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Local Column

Our view: Thumbs-up for a safe 4th of July

Thumbs-up: To no fireworks-related injuries this holiday. It’s not as though no one got their hands on fireworks that are illegal in Illinois this year – we heard you – but at least local police reported that no one was hurt. In fact, it was a relatively calm period, with only a handful of ambulance calls and several fireworks complaints but nothing leading to citations or confiscations, police reported. That counts as a safe Fourth of July for us.

Thumbs-down: To severe weather at Fourth of July celebrations. Hot weather and the threat of rain kept the crowds down for DeKalb’s fireworks show, which proceeded to please spectators without incident. Other communities were not as lucky. Some postponed the show, while in at least two communities – Sheridan and Chicago – spectators were struck by lightning. In Rock Island, a massive branch fell off an oak tree during a fireworks show, killing two men.

Thumbs-down: To another nerve agent attack. In the United Kingdom, authorities said Wednesday that a man and woman in their 40s both had been hospitalized after being exposed to a nerve agent known as Novichok, which was developed by scientists in the former Soviet Union. British authorities have accused Russia of being behind a previous attack on a former Russian spy and his daughter living in the country, and the Russians deny any involvement. The whole story is reminiscent of the Cold War, with spies and nefarious assassination methods in play, and the Russians denying any knowledge or involvement.

Thumbs-up: To new leaders at Cornerstone Christian Academy. New administrator Stacie O’Daniell is the wife of Genoa-Kingston School District 424 Superintendent Brent O’Daniell; Andrew Duininck, the new principal at Cornerstone, moved here from San Antonio, Texas. Although the student community at private Cornerstone may not be as large as most public school systems, theirs is still an important job and many area families are counting on them to move the parochial K-12 school in the right direction. Good luck to both.

Thumbs-up: To incentivizing local business investment. On the heels of Sycamore School District 427 announcing it would offer property tax rebates in the DeKalb County enterprise zone, economic development officials noted how successful the area already has been. Paul Borek, executive director of the DeKalb County Economic Development Corp., said this week that companies in the enterprise zone have invested $67 million in new construction, renovation and rehab since the zone was certified in 2016. The zone has helped to encourage 26 new projects in DeKalb County. Encouraging business investment in the area is critical to the long-term health of our economy and we hope the trend only accelerates.

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