Thumbs-up: To a good guy with a gun saving lives. Had Dixon school resource officer Mark Dallas not been present at a graduation rehearsal for Dixon High School students on Wednesday, who knows what might have happened when one of them showed up with a gun and started shooting. What authorities tell us is that Dallas was there, he confronted the shooter and ended up shooting and wounding him as he fled. We’re glad no one other than the shooter was hurt in this situation. Guns are not new in our society – they’ve always been around, but students never brought them to school and tried to harm their classmates. What’s changed? We’re not sure, but it’s become clear that trained, armed school resource officers are an important line of defense when it comes to protecting students.
Thumbs-up: To the newest theme for the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival. This year’s theme, “A Pumpkin’s Carnival”, was dreamed up by six-year-old Dempsey Webb, a kindergartener at North Grove Elementary School. Some of the decorated pumpkins displayed on the lawn at the DeKalb County Courthouse in October will follow along with theme, which Dempsey said she chose because she thought everyone enjoys carnivals. We love the tradition of choosing a theme from student submissions and having the winner – and two runners-up – ride in the parade. Congratulations to Dempsey. Pumpkin Fest will be here before you know it.
Thumbs-down: To selling off Lincoln artifacts. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation announced recently that it owes $10 million on a 2007 loan it used to buy the Barry and Louise Taper Collection, which includes a stovepipe hat Lincoln purportedly wore, bloodstained gloves he wore the night he was assassinated and an 1824 book containing the first known example of his handwriting. The foundation is seeking funding from the state – as though it has any money to spare – and is considering private fundraising, but without commitments, will have to consider selling the items, officials say. Our state has a rich history and it’s sad to see that it may have to be sold off because of financial mismanagement.
Thumbs-up: To a successful food drive. The National Association of Letter Carriers' annual Stamp Out Hunger drive collected more than 30,000 pounds of food to support DeKalb and Sycamore food pantries, food drive co-chairwoman Clare Kron said Monday. Preliminary totals showed 22,000 pounds of food were collected in DeKalb and another 8,000 pounds was gathered from Sycamore. The food drive is critical to help local food pantries, which often experience a shortage in donations during summer months. The outpouring of community generosity is inspiring to see.