Thumbs up: To the Northern Illinois University students participating in the university’s Sophomore Days of Service. About 15 to 20 students helped Feed ’Em Soup on Sunday, and other volunteer opportunities included homeless shelter Hope Haven, Campus Child Care Center, the DeKalb Public Library, Barb Food Mart and Heritage Woods of DeKalb. In its second year, the program tries to help students who are developing their identities and career paths acquire leadership skills. What an excellent way to help these older students connect with the community beyond campus.
Thumbs down: To fiscal mismanagement. Members of Cortland’s town board concurred this week with a decision to remove town Treasurer Mark Davenport after Mayor Russ Stokes revealed that town bills had been neglected to the point that the town had received a shut-off notice from ComEd, had allowed some of its insurance coverage to lapse, had failed to make unemployment payments to the state and had not filed needed budget paperwork with DeKalb County authorities. Davenport drew a $49,000-a-year salary as treasurer. If the demands of the job were too much for him, he should have resigned. The town has hired a professional accounting firm to handle its budget and bill payments, and although town officials said there are no longer any outstanding bills, the episode remains a disappointment.
Thumbs up: To success for local girls on the hardwood. On Thursday, the Indian Creek girls basketball team won the school’s first regional title since 1998 with a 51-31 victory against LaMoille. The girls from Hinckley-Big Rock continued the Royals’ tradition of postseason success by winning their eighth consecutive regional title with a 62-35 win against Harvest Christian Academy. And the DeKalb girls basketball team clinched a share of the program’s fourth consecutive Northern Illinois Big 12 East Division title with a 52-39 win against Kaneland. All three teams will have postseason games Tuesday, and we wish them, and all of our local teams, good luck.
Thumbs up: To retired DeKalb County Judge Kurt Klein, who dressed as Abraham Lincoln, complete with fake beard, to read to fourth-graders at South Prairie Elementary School on Tuesday in Sycamore. Klein read a book donated by the Illinois Judges Association that details Lincoln’s early life, his work as an attorney and his election as our nation’s 16th president. The class plans to visit Lincoln sites in Springfield later in the school year, so we imagine Klein’s presentation was a welcome prelude to lessons yet to come. Thanks for giving back to your community, Judge Klein.
Thumbs up: To NIU senior Kyle Krause, the first winner of the NIU School of Music Concerto Competition to win with his own composition. The competition’s purpose is to highlight musicians, and Krause, who is studying piano performance and composition, said his goal is to be a pianist, but his passion is writing new music. Success in pursuing one’s passion deserves a thumbs-up.
Thumbs up: To celebrating love, commitment and long-lasting marriage. DeKalb County Senior Service providers sponsored a “Celebration of Love” breakfast Thursday at St. Mary’s Memorial Hall in Sycamore. The event was attended by more than 60 couples married 50 years or longer who shared stories of how they met, their first dates and what makes a successful marriage. What a perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.