Thumbs up: To remaining vigilant against drunken driving. DeKalb police increased their drunken driving arrests by 44 percent, from 168 in 2011 to 242 in 2012. That’s the biggest percentage increase among the top police agencies that responded to the Alliance Against Intoxicated Motorists’ annual survey. The annual survey also considers the number of DUI arrests per officer in the departments. Locally, DeKalb averaged 4.03 arrests per officer, while DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office had 3.21, Sycamore had 1.3, Cortland had 1.27, and Genoa had 1. Drunken driving can be so destructive, as well as a symptom of other problems, and we applaud DeKalb officers for stepping up their enforcement.
Thumbs down: To weather extremes. After the worst drought in decades gripped the area last year, this year we’ve gone in completely the opposite direction. After a spring season that was one of the rainiest in decades, storms in the past week have brought a few more inches of rain to the area and downed trees and power lines as well. The daily installment of rain Friday afternoon seemed to be coming down sideways at one point in DeKalb. Although we could have used some of this rain last year, it would be nice to see blue skies for a week or so.
Thumbs up: To Kane County Judge James Hallock, who refused to lower the amount of bail that Benjamin Black of Sycamore must post to be released from jail from $25,000 to $5,000. Black, 28, is accused of aggravated driving under the influence in connection with a Feb. 27 crash in which 11-year-old Matthew Ranken of Sycamore was killed and 18-year-old Teale Noble, of Sycamore, was seriously injured. Black, whose vehicle rear-ended the one that Ranken and Noble were in, was found to have heroin in his system after the crash. The loss the community experienced as a result of the crash has been tremendous, and Black should have to pay a dear price if he wants to walk free before his trial.
Thumbs down: To a long summer of baseball. With the Blackhawks’ championship parade having come and gone Friday, fans of Chicago’s pro sports teams are left with nothing but the Cubs and White Sox for weeks. Both teams are having tough seasons, with the Cubs in second-to-last place in the NL Central and the White Sox dead last in the AL Central. But take heart: Northern Illinois football season opens Aug. 31 at Iowa; the Bears opener is Sept. 8 against Cincinnati at Soldier Field.
Thumbs up: To the scouts and leaders of Boy Scout Troop 33. Over the decades, members of Troop 33 have traveled all over the country offering aid to places hit by such disasters as tornadoes and hurricanes. The boys bring much-needed supplies and offer labor to clean up and supply distribution efforts. The troop is at it again, readying for a trip to the tornado-ravaged region around Moore, Okla. for a six-day trip.
Thumbs up: To Kishwaukee College’s very own “Jeopardy!” champion Tim Anderson, who won three games on the popular show, and walked away with $58,000. Anderson appeared in four episodes that aired earlier this month. A teacher in the modern languages department at Kish College, Anderson described himself as a lifelong fan of the show. “If there was someone who should go play ‘Jeopardy!,’ it was Tim,” his sister Lisa Stich said. Congratulations, Mr. Anderson.