Thumbs-up: To a hot start for a new local music festival. Organizers of the inaugural Rise Up Music Fest in McHenry said this week that they have sold 3,200 tickets so far on the strength of the bookings of country singer Brantley Gilbert – the event headliner – and the Grammy-winning country group Eli Young Band. Only 2,500 general admission tickets remained for Saturday’s portion of the two-day musical event, set for June 19 and 20 at Petersen Park, which will raise funds for a new splash pad in the city.
The RISE Up Foundation was founded by Mayor Wayne Jett and his wife, Amber. The effort also has raised about $3,000 in donations, Wayne Jett said.
McHenry always has been a town that knows how to throw a party; this event looks to be off to a great start, and we hope it’s well on the way to meeting its goal.
We’re excited to see what other acts may be coming to town as part of this two-day festival. Tickets still are available on the foundation’s website, riseupfoundationmchenry.org.
Thumbs-up: To the polls being open for the 2020 primary election. Election Day is not for more than a month – March 17 – but the polls already are open in McHenry and Kane counties.
In McHenry County, early birds can vote weekdays between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the McHenry County Clerk’s Office or from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the first floor of the McHenry County Administration Building. Both locations are at 667 Ware Road in Woodstock. Clerk’s offices in counties around the area are open for early voters, and several satellite polling stations will open beginning March 3 at locations around McHenry County.
If you’re not registered, you can register and vote the same day by bringing two forms of identification, one which shows your current address.
Democracy derives its legitimacy from public participation in elections, and we support efforts to make voting as easy and convenient as possible. If you already know how you want to cast your ballot, take advantage of the opportunity to cast your vote early. A list of early voting locations, hours and dates is available online at elections.il.gov.
Thumbs-down: To the mistreatment of children in the care of the Department of Children and Family Services. This week, DCFS officials announced that they were ending a contract with a transportation company called Jim Stewart Transportation after the company placed a 14-year-old girl in leg shackles during a five-hour drive to St. Louis on Feb. 10. DCFS officials said employees who approved the transportation would be suspended, as well.
“On Feb. 10, a youth in our care was transported to an out-of-state facility. During the trip, the youth was unacceptably restrained with hard ankle restraints by a transportation contractor,” DCFS spokesman Jassen Strokosch said in an email to Shaw Media Illinois. “The use of hard restraints on any child is completely unacceptable and violates the department’s ban on ever using hard restraints. No one in our care should ever be mistreated like this.”
We agree with Strokosch’s statement. Yet it happened, as it has in the past. Children in the state’s care are not criminals and should not be subjected to such treatment. People are growing very tired of DCFS’ failures and their effects on children.