Thumbs-up: To one of the first signs of spring in DeKalb County. Ollie’s Frozen Custard in Sycamore opened for the season Wednesday. And what a day for it. Unseasonably mild temperatures led to lines around the building for much of the day. We welcome their return.
Thumbs-up: To Aleah Leman and the DeKalb-Sycamore co-op gymnastics team. Leman won two state titles – one in vault and the other on the bars – last weekend at the IHSA state gymnastics meet. The team finished second behind Prairie Ridge for the second year in a row. It wasn’t the state title that coach Andy Morreale and his team thought they had a good chance of winning, but it was another second-place showing for a team that is losing only two seniors. “I’m very proud of them,” Leman said of the team. “We get to take home a second big trophy and go home and celebrate, and I get to enjoy the last few hours with them as a team.” We’re proud of them too.
Thumbs-down: To AFSCME workers’ decision to authorize a strike. The union that represents 38,000 state workers wants pay increases and other benefits that would cost Illinois taxpayers another $3 billion over the life of the four-year contract. State pensions are underfunded by almost $130 billion and there’s a backlog of unpaid bills totaling more than $11 billion. Taxpayers simply cannot afford it.
Thumbs-up: To employers coming to DeKalb County. On Thursday, more than 200 employers came to the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center looking to connect with recent and soon-to-be grads looking to join the workforce. Not far away, 15 more employers set up at DeKalb County’s Community Outreach Building at a community job fair. The success of Northern Illinois University and of our community depends on job success. We hope many good connections were made that will lead to gainful employment.
Thumbs-up: To the end of a lawsuit. The city of Genoa announced this week it would pay $25,000 to the Regional Transit Authority – with its insurer paying another $250,000 – to settle a lawsuit filed by the Regional Transit Authority claiming that the city and oil and fuel distributor PetroLiance had conspired to deprive it of sales tax revenue using a sham sales office in the city. Genoa officials did not admit any wrongdoing, but it clearly was worth the money to make the legal problem go away, and for Genoa to hold on to its top sales-tax source. The settlement of the lawsuit removes some of the uncertainty that had led the city to keep revenue from its sales tax agreement with PetroLiance in an escrow account, and now everyone can move on.