Thumbs-up: To the heroic actions of quick-thinking neighbors. When Betty Hink’s Malta home caught fire last week, several neighbors tried to rescue her from an upstairs bedroom. When they found the doors blocked by heat and smoke, they broke a window and pulled out an air-conditioning unit in an effort to reach her. The Malta Fire Department, summoned by a neighbor who called 911 when she smelled smoke, rescued the 92-year-old woman and two dogs from the home. The actions of all the neighbors deserve acclaim, but it is worth noting that the safest act of heroism also wasthe most effective – calling 911.
Thumbs-down: To disappearing Monarch butterflies. The distinctively colored butterflies – which are Illinois’ state butterfly – appear here from May to September as they make an epic migration from the upper Midwest to Mexico, where they spend winters. But the milkweed plants the insects need to lay their eggs are disappearing, and as a result, the population has declined by 97 percent from its peak 20 years ago. Some locals are trying to help preserve the Monarchs by keeping milkweed plants near their homes and raising their own caterpillars. We would hate to see the end of these insects and their amazing life story.
Thumbs-up: To a new museum coming to Chicago. It was announced this week that George Lucas, the creator of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, has chosen Chicago over San Francisco for his new museum. The museum includes movie memorabilia from the Star Wars and Indiana Jones films, as well as collections of Norman Rockwell and other art. It’s an exciting new cultural attraction to have just 60 miles from DeKalb County, one we’re sure many local people will visit in the years to come.
Thumbs- up: To raising money for a good cause. Bike MS: Tour de Farms raised more than $1.5 million for multiple sclerosis research and brought about 1,800 cyclists to DeKalb County last weekend. Routes varied from 15 to 125 miles, starting and ending at Northern Illinois University’s Convocation Center, but the event was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our county’s terrain. We congratulate this year’s participants and organizers and wish them luck on next year’s endeavor.
Thumbs-up: To Christian Senior Ministry for bringing spirituality and fellowship to people in local nursing homes. CSM began in 1999 and offers Christian nondenominational worship services at 15 nursing homes in DeKalb, Sycamore, Rochelle and Sandwich. Sharon Fisher, activity director at Bethany Health Care & Rehabilitation Center, said she can tell when the ministry has been there. “Christian Senior Ministry is such a presence here. They are a bright spot during a difficult time in our residents’ lives,” she said.