Thumbs-up: To a new team in town. The DeKalb County United, a new semi-pro soccer team that will play most of its home games at the Soccer and Track & Field Complex at Northern Illinois University, this week held a launch party and kit (that’s soccer for uniform) unveiling at Fatty’s. The team, comprised of athletes from around the area, will play its first exhibition match at 5 p.m. April 14 at the DeKalb Rec Center. It will play in the United Premier Soccer League, a confederation of more than 150 teams in 23 states. We wish the team well in its inaugural season and hope it continues to recruit local talent to perform for local families.
Thumbs-up: To barbed wire being named one of Illinois’ most important inventions. To celebrate Illinois’ bicentennial, the Illinois Top 200 project is compiling top 10 lists in 20 different categories, with the winners chosen by online voting. Barbed wire helped put DeKalb on the map after the first patent was issued to Joseph Glidden in November 1874. It also changed the way the west was settled and ranchlands were allocated. It transformed the American frontier. Other inventions on the list included the birth control pill, silos, cellphones, mail order catalogs and computer-assisted education. Twinkies and the TV remote control also were among the contenders, but did not make the cut.
Thumbs-down: To a U.S. president insisting our elections are rigged. How can President Donald Trump call Vladimir Putin to congratulate him on winning an obviously rigged election in Russia, and then assert with no evidence or basis in fact that there was massive voter fraud in the United States in 2016, as he repeatedly has, including on Thursday. “In many places, like California, the same person votes many times. You probably heard about that,” Trump said. “They always like to say, ‘Oh, that’s a conspiracy theory.’ Not a conspiracy theory, folks.” It’s time for Trump to present the public with evidence or drop this damaging claim.
Thumbs-up: To the Kennel Club of Yorkville dog show’s return to the Convocation Center at NIU this weekend. The event this weekend runs from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, with doors opening at 7:30 both mornings. Admission is free, but it costs $5 to park. The show is a fun place to see common and exotic dog breeds, and watch them be judged on their physique, agility and obedience, among other qualities. If you’re a dog lover, go check it out. It’s a fun event.