Column

Styf: 10 reasons it's great to be a Northwest Herald subscriber

Jon Styf
Jon Styf

I’m passionate about the work we do at the Northwest Herald. And I’m excited about all the things we have to offer.

So today, I figured we’d give you 10 good reasons that subscribing to the Northwest Herald is an important thing for you to do, not just for your own knowledge but for your community.

1. Holding school districts accountable. We do this consistently. And this week, it was Marengo District 154, which recently gave its superintendent a new three-year contract without telling the public. It wasn’t on the school board agenda or minutes and, if it wasn’t for us hunting it down, you wouldn’t know. We pointed this out to the Attorney General’s Public Access Counselor and I am confident it will tell the district it violated the Open Meetings Act with its approval of that contract in multiple ways, including by simply writing “Personnel Report” on its agenda each meeting rather than telling the public who it is hiring/firing.

2. Friday Night Drive and Best of the Fox. Our growing network of newspapers in Shaw Media Illinois have teamed up to do something special in high school football and entertainment coverage, and by subscribing you get access to all of it. All of our high school football coverage now is exclusively on FridayNightDrive.com and you probably noticed our features content now is rebranded and will be expanding under the Best of the Fox umbrella.
BestoftheFox.com is your home for the best entertainment calendars and news in the Fox Valley.

3. Our exclusive online content. You’ve probably noticed that more of our stories online are marked subscriber-only. The unique stories we write, the ones you want to read that we spent much time reporting, are valuable to you as readers. And, as a print subscriber, you get all of those stories online included. News like that isn’t free, and it’s not available on social media. It’s driven by the hard work of our reporters, working for our subscribers.

4. In-depth features. The past two Sundays, reporter Amanda Marrazzo has gone in depth on an important topic to you, this time Crystal Lake’s Keltner family.

5. Being a watchdog. One example you will see, starting with Monday’s edition, is our look at the current dysfunction of the McHenry County Coroner’s Office. It goes way further than the fact that the office currently is operating as an arm of the McHenry County Sheriff and regularly failing on the simple task of informing the public on who has died and why. Stay tuned.

6. Cutting through the political mess. Orville Brettman is an important figure in McHenry County’s Republican Party, a fundraiser and partner of such politicians as McHenry County Clerk Joe Tirio. Brettman also is repeatedly not telling the truth, under oath. Either he was lying in his 1975 grand jury testimony or he’s lying now. And those were very serious issues he claimed to be involved in under oath in the 1970s. As a voter, you should be concerned about his actions now and who has aligned themselves with Brettman.

7. Election issues. From Tirio’s campaign finance reporting issues to breaking the story that McHenry County’s past two elections had serious issues, we’re the place you’ll find out about those issues that directly impact you.

8. Business openings/closings. We monitor what’s happening to McHenry County businesses and you can only get that coverage here.

9. Your views. From Facebook comments to “It’s Your Write,” we provide a forum for our readers to have their voice heard.

10. The issues that matter. From what influences your property tax bill to township consolidation to senior busing to McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett’s email misstep to McHenry’s $5 million-plus Queen of Hearts raffle, we are in our McHenry County-area community covering what’s important to you on a daily basis. No one else is.

• Northwest Herald Editor Jon Styf can be reached at jstyf@shawmedia.com or 815-526-4630.

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