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Prairie Ridge Football State Champions Commemorative Book

Wyss: Economic uptick good, but bears price

When a headline reads, “Higher prices at pump a welcome sign,” you know things have been financially askew, right?

We are supposed to be comforted by the idea that rising gas prices might hint at economic revival. Higher gas prices mean higher demand, and that – in economist speak – is good news.

Hmmm, tell it to my wallet.

And tell it to the folks who live near the Central Wastewater Treatment Plant in McHenry.

Most of us remember the local building boom of the 1980s, ’90s and even the earlier part of this decade, and the economic engine that it fueled. The boom was with us for so long, many of us thought it would never end.

But the economy tanked, and development flat-lined, shelving capital projects such as the one in McHenry that was supposed to expand the South Wastewater Treatment Plant and position the city to dismantle the old central plant.

Instead of moving forward with that plan, the city will keep the old plant running for an additional 10 years.

That’s not great news for people who bought Riverwalk Place town homes, or who live or play anywhere in that vicinity, for that matter. City officials said finances forced their hand, and it’s tough to argue. Here’s hoping there’s a way to address the odor factor in the upgrades.

• • •

Every place has its challenges. And although McHenry might not be immune, it also has plenty of which to boast. This weekend, a local legend will be remembered during the inaugural Gary Adams Memorial Golf Tournament at McHenry Country Club.

Adams, the son of Vale and Marge Adams of McHenry, founded TaylorMade Golf Co. in 1979 and is credited with bringing all-metal woods to prominence.

Dr. Scott Spengel, McHenry Country Club president, said Adams’ imprint on the game is indelible.

“The all-metal wood was not used at all until he [developed] the concept,“ Spengel said. “By the mid-1980s and certainly by 1990, everyone was using them.”

Adams died of cancer in 2000. The inaugural tournament is Sunday and will feature product demos, dedication of a carving of Adams, and a presentation of a new DVD TaylorMade produced in celebration of its 30th anniversary.

• • •

Speaking of lasting legacies, the civic contributions of Bob Mortell were top of mind at the Kiwanis Top Scholar dinner at McHenry Middle School this week.

The event Mortell started in 1968 to honor academically achieving eighth-graders throughout the town henceforth shall be known as the Robert J. Mortell Top Scholar Dinner.

It’s hard to believe we’ve been missing Mortell’s wit for nearly a year.

Congratulations to the family for this Kiwanis honor, and of course, congratulations to the eighth-graders who made the cut this year. Well done.

• Cyndi Wyss is a Northwest Herald community editor. She can be reached at 815-526-4534 or

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