Thumbs-up: To Cubs player Kyle Schwarber and Lake in the Hills man Stewart McVicar for giving back to the community. McVicar has hosted more than 20 former and current Cubs players since 2014 in his Cubs-themed man cave. The basement, named Club 400, is used to hold fundraisers that benefit the Lake in the Hills area. When Schwarber came to the village on Sunday, he presented a $5,000 check to both the Lake in the Hills Police Department and the Huntley Fire Protection District. “I’ve only been here for 20 minutes, and I can already say this is going to be one of the best charity parties I’ve even been to,” Schwarber said on Sunday. We’re glad McVicar is able to draw such positive attention to Lake in the Hills.
Thumbs-down: To lingering debt. Lest anyone get too optimistic about things in Springfield, what with our novel “balanced” budget and all, last week’s Associated Press report about the state of nursing home care in Illinois delivered a sobering dose of reality. According to the AP, state officials are so far behind on determining Medicaid eligibility for 15,000 nursing home residents that privately run facilities are fronting $300 million in care. A federal judge ordered the state to the pay the Medicaid cost of care for those who have waited more than 45 days for a determination of their eligibility.
How did the state respond? The Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services asked a private company to step in and help catch up at a cost of up to $14.4 million. According to the AP, it would utilize a computer system whose glitch-laden rollout last fall included improperly canceling federal food assistance for 40,000 needy families. We’d like to run a list of all the things going well under state government management, just as soon as someone can come up with a few items.
Thumbs-up: To Crystal Lake swimmer Makayla Nietzel for her remarkable progress toward reaching her goal of competing for the U.S. National A Team in the 2020 Paralympics. Nietzel, 15, is legally blind and officially became a member of the U.S. National A Team after her terrific performance at the 2018 World Para Swimming World Series in Lignano Sabbiadoro, Italy. Nietzel is now No. 3 in the World Para Swimming rankings for the 200-meter individual medley, No. 5 in the 100 freestyle and No. 8 in the 50 freestyle, and her story is an inspiration to us all.
Thumbs-down: To Circle K at 155 S. Eastwood Drive in Woodstock for selling tobacco to a minor during a Woodstock Police compliance check. The laws and ID checks are a pretty simple process to follow.