Thumbs up to a local grocery store for Genoa again. Six months after the city lost both its supermarket and its Mexican grocery – the only two grocery stores it had – Piggly Wiggly announced it will open in the former Brown’s County Market building. A grocery store is a big deal for a small city – in addition to offering residents convenience, it brings jobs and sales tax revenue. Piggly Wiggly says it is bringing 70 jobs when it opens in May, and it is not receiving any of the tax breaks Brown’s received when it first opened in Genoa.
Thumbs up: To the Northern Illinois University students who helped fill sandbags for DeKalb residents Thursday. More than 50 students gathered at the city’s water department and filled more than 500 sandbags in about four hours as water levels on the Kishwaukee River continued to rise. It’s great to see students from multiple organizations converging to help their neighbors.
Thumbs down: To irresponsible, needless pollution of our environment. Last week, it appears someone dumped oil into a retention pond in County Farm Woods, behind the Michael’s and Target stores in DeKalb. Pattie Nyquist of DeKalb found the oil slick. She rescued an oil-covered bird and called authorities. The DeKalb Fire Department cleaned up the site, about an eight-foot part of the pond and part of its bank. Nyquist should be congratulated for her concern and to helping the wildlife, but the fact remains that dumping the oil damaged the environment and cost the city – and by extension, taxpayers – time and money to cleanup. There are many area locations that will accept used oil.
Thumbs down: To the Illinois House of Representatives for its failure Thursday to pass a concealed carry law to permit the possession of a weapon in public. A proposal that failed would have created a method to allow qualified gun owners to carry weapons. It received 64 “yes” votes and 45 “no” votes, but needed 71 “yes” votes. Although concealed carry makes some people uneasy, a federal court ruling has given the state until June 9 to come up with a system for allowing it. If lawmakers do not find a way by then, all gun owners will be able to carry concealed weapons with no permitting system. Illinois remains the only state in the U.S. that does not allow concealed carry.
Thumbs up: To Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb County, an organization that is small, but mighty. Although the board is at its minimum number of members and the group just completed a rehabilitation project a few months ago, the organization is ready to start building a home in DeKalb for a single mother of two. The group also has two more lots and is looking for families to place in those potential homes. To get involved in this worthy cause as a volunteer or as a potential homeowner, visit www.hfhdcillinois.org.