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updated: 1/2/2013 8:07 AM

Dawn Patrol: Villa Park woman, dog killed in fire; no fiscal cliff

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  • The Larkin High School pom squad, with Principal Jon Tuin, were at the Orange Bowl on Tuesday to see NIU play, but NIU couldn't handle Florida State.

    The Larkin High School pom squad, with Principal Jon Tuin, were at the Orange Bowl on Tuesday to see NIU play, but NIU couldn't handle Florida State.
    courtesy of Laura Newmeyer

By Tara Garcia Mathewson

House passes 'fiscal cliff' compromise

Past its own New Year's deadline, a weary Congress sent President Barack Obama legislation to avoid a national "fiscal cliff" of middle-class tax increases and spending cuts late last night in the culmination of a struggle that strained America's divided government to the limit. The bill's passage on a 257-167 vote in the House sealed a hard-won political triumph for the president less than two months after he secured re-election while calling for higher taxes on the wealthy. Full story.

Villa Park fire kills woman, dog

A Villa Park woman and her dog died Sunday in an apartment fire that is still under investigation, according to fire officials. The Villa Park Fire Department arrived just three minutes after an 11:16 a.m. call about a fire in a four-unit apartment complex in the 300 block of North Princeton Avenue. They found the woman, 58, unresponsive. Full story.

Elgin man facing felony drug charges

An Elgin man appeared in Kane County bond court Tuesday morning on felony charges of possession of cocaine and marijuana with intent to deliver. Carlos Islas, 21, faces 4 to 30 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge, possession of a controlled substance (cocaine) with intent to deliver. Full story.

Fire leaves Woodridge home uninhabitable

A fire at a Woodridge home yesterday was extinguished with no injuries to occupants or responders, officials said. Lisle-Woodridge Fire Protection District Battalion Chief Jeff Toepper said the call came in at 2:14 p.m., and crews arrived to see smoke -- but no flames -- coming from the home. The fire was out quickly, and firefighters remained on the scene for more than an hour to help with cleanup. Toepper said the woman who lives in the home was not there during the fire. Full story.

Northwestern wins first bowl game since 1949

Behind huge interceptions early and late, No. 21 Northwestern beat Mississippi State 34-20 in the Gator Bowl yesterday and snapped college football's longest postseason losing streak. The Wildcats (10-3) won their first bowl game since 1949, snapping a nine-game bowl losing streak that was tied for the longest in NCAA history. Coach Pat Fitzgerald's team also celebrated a double-digit-win season, at 10-3, for the first time since the 1995 Rose Bowl season. Full story.

NIU loses Orange Bowl to Florida State

Anxious to avoid an Orange Bowl shocker, the Florida State Seminoles kept getting tricked. An onside kick fooled them, as did a fake punt, and a pooch punt by Northern Illinois' star quarterback. But the final score was no surprise. Florida State had too much speed and depth for the Huskies and pulled away for a 31-10 victory last night. Full story.

Local fans celebrate Northwestern's win, bear with NIU's loss

Bob Baker of Cary was hoarse minutes after the Northwestern Wildcats notched their first bowl victory in 64 years, defeating the Mississippi State Bulldogs 34-20 in a seesaw game that was close until well into the fourth quarter. "Can you believe it? It's historic," he said over the crowd of purple-garbed fans, who stood and stomped in the end zone seats for several minutes after the final whistle. Full story.


Temperatures are expected to remain below the freezing mark today with a predicted high of 26 degrees. Expect cloudy conditions and temperatures in the mid-teens as you start your day, but winds could make it feel as cold as 6 degrees. Tonight's low is expected to be 21 degrees. Full story.


Rush hour is creating delays on Route 83, outbound I-90 and outbound 290 as drivers head back to work after the New Year's holiday. An accident in Elgin has closed eastbound Lake Street between Route 31 and McLean Boulevard, and an accident in Hanover Park at Irving Park and Barrington roads also is slowing traffic. Full story.

Breaking news

Aurora, Illinois' second-largest city, closed 2012 with zero murders, while Chicago's total topped 500. Media reports are saying a person was cut by a glass bottle during a robbery Monday at a Rolling Meadows liquor store. Details when police release more information.

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