• 06/8/18 - Summer Parades and More Taxation

    Many enjoyed the parades over the past few weeks, despite the sweltering heat on Memorial Day. Those who marched in Pecatonica’s Memorial Day Parade may have seen a Main Street mainstay, Pecatonica Hardware.  Ted Kramer is the owner of Pecatonica Hardware.  Ted has owned and operated his hardware store for 51 years.  His hard work was recently honored by the BestinIL.com website when they ranked Pecatonica Hardware in the Top 10 Best Hardware Stores in Illinois.  Ted, you make Northern Illinois proud.  Thank you for your hard work.

    June is National Dairy Month. Beginning as National Milk Month in 1937, it was originally an effort to stabilize the demand for milk. Today, National Dairy Month is a celebration of the dairy industry’s history as well as a glimpse into its future.

  • 06/01/18 Student Athletes and the Budget Bamboozle

    It was the great UCLA men’s basketball Coach John Wooden who said, “The most powerful leadership tool you have is your own example.” Several area student-athletes set a tremendous example at the IHSA Class 1A State Track and Field Finals.

    Carmen DeVries from Lena-Winslow/Pearl City claimed the State title in the 400m dash, and also finished 3rd in the triple jump. Emily Offenheiser from Stockton/Warren took home 1st in discus, and 2nd in shot put.  Milledgeville’s Rebecca Waite finished 3rd in the 200m dash.

  • 05/25/18 Memorial Day and Opportunity Zones

    This past week was National Emergency Medical Services Week (EMS). Many of us can’t imagine not being able to call 9-1-1 for an ambulance during an emergency. That wasn’t always the case.

    EMS services did not become a national priority until 1966, when President Lyndon Johnson read the report Accidental Death and Disability: The Neglected Disease of Modern Society, in which he learned that more people in America died in vehicle accidents in 1965 than the total number of American casualties in the Korean War.

  • 05/18/18 Peace Officers and Summer Reading Program

    One of the most important measurements of a community’s success is their crime rate. Rightly or wrongly, the responsibility for crime rates often falls in the laps of our nation’s police departments. Our policemen and policewomen patrol a Thin Blue Line to serve and protect us.

    Law enforcement has evolved greatly over the centuries. Starting with volunteer watchmen and part-time constabulary, policing was not centralized into civil police departments until the mid-nineteenth century. According to Eastern Kentucky University Criminal Justice Professor Dr. Gary Potter, Boston organized the first full-time police force in 1838, and was followed by New York City in 1845 and Chicago in 1851.

  • 05/11/18 - Let's Honor Those Who Make a Difference

    In 1998, James Hunter wrote a book called The Servant: A Simple Story About the True Essence of Leadership. With over 3 million copies in print, The Servant is an excellent book on leadership. Hunter writes, “Leadership is not about personality, possessions, or charisma, but all about who you are as a person. I used to believe that leadership was about style but now I know that leadership is about substance, namely character… Thoughts become actions, actions become habits, habits become our character, and our character becomes our destiny.”

    Speaking of character, the City of Freeport Fire Department has had 3 notable retirements recently, Battalion Chief Brian Bruce, Fire Inspector, Robert Bush and next week Deputy Chief Robin Gorsline. In addition Public Works Director Tom Dole also has retired. They have all served Freeport with distinction for over 30 years, and Tom Dole over 35 years. I had the privilege of joining Inspector...

  • 05/04/18 - Small Business Week

    I agree with Bern Williams who wrote, “The day the Lord created hope was probably the same day he created Spring.” I definitely hope that the teasing is over and spring has finally sprung. The sun is shining and the temperatures are finally on the rise. It can be argued that the sun is shining on taxpayers because the Illinois House of Representatives has been in recess this past week. I pray our luck holds when the House reconvenes May 8th.

    There are two important noteworthy national events going on this week that have been on my mind. April 29th through May 5th is Small Business Week. Most of you may know that I am currently involved in the operations of 21 small businesses employing hundreds in Northern Illinois so this week is very important. And this Saturday marks the 144th Kentucky Derby.

  • 04/20/18 - Common Sense

    This last week in Springfield has me thinking about common sense more and more. Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have run roughshod over what I believe are common sense solutions. It certainly seems that common sense isn’t so common, and I began to wonder how the term originated.
    Common sense made its first appearance in the book De Anima (Of the Soul), written by famed Greek philosopher Aristotle in 350 B.C. He described common sense more as a sense of common things and also as the place where our consciousness comes from because, “it makes us aware of having sensations at all.”
  • 04/13/18 - Baseball Opening Day

    President Eisenhower said, “Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.” Future Farmers of America is teaching tens of thousands of students across our country, including hundreds right here in Northwest Illinois, leadership skills while providing insight into “career success through agricultural education.”

    Our FFA students have done us proud this year at the state competition. Congratulations to the Eastland FFA members who were selected as Illinois State FFA Proficiency Winners late last month. Eastland student, Bradley Johnson, was a state winner in Beef Production Placement. Emily Denekas earned the distinction for Home and Community Development. Payton Erbsen was a State winner in Forage Production, and Delana Erbsen was named the State Star Discovery Farmer. Connor Erbsen was interviewed as a State Finalist for Star Farmer.

  • 03/30/18 - An Easter Story

    The Easter Holiday is upon us. Families throughout Northern Illinois are taking children on Easter egg hunts as adults are wrapping up their Lenten commitments.  Beautiful dresses and handsome suits will fill church aisles this Sunday, as countless hams roast slowly in the oven for family dinners.  Easter is a time of hope, rebirth, and redemption.

    Easter has typically been the milder holiday, sandwiched as it is between New Year’s and Independence Day, both raucous affairs in their own right. However, like Christmas, Easter did have a movie named after it, Easter Parade.  An exchange between the hero, Don, and the heroine, Hannah, is particularly appropriate.  When talking about Don’s inviting her to perform with him, Hannah says, “No, I mean it. You're the most wonderful dancer I've ever seen.  You could get anyone to dance with you.  You could get the very best.” Don replies, “I don't want the...

  • 03/23/2018 - Thank you for Voting!

    Abraham Lincoln once said, “If elected I will be thankful; if not, it will be all the same.” Illinois finished a spirited and intense primary election this past week.  The joys and stings are still fresh.  Last Tuesday was not the first such primary.

    How many of us remember the Republican primary of 1994? It was then that former Governor Jim Edgar was challenged in the primary by the late Jack Roesser.  Jack ran against Governor Edgar because he believed the Governor was going to raise our taxes and use more taxpayer dollars to fund abortion.

    How about the Republican Senate primary in 1998? Governor Edgar endorsed Loleta Didrickson who was challenged by Illinois State Senator Peter Fitzgerald in the race to see who would run against Senator Carol Moseley Braun that November.  Against all odds, the challenger Fitzgerald won.

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  Next →