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Lyons: Columnists come back from hibernation

Published: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 12:03 a.m. CST • Updated: Sunday, Jan. 12, 2014 12:04 a.m. CST

Good to be back, even if a bit out of sorts.

For years, this column has run on Thursdays. I know this because Thursday is also garbage day. Write your own punchline.

We’ve been reshuffling things for the past several weeks, which put some of our regular columnists, myself included, on hiatus. There were also the tasks of end-of-year projects, wrapping presents, shoveling snow, what have you.

This Sunday column space will be shared on a rotating basis with myself, Editor Jason Schaumburg, Group Editor Dan McCaleb and Senior Reporter Kevin Craver.

So you’ll get a variety of voices on alternating Sundays, just like the ones in my head.

Speaking of columnists, the rest of the week here on Page 2 will look a little different, although some days are staying the same. Joseph Morton’s On this Day column will move here from the Opinion page on Mondays, as will Capitol Fax’s Rich Miller column on Tuesdays and Scott Reeder’s column on Thursdays.

Although she left the Northwest Herald as an editor, we’re happy to still have Joan Oliver’s column on Wednesdays. Dick Peterson still will deliver his unique take on matters on Fridays, while Mike Penkava’s often hilarious columns now will run on Saturdays.

So it’s a new year, which makes 2013 so last year. Can’t say I’ll miss it that much. Sure, we had some good times, but we were both ready to move on. Time to drag it out to the curb and vaccum the pine needles.

This year brings new possibilities, a promise for new adventures. Forward, always forward, or risk getting your tires stuck in the snow. We welcome 2014 – like a Phoenix rising from the backward politics of Arizona.

The new year already has brought changes. Some fairly big ones here in Illinois.

The good news is that you might be able to get a prescription for medical marijuana if you accidentally shoot yourself in the foot with your concealed-carry weapon while driving home from a same-sex wedding.

The bad news is that you’ll probably get a ticket for calling 911 from your car after shooting yourself in the foot. And if you haven’t been able to navigate through the Obamacare website glitches, no one is coming for you anyway.

So most of what I just said isn’t entirely true, but we’re entering political season, so we’ll all need to brush up on sifting through nonsense. We’ll do what we can to help, although sometimes it feels like being a snowplow driver. It never stops. You at least push it off the roads. What others do with the piles is out of anybody’s hands.

Elections certainly will be a big story this year, particularly in a year when we have several longtime McHenry County officials stepping down, including Clerk Katherine Schultz, Sheriff Keith Nygren and Treasurer Bill LeFew.

We also have an Illinois governor’s race among other statewide offices, U.S. congressional and U.S. senate races, along with county board and state legislator contests.

Besides elections, we’re expecting details on the tentative agreement for School District 155 and its teachers union. What we always know is that each new year and each day, there will be plenty to keep us busy.

As always, this is your newspaper. We’re just as much residents of McHenry County as the rest of you, but we take our responsibility to inform our neighbors very seriously.

We’ll continue striving to bring you as much relevant and timely local news as possible however you choose to consume it – from your front porch or driveway to your laptop or mobile phone.

What a good local news outlet does is help maintain a sense of community and share the stories that matter whether they make you angry, sad or thrilled. Those are our continued expectations for 2014.

Please continue to engage in this pursuit with us. Let us know about stories you’d like to see or stories you believe we are missing. What matters to our readers is what matters to us.

• Kevin Lyons is news editor of the Northwest Herald. Reach him at 815-526-4505 or email him at Follow him on Twitter at @KevinLyonsNWH.

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