Dawn Patrol: Warm winter; spring tornadoes?

  • A group teenage boys, some in shorts, play basketball at Community Park in Lisle, Sunday. The temperature may have been in the 50s, but the strong winds and cloudy sky mad it feel much colder.

    A group teenage boys, some in shorts, play basketball at Community Park in Lisle, Sunday. The temperature may have been in the 50s, but the strong winds and cloudy sky mad it feel much colder. Mark Black | Staff Photographer

  • Roy Mauney of Harrisburg, Ill., collects clothes from a dresser in what remains of his parents house after a severe storm hit in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Mauney said his parents survived the storm by taking cover in a bathtub before their house blew off its foundation and across the street. A severe pre-dawn storm pounded portions of southern Illinois on Wednesday. Several deaths have been reported in Harrisburg and left the city's medical center scrambling to treat an influx of injured, the hospital's top administrator said.

    Roy Mauney of Harrisburg, Ill., collects clothes from a dresser in what remains of his parents house after a severe storm hit in the early morning hours on Wednesday. Mauney said his parents survived the storm by taking cover in a bathtub before their house blew off its foundation and across the street. A severe pre-dawn storm pounded portions of southern Illinois on Wednesday. Several deaths have been reported in Harrisburg and left the city's medical center scrambling to treat an influx of injured, the hospital's top administrator said. AP Photo/The Southern Illinoisan, Paul Newton

 
 
Updated 3/1/2012 5:53 AM

Meteorologists: Early southern tornado not a predictor for northern Illinois

In the wake of yesterday's deadly southern Illinois tornado, killing six in Harrisburg, meteorologists said the fact that a twister touched down in February was not uncommon, yet it is not a predictor of what is to come this spring up north in the suburbs. The unusually mild winter will not have an impact on the spring, other than a few more showers, meteorologists said. "Severe weather is so localized, it can occur anytime," said meteorologist Jim Allsopp, who added that a tornado touched down in northern Illinois in January 2008. Full story.

 

Speaking of warm weather

This winter might be nicest in recorded history, based on three factors. Only six winters in the history of Chicago weather record-keeping have had less snow and only three had a higher average temperature from Dec. 1 through the end of February. This winter is also one of four since 1928 that have not seen the thermometer dip below zero degrees Fahrenheit. "It's certainly in the top 10," said Jim Angel, the state's climatologist. "Maybe it is the best if that's the criteria you're using." Full story.

Lawsuit claims woman was drugged, raped at Lisle hotel

A Virginia woman claims a bartender at a Lisle hotel drugged her drink and later sneaked into her room and sexually assaulted her, according to a federal lawsuit filed yesterday. The suit alleges two clerks at the Lisle-Naperville Hilton's front desk gave the bartender a key to the woman's room, where she was passed out. The woman's lawyer said she was in town for a wedding and having lunch and a drink at the hotel bar when she was drugged. The hotel's manager denies the allegations but said the bartender no longer works at the hotel. Full story.

Grayslake school consultant's contract under question

Grayslake Elementary District 46 school board officials last night called a $75,000 consulting contract inked last year "sloppy," because some board members voted in favor thinking it was a one-year contract. Former board member Michael Linder signed a two-year contract worth $75,000 a year, and school board members are arguing it is voidable because of the irregularity with which it was agreed upon. Officials will vote on whether to void to contract on March 7. Full story.

Police track Crystal Lake Menards burglar with shoe prints, Craigslist

Shoe prints, a Craigslist ad and a storage unit next door to a Crystal Lake Menards led police to charge an employee with not only theft from the store but with stealing a pickup truck from a McHenry car dealership. Police searched a storage locker that Wallace A. Henshall of Round Lake had rented next to the Menards and found the stolen tools and the pickup, which was stripped down to the chassis, they said yesterday. Henshall, 47, was also charged with stealing from a Fox Lake Menards. Full story.

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State bill would get abandoned homes back on market

Abandoned homes that dot some suburban neighborhoods because of foreclosure could be put up for sale sooner under a new proposal in the state legislature. The plan would streamline how foreclosures are handled in court to let banks take control of abandoned houses more quickly. Full story.

Barrington man found out he was black when mom gave him up

Born into an all-white family, Mark Cannon found out his real racial roots when his mother drove him to a parking lot and gave him away to the black father he had never met. Raised as a black child, the Barrington businessman says he now understands how that could have happened. "I know from where I came. ... I'm comfortable in my skin," Cannon says.Full story.

Taxes due today in Cook County>h3>

The first installment of the 2011 Cook County property tax bills are due Thursday, March 1, and can be paid in a variety of ways. Cook County Treasurer Maria Pappas recommends paying at cookcountytreasurer.com, but the bills also can be paid at any of the 400 Chicago-area Chase Bank locations, from an account at another 200 participating community banks (see cookcountytreasurer.com for a list), or at the Cook County treasurer's office, 118 N. Clark St., Chicago. Full story.

Oak Brook District 53, teachers agree to 3-year contract

Teachers and Oak Brook's Butler Elementary District 53 school board have agreed on a three-year contract expected to give teachers 2.3 percent raises in the first year, 2.8 percent in the second and 3.3 percent in the third. The pact is expected to be finalized this month after more than a year of talks. The teachers had been seeking higher salary increases. "We told them we were at our top salary level and we were not going to go up any further unless they provided offsetting costs," said school board President Alan Hanzlik. Full story.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Aurora woman, 3 children sill missing

It's been two weeks since an Aurora woman and her three children went missing, and police have not found any sign of them, they said yesterday. Laureth "Laurie" May, 29, left her home Feb. 15 with her three sons aged 4, 2 and 1, without her cellphone. Police continue to search May's computer for clues. Full story.

Weather

Plenty of sunshine today, but not as warm as it was yesterday. The temperature right now is about 37 degrees, but it's expected to climb to 44 degrees before the day is over. Also, heavy cloud cover will slowly move away as the day goes on before a possible rain shower moves in tonight. Full weather.

Traffic

Only two small incidents to report early this morning. A car is in a ditch near the eastbound lanes of I-94 at Old Orchard Road outside Skokie, while signal lights are flashing at Elston and Cicero Avenue near Chicago. People should avoid a long-term construction project at Lake Street and McLean Blvd. in Elgin. Full traffic.

Crawford pulled again, Emery strong in Hawks 5-4 victory

Blackhawks coach Joel Quenneville pulled goalie Corey Crawford after the first period after he let in 3 goals on 10 shots, but Ray Emery fended off 23 of the next 24 to hold onto a 5-4 victory over the Toronto Maple Leafs. "You look back over the year, you get some goalie wins," Quenneville said. "I thought he was instrumental in us winning tonight." Hawks stars Patrick Kane, who had a goal and an assist, and Marian Hossa, who had two goals, led the team back from the early 1-3 deficit. Crawford has been pulled in his past two starts. Full story.

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