The Northwest Herald Editorial Board offers this week’s thumbs up and thumbs down:
Thumbs up: To snow-plow crews from McHenry County, area townships, municipalities and even private snow-plow service providers. While there’s nothing perfect about snow removal, dozens of drivers did their best over a difficult two-week holiday period to keep roadways clear so others could enjoy their holidays. The heavy snows couldn’t have come at more inconvenient times, but many crews did their jobs regardless of the timing.
Thumbs up: To Crystal Lake South grad Tyler Simmons, who was honored on the field at halftime of Thursday night’s Sugar Bowl as part of the 2013 Allstate Good Works Team, a collection of athletes recognized for contributing to their communities. Simmons, a senior football player at Aurora University, helped organize a 5K run/walk to raise money and awareness for multiple sclerosis and coached in a youth flag football program. He also has volunteered with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, an organization that provides education, homes and jobs for mentally challenged adults and teens.
Thumbs up: To Chicago’s dropping crime rate. The city’s more than 500 homicides in 2012 made headlines across the country, not only locally. In 2013, the city saw 415 homicides, 88 fewer than in 2012 and 20 fewer than in 2011. It was the fewest the killings since 1965. Overall, Chicago saw a 16 percent drop in crime, saw the number of violent crimes, including robbery, aggravated battery and criminal sexual assault drop significantly, as well as drops in burglary and motor vehicle theft.