Thumbs up: To the six people who graduated June 8 after completing all five phases of the DeKalb County Drug and DUI Court program. The DeKalb County Drug Court: Choosing Life and Ending Abuse Now program, a voluntary effort started in 2006, requires participants to complete treatment, appear in court, undergo drug testing and more. Participants receive treatment and rehabilitation in a five-phase program. Participants who don’t complete phases face sanctions, including community service or having to redo phases. In extreme cases, a participant may face jail time or be kicked out of drug court. DeKalb County Presiding Judge Robbin Stuckert said the event is a commencement ceremony because the graduates’ new lives were about to begin. Drug court is a challenging program that turns out productive citizens who may have otherwise ended up in prison. Well done.
Thumbs up: To the Rural Health Careers Camp. This year’s camp hosted 42 high school students who live in rural areas in Illinois to expose them to a variety of health care fields. The idea is to address the shortage of health care providers in rural areas by encouraging students from those areas to enter health care fields, then return home to practice. It also offers information and encouragement to students who have had few opportunities to explore their fields of interest because of a lack of local role models or funding in rural school districts.
Thumbs up: To the city of Genoa and Genoa-Kingston School District 424 for working to settle a lawsuit out of court. The city sued the school district, alleging the school district failed to finish work to a storm water detention project that was agreed upon by both parties. The suit also alleges district officials threatened city workers with criminal trespassing charges if they attempted work on an easement the city asserts is within its jurisdiction. Officials for both the city and district say they are moving toward an out-of-court agreement, and they have met several times to discuss the lawsuit. Keeping this out of court is best for the taxpayers, and we hope these meetings continue and a resolution is reached soon.
Thumbs up: To more collaboration between the city of DeKalb and Northern Illinois University. Forty planters were placed throughout DeKalb and campus Tuesday morning as part of an initiative spearheaded by the Citizens’ Community Enhancement Commission to beautify the area. The planters feature a shrub surrounded by colorful flowers. Logos from NIU, the city and Proven Winners, which provided the plants and soil, are displayed on each container. While they may seem small, they brighten up our area.