| Feb 15, 2011
Q: Vanilla versus French vanilla. Explain, please!
—Tracey Thomas, San Francisco
A: Vanilla bean varieties are often named for where they're grown, like Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico. That's not the case with French vanilla. The name refers not to...
| Sep 18, 2010
From a plane, it would be easy to think one of the nation's dirtiest power plants is within the Chicago city limits.
But the aging State Line Power Station, a major contributor to the city's chronically dirty air, sits just a few hundred feet over the...
| Feb 9, 2011
Last year, Debra Wells got a wake-up call in the form of congestive heart failure.
At 44, the Waukegan resident's weight had crept up to more than 400 pounds. After spending weeks in intensive care, then being sent home with an oxygen tank, Wells said to...
| Sep 29, 2011
Drops of blood found at the murder scene didn't match the suspect or victim in the beating death of a respected 71-year-old Waukegan appliance store owner, but the jury was told that didn't clear the alleged killer, James Edwards.
| Nov 18, 2011
After deciding it isn't worth cleaning up one of the nation's dirtiest power plants, the owners of an aging coal-burner along the southwestern shore of Lake Michigan are shutting it down sooner than expected.
In its latest financial documents, Virginia-...
| Jan 22, 2012
Fed by a steady stream of coal barges, the aging power plants that loom over Chicago's Little Village and Pilsen neighborhoods are by far the city's largest industrial sources of climate change pollution.
No other polluter comes close to the 4.2...
| Jan 13, 2012
Nearly everything Juan Rivera owns is new.
On Thursday, less than a week after his two decades in prison ended, he walked the floor of his newly rented two-bedroom apartment. He wore freshly bought running shoes, jogging pants and a polo shirt as he took...
| Oct 31, 2010
Will Orpet was guilty. That was clear to the newspapers as his trial began in the summer of 1916, and it appeared equally clear to the people of Lake County: It took 23 days and more than 1,200 interviews to find a dozen men who said they could view the...
| Dec 10, 2011
The Illinois Appellate Court has reversed the first-degree murder conviction of Juan Rivera Jr., who was found guilty in three jury trials of the 1992 murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker.
Rivera was convicted for the third time in 2009 despite DNA...
| Jan 7, 2012
Nearly 20 years after he was imprisoned, Juan Rivera walked out of Stateville Correctional Center and into a throng of jubilant family members Friday evening after he was exonerated in the murder of a Waukegan baby sitter.
His release came less than...
| Apr 6, 2012
Hoping to prevent bungled police probes and prosecutions like those that have plagued Illinois' legal system, state lawmakers mandated the creation of a class to certify officers as "lead homicide investigators."
But one of the teams being paid tax...
| Jan 7, 2012
| 12:28 AM
As Juan Rivera enjoyed newfound freedom this weekend after being cleared in the murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker, Waukegan police reopened the 20-year-old case that became the latest to unravel with the emergence of DNA evidence.