Thumbs up: To Fatty’s Pub and Grille in DeKalb for being awarded DeKalb Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 Business of the Year. The award was presented at the annual chamber dinner Thursday. Jeff Dobie opened Fatty’s in 1998 and has since grown the business to include off-site catering and employ more than 50 people. He also was recognized for the charitable work he and his employees do in the community, including Huskies for Hope, a fundraiser that has raised more than $30,000 for special education in DeKalb and Sycamore schools. Congratulations.
Thumbs up: To silly mustaches. Students at Tyler Elementary School in DeKalb had a light-hearted fundraiser in which the children paid 75 cents each for stick-on mustaches. The proceeds helped purchase 21 pairs of gym shoes for students in need to use in gym class. What a fun, creative way to teach students about helping others.
Thumbs down: To the continuing scourge of shootings on college campuses. On Tuesday, an engineering student at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., shot and killed teaching assistant Andrew Boldt, a 21-year-old senior at the school. Then on Friday afternoon, a student at South Carolina State University was shot at a residence hall on that school’s campus in Orangeburg, S.C. Unfortunately, many people in DeKalb know first-hand about the traumatic effects of violence on campus. Our hearts go out to those affected, and we hope not to report more of these stories in the future. That does not appear to be in line with the trend, however.
Thumbs up: To making animal rescue more efficient. Shelters in some parts of the country have more dogs, cats or puppies than they can handle, while others can’t keep up with local demand for a particular kind of pet. The ASPCA has launched a national database that allows shelters to see, contact and form partnerships with one another, making it easier to move pets from overcrowded shelters to those where they are more likely to be adopted.
Thumbs down: To ever-escalating college tuition costs. The board of trustees at the University of Illinois voted Thursday to increase tuition for next year’s students by 1.7 percent. The increase in tuition and housing fees means that for many students, the cost of four years at the state’s flagship university will top $100,000. No doubt much of that money will be paid via loans, which the future alums of the school will spend years trying to repay.