Thumbs-down: To a week of extreme weather. Heavy storms that caused localized flooding and considerable damage to flood-prone areas, including the Sycamore Golf Club, have been followed by a weekend of high heat advisories, with the forecast calling for temperatures in the 90s and a heat index as high as 110 degrees. The heat advisory issued Friday continues until 7 p.m. Saturday, and heat and humidity levels this high are nothing to take lightly. Stay hydrated, don’t overexert yourself when outdoors, and if necessary, go to one of the public buildings in the area that are designated as cooling centers, including public libraries in DeKalb and Sycamore.
Thumbs-up: To a couple of big donations for preserving local history. On Friday, the DeKalb County History Center announced it had received a $300,000 donation from Doug and Lynn Roberts to help build a new facility on the former Engh Farm property at 1730 N. Main St. in Sycamore. The considerable donation comes after the DeKalb County Community Foundation agreed to donate $75,000 toward the effort to open a new local history museum by May 2019. DeKalb County has a long and rich history of innovation that has made contributions to Illinois and the country, and many remarkable people have helped shape our communities into what they are today. It’s important that there be a concerted effort to see that history preserved and displayed so that we might learn from those who came before us.
Thumbs-down: To a pricey parting gift to a political operative. Documents obtained by The Associated Press this week showed that Timothy Mapes, former chief of staff for House Speaker Michael Madigan and state Democratic Party executive director, will receive more than $130,000 after resigning June 6. The money is compensation for 91 unused vacation days and half-pay for 146 sick days, the records showed. Mapes also will receive an annual pension of $134,000, which will increase each year. Mapes, on the job since 1992, earned $208,000 a year until he was forced out in a sexual harassment scandal. It’s another example of the sweet deals insiders secure for themselves at the expense of the public.