Thumbs-up: To the effort to restore a prominent local monument. Members of the Sons of the Union Veterans of the Civil War are hoping to raise $10,000 to repair the Civil War monument in front of the courthouse in downtown Sycamore. The monument featuring three soldiers is missing a sword and a musket, both of which disappeared years ago. Any money remaining after the repairs will be used to restore Civil War veteran grave markers throughout the county. To help the cause, send a check, payable to the Civil War Monument Restoration Fund, to the DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Ave., Sycamore, IL 60178.
Thumbs-down: To memorials for cop killers. Some residents of Jersey City, New Jersey, this week created a sidewalk memorial for Lawrence Campbell, a man who ambushed police officer Melvin Santiago, killing the officer. Other police later opened fire and killed Campbell. Friends of Campbell wrote messages including “rest easy” and “thug in peace.” City officials have reacted with anger and disgust to Campbell’s neighborhood memorializing him, and we share their revulsion.
Thumbs-up: To seizing drug dealers’ assets. The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Department has reported a tremendous increase in the funds it has raised from the seizure and sale of assets such as vehicles and cash linked to drug activity. In 2013, the department raised more than $50,000, compared with about $8,300 in 2010. The increase is due in part to a new agreement between the department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration. Taking criminals’ property and using it to make police more effective is a positive, and we’re pleased Sheriff Roger Scott’s department is seeing increased revenue from drug-related seizures.
Thumbs-up: To the 4-H members who participated in this week’s General Project Show. About 150 youths ages 7 to 18 participated in the two-day show and had more than 170 different project areas from which to choose, including aerospace, visual arts, woodworking and animal science. The winners will represent DeKalb County in the 4-H portion of the Illinois State Fair, but more importantly, the show provided a chance for children and teens to explore new interests and challenge themselves. Congratulations to all the participants.