Thumbs-up: To a hall of fame nod for a local coach. Chauncey Carrick, the athletic director at Sycamore High School, will be inducted into the Illinois Wrestling Coaches and Officials Association Hall of Fame on Saturday in recognition of his contributions and success as the Spartans’ head wrestling coach for 13 years.
In 2010, he was the association’s coach of the year after leading the Spartans to the dual state tournament for the first time in team history. Carrick said he tried to inspire his athletes and used some of the unfulfilled goals from his time as a student wrestler to help motivate others. Carrick went on to become athletic director in the 2010-11 school year and now makes important decisions for all of the school’s athletic programs. Congratulations on the recognition.
Thumbs-down: To false hope of finding a missing child. What seemed like it could be a story bordering on miraculous – that a boy who had been missing since 2011 had been found near Louisville, Kentucky – turned out to be a hoax this week. Timmothy Pitzen, who lived in Aurora, has been missing since 2011, when his mother took him out of kindergarten and later took her own life in a Rockford hotel room. She left behind a note saying the boy was safe with friends and “you will never find him.”
DNA testing by the FBI quickly determined that the man who claimed to be Pitzen was not. He turned out to be a 23-year-old with a troubled past named Brian Rini, originally from suburban Cleveland.
Rini has since been charged for making false statements. We’re sorry to see hopes raised among people who desperately yearn for the return of a missing loved one, but if there is a bright side, it’s that the hoax has brought renewed attention to a mystery that might one day be solved.
Thumbs-down: To an underwhelming start to baseball season. Both the Cubs and White Sox have stumbled out of the gate, with only a handful of wins between them so far. The Cubs in particular have gotten off to a disastrous start, with pitching and defense both letting the team down.
There are many games yet to play, but this certainly wasn’t the start we expected from a Cubs team that made “urgency” its theme for the 2019 season.
Thumbs-down: To less than 10% of voters taking part in Tuesday’s local consolidated elections. The 9.8% DeKalb County turnout, which could rise slightly as late-arriving mail-in ballots are counted, is down from the still-low 23% of registered voters who cast ballots in local elections in 2017, but better than the dismal 8% turnout in 2015.
Plenty of factors contribute to low voter turnout, from lack of contested races to lack of interest or understanding of local issues. But it is local officeholders whose decisions are crucial in how much we pay in property taxes and how those funds are spent. Casting a vote and making your voice heard on a local level is the best way to create change.