Chicago Sun-Times Latest news from the Chicago Sun-Times Online en-us (Editor) Newspapers Chicago Sun-Times 84 34 30 Copyright 2014 <![CDATA[ All Blacks’ No. 1 priority in rugby match is to put on good show ]]> Lead story image

The New Zealand All Blacks team that will play Saturday at Soldier Field will feature far from its strongest lineup. Perhaps with an eye toward upcoming matches against rivals England, Scotland and Wales, the All Blacks will be without captain Richie McCaw and will field a team with maybe four of 15 usual starters. Still, the All Blacks are fully aware of the importance of the match against the USA Eagles. The game doesn’t figure to challenge them much, but it’s a pivotal moment for rugby if it hopes to break into the U.S. sports scene. ‘‘A major part of … ]]> Thu, 30 Oct 2014 22:07:02 -0500 <![CDATA[ New Zealand All Blacks are to rugby what U.S. is to basketball ]]> Lead story image

Just how big an underdog are the USA Eagles against the New Zealand All Blacks in the rugby match Saturday at Soldier Field? It would be like the teams squaring off in basketball, only in reverse. The All Blacks are the top-ranked rugby team in the world, and the Eagles are 18th. The United States is No. 1 in the FIBA rankings, and New Zealand is 21st. ‘‘It would be something like that, although we went all right this year when we played you guys at the World Cup,’’ All Blacks midfielder Conrad Smith said, referring to New Zealand’s 98-71 … ]]> Wed, 29 Oct 2014 22:43:15 -0500 <![CDATA[ Rugby match at Soldier Field rare chance to see world-famous All Blacks ]]> Lead story image

The Chicago sports calendar is pretty packed this week. Even though the Bears are on a bye, they won’t leave the fans’ collective consciousness. The Blackhawks and Bulls are at the start of highly anticipated seasons, and college football is getting close to the business end of its year. Why, then, should non-rugby people take time to watch the match between the New Zealand All Blacks and the USA Eagles on Saturday at Soldier Field? The All Blacks are famous in rugby countries, but they’re not exactly household names here. ‘‘The American people love their sport, and [rugby] is a … ]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 23:27:05 -0500 <![CDATA[ Drumming up some big fish ]]> Lead story image

The drumbeat keeps going. Ryan Whitacre caught another big freshwater drum from southern Lake Michigan in a year notable for big ‘‘sheephead,’’ as they commonly are called by Chicago fishermen. Whitacre was shore-fishing for smallmouth bass at Monroe Harbor with one of his Tightrope jigs, a Baby Firework Super Jig in green pumpkin with a craw trailer. ‘‘Honestly, I throw it 90 percent of the time I am fishing smallies down there and everywhere,’’ Whitacre said. Though he’s an accomplished tournament fisherman, Whitacre is interesting for more than fishing. He’s a drummer, a skateboarder and part of Cast Crew, the … ]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:55:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ 10/29: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT AREA LAKES: Colder weather should kick in crappie. Otherwise, it’s the third weekend of trout. Nearby sites include Axehead, Busse North Pool, Belleau, Green, Horsetail and Wolf (Cook County); Grove, Pickerel and Silver (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park (Kendall); Banana and Sand at Illinois Beach State Park (Lake); Spring Grove Hatchery Pond (McHenry); and Lake Strini and Van Horn Woods (Will). AREA RIVERS: DES PLAINES: Ken ‘‘Husker’’ O’Malley, Water Werks Fishing Team: Dirty on lower end. Smaller bass along riprap and points. FOX: Johnny ‘‘Sunshine’’ Pajak: Evening bite turned on … ]]> Tue, 28 Oct 2014 22:55:06 -0500 <![CDATA[ Jacob Hofer, 20, develops cottage industry using family ties, hunting background ]]> Lead story image

A lot of us pissed away our college years. Jacob Hofer gives it a whole other ­meaning. “Last year I was in the dorm and didn’t get to deer hunt as often as I like,’’ said Hofer, a sophomore at Ashford University who just turned 20. An idea was born for Common Scents Deer Urine. It’s not as odd as it seems. His family has raised deer near Downstate Henry since he was a baby. Hofer started the company in collaboration with his dad, Gary. Hunters use the urine to attract deer, especially around the rut. What separates their deer … ]]> Sun, 26 Oct 2014 02:36:24 -0500 <![CDATA[ Geese is the word on opening day ]]> Lead story image

I sliced goose hearts thin, quartered mushrooms and chopped onion fine. Fried in butter, it made a wonderful sauce to ladle over noodles. Hunting is born and dies in the flesh, the physical. Waterfowl seasons began Saturday in Illinois’ north zone. Ducks were so-so, as usual early; but goose hunting was good, as befits northeast Illinois, the mecca of modern goose hunting. As has been custom, I began with Jeff Norris of Fox Valley Guide Service. There’s comfort in camouflaged men waiting for Harner’s Bakery and Restaurant in North Aurora to open at 5:30 a.m., then the men scarfing down … ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:12:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ 10/22: Midwest Fishing Report & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

TROUT: Wax worms, small minnows, spinners, trout baits all worked on opening weekend. Daily bag is five; 16 and older need a license and inland trout stamp. Nearby sites include Axehead, Busse North Pool, Belleau, Green, Horsetail and Wolf (Cook County); Grove, Pickerel and Silver (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs SP (Kendall); Banana and Sand at Illinois Beach SP (Lake); Spring Grove Hatchery Pond (McHenry); Lake Strini and Van Horn Woods (Will). AREA RIVERS: DES PLAINES: Marcus Benesch: Bass going around Romeoville; pike good in northern areas on large minnow lures. FOX: Ken Gortowski: Focus … ]]> Tue, 21 Oct 2014 21:12:14 -0500 <![CDATA[ An inside look at a Fishing Advisory Committee meeting ]]> Lead story image

Morning light streamed off Lake Michigan from the east and into the community room at 31st Street Harbor. At 10 a.m., Tom Gray called the Mayor Rahm Emanuel Fishing Advisory Committee to order. The veteran of the Mayor’s Office of Special Events guides the sometimes-raucous meetings with wit and a firm hand. By the end of the meeting, 16 people packed the square of tables. Thursday was typical. Talk ranged from fishing-program updates to salmon to parking to pier passes. The committee, which has had different names, formed in the mid-1990s because then-Mayor Richard M. Daley needed to respond to … ]]> Sun, 19 Oct 2014 02:35:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Attention, hunters: Waterfowl seasons open Saturday ]]> Lead story image

There’s no mystery that a pile of Canada geese are in and around Will County, especially that area loosely called Plainfield, which includes several southwest suburbs. That’s good news with Illinois’ waterfowl seasons opening Saturday in the north zone. And the youth hunt in the central zone will be held this weekend. Several nearby public sites, including Braidwood/Mazonia State Fish and Wildlife Area, Kankakee River State Park and Momence Wetlands, are open for the youth hunt. District wildlife biologist Bob Massey said the recent rains made the major rivers fast, which concentrated geese even more on slack waters of the … ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:56:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ 10/15: Midwest Fishing Report, Buck of the Week & Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

MIDWEST FISHING REPORT TROUT: Illinois’ fall inland season opens Saturday. The daily bag is five. Those 16 and older need a license and inland-trout stamp. Nearby sites are Axehead, Busse North Pool, Belleau, Green, Horsetail and Wolf (Cook County); Grove, Pickerel and Silver (DuPage); Bird Park Quarry (Kankakee); Big Lake at Silver Springs State Park (Kendall); Banana and Sand at Illinois Beach State Park (Lake); Spring Grove Hatchery Pond (McHenry); and Lake Strini and Van Horn Woods (Will). AREA RIVERS: FOX: Ken Gortowski: Air/water conditions perfect. Smallmouth holding in classic fall spots: lifts and slack side of eddies. Rains might … ]]> Tue, 14 Oct 2014 20:56:52 -0500 <![CDATA[ Illegal ginseng harvesters are seeing green ]]> Lead story image

Ginseng is hot. And I mean more than the magical tea. With the dried root pushing $1,000 a pound, you can understand the spike in arrests in northern Illinois for illegal harvest. It’s the money. It’s also the medicinal value. Or that perception. White ginseng is not threatened or endangered in Illinois. Tom Lerczak, natural areas preservation specialist with the Illinois Nature Preserves Commission, said if it occurs at a site, ‘‘we generally do not mention that.’’ That’s to avoid the possibility of nefarious digging around on nature preserves because of the perception that ginseng has ‘‘legendary properties for health … ]]> Sun, 12 Oct 2014 02:38:12 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon: World records unlikely to fall Sunday ]]> Lead story image

Thirty years ago, Steve Jones set the first of four world records established in the Chicago Marathon. Don’t expect the fifth Sunday in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, but a course record might be within reach. Henry Kozlowski, one of the Gang of Eight who ran the first 36 Chicago Marathons, offered this perspective on the chance of a course record: ‘‘As long as it is 45 to 50 degrees and as long as it is not raining or wet.’’ With a couple of days to go, it looks good. The forecast calls for almost exactly those conditions for … ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 21:49:33 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon: David Mann steps up for the homeless ]]> Lead story image

David Mann will run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Sunday, but he won’t be targeting his personal-best time. For good reason. Mann will be running 10 miles Friday to raise money for Back on My Feet as part of the Timex ONE Relay. He readily admits that if his goal was to set a ­personal best, which he established at just under four hours in one of his previous five Chicago Marathons, he wouldn’t be running 10 miles less than two days  before the marathon. ‘‘I am not super-speedy, but I get it done,’’ said Mann, a software … ]]> Thu, 09 Oct 2014 02:28:44 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon: Barbara Elia, 70, returns to Chicago after 25-year absence ]]> Lead story image

Barbara Elia last ran the Chicago Marathon a quarter- century ago. ‘‘We finished in Grant Park back then,’’ she said in an email interview. But in the years since, Elia, 70, an adjunct professor teaching physical education at Modesto (California) Junior College, has piled up an impressive running career. On Sunday, she will run her 106th marathon. It will be her seventh in Chicago, but her first here since 1989. ‘‘My time will probably be twice as slow, but I’m in it for the finish,’’ she said. ‘‘My best time in Chicago was 3:16, at age 36. It was the … ]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 23:47:11 -0500 <![CDATA[ Lakefront fishing full of surprises ]]> Lead story image

Jeff Rehus was casting a Moonshine spoon for Chinook on the Chicago lakefront when he caught a surprise. Surprises are one of the great bonuses of shoreline fishing for kings on southern Lake Michigan. Rehus, who lives in Orland Park, caught a truly big surprise Sept. 8. It was a freshwater drum so hefty that he wondered: ‘‘We didn’t have a scale, but what do you think? Close to  30 [pounds]? We could barely land it with a 24-by-28 salmon net.’’ I think 30 pounds might be a reach, but it’s the biggest drum I’ve seen in a good year … ]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 20:41:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ 10/08: Midwest Fishing Report 10/08: Fish of the Week ]]> Lead story image

Midwest fishing report SHORELINE SALMON/TROUT: Better reports come from the tributaries in Indiana, where Trail and Deep River have Chinook and steelhead in. In Wisconsin, DNR reported better Chinook and browns in Racine but fair or slow fishing in Kenosha. In Michigan, Tackle Haven reported a mixed bag at Berrien Springs and some good numbers all the way to South Bend, Indiana. Along the shorelines and harbors, weather has limited what has been a poor or fair run at best. There are a few here and there in Chicago and at Indiana’s Hole in the Wall and a few browns, … ]]> Tue, 07 Oct 2014 20:41:47 -0500 <![CDATA[ Chicago Marathon: 2 local female runners have different approaches to preparation ]]> Lead story image

For Rebekah Noven, running and training alone is a necessity and a personal choice. Vicky Maisey knows both sides of training alone or in a group. “I am the mother of two little people. I do not have the luxury of being there at set [training] times,’’ Noven said Sunday, a week before the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. She and her husband, who live in Lincoln Square, have a 5-year-old daughter and a son of 3. Life dictates when she can run: the wee hours on weekends, when grandparents are kid-sitting or when both children are in school. “I … ]]> Sun, 05 Oct 2014 23:29:14 -0500