20-3 win against Michigan State in East Lansing.

    Minor league teams use Te’o hoax for promotion

    The Kentucky-based Florence Freedom minor league baseball team is jumping on the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax story, offering a bobblehead giveaway of the girlfriend — only the boxes will be empty.

    Associated Press/July 5, 2004 Postal Service team leader Lance Armstrong sits by the registration bus before the second stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Charleroi and Namur, Belgium.

    Confession may lead to legal woes for Armstrong

    Some legal experts believe the disillusionment and anger now directed at Armstrong will force the government to re-examine its evidence in light of his admissions, but others say revisiting the criminal case is unlikely.


    Arsonist admits targeting black family

    A 36-year-old Joliet man has pleaded guilty to setting fire to the home of a black family that moved onto the street of his residence. In a plea deal, Brian James Moudry admitted he splashed gasoline on the home in the early morning of June 17, 2007, and ignited it. Eight children and an adult were inside at the time but were able to escape the blaze.

    Yoko Ono, left, and her son Sean Lennon chat aboard a bus Thursday on the way to visit fracking sites in Pennsylvania.

    Tar sands waste said to warm climate more than coal

    Opening a new front in a fight to persuade President Obama to reject the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil sands from Alberta to the U.S. Gulf Coast, environmental groups on Thursday released a study that found refining the heavy material will create 5 billion tons of petroleum coke, or petcoke, that's used by power plants, aluminum factories and steel mills. Compared with coal,...


    Camp Lejeune water contaminated in 1953

    Many more Marines and their relatives could be eligible for government health care for their illnesses after a federal agency determined that the water at North Carolina's Camp Lejeune was contaminated four years earlier than thought.

    Various polaroids shot by Andy Warhol at Studio 54 are on display Wednesday in West Palm Beach, Fla.

    Items from famed nightclub Studio 54 go to auction

    The club's memories are captured in hand-scrawled notes from its guests, such as one from Farrah Fawcett to Rubell that says "Dearest Steve, Thank you for a fabulous weekend. You made it work!" Or the telegram from Yves St. Laurent to Rubell, inviting him to a black-tie celebration of his perfume Opium.

    Associated Press/June 11, 1963 Vivian Malone and James Hood stand in the doorway of Foster Auditorium where they hold what they called their “first and final news conference” after the two African-American students registered at the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, Ala.

    James Hood dies; defied segregation at University of Alabama

    Then-Alabama Gov. George Wallace made his infamous "stand in the schoolhouse door" in a failed effort to prevent James Hood and Vivian Malone from registering for classes at the university in 1963.


    Dial-a-Ride bus service expands in Wauconda, Fremont townships

    Dial-a-ride bus service has been expanded in Wauconda and Fremont townships. Wauconda and Fremont joined four northern townships that began offering similar service about three years ago in what is known as the Northwest Demonsration Project. Limited service in the two townships began last fall but the number of specific stops and opportunity for connections increased this month.

    Associated Press/Jan. 9, 2013 Damien Dancy puts masks on his children Damaya, 3, left, and Damien, 7, at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach, Va., as hospitals in Hampton Roads are urging patients and visitors to wear a mask at their facilities to help stop the spread of the flu.

    Flu season ‘bad one for the elderly,’ CDC says

    The number of older people hospitalized with the flu has risen sharply, prompting federal officials to take unusual steps to make more flu medicines available and to urge wider use of them as soon as symptoms appear.

    The newest National Board Certified teachers in Palatine-Schaumburg Township District 211 are in the bottom row from left Angela Drenth, Gina Hubbard, Brian Drenth, Kimberly Selleck, Eric Hauser, and in the top row from left Christopher Grattoni, Jordan Catapano, Tanya Katovich, Brian Curtin, Derek Schmidt, and Tracy Serafini.

    District 211 teachers win national certification

    Eleven teachers in Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211 have earned National Board Certification credentials from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This is the highest professional certification credential in the teaching field.

    William Clark

    Police: Man threw woman on subway tracks in Philly

    A man has been arrested on charges he grabbed a woman by the feet and threw her onto the tracks at a Philadelphia subway station, police said. The woman managed to get off the tracks on her own and suffered only minor injuries.

    Patrick Fitzgerald

    Fitzgerald jumped at chance to be U of I trustee

    Former U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald is taking on a new role, as a University of Illinois trustee.


    Judge says mom wasn’t abusive in belt beating

    A Will County has ruled a Mokena woman wasn't abusive for using a belt to discipline her child, who is the son of former Chicago Bull Eddie Curry. Korie Kellogg was arrested after taking the 10-year-old to a hospital in April to treat swelling bruises on his back, leg and face.


    EIU raises cost of room and board in most housing

    Trustees at Eastern Illinois University have raised the cost of room and board starting next fall. EIU said Friday that students living in dormitories and the schools Greek Court will see their room and board increase by 2 percent to either $4,150 a semester or $4,679 depending on meal plans.


    FAA OKs request to privatize Midway

    Federal authorities have given a green light to Chicago to press ahead with plans to privatize Midway International Airport. The Federal Aviation Administration says Friday in a statement that the city "can take the next steps to select a private airport operator" after the agency accepted a preliminary application to privatize Chicago's second-largest airport.

    David Corley of Shreveport, La., replaces a rifle on its display rack Thursday while browsing through the Rock River Arms display booth at the 35th annual SHOT Show in Las Vegas. The world’s largest gun and outdoor trade show ran through Friday.

    Newspaper removes handgun permit holder data

    The Journal News took down the data just three days after the state enacted a gun control law that included privacy provisions for permit holders.The provisions were a reaction to interactive maps the newspaper published on LoHud.com that pinpointed thousands of permit holders in Westchester and Rockland counties.


    Physicians challenge S. Barrington doctor’s conviction

    The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons is asking to intervene in challenging the conviction of a South Barrington doctor who was sentenced in September to 10 months in prison for making false statements in reports as part of what prosecutors say was a scheme that defrauded Medicare out of at least $10,000.

    Officer Rebecca Foy volunteered for a head shave at the 2012 event and raised more than $3,000.

    Vernon Hills police to get heads shaved for cancer

    At noon, Saturday, March 9 members of the Vernon Hills police department will be in the Gap Court at Westfield Hawthorn shopping center having their heads shaved as part of the St. Baldrick's event to raise money for children's cancer research and to show support for those youngsters who have lost their hair.


    Phone thief sent to prison

    A Bolingbrook man pleaded guilty charges of robbery and theft this week in Rolling Meadows. In exchange for the guilty pleas, a judge sentenced Climton Stump, 24, to four years for robbery and two years for theft, which the judge ordered served consecutively.

    Kurt E. Johnson

    Murder parolee accused of stalking in Kane County

    An Oswego man, on parole just three months after serving 19 years for murder, is back behind bars, accused of stalking a dancer from a South Elgin gentlemen's club.


    McHenry County Board keeps power to pick chairman

    McHenry County Board members decided Friday in an 11-9 vote to continue picking their own chairman instead of leaving it up to the public. Earlier this week, 11 county board members organized a special meeting to see whether there was enough support to put the issue to referendum in April.

    Charles McCammon

    Elgin man charged with burglaries

    An Elgin man was charged recently with several counts of burglary and unlawful use of debit or credit cards he obtained while prowling at night for unlocked vehicles in the near west side of town, police said.


    Candidates debate independence in Lombard mayoral race

    "Whose side are you on?" looks to be a key question in the race for Lombard village president. The April 9 election pits Trustee Keith Giagnorio against former York Township Trustee Moon Khan and former DuPage County Treasurer John Lotus Novak and involves questions of allegiances and independence.

    Jessica Leach

    Elgin woman gets 20 years for pleading guilty to murder

    An Elgin woman pleaded guilty Friday to first-degree murder for her role in the 2011 stabbing death of an Elgin man. Jessica Leach, 29, of the 0-99 block of Poplar Creek Drive, agreed to a sentence of 20 years in prison.


    Tri-Cities police reports
    José L. Mendez-Zamudio, 17, of the 500 block of Spring Street in Aurora, was charged with retail theft Thursday after police said he stole more than $300 in merchandise from the Elgin Walmart in the 1100 block of South Randall Road. Mendez-Zamudio's bail was set at $15,000.


    Grayslake park survey underway

    The Grayslake Park District is conducting a communitywide mail and email survey that asks residents to rate the district, including its parks, facilities, recreation programs and events.


    Parks jobs available in Mundelein

    Applications for various seasonal positions within the Mundelein Park and Recreation District maintenance department including landscaping and light construction are available at www.mundeleinparks.org or at the Mundelein Community Center, 1401 N. Midlothian Road.


    Libertyville prostitution arrest made

    A Gurnee woman was arrested Friday on a warrant following an earlier prostitution investigation at the Dragon Spa, 402 Peterson Road in Libertyville that she owns, Libertyville police announced.

    Volunteers pass through the first full body scanner, which uses backscatter technology, installed at O’Hare International Airport.

    TSA to remove controversial X-ray scanners

    The Transportation Security Administration says scanners that use a low-dose X-ray will be gone by June because the company that makes them can't fix the privacy issues. The other airport body scanners, which produce a generic outline instead of a naked image, are staying.

    Wally Frasier , left, and Steve Lentz , center, and Robin Meier , right, are candidates in the race for Mundelein Mayor in the 2013 Election.

    Mundelein mayoral candidate suggests undercover program to observe staffers

    With customer care at village hall a top concern in Mundelein's mayoral race, candidate Steve Lentz has proposed using undercover operatives to apply for various permits as a way to observe the process. Two other mayoral candidates, Robin Meier and Wally Frasier, rejected the idea during a Daily Herald endorsement interview Friday.


    Batavia police seek serial flasher

    Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for a former Elgin man and Aurora resident who is accused of exposing himself to customers at a store along Randall Road in Batavia in December. James Rozema, 57, has several convictions - and has spent time in prison - for public indecency, according to court records. He also is wanted by Aurora police for failing to notify authorities of a new address...

    Insurance Auto Auctions has received a notice of violation from Wheeling for pumping stormwater from its Wheeling site, shown here, to an adjacent property, a violation village officials described as minor.

    Barrington Hills mayor ratchets up tiff with East Dundee over auto site

    Barrington Hills Village President Robert Abboud was so concerned about an auto auction business moving into neighboring East Dundee, he took matters into his own hands. Last week, he drove to the business' Wheeling locations, where he took photographs and videos of what he called serious pollution issues. But Wheeling calls the problems "relatively small."


    Emanuel: Replacing Jackson on council will be open process

    Mayor Rahm Emanuel says a four-member commission will help him select Sandi Jackson's replacement on the Chicago City Council. Jackson is the wife of former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned in November citing ongoing treatment for bipolar disorder.


    Minor league teams use Te’o hoax for promotions

    The Kentucky-based Florence Freedom minor league baseball team is jumping on the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax story, offering a bobblehead giveaway of the girlfriend — only the boxes will be empty. And the New York Mets' Class A Brooklyn Cyclones will hold a "Fictitious Friday" on June 21.


    Probation for Streamwood man charged with solicitation

    A 35-year-old Streamwood man pleaded guilty to solicitation Monday and was sentenced to 24 months probation. Authorities say Anton Jones texted lewd messages to a minor female last year.

    Carmen Sarlo

    Former Des Plaines alderman dies at 85

    Former Des Plaines alderman Carmen Sarlo, 85, died Thursday. He suffered from heart problems and prostate cancer, according to a close friend. Sarlo, a retired Navistar foreman, served 22 years on the Des Plaines City Council, representing the city's 6th Ward from 1973 to 1981 and again from 1985 to 1999. Visitation is scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, at Oehler Funeral Home. A...

    A Free Syrian Army fighter aims his weapon Tuesday during clashes with government forces in Aleppo, Syria.

    Aleppo blast, car bombs cap bloody Syria week

    Even if the rebels have captured surface-to-surface rockets it won't be a turning point in their battle against the regime of President Bashar Assad, said Aram Nerguizian, a Middle East security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

    Cook County Medical Examiner Stephen Cina speaks at a news conference Friday in Chicago regarding the exhumation of Urooj Khan, 46, who died in July of cyanide poisoning after winning the lottery.

    Pathologists obtain samples from exhumed lottery winner

    The medical examiner helping investigate a Chicago man's cyanide poisoning says pathologists have been able to get samples from the man's exhumed remains. Dr. Stephen Cina said at a news conference Friday that the remains of Urooj Khan were in an advanced state of decomposition. But Cina says pathologists were able to obtain samples from most major organs as well as the man's hair and...

    Protesters at the Supreme Court decry abortion in 1986.

    High court to hear case of jilted woman convicted as terrorist

    The Supreme Court will hear an appeal from a jilted woman who was convicted under an anti-terrorism law for spreading deadly chemicals around the home of her husband's mistress.


    DuPage to help towns dispose of sewer debris

    A planned upgrade to DuPage County's wastewater treatment facility in Woodridge could make it easier and less expensive for towns to dispose of soggy debris they remove from storm sewers.


    BC-US--Colbert's Sister-Congress,119 Colbert's sister entering SC congressional race

    Associated PressCHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — No joke: Comedian Stephen Colbert's sister is running in earnest for a vacant South Carolina congressional seat.Campaign manager Bill Romjue said Friday that Elizabeth Colbert-Bush plans to file next week and make a formal announcement. She did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press.

    Comedian Stephen Colbert collects cash donations on the sidewalk in front of the Federal Election Commission in Washington after a hearing on his request to form a Political Action Committee.

    Colbert’s sister to seek South Carolina House seat

    Elizabeth Colbert-Busch will seek the Democratic nomination in the vacant 1st Congressional District in and around Charleston, said Amanda Loveday, executive director of the state Democratic Party.

    Singer Beyonce unveils her new fragrance “Pulse” at the Dream Hotel, in New York.

    Beyonce, Katy Perry star at packed inauguration

    President Barack Obama's inauguration is shaping up to be an event as star-studded as any red carpet, with dozens of heavy hitters lining up to perform — and the promise of a few key surprises to liven up the weekend.


    Harper, Governors State ink dual degree deal

    Harper College in Palatine signed an agreement Friday with Governors State University for a four-year dual degree program that guarantees admission to the university for Harper students who enroll in the program and complete their associate degree.

    Newtown, Conn. School Superintendent Janet Robinson, left, testifies Wednesday on Capitol Hill in Washington before a special hearing on gun violence.

    Advocates push idea of requiring gun insurance

    A bill filed Friday in Massachusetts would require gun owners to purchase liability insurance in the event that a firearm is used to injure.

    Lance Armstrong looks back on the podium after the 20th and last stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris.

    Experts on Lance: Everyone lies, some more than others

    "The world is rife with great liars," says Robert Feldman, a professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts who studies lying and deception. "Nothing about the Lance Armstrong case is shocking. We all lie every day. We live in a culture where lying is quite acceptable."

    I Jeff Jerome walks Tuesday in a cemetery that is home to Edgar Allan Poe’s grave in Baltimore.

    Poe visitor comes nevermore

    Baltimore native Jeff Jerome revealed a few things, but he claims not to know the answer to the biggest question of all: Just who is or was the Poe Toaster?

    An Eli Lilly and Co. employee packages a drug at the Lilly USA facility in Indianapolis.

    Lilly drug chosen for Alzheimer’s study

    In October, researchers said combined results from two studies of solanezumab suggested it might modestly slow mental decline, especially in patients with mild disease.


    Fox Valley police reports
    Leon A.P. Banks, 18, of the 1700 block of Devonshire Court in Elgin, faced a pair of charges Friday morning, for a residential burglary that took place Thursday in the 0-99 block of North Lyle Avenue, according to court documents. Banks was charged with residential burglary and theft of less than $500.

    Jeremy Schmidt

    Grant High School goes in-house to select Jeremy Schmidt its new principal

    Grant High School officials have anounced that Jeremy Schmidt has been named principal of the Fox Lake school. He will replace John Barbini, who has been filling the role on a part-time basis for the last three years. Schmidt will start in the job on July 1.


    Des Plaines accepting social service grant applications

    Des Plaines is now accepting grant applications from social service agencies that seek funding to supplement their programs. Applications are available at desplaines.org/HHS. The deadline is Friday, March 29. For more information, call (847) 391.5480 or email HHS@desplaines.org.


    Northwest suburban police blotter

    Burglars entered a gas station construction site at 2250 South Arlington Heights Road, Arlington Heights, overnight Jan. 14 through an unsecured exterior door and removed a yellow Champion generator valued at $1,200 after cutting the chain securing it. Six wooden spools of Beldon wire for low voltage use valued at $5,000 were taken from an office area.

    Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker talks Virent workers at a Talk With Walker event in Madison, Wis. Walker became a conservative darling when, as a new Republican governor, he waged a high-profile battle to break the power of public employee unions in his traditionally pro-labor state.

    Federal appeals court upholds Wisconsin union limits

    A federal appeals court on Friday upheld Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's contentious law stripping most public workers of nearly all of their collective bargaining rights, a victory for Republicans and a decision that runs contrary to one issued last year in state court.

    Associated Press/Dec. 23, 2008 Then-New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin speaks during an interview in his office at City Hall in New Orleans.

    Ex-New Orleans mayor Nagin charged with bribery, fraud

    Nagin, a former cable television executive, was a political novice before being elected to his first term as mayor in 2002, buoyed by strong support from white voters. He cast himself a reform-minded progressive who wasn't bound by party affiliations.

    Brittany Fulmer walks through a snow storm Thursday in a mall parking lot in Florence, Ala.

    Alabama highway jammed as snow storm crosses South

    Hundreds of cars and 18-wheelers were still stuck on Interstate 65 as Friday dawned, county emergency management director Phyllis Little said. The highway reopened in both directions by 9:30 a.m., Alabama state troopers said, but it would take time for traffic to move freely again because of the size of the blockage.

    David Larson Inside District 87

    Glenbard superintendent offers outsider’s thoughts on pension reform

    Being relatively new to Illinois, Glenbard High School District 87 Superintendent David Larson has found it intriguing watching the saga of the state's long-term troubled pension system. He offers a few observations from a newcomer's perspective regarding the lessons to learn from our pension woes.

    The Jan. 14 issue of People magazine features Elk Grove Village siblings Tom and Michelle Larson on its cover and chronicles their weight loss journey. Jointly the twins have lost 274 pounds.

    Elk Grove Village siblings make People magazine cover

    The first time Tom Larson posted pictures of himself on Facebook, a light bulb went on in his head and the 26-year-old realized he needed to do something about his weight.“I really ballooned my senior year at Elk Grove High School,” said Larson, an Elk Grove Village resident. “I quit football my senior year. I reached my highest weight in college. The reality is no matter what I...


    Libertyville finalizing plans for community garden

    A community garden could make a comeback in Libertyville in a pending partnership between the village, the Chapel and the Gardeners of Central Lake County. Plots would be made available for $35 on open land near the church's campus at Winchester Road and American Way.

    A rendering of the proposed development in South Elgin.

    S. Elgin housing plan moves forward

    After getting a nod from the South Elgin planning and zoning commission, a plan for a new housing development for low-income and disabled people is expected to go before the village board in early February. The development would be a 50-apartment, three-story building in a vacant industrial area downtown, on the east side of the Fox River.


    No criminal charges in Geneva school pledge incident

    No charges will be filed as a result of the Jan. 9 incident at a Geneva school, where a parent protested how students said the Pledge of Allegiance and a school pledge.

    A Burmese python is displayed at the kickoff ceremonies in Davie, Fla., Saturday, Jan. 12, 2013 for the 2013 “Python Challenge” organized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Nearly 800 people have signed up to hunt Burmese pythons on public lands in Florida. Experts say the invasive species is decimating native wildlife in the Florida Everglades. For the first time, the public is joining licensed hunters in the search for the snakes.

    21 invasive pythons killed so far in Fla. contest

    Here's the catch in Florida's "Python Challenge": Even experienced hunters with special permits to regularly stalk the exotic snake through Florida's swamplands are having trouble finding them for a state-sponsored competition. As of Thursday, 21 pythons had been killed for the contest, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

    This 2005 file photo shows the Ain Amenas gas field in Algeria, where Islamist militants raided and took hostages Wednesday Jan. 16, 2013. British Prime Minister David Cameron said Algerian forces are “still pursuing terrorists” and looking for hostages at an oil installation in the Sahara desert. Cameron told lawmakers Friday Jan. 18, 2013 that Algerian troops were still engaged in an operation to secure a large and complex site.

    Desert siege: 100 of 132 foreign hostages freed

    The bloody three-day hostage standoff at a Sahara natural gas plant took a dramatic turn Friday as Algeria's state news service reported that nearly 100 of the 132 foreign workers kidnapped by Islamic militants had been freed. That number of hostages at the remote desert facility was significantly higher than any previous report, and still meant that the fate of over 30 foreign energy workers was...

    Jesse Burnett plays with his quadruplets from left, Jaleb, Jianna, Jace and Jacoby at their home of Lovington.

    Downstate couple raising quadruplets

    Jesse and Kari Burnett are still getting used to life with the four little bundles of joy they brought home this summer. Their quadruplets, Jace, Jianna, Jacoby and Jaleb, now 6 months old, make their daily routines a little busier and a lot more interesting."I'm pretty sure we have the best babies we could have," said Kari Burnett.

    Sandberg, left, and volunteer Amy Bauer of Wheaton go over materials at the shop in Glen Ellyn.

    Moving Picture: Glen Ellyn shop helps refugee women

    Rebecca Sandberg, founder and director of Re:new store in Glen Ellyn, has found her niche helping refugee women in the suburbs find sustainable work. "Hearing their stories changed everything for me," she says, "And I believe coming together as a community and helping all women find peace is especially important."

    Kaitlin Martin of Elk Grove Village, Natalie Betz of Hoffman Estates, Audrey Rose of Schaumburg, Sarah Kliora of Roselle, Samantha Marino of Medinah and Christina Chic of Schaumburg play friends of main character Millie Dillmount in Schaumburg On Stage's production of “Thoroughly Modern Millie.”

    Young actors present 'Thoroughly Modern Millie' in Schaumburg

    Local youth theater troupe Schaumburg On Stage will recreate the Roaring '20s with performances of the 2002 Tony Award winner for best musical — "Thoroughly Modern Millie" — over the next two weekends at Schaumburg's Prairie Center for the Arts.

    Associated Press Chairman of the Republican National Convention Reince Priebus has endorsed the idea of GOP officials who control legislatures in states that supported President Barack Obama and are considering changing state laws that give the winner of a state’s popular vote all of its Electoral College votes, too.

    GOP eyes new laws to divvy up Electoral College votes

    After back-to-back presidential losses, Republicans in key states want to change the rules. From Wisconsin to Pennsylvania, GOP officials who control legislatures are considering changing state laws that give the winner of a state's popular vote all of its Electoral College votes, too. Instead, these officials want Electoral College votes to be divided proportionally.

    Motorists slide off the road along Garst Mill Road in Roanoke County, Va. during a snowstorm on Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013. Icy roads remain a concern Friday morning and some school systems decided to open late.

    Parts of Southeast digging out from snow

    Hundreds of people spent a cold night trapped on Interstate 65 in central Alabama as a winter storm dumped snow around the Southeast and caused at least one death. Hundreds of cars and 18-wheelers were at a standstill on the highway early Friday, County emergency management director Phyllis Little said. "There are hundreds of vehicles on the interstate northbound," Little said Friday morning.

    Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper bows his head during a prayer at the reopening and remembrance ceremony at the Century Aurora cinema, formerly the Century 16, Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 in Aurora, Colo. The cinema is where 12 people were killed and dozens injured in a shooting rampage last July.

    Colorado theater reopens, months after mass shooting

    One survivor had to pause on his way into the theater and pray. Another braced for flashbacks as he entered the auditorium where 12 people died and dozens were injured during a massacre six months earlier. Others refused to come, viewing the reopening of the multiplex as insensitive. The former Century 16, now renovated and renamed the Century Aurora, opened its doors to victims of the July 20...


    Syria: Twin suicide blasts hit south of Damascus

    BEIRUT — Syrian state TV says rebels linked to al-Qaida group detonated cars filled with explosives near a mosque in southern Syria, causing many casualties. The state-run TV says the suicide attacks occurred as worshippers were leaving a mosque following Friday prayers in the city of Daraa, south of Damascus.

    French troops arrive at Bamako’s airport Thursday Jan. 17, 2013. Over 600 soldiers arrived Thursday. Fighting raged in one Mali town, airstrikes hit another and army troops raced to protect a third, on the seventh day of the French-led military intervention to wrest back Mali’s north from al Qaida-linked groups.

    Aid groups warn they can’t reach key Mali town

    Mali's military claimed Friday that it has held control of a key town where Islamic extremists had battled forces for a week, though aid groups warned they were unable to reach the area to provide humanitarian assistance.


    Palatine schools study busing options

    Palatine Township Elementary District 15 hasn't decided whether to outsource bus transportation or keep it in house. But the district has gotten two bids from outside companies at the same time it is continuing to negotiate with the transportation union on a new contract.


    Chicago gynecologist convicted of raping patient
    A jury has convicted a Chicago gynecologist of raping a patient who was eight months pregnant.The Chicago Sun-Times reports that 60-year-old Bruce Sylvester Smith was convicted Thursday, a day after he testified the victim initiated the sexual contact during an office exam.


    Ind. woman seeks child murder conviction reversal

    An Indiana woman serving a life sentence in the beating death of her 4-year-old stepdaughter wants a judge to reverse her conviction in the 2005 killing. State deputy public defender Joanna Green asked a Tippecanoe County judge Thursday to reverse Michelle D. Gauvin's convictions on the grounds that she received poor representation from court-appointed trial attorneys.


    Police: Madison man intended to kill 2

    Madison police say a man with a history of mental illness planned to kill two people with an assault rifle he bought online. The 20-year-old man was arrested Thursday. He's being held in the Dane County Jail.


    Dawn Patrol: Schaumburg police fallout; no school in Grayslake area

    Schaumburg leaders say the arrests of three cops on drug charges shouldn't taint whole force. Grayslake District 46 strike continues. Dying teen's words to be heard in trial. Metra giving raises up to 33%.

    On a recent trip to Florida we had the opportunity to visit the turtle hospital on Marathon Key, where I took this picture of a sea turtle.

    Images: Photo Contest Finalists
    Each week you submit your favorite photo. We pick the best of the bunch and select 12 finlaists. Here are the finalists for the week of January 14th.


    Lakes’ Jake Kohler and Wauconda’s Devon King tip off at Wauconda on Friday.

    Bergeron, Lakes hustle past Wauconda

    Justin Bergeron, Lakes' reigning Hustle Stat Award champ, was doing his thing on the basketball court again Friday night. His 8 points, 6 rebounds and 1 steal — modest numbers for him — helped Lakes run past host Wauconda 74-57 to remain in contention in the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division, with a home game against first-place North Chicago in two weeks.

    Neuqua Valley’s Trevor Davis, center, battles Waubonsie Valley’s Bryan Jefferson and Javares Stewart.

    Images: Waubonsie Valley vs. Neuqua Valley, boys basketball
    Neuqua Valley hosted and won 50-47 over Waubonsie Valley Friday night for boys basketball.

    Cyclist Lance Armstrong listens to a question from Oprah Winfrey during taping for the show “Oprah and Lance Armstrong: The Worldwide Exclusive” in Austin, Texas. Armstrong talked about talking to his children about his doping in part 2 of the interview aired Friday.

    Armstrong turns emotional in 2nd part of interview

    Lance Armstrong finally cracked. Not the way anti-doping authorities hoped or as disillusioned fans wanted, while expressing deep remorse or regrets. It was over another bit of collateral damage. "I saw my son defending me and saying, 'That's not true. What you're saying about my dad is not true,'" Armstrong recalled.


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


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


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


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


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

    Catcher Welington Castillo talks with Giovani Rocha, 6, during the Cubs Convention on Friday.

    As usual, plenty of hope at Cubs Convention

    The Cubs changed locations for their annual fan convention, which kicked off Friday and runs through the weekend. There's always optimism among the fans, but the players seemed to feel something different about this year. "I'm excited, really, about this team, to tell you the truth," said pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

    As Boston Celtics forward Kevin Garnett, left, walks off the court, Chicago Bulls guard Marco Belinelli (8) is congratulated by teammate Joakim Noah after an overtime win Friday in Boston. Belinelli hit the go-ahead basket less than 4 seconds on the clock.

    Belinelli’s shot in OT lifts Bulls

    Bulls against Celtics, overtime, hard-fought game, Joakim Noah vs, Kevin Garnett, Kirk Hinrich vs. Rajon Rondo this all seemed so familiar. Unlike the epic 2008 playoff series, the Bulls won this time on a Marco Belinelli fallaway with 3.1 seconds left.


    Wheaton Academy turns tables on St. Francis

    Wheaton Academy overcame a rough start to rout St. Francis 52-35 Friday night at Spyglass Center in Wheaton.


    Maine West gets past Deerfield

    Maine West's boys basketball team evened its record at 8-8 overall with a 53-46 victory at Deerfield in the Central Suburban North.Anthony Dones (20 points with 3 three-pointers), Allante Bates (14 points), Matt Finnander (8 points), Jamal Sherman (6 points) and Joel Ferraren (4 points) led the Warriors (2-4 in the CSL North), West outscored Deerfield 20-6 in the fourth quarter after trailing 29-19 at halftime and 40-33 after three quarters.


    Palatine keeps pace in West

    Palatine's girls basketball remained in close pursuit of Fremd in the Mid-Suburban West chase as the Pirates posted a 54-43 victory over visiting Hoffman Estates.Senior McKenzie Wiedemann (game-high 25 points) made 5-of-6 free throws and Nia Pappas 4-of-4 in the fourth quarter as Palatine improved to 18-5 and 5-2, a ½-game behind Fremd (5-1) in the West.


    It’s BG, in 3 OTs

    There's a sign hanging outside of the Buffalo Grove locker room that says "Fight On," which is the athletic program's new slogan this year. "It means to keep fighting and don't give up," said BG forward Mary Zawlocki. "Even when it's tough and you're tired." That phrase was quite appropriate on a night when the Bison tied the game in the final seconds of regulation and the first two overtimes before prevailing in three overtimes to beat visiting Hersey 58-53 in Mid-Suburban East play.


    Montini routs ACC

    Claire Jakaitis had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Malayna Johnson 10 points and 12 blocks, and No. 1 Montini tuned up for its Monday matchup with Whitney Young with a 78-38 rout of Aurora Central on Friday in Lombard.Paulina Castro and Kateri Stone each scored 14 points and hit four 3-pointers apiece for Montini (23-1, 7-0 Suburban Christian Conference Blue).York 52, Leyden 24:Jessica Bianchi had 11 points, 6 steals and 2 assists for York (11-10).


    Defense keys Glenbard South win over Fenton

    Glenbard South coach Wade Hardtke had evidence to put in front of his team during their postgame meeting Friday night at Fenton that proved that when good defense is played, good things happen to a team.


    Team effort for Naperville Central

    While trying to talk about who shined the most Friday night, Naperville Central coach Pete Kramer sounded like a kid who just unwrapped a bunch of great presents and was asked to name his favorite.


    Bartlett knocks off Lake Park

    Competing against Bartlett, as Lake Park boys basketball coach Josh Virostko put it, is a matter of picking your poison. When the teams last met on Dec. 1, Bartlett's Lance Whitaker scored 22 points and point guard Marcus Aluquin finished with 13, but guard Jon Moss was held in check because the Lancers opted to face guard the deadly 3-point shooter, who nails 40 percent of his attempts. Lake Park lost the first meeting by 16 points, thus the Lancers switched strategy for Friday's rematch between the streaking Upstate Eight Valley teams. However, one adjustment was to not face guard Moss. The third-year varsity guard made them pay right from the start. Moss sank 4 of 5 first-quarter shots, including a trio of 3-pointers, staking Bartlett to a 10-point lead after a quarter. The Hawks never allowed the Lancers within 5 points of the lead again and sank 13 of 14 free throws in the fourth quarter to balloon their advantage as high as 14 points in an eventual 48-41 Upstate Eight Valley victory in Roselle.


    Wheaton North executes down the stretch

    It may not have been pretty basketball for all 32 minutes, but the final four were worth the wait.Wheaton North's boys team notched its second win of the season over cross-town rival Wheaton Warrenville South, wrapping up the first half of DuPage Valley Conference play with Friday's 37-35 thriller over the visiting Tigers.


    Take a tip: Vernon Hills shoots the 3 pretty well

    Visiting Vernon Hills had its long-range game going as the Cougars handled Round Lake in a 66-38 North Suburban Conference Prairie Division victory.


    Tate scores 22 in Rosary’s win

    Rosary 51, St. Edward 47: Senior Karly Tate recorded a game-high 22 points to help the Royals secure the Suburban Christian Blue victory. Rosary (11-10, 5-3) built a commanding 21-7 lead and held off a late charge. Rachel Choice chipped in 11 points for Rosary while Madison Richmond contributed 10.

    Neuqua Valley’s Trevor Davis, center, battles Waubonsie Valley’s Bryan Jefferson (32), and Javares Stewart (33), during boy’s basketball action in Naperville.

    Sandifer drives Neuqua Valley past Waubonsie Valley

    Neuqua Valley's Jabari Sandifer, he's the man. "He's one of the best point guards I've seen in a long time around here," said Waubonsie Valley coach Steve Weemer on Friday. "He's got the keys to (coach Todd Sutton's) car and he does a heck of a job driving it."


    Wolves’ win streak snapped at 4

    The Chicago Wolves fell behind 2-0 just three minutes into the game and never recovered, dropping a 6-4 decision to the Texas Stars at the Allstate Arena on Friday night. Right wing Darren Haydar scored twice and assisted on the other 2 goals for the Wolves, who saw their four-game winning streak snapped. Forwards Michael Davies and Andrew Gordon both had a goal and an assist, and defenseman Brad Hunt earned a pair of assists for the Wolves (18-13-3-2).


    Westminster Christian clinches NAC title

    Championship week continued on the positive side of things for the Westminster Christian girls basketball team Friday night. On the heels of securing the Elgin City Classic championship earlier in the week, the Warriors Friday clinched the Northeastern Athletic Conference title by beating Christian Liberty 49-32, the first conference championship in any sport for a Westminster girls team.


    Grayslake North edges Lakes

    Grayslake North 38, Lakes 33: The visiting Knights overcame a 24-21 deficit after three quarters to pull out the nonconference game and improve to 18-2.Knights guard Jordyn Bowen scored 8 of her 11 points in the fourth, going 6 of 11 from the foul line. Kendall Detweiler also scored 11 points, including two 3-pointers, for the visitors, who outscored the Eagles 17-9 in the final quarter. Brittney Thibeaux had 8 points in the win.Lakes (12-11) received 12 points apiece from Amanda Smith and Terese McMahon.


    North Chicago handles Grant

    North Chicago 81, Grant 50: The host Warhawks won going away to improve to 17-1 overall and 7-0 in the North Suburban Conference Prairie Division.Grant fell to 8-12 and 2-5 in the division.


    Short-handed Glenbard South withstands Fenton comeback

    Glenbard South held on, and now holds its breath. The Raiders escaped Fenton with a 39-36 win Friday night after nearly blowing a 15-point fourth-quarter lead, but in the process may have suffered a bigger loss. Junior guard Stefi Bazigos, the Raiders' leading scorer, came down hard flying in for a layup in the final minute of the first half. Bazigos left the game, went to the locker room, and returned midway through the third quarter with her arm in a sling.


    Semifinals set for Upstate Eight wrestlers

    Austin Schoen is on pace to etch his name among the immortals of wrestling in the Upstate Eight Conference. The Lake Park senior, bidding for a fourth consecutive league title, was one of 14 top-seeded athletes to advance into the semifinals of the individual conference championship Friday night in Batavia.


    Fremd passes, with flying colors, at Barrington

    After going nearly nine minutes without a point in a loss to Loyola on Monday, Fremd girls basketball coach Dave Yates got right to the point. "We challenged the girls this week," he said. "We weren't happy losing to Loyola." The Vikings got the message during finals week and passed their Mid-Suburban League West basketball exam Friday at Barrington on Pack the Gym' night with a 59-46 victory.


    Clifford to the rescue as Conant edges Schaumburg

    Captain Ben Clifford was the last-minute hero as Conant defeated wrestling rival Schaumburg 36-27 Friday night inside a noisy William N. Perry Gymnasium in Hoffman Estates. The Mid-Suburban League regular-season triumph also gave the host Cougars (11-4-0, 4-1-0) the "Fight for the Fin" Cup for another season after Conant coach Chad Hay beat his brother-in-law Mike Levanti, the Saxons' man in charge. Hay praised the winning approach after Clifford (24-3) defeated a valiant Tom Palchek with a pin at 5:12 to end the hopes of the visitors. The teams were both 3-1-0 against MSL West teams entering the meet.

    St. Charles North’s Kyle Swanson tries to chase down St. Charles East’s Ben Skoog Friday.

    St. Charles East tops rival in OT

    This one wasn't for the faint of heart. In a game that included 9 ties and 11 lead changes and featured high-flying slam dunks, skin-tearing loose ball scrambles and thrilling end-to-end action, the second boys basketball meeting of the season between St. Charles East and St. Charles North wasn't decided until the final seconds of overtime Friday night.


    Geneva takes thriller despite Hilton’s 33

    For Geneva, it was a matter of restoring order in the Upstate Eight River Division and avenging an earlier loss to St. Charles East.

    Jason Pisarski of St. Francis,left, takes one to the net over Collin Roy of Wheaton Academy during the Wheaton Academy at St. Francis boys basketball game Friday.

    St. Francis holds off Roy, Wheaton Academy

    For a second, maybe two, St. Francis senior Matt Bonner held his breath as he watched Collin Roy's off-balance 3-point shot fall softly through the Wheaton Academy net and heard the final buzzer blare, hoping he wouldn't also hear a referee's whistle. He didn't.


    Keller steps up for Rolling Meadows

    With all the high-flying, high-scoring players around her, Rolling Meadows center Morgan Keller doesn't get a lot of chances to dent the scorebook. What the 6-foot-senior can do is a lot of the little things it takes to win. Keller helped the state-ranked Mustangs fight off a strong effort from Prospect Friday to score a 69-46 victory over the Knights at Jean Walker Field House in Mount Prospect.


    Defensive prowess carries Schaumburg past Conant

    Schaumburg's girls basketball team did not have its best game offensively Friday night against visiting Conant, but the Saxons sure were able to turn up the heat defensively. Schaumburg senior guard duo Riley Williams and Amanda Kelly keyed the defense in leading the Saxons to a gritty 42-35 Mid-Suburban League West victory.

    Barrington senior Chris Vega competes in the 200-yard IM against Conant at Barrington on Friday.

    Big night for Barrington

    Barrington met its stiffest challenge in a dual this season, topping defending Mid-Suburban League champ Conant 115-73. A victory next Friday against Fremd would finish a perfect Broncos run through the MSL West.


    Morrissey’s key 3s help power Stevenson

    Stevenson sophomore Jalen Brunson has hit his share of big shots in just a little more than a season on the Patriots basketball team. But on Friday night, Brunson was more than happy admiring the big 3-pointers that came from teammate Matt Morrissey. Morrissey struck early, burying a pair 3-pointers during a 12-0 run to open a key North Suburban Conference Lake Division contest with visiting Zion-Benton. But his long arching 3-pointer on a feed from teammate Andy Stempel that Morrissey called "a champion's pass," fired up Brunson and the rest of the Patriot teammates. Though he finished with just 9 points, all of them counted in a 66-56 win for Stevenson over Zion on Friday night. The win lifts the Patriots to a first-place tie with Zion-Benton in the NSC Lake at 5-2. Stevenson is 13-4 overall and Zion is 14-4.


    Ream’s defense sparks Huntley past Prairie Ridge

    Huntley senior Haley Ream joked that she will hear about it when she doesn't shoot enough. But there was nothing wrong with the shout-out Ream received from head coach Steve Raethz after the Red Raiders battled past visiting Prairie Ridge 55-41 in Friday night's Fox Valley Conference Valley Division girls basketball game.


    Libertyville tops LZ, reclaims Lake title

    With a fourth divisional title in five years looming in the background, the Libertyville wrestling team took to the mat Friday night against visiting Lake Zurich. And that goal became a reality for the ninth-ranked Wildcats as they posted a 49-13 North Suburban Conference victory over the Bears to win their fourth Lake Division crown since 2009.


    Larkin’s 3-point outburst buries Streamwood

    The IHSA may just want to give Larkin guard Quentin Ruff the 3-point King of the Hill crown immediately, instead of waiting until March during the state series. In fact, they should make room on the plaque for the entire Larkin squad after the Royals' 3-point barrage of sorts Friday night in Elgin. Larkin, which never trailed, blew the roof off its gym draining 13 of 20 from downtown and Ruff was 6 of 8 from outside the arc in the Royals' 87-49 Upstate Eight River rout over Streamwood. The win avenged a 56-53 loss to the Sabres on November 27.


    Marmion holds off Aurora Christian

    While Aurora Christian didn't back down from the toughness Marmion brought to their Suburban Christian Blue contest Friday night, Eagles coach Pat McNamara knew the Cadets owed much of their 60-53 victory to being just a bit tougher.


    Westminster Christian tops Christian Liberty

    Westminster Christian 51, Christian Liberty 25: Will Woodhouse and Colin Brandon scored 15 points each to lead the Warriors to a Northeastern Athletic Conference win. Aaron Wiewel added 11 points and Robert Kleczybski had 8 for Westminster (8-10, 3-1).

    Neuqua Valley’s Trevor Davis, center, battles Waubonsie Valley’s Bryan Jefferson and Javares Stewart.

    Images: Waubonsie Valley vs. Neuqua Valley, boys basketball
    Neuqua Valley hosted Waubonsie Valley Friday night for boys basketball.

    Burlington Central’s Moter Deng denies St. Edward’s Davontae Elam a shot in the first quarter on Friday at St. Edward.

    St. Edward turns back Burlington Central

    Antonio Domel's sixth steal Friday night might have been more important than any of his 16 points. The St. Edward senior stripped Burlington Central's Moter Deng while he was going up for a layup or perhaps his third crowd-pleasing dunk of the night that would have cut the Green Wave lead to 2 with about 3:10 remaining in the fourth quarter. Instead of a 2-point game, Domel's steal sparked a 9-3 run as St. Edward defeated the Rockets, 74-65, in a nonconference boys basketball game in Elgin.

    Police in San Francisco received a report of a sexual assault involving 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree.

    49ers’ Crabtree questioned in sexual assault case

    Police in San Francisco say they're investigating a sexual assault allegation involving 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree. Police said in a statement released Friday night that the alleged assault occurred in a city hotel room early Sunday after the 49ers' playoff victory over the Green Bay Packers.


    Dahlstrom, Grayslake Central nip Hampshire

    No word on whether Morgan Dahlstrom drove the bus home. The junior center did just about everything else for Grayslake Central's girls basketball team Friday night as the Rams defeated Hampshire, 38-35. Dahlstrom had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 4 blocks, and scored the winning points on a baseline drive with just under a minute left in the Fox Valley Conference Fox Division matchup in Hampshire.


    Poised Poyser provides positives for Carmel

    A sudden burst of energy from Nickai Poyser turned a potential close game into a rout. Visiting Joliet Catholic had pulled to within 21-16 when the Carmel Catholic junior came off the bench early in the third quarter. Poyser proceeded to deliver 7 points, 2 blocked shots, 1 rebound and 1 assist in less than six minutes of third-quarter action to propel the Corsairs to a 42-20 victory Friday night in East Suburban Catholic Conference play.

    Images from the Burlington Central vs. St. Edward boys basketball game Friday, January 18, 2013.

    Images: Burlington Central vs. St. Edward, boys basketball
    Burlington Central and St. Edward took the court in a Friday night boys basketball matchup in Elgin. St. Edward won 74-65

    Joel Lindpere, right, shown playing for the New York Red Bulls, has joined the Chicago Fire this season.

    Fire’s Lindpere wants to play on ‘happy team’

    Newly acquired Fire midfielder Joel Lindpere made it clear Friday, he hopes to play in the middle. He's not the only one.

    Gordon Beckham batted .234 last season with 16 home runs and 60 RBI.

    Sox sign Beckham, De Aza to one-year deals

    The White Sox won't be taking any players to salary arbitration after agreeing to one-year contracts with second baseman Gordon Beckham and outfielder Alejandro De Aza on Friday.

    Bulls guard Marco Belinelli, center, puts up the game-winning basket in the final seconds of overtime against the Celtics on Friday in Boston.

    Bulls extend Friday road show, beat Celtics in OT

    Marco Belinelli made a game-winning jumper with 3.1 seconds left, Jimmy Butler scored six points in overtime and the Chicago Bulls extended their Friday night road show by beating the Boston Celtics 100-99. Carlos Boozer had 19 points and 20 rebounds, and Joakim Noah added 14 points and 13 boards as the Bulls won their 14th straight road game on a Friday.

    Images from the Lakes at Wauconda boys basketball game on Friday, Jan 18 in Wauconda.

    Images: Lakes vs. Wauconda, boys basketball
    The Wauconda Bulldogs hosted and lost 74-57 to the Lakes Eagles for boys basketball action on Friday, Jan. 18 in Wauconda.

    Victoria Azarenka hits a return to Jamie Hampton during their third-round match Saturday at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

    Azarenka advances in Australian Open

    Defending champion Victoria Azarenka struggled to hold off injured American Jamie Hampton 6-4, 4-6, 6-2 on Saturday before advancing to the fourth round of the Australian Open.

    St. Francis High School hosted Wheaton Academy Friday night for boys basketball.

    Images: Wheaton Academy vs. St. Francis, boys basketball
    St. Francis High School hosted Wheaton Academy Friday night for boys basketball.

    Images from the St. Charles North vs. St. Charles East boys basketball game Friday, January 18, 2013.

    Images: St. Charles North vs. St. Charles East, boys basketball
    St. Charles North and St. Charles East took the court in a Friday night boys basketball matchup in st. Charles.

    Lance Armstrong looks back on the podium after the final stage of the Tour de France in 2010. Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs to win the Tour de France during a taped interview with Oprah Winfrey that aired Thursday.

    Anti-doping officials say Armstrong must reveal more

    Admitting he cheated was a start. Now, it's all about whether Lance Armstrong is ready to give details — lots of them — to clean up his sport. Armstrong's much-awaited confession to Oprah Winfrey made for riveting television, but if the disgraced cyclist wants to take things further, it will involve several long days in meetings with anti-doping officials who have very specific questions: Who ran the doping programs, how were they run and who looked the other way?

    The Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane attempts a shot against Blues goaltender Brian Elliott during the breakaway challenge at NHL All-Star Skills Competition in Ottawa, Ontario, on Jan. 28, 2012.

    Will Hawks get the Blues in Central Division race?

    Call it the new-look Central Division. Gone are superstars Nicklas Lidstrom, who finally retired in Detroit, Ryan Suter, who left Nashville as a free agent for Minnesota, and Rick Nash, traded by Columbus to the New York Rangers. St. Louis returns everyone from a team that finished with 109 points and made what could be a key addition Friday by signing free-agent defenseman Wade Redden. There's no reason to think the Blues won't win the division again thanks to the 1-2 punch of Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott in goal.

    New Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians smiles as he is introduced during an news conference Friday at the team’s training facility in Tempe, Ariz.

    Arians promises disciplined, physical, fast team in Arizona

    After nearly 38 years in the business, at age 60, Bruce Arians finally is an NFL head coach. And he's made it clear that he's ready to run with it. Arians was introduced as head coach of the Arizona Cardinals on Friday, promising to build a team that's "smart, disciplined, fast and physical — accountable, no excuses."

    Evan Lysacek, Naperville native and 2010 Olympic gold medal winner, had surgery in November for a sports hernia.

    Olympic champ Lysacek out of nationals

    Olympic champion Evan Lysacek's comeback is delayed again. The Naperville native has withdrawn from the upcoming U.S. Figure Skating Championships because of a slow recovery from surgery on a sports hernia.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler shows his disgust after Matt Forte fumbled the ball in a game against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field.

    Trestman will try to build trust with Cutler

    New Bears head coach Marc Trestman's first meeting with quarterback Jay Cutler seven years ago was a washout. But the coach is counting on a bright future. "It was a difficult environment to try to get the most out of somebody," he said. "But I found out he was tough, he was smart and he loved football."

    Patrick Kane and the rest of the Blackhawks will drop the puck on a shortened 48-game, 99-day season on Saturday.

    Optimistic Blackhawks open season Saturday in L.A.

    It might be pie-in-the-sky thinking, but to a man the Blackhawks believe they have the pieces necessary to win their second Stanley Cup in four years. "I'm sure a lot of teams are thinking the same thing, but we have to have that belief in this locker room, and I think we do," captain Jonathan Toews said.

    Former New York Jets quarterbacks coach Matt Cavanaugh has agreed to rejoin the Bears as the team's QB coach for the 2013 season. Cavanaugh was with the Bears in 1997 and 1998 as an offensive coordinator.

    Bears bring back Cavanaugh as QB coach

    A familiar name is returning to help coach the Bears. Matt Cavanaugh, who helped Erik Krame put together a 3,000-yard passing season in 1997, has reached an agreement to rejoin the Bears as their quarterbacks coach, team officials announced Friday.

    Notre Dame Athletic Director Jack Swarbrick believes that Manti Te'o was the victim of a hoax apparently perpetrated against the linebacker.

    Trestman could prove to be a great hire for Bears

    Chicago Bears head coach Marc Trestman deserves a chance, and he could prove to be a better hire than Chip Kelly with the Eagles, says Mike North. Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau was overlooked for years for he got a shot, and he was coach of the year. It can happen again. North also has questions about Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o and what he really knew.


    A Caterpillar excavator, front, operates on a construction site in Tokyo, Japan.

    Caterpillar taking charge for China mismanagement

    Caterpillar Inc. said Friday that it found deliberate "accounting misconduct" at a recently acquired company in China. The U.S. based construction and mining equipment company has removed several managers at the company and will take a non-cash $580 million charge in the fourth quarter tied to the misconduct.

    Associated Press/Jan. 3, 2013 Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

    Stocks end week with gains; GE rises, Intel falls

    This earnings season is off to a good start so far. Of the 67 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported, 43 have trumped analysts' estimates.


    Daily Herald 5th among country’s top growing newspapers

    The Daily Herald ranked fifth in audience growth from September 2011 to September 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, formerly the Audit Bureau of Circulation.

    An electric car is charged on Friday in Montpelier, Vt. Carpooling, higher fuel economy, hybrids and electric cars may be good for the environment, but they’re bad for government transportation funding, which relies on gasoline and diesel taxes to help pay for the building and upkeep of roads and bridges.

    Officials may trade gas tax for mileage tax

    Vermont Transportation Secretary Brian Searles said calculating how much of a VMT tax is owed would be done through the global positioning system devices that are expected to be standard equipment in cars later this decade.

    Associated Press/Jan. 1, 2013 House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and GOP-controlled House will vote next week to permit the government to borrow more money to meet its obligations, a move aimed at heading off a market-rattling confrontation with President Barack Obama over the so-called debt limit.

    House to vote to lift debt limit

    The legislation wouldn't require immediate spending cuts as earlier promised by GOP leaders like Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Instead, it's aimed at forcing the Democratic-controlled Senate to join the House in debating the federal budget.

    A published report says Chicago Sun-Times owner Wrapports LLC is interested in buying assets of the Tribune Co., owners of the Chicago Tribune and other media holdings.

    Report: Sun-Times owner eyes buying Tribune Co. assets

    Wrapports LLC, owner of the Chicago Sun-Times, may be joining a growing list of companies interested in buying assets of Chicago-based Tribune Co., according to reports. Tribune Co. exited bankruptcy Dec. 31 after spending four years under Chapter 11 protection. The national media company's holdings include six newspapers.

    Associated Press Quentin Tarantino poses with the award for best screenplay for a motion picture for “Django Unchained” backstage last Sunday at the 70th Annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.

    ‘Django Unchained’ action figures discontinued

    The Weinstein Co. has asked a toy maker to discontinue a line of "Django Unchained" action figures after receiving complaints that they were offensive.


    SunCoke shares fall in market debut

    Lisle-based SunCoke Energy Partners LP’s shares fell almost 4 percent in midday trading following their market debut on the New York Stock Exchange. The metallurgical coke company had been a subsidiary of coal producer SunCoke Energy Inc. Metallurgical coke is used in making steel.The company priced its stock at $19 per share, raising $256.5 million before expenses. That was at the low end of the $19 to $21 per share range that was expected, however. Its shares fell 69 cents, or 3.6 percent, to $18.31 in midday trading after sinking as low as $18 earlier in the session. They traded as high as $19.28.SunCoke is selling 13.5 million shares and has given the underwriters the option to buy another 2 million shares to cover over allotments. The company plans to use the proceeds for working capital, to pay down debt and to return a portion to SunCoke Energy for costs related to the expansion and improvement of two plants.The partnership also said Friday that it is selling $150 million of its senior unsecured notes, which are due in 2020, through a private placement. The notes offering is expected to close on Jan. 24 in connection with the IPO.


    December U.S. Job gains led by New York, New Jersey after Sandy

    December's increase in U.S. payrolls was paced by New York and New Jersey as the states rebounded from the damage caused by superstorm Sandy. Of the 27 states showing a boost in employment last month, New York led the pack with a 35,100 gain in hiring, followed by New Jersey with 30,200, according to figures from the Labor Department today in Washington. The jobless rate fell in 22 states and rose in 16.


    Bill Gates-led group invests $1 billion in Orascom Construction

    Bill Gates is leading a group of U.S. investors committing $1 billion for a stake in construction and fertilizer company OCI NV in one of Egypt's largest foreign currency inflows since the 2011. OCI will absorb all local stock and global depositary receipts of Orascom Construction Industries under a share exchange offer that has attracted more than $2 billion in commitments, said the company, which is relocating from Cairo to Amsterdam. Its shares will be traded in both locations.


    Judge dismisses Ind. right-to-work law challenge

    A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a lawsuit filed by union members challenging Indiana's right-to-work law that was enacted last year. U.S. District Court Judge Philip Simon in Hammond ruled that none of the union's arguments against the law could succeed in federal court, although a challenge could still be made in state courts.

    The distorted main lithium-ion battery of the All Nippon Airways' Boeing 787 which made an emergency landing on Wednesday.

    Japan probe suspects excess voltage in 787 battery

    The burned insides of a battery in the Boeing 787 at the center of a worldwide grounding of the aircraft indicate it operated at a voltage above its design limit, a Japanese investigator said Friday, as U.S. officials joined Japan's probe into the incident. The All Nippon Airways plane made an emergency landing Wednesday morning in western Japan after its pilots smelled something burning and received a cockpit warning of battery problems. Nearly all 50 of the 787s in use around the world have since been grounded.


    United opens workplace health clinic at O’Hare

    United Airlines has opened a new employee health clinic at O'Hare International Airport.


    Lifeway Foods’ Coconut Chia Kefir named best dairy product of 2012

    Kefir manufacturer Lifeway Foods Inc.in Morton Grove said its Lowfat Coconut Chia Kefir beverage was voted as the number one product in Dairy Foods' Best New Dairy Products of 2012.


    Taxpayers will ease banks’ costs in mortgage deal

    Consumer advocates have complained that U.S. mortgage lenders are getting off easy in a deal to settle charges that they wrongfully foreclosed on many homeowners. Now it turns out the deal is even sweeter for the lenders than it appears: Taxpayers will subsidize them for the money they're ponying up.

    Alla Dziuma, left greets her brother Taras Dukyn after he arrived on Polish Airlines flight 003 from Warsaw, a Boeing 787, after their arrival at O'Hare International Airport.

    Some road warriors standing by Boeing's 787

    Some frequent fliers say they aren't worried about safety aboard Boeing's problem-plagued 787 aircraft, while many less-seasoned travelers are often unaware of what model of plane they're flying on.That makes it anyone's guess whether Boeing Co., or the airlines that use its planes, will pay a price for concerns surrounding the 787. The planes were grounded worldwide on Thursday after a battery fire on one, and an emergency landing on another after pilots smelled something burning.


    Capital One misses estimates on increase in loss reserves

    Capital One Financial Corp., the lender that gets more than half of its revenue from credit cards, posted a fourth-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates as it set aside more reserves to cover loan losses. Net income advanced to $843 million, or $1.41 a share, from $407 million, or 88 cents, a year earlier, the McLean, Virginia- based company said today in a statement.

    A woman walks by an electric stock index display of a securities firm in Tokyo, Friday.

    World stocks rise as US, China economies improve

    World stock markets rose Friday after signs that the U.S. economic recovery is gaining traction and a rebound in China's growth emboldened investors to plunge back into equities. The Nikkei soared as the yen continued to weaken.

    Intel Corp., the world’s largest chipmaker, on Thursday said its fourth-quarter net income fell 27 percent from the previous year, as PC sales continued to weaken.

    Intel 4Q profit down, beats Street

    Intel Corp., the world's largest chipmaker, on Thursday said its fourth-quarter net income fell 27 percent from the previous year, as PC sales continued to weaken. Net income was $2.47 billion, or 48 cents per share, for the October to December period. That was down from $3.36 billion, or 64 cents per share, a year ago.


    Oil heads for longest run of weekly gains in 14 months on China

    Oil headed for the longest weekly rising streak in 14 months in New York after economic growth accelerated in China, the world's second-biggest crude consumer.West Texas Intermediate traded close to a four-month high after gaining the most in two weeks yesterday. The International Energy Agency raised forecasts for global oil demand this year as demand rises in China and said the world oil market is "tighter" than previously estimated.

    American Express’ net income fell 47 percent in the fourth quarter.

    American Express’ 4Q earnings fall

    American Express' net income fell 47 percent in the fourth quarter, as the credit card issuer racked up charges related to restructuring costs and other expenses. The company's adjusted earnings beat Wall Street estimates.


    Fiat and Mazda seal deal to build new roadster

    Fiat and Mazda have signed a final agreement to jointly produce convertible two-seater Alfa Romeo and Mazda sports cars.The Italian and Japanese carmakers said Friday that the roadsters will go into production at Mazda’s plant in Hiroshima, Japan, in 2015. The cars will be based on the same platform — the next generation of the iconic Mazda MX-5 — but will have different styling and engines. The carmakers signed a memorandum of understanding in May. Fiat is planning to launch nine new Alfa Romeo’s by 2016 as part of its strategy to focus on higher-margin luxury cars and launch Alfa into a global brand. Most will be produced in Italy to help return European operations to profitability and revive production at underutilized plants.

    A new home is constructed in Pepper Pike, Ohio. US home construction surges 12.1 percent in December to end best year since 2008.

    Surge in home construction likely to continue

    The aftermath of the housing bust forced many homebuilders to dramatically scale back construction on new homes to avoid the risk of ending up saddled with a trove of newly built, yet unsold properties. But an improving housing market has homebuilders feeling more confident about sales, and that's likely to kick the pace of new construction into a higher gear this year.


    Seattle bleeds Boeing blue as 787’s grounding dismays home town

    Scratch people in Seattle, the line goes, and they bleed Boeing blue, the corporate color of the world's largest planemaker. Sons have followed fathers to the Puget Sound plants that built the 707, the first commercially successful jetliner, and the 747, the first wide-body. Not for nothing does Seattle call itself the Jet City.

    Citigroup’s fourth quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street’s expectations as the bank’s legal expenses rose and it released less money from its loan-loss reserves.

    Legal expenses drag down Citigroup 4Q earnings

    Citigroup's fourth quarter earnings fell short of Wall Street's expectations as the bank's legal expenses rose and it released less money from its loan-loss reserves. The bank, based in New York, said a big chunk of the legal expenses came from a settlement reached last week over illegal foreclosure practices in the aftermath of the housing bust. It was Citigroup's first quarter under the leadership of CEO Michael Corbat, who took the helm after former CEO Vikram Pandit resigned abruptly in October.

    Gluten-free frozen pizza, just one of hundreds of items at Gluten Free Trading Co. in Milwaukee.

    Food servers more vulnerable to legal threats

    People with severe food allergies have a new tool in their attempt to find menus that fit their diet: federal disabilities law. And that could leave schools, restaurants and anyplace else that serves food more vulnerable to legal challenges over food sensitivities. A settlement stemming from a lack of gluten-free foods available to students at a Massachusetts university could serve as a precedent for people with other allergies or conditions, including peanut sensitivities or diabetes.

    A line of 787 jets are parked Thursdayat Paine Field in Everett, Wash.

    Boeing 787 incidents prompt first U.S. grounding in 34 years

    U.S. regulators' decision to temporarily ground Boeing Co.'s 787 Dreamliner, their first move involving an entire model in 34 years, came five days after Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood proclaimed it safe.The Federal Aviation Administration, which certified the plane in 2011, ordered flights on the 787 halted until airlines can show the plane's lithium-ion batteries "are safe and in compliance," according to an agency statement yesterday. It didn't say how they should accomplish that.

Life & Entertainment

    Kelly Clarkson fun. are just two of the acts who will perform during the upcoming inaugural festivities, which also includes Beyoncé, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Katy Perry and dozens of others.

    Stars coming out for Obama inauguration

    Kelly Clarkson is a multiple nominee at next month's Grammy Awards, but what she's really excited about is another event where she'll be joined by Beyoncé, Katy Perry, Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, Usher and Brad Paisley. Oh, and the president. President Barack Obama's inauguration is shaping up to be an event as star-studded as any red carpet, with dozens of heavy hitters lining up to perform.

    Ex-con Vincent (Common), center, takes his nephew Woody (Michael Rainey Jr.) around town as he meets up with friends and associates in “LUV,” also starring Charles S. Dutton, left.

    Movie 'LUV' falls victim to cliche

    It comes as a disappointment that "LUV," a drama about the tragic realities of fathers and sons in unforgiving urban environs, can't measure up to the lyricism of its star's own music. The film stars Common, the thoughtful, charismatic Chicago rhymer who, in three- and four-minute hip-hop ruminations, summons more vibrant social imagery than the well-intended but hollow 1½ hours of "LUV."

    Owner Kevin Hahn taps a beer at Jackson Ave. Pub.

    Craft beers, good food draws at Naperville pub

    Downtown Naperville has definitely changed over the last 20 years. It's evolved into a lively late-night bar scene with a wide range of dining options. Jumping into this throng is Jackson Ave. Pub, a small spot offering a large dose of imaginative pub food and top-notch craft beers. It's a place for friends and families to meet for a great burger or singles to gather for late-night drinks.


    Alicia Keys to sing Super Bowl anthem

    Alicia Keys is adding her voice to the Super Bowl show. The Grammy-winning R&B singer has been lined up to perform the national anthem before the NFL championship game on Feb. 3 in New Orleans, a person familiar with Super Bowl entertainment plans told The Associated Press on Friday.

    Oprah Winfrey’s interview with Lance Armstrong is more than an illustration of a hero athlete tumbling from the heights. Winfrey’s OWN network is showing signs of life after a well-documented rocky start.

    Armstrong interview gives boost to Winfrey’s network

    Oprah Winfrey's interview with Lance Armstrong is more than an illustration of a hero athlete tumbling from the heights. It's also a pivotal moment for a famous media figure trying to climb the ladder back up. Winfrey's OWN network is showing signs of life after a rocky start, and the Armstrong interview offered a chance for many more viewers to check it out.

    A Los Angeles sheriff’s detective said Thursday that Wagner has not consented to an interview in their renewed inquiring into Natalie Wood’s 1981 drowning, but an attorney for the actor and his family says he has fully cooperated with authorities.

    Robert Wagner not interviewed in new Wood inquiry

    Robert Wagner has declined to be interviewed by detectives in a renewed inquiry into the drowning death of his wife Natalie Wood three decades ago, an investigator said Thursday. Wagner was interviewed by authorities soon after Wood's drowning in 1981, but the actor is the only person who was on the yacht the night Wood died who has not spoken to detectives as part of the latest inquiry, despite repeated requests and attempts, sheriff's Lt. John Corina said. Blair Berk, an attorney for Wagner and his family, said the actor had cooperated with authorities since his wife died.

    “Dear Abby” advice columnist Pauline Friedman Phillips (shown here in 2001), who had Alzheimer’s disease, died Wednesday. She was 94. Phillips’ column competed for decades with the advice column of Ann Landers, written by her twin sister, Esther Friedman Lederer.

    Dear Abby’s legacy: Wit, warmth, and snappy advice

    Two men had recently bought a house together in San Francisco, and the neighbors were annoyed. The neighbors wrote, asking: "How can we improve the neighborhood?" "You could move," Dear Abby replied. That zinger was such classic Abby — real name, Pauline Friedman Phillips — that it moved her daughter to burst into laughter Thursday when reminded of it, even though she had just returned from the funeral of her mother. The elder Phillips had died a day earlier at age 94 after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.


    Local singers get a shot at 'Idol' stardom

    The Windy City basked in the spotlight as Fox's “American Idol” premiered Thursday night. Judges visited Chicago for auditions to determine who would earn a trip to Hollywood to compete for the chance to follow in the footsteps of such past winners as Mount Prospect's Lee DeWyze. The judges punched the ticket for 46 singers, including Mariah Pulice of Darien and Andrew Jones of Hoffman Estates.

    Moscow police said Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, that Sergei Filin, right, an artistic director at the legendary Bolshoi Theater, was attacked Thursday night by a man who splashed acid onto his face as the 43-year-old former dancer came out of his car outside his home in central Moscow.

    Acid thrown at Bolshoi ballet artistic director

    A masked assailant threw acid at the artistic director of the Bolshoi ballet in an attack that colleagues said Friday could be in reprisal for his selection of dancers in starring roles at the famed Russian company. Sergei Filin, a 42-year-old former Bolshoi star, said a man threw the acid into his face late Thursday near the gate of his apartment building in central Moscow. The attacker wore a hood and either a mask or a scarf, so only his eyes were visible, he said.


    Local theater: 'Underpants' satire at BTE

    Buffalo Theatre gets farcical with "The Underpants;" Metropolis Performing Arts Centre showcases new plays and Writers Theatre presents a jazzy version of "Sweet Charity" this week in suburban theater.

    Jasika Nicole, John Noble, Anna Torv and Joshua Jackson in a scene from the two-hour finale of “Fringe,” which wraps up a five-year run at 7 p.m. Friday on Fox.

    In the end, 'Fringe' was all about identity

    As the Fox alternate-universe drama “Fringe” ends its five-season run, let us pause to praise John Noble's textured performance as Walter Bishop — and his talented potrayals of Walter Bishop, Walter Bishop and Walter Bishop. This is the situation in which “Fringe” fans find themselves ahead of the final, two-hour conclusion that airs at 7 p.m. Friday on Fox. So what on Earth are we talking about here?

    Will the depiction of torture in “Zero Dark Thirty” hurt the movie’s chances of taking home the best picture Oscar?

    Will torture questions hurt 'ZDT's' Oscar chances?

    A few weeks ago, “Zero Dark Thirty” seemed well on its way to capturing the Academy Award for best picture. Then last week, “Zero Dark Thirty” won five Academy Award nominations. Yet what may be the film’s biggest challenge is playing out from Hollywood to Washington as debate mounts over the film’s accuracy in its depiction of torture and whether the movie itself endorses the use of torture.


    Book notes: Kadir Nelson reads ‘I Have a Dream’ Tuesday

    Children's book author Kadir Nelson reads from and signs copies of his new pictue book, "I Have a Dream," based upon the famous speech made by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., at 7 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 22, at Anderson's Bookshop in Naperville.


    Real estate sales appear to be in early bloom

    Could we be looking at an early spring this year — not in meteorological terms but real estate? Could the chilly December to February months, which traditionally see fewer buyers out shopping for houses compared with the warmer months that follow, be more active than usual?


    Asbestos inspector misses interior duct insulation

    Q. I own a vacant home that was vandalized by thieves. The insurance company hired a remediation contractor, and he hired an environmental inspector to test for asbestos. The inspector tested surface materials where demolition was to take place and the lab report came back negative.


    Getting lender’s best price on home loan often futile

    This series of articles is about opportunities available to consumers to save money on a mortgage in 2013. This article is directed at those looking to find the best possible deal on a refinance or home purchase loan.

    These homes along Surrey Lane in Gaslight Terrace show the large lots and rolling hills for which the area is known.

    Gaslight Terrace is a hidden gem

    With rolling hills, wooded half-acre lots and spacious homes, the Gaslight Terrace subdivision in Algonquin offers a great place to settle and raise a family. “It’s the best kept secret in Algonquin,” said Sharon Gidley, real estate broker with RE/MAX Unlimited Northwest.

    Aspiring playwright Clifford (James Dauphin, right) collaborates and conspires with his mentor Sidney (Daniel Scurek) in Steel Beam Theatre’s revival of Ira Levin’s thriller “Deathtrap.”

    Steel Beam’s ‘Deathtrap’ needs sharpening

    "Deathtrap," Ira Levin's shrewdly crafted play-within-a-lay about the writing of a play, has the fundamentals — droll dialogue, comic relief and well-placed thrills — that make for entertaining theater. Unfortunately, that's not enough for Steel Beam Theatre's revival.


    Home equity can reduce college student’s financial aid

    Some colleges and universities consider a parent's home equity when doling out loans or grants for incoming students, but others don't even ask.


    What’s new in theater
    Oracle Productions opens its season with "Accidental Death of an Anarchist;" Steppenwolf Theatre revives Harold Pinter's "The Birthday Party;" and Signal Ensemble presents the world premiere of Jon Steinhagen's political-themed drama "Successors" this week in Chicago area theater.


    Avoid coughs and colds by properly sealing your home

    Sealing up your home is a good way to become more energy-efficient. But for those with allergies and lung issues, being sealed tightly inside a home can be problematic. Here are some extra precautions you can take to avoid breathing issues during a long winter:



    The Soapbox

    Daily Herald editors urge both sides in Grayslake Elementary District 46 to reach an agreement quickly to get kids back in school. See what else they have to say in this week's Soapbox.


    Editorial: Protecting our youngest at bedtime

    Not all parents follow experts' advice about safe sleeping practices for infants, and it's costing dozens of young lives each year in Illinois. The message needs a wider reach, a Daily Herald editorial says.


    Aaron Swartz was accused of real crimes

    Columnist Froma Harrop: Robin Hood or John Dillinger? He was not as virtuous as Robin and hardly as bad as John. Call the computer genius saint or sinner, few will argue with labeling his suicide at age 26 a "tragic loss."


    A new strategy for the GOP

    It has become conventional wisdom that Republicans are suffering an internal split that President Obama is successfully exploiting to neuter the Republican House. It is not true, however, that the Republican split is philosophical and fundamental. And that a hopelessly divided GOP is therefore headed for decline, perhaps irrelevance. In fact, the split is tactical, not philosophical; short-term, not fundamental. And therefore quite solvable. How do we know? Simple thought experiment: Imagine that we had a Republican president. Would the party be deeply divided over policy, at war with itself in Congress? Not at all. It would be rallying around something like the Paul Ryan budget that twice passed the House with near 100 percent GOP unanimity. In reality, Republicans have a broad consensus on program and policy. But they don’t have the power. What divides Republicans today is a straightforward tactical question: Can you govern from one house of Congress? Should you even try? Can you shrink government, restrain spending, bring a modicum of fiscal sanity to the country when the president and a blocking Senate have no intention of doing so? One faction feels committed to try. It wishes to carry out its small-government electoral promises and will cast no vote inconsistent with that philosophy. These are the House Republicans who voted no on the “fiscal cliff” deal because it raised taxes without touching spending. Indeed, it increased spending with its crazy-quilt crony-capitalist tax “credits” -- for wind power and other indulgences. They were willing to risk the fiscal cliff. Today they are willing to risk a breach of the debt ceiling and even a government shutdown rather than collaborate with Obama’s tax-and-spend second-term agenda. The other view is that you cannot govern from the House. The reason Ryan and John Boehner finally voted yes on the lousy fiscal-cliff deal is that by then there was nowhere else to go. Republicans could not afford to bear the blame (however unfair) for a $4.5 trillion across-the-board tax hike and a Pentagon hollowed out by sequester. The party establishment is coming around to the view that if you try to govern from one house — e.g., force spending cuts with cliffhanging brinkmanship — you lose. You not only don’t get the cuts, you get the blame for rattled markets and economic uncertainty. You get humiliated by having to cave in the end. And you get opinion polls ranking you below head lice and colonoscopies in popularity. There is history here. The Gingrich Revolution ran aground when it tried to govern from Congress, losing badly to President Clinton over government shutdowns. Nor did the modern insurgents do any better in the 2011 debt-ceiling and 2012 fiscal-cliff showdowns with Obama. Obama’s postelection arrogance and intransigence can put you in a fighting mood. I sympathize. But I’m tending toward the realist view: Don’t force the issue when you don’t have the power. The debt-ceiling deadline is coming up. You can demand commensurate spending cuts, the usual, reasonable Republican offer. But you won’t get them. Obama will hold out. And, at the eleventh hour, you will have to give in as you get universally blamed for market gyrations and threatened credit downgrades. The more prudent course would be to find some offer that cannot be refused, a short-term trade-off utterly unassailable and straightforward. For example, offer to extend the debt ceiling through, say, May 1, in exchange for the Senate delivering a budget by that date — after four years of lawlessly refusing to produce one. Not much. But it would (a) highlight the Democrats’ fiscal recklessness, (b) force Senate Democrats to make public their fiscal choices and (c) keep the debt ceiling alive as an ongoing pressure point for future incremental demands.


    What the fiscal cliff deal says about Congress

    Columnist Lee Hamilton: In our system of representative democracy, Capitol Hill should be the place where their competing concerns get hammered out. What we learned from the fiscal cliff negotiations is that Congress isn’t that place. As a former member, I’m embarrassed that we can’t govern this nation better. Maybe the new Congress will have the courage to change course.


    Daniels: The one who got away

    Columnist Michael Gerson: The best Democratic politician in America is about to take his oath as president of the United States. The best Republican politician will soon be president of Purdue.


    Driver’s license law stems from ineptness
    A Hoffman Estates letter to the editor: Our governments at both the national and local levels keep proving to us that they do not have the ability to make informed decisions.


    $50 to record a form? Outrageous!
    A Schaumburg letter to the editor: In the era of concern about "fairness," is it fair to require a person working at the minimum wage to cough up nearly one day's pay so that he or she can record a one page document?


    Promote health, but stop targeting soda
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Let's leave Beyoncé alone, get off Pepsi's back and stop singling out one food to blame for all our health problems. Instead, let's use this energy to come up with productive ways to encourage our peers to adopt healthy habits.


    Sports writers’ job is to make us think
    An Elk Grove Village letter to the editor: A sports columnist is hired by a newspaper specifically to give his/her opinion on the world of sports. The writer's take might be a popular one (as in this case) or it just might be meant to make the reader think — devil's advocate, if you will. It could be as wrong as can be. Doesn't matter.


    It’s no wonder Congress is scorned
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Mark Kirk collected welfare for a year, used hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars, held his job, and the Capitol steps were lined to honor and champion his free recovery.


    Add these annoying words to Parker’s list
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: I find it the most annoying of all: you know. Business people and even TV personalities are using it, including at least one sportscaster.


    Term limits help create new ideas
    An Arlington Heights letter to the editor: Political dynasties do not serve Americans well. Term limits are necessary for democracy to flourish. New ideas are healthy.


    Gun ban wouldn’t end murders
    A Rolling Meadows letter to the editor: The problem of murder will never be solved until emotion-driven, vote-hungry politicians give up their simplistic, naive assumption that murders are committed by guns — that the people who use them are, apparently, helpless victims of their guns.


    Machine guns not envisioned in 1700s
    A Palatine letter to the editor: Our Founding Fathers who approved this right back then did not envision arms that are capable of enormous death and destruction within seconds. They would not have agreed to the distribution of these assault weapons to the citizens of the union.


    Attacking definition of marriage
    An Algonquin letter to the editor: Strong marriages are the foundation of strong families and together they are the building blocks on which our society finds purpose, meaning, security and fulfillment. What makes a strong marriage is simple — a father and a mother who embrace and live daily lives of sacrificial love.


    How about the right to be safe?
    How about the right to be safe?The NRA has spent millions on lobbying efforts to defeat, dilute or delay sensible gun legislation in order increase gun sales. More assault rifles, larger capacity ammo clips, concealed handguns, gun shows and ineffective background checks. All so they can sell more weapons and make buckets of money for the manufacturers. Never mind that there’re 87 gun deaths a day in the U.S.Now the NRA advocates teachers carry weapons to defend students in schools. They are no budgets for teachers now. Who will pay? How about the NRA? And let’s include theaters, playgrounds, churches, malls, political rallies — all locations of frequent gun deaths. But, of course they won’t. Nor should they because more guns will only create more deaths as statistics clearly demonstrate.And, if you ask a gun fanatic how banning assault weapons would affect his Second Amendment rights, like Piers Morgan did when he interviewed Alex Jones recently on CNN, it’s all about the wackos “defending” themselves from the feds. I secretly want to see one of these gun fanatics actually try to stop a SWAT team from entering a building just to demonstrate how insane this idea really is (with rubber bullets only, please).No one is advocating taking guns away. Hunters, target shooters and collectors have a constitutional right to have their guns. But, after Newtown and all the other mass shootings, can we enact realistic gun laws? Prohibit assault weapons, limit ammo clips to 7 rounds, close the gun show and Internet loophole and enact a federally funded background check to prevent the mentally ill, criminals and terrorists from easily acquiring weapons of mass destruction?Don’t we have a right to be safe that is more important than stretching the Second Amendment into justifying the slaughter of innocent Americans?Tom MinnerickElgin


    Park master plan is lively reading
    A Glen Ellyn letter to the editor: I was glad to see the Daily Herald’s prominent coverage on Jan. 15 of the master plan for Lake Ellyn, which was presented in its final form that evening and accepted by the Glen Ellyn Park District board. Christopher Placek followed up with a report on the meeting and some of the discussion.


    Creative solutions needed to bullying
    A Wheaton letter to the editor: Bullies have always been around and always will be. Many discussions have taken place on the topic. I believe adults must provide a culture of care to all students. Students need to know that there is somewhere they can go to report bullying and trust that their concerns will be thoroughly investigated.


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