Thumbs-up: To Crystal Lake couple Ted and Judy Thornton and their family. The family recently planted 50 oak trees in Merryman Park in Woodstock to mark Ted and Judy Thornton’s 50 years of marriage. This month, relatives from Arizona, Texas and California, as well as local family members, came to help plant those anniversary trees. In all, they had 24 family members, 10 Land Conservancy of McHenry County volunteers and staff members, and eight Girl Scouts and leaders help with the planting. Fifty years of marriage is a laudable accomplishment. The Thornton Oaks – as the grove will be called – is inspiring. We applaud the work and vision of all who were involved in this effort.
Thumbs-down: To Illinois being eliminated from the potential sites for a new auto assembly plant planned as a joint venture between Toyota and Mazda. The two automakers were being courted by more than a dozen states seeking to host the plant, which could create up to 4,000 jobs. Both DeKalb and Rochelle had been mentioned as candidates for the plant, but a state official blamed the state’s lack of “shovel-ready” sites and lack of a right-to-work law as key factors in Illinois falling short. As neighboring states succeed in landing large employers, Illinoisans continue to hear that the high cost of doing business here makes our state unappealing. How much more will it take before legislators take action?
Thumbs-up: To the Bartholomew family being reunited with the antique cement pig that was stolen from their yard. Nancy and Gary Bartholomew display the pig in the woods by their Crystal Lake-area home, and earlier this month, the pig was stolen for the second time. Several people called the family saying they had seen the pig sitting out by the street on garbage day. Although the garbage man didn’t pick it up, the tips led the Bartholomews to a home where a teenager said his brother might know where the pig was. Gary left his number, and the pig eventually was returned to his doorstep. Although the pig now is missing an ear, we’re glad neighbors were looking out for it and that it finally was returned home.
Thumbs-down: To the end of the Cubs season. The Cubs had a successful year, winning their division for the second year in a row and winning a playoff series against the Washington Nationals, but they looked overmatched against the Los Angeles Dodgers, who eliminated the Cubs from the playoffs this week by taking the National League Championship Series, four games to one. The Cubs had some glaring deficiencies in their game in the postseason, including a general lack of offensive production and a shaky bullpen, but they still have some of the game’s most talented players, and with the right offseason moves – and a few breaks over the course of a season – should be a contender again next year.
Thumbs-up: To the Community High School District 155 Board for voting to move boys lacrosse from a club sport to an Illinois High School Association-sanctioned sport. All four D-155 boys lacrosse programs will begin IHSA competition in spring 2019, and we’re looking forward to seeing them play. Lacrosse is growing in popularity at the high school level. We’re excited the Crystal Lake programs now will have the opportunity to compete for an IHSA state championship.