To Mane in Heaven. The Lake in the Hills non-profit took some of its miniature therapy horses to visit the Algonquin Police Department this week, and the Huntley Police Department earlier, to give the local law enforcement officers police some stress relief after the July 7 shooting that killed five officers in Dallas. This was a creative way to thank police for the hard work they do to keep our communities safe.
Thumbs down: To distracted drivers. Illinois Department of Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn said this week that traffic fatalities in the state are up 9 percent in 2016 over the same time frame a year ago. Through July 15, 534 people have died on Illinois roadways this year. Through the same date last year, 492 people had died. Blankenhorn blames the spike in part to distracted drivers who are on their cell phones and not paying carefull attention to other drivers or the roads they are driving on. Many of these tragic accidents are preventable. When driving, keep your cell phones off and pay attention.
Thumbs up: To fewer tests for high-schoolers. The Illinois State Board of Education announced earlier this month it would no longer require high school juniors to take the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test. Instead, students will be required simply to take the College Board’s SAT exam. Many parents have claimed that their high school students felt they were being tested too often, and this change will help solve that problem.
Thumbs down: To the heat wave sweeping McHenry County that already has left a 4-year-old McHenry girl hospitalized after she climbed unnoticed into a hot van. Be careful when exposing children, the elderly and pets to the heat, and take extra precautions when outside by limiting prolonged exposure and drinking plenty of fluids. When needed, take advantage of the cooling shelters run by area municipalities.
Thumbs up: To Cary-Grove grad Rick Carone, a former baseball star who continues to raise money for cancer research as he fights Stage 4 pancreatic cancer. Carone’s charity, the Team Carone Foundation, has again sponsored the #ShutdownCancer music festival, which will take place on Sept. 24 at the Wegener Ranch in Prairie Grove. Proceeds from the event will benefit cancer research, financial gifts of love to those suffering from cancer and provide scholarships to male and female athletes at District 155 high schools.