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From the editor’s desk

Well by this time, there probably aren’t any leftovers left. Thanksgiving 2012 is just a memory, and I hope you have a heart filled with good ones. Like other Thanksgivings in the past, I found myself contemplating the many things in my life for which I am thankful ... I need to remember those things all the time — not just at Thanksgiving. I guess we all should keep Thanksgiving in our hearts all year long.

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What’s the BigDeal!? Every week, the Bureau County Republican works with an area merchant to offer you an opportunity to save some cash. You can find our BigDeals! on our website at www.bcrnews.com. Following is this week’s BigDeal!:

• Here’s a great stocking stuffer, just in time for the holidays. Get a 20-punch fitness card at the Bureau County Metro Center in Princeton for only $50. That’s a great savings from the regular price of $100. This punch card is only good for land, water and spin classes.

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And the winners are ...

• Pet of the Year Photo Contest: Congratulations to all 12 of our Pet of the Year Contest winners. Our first-place winner is Chico Johnson; second place is Harley Fox and third-place is Cooper Beaber. The rest of our winners can be found at www.bcrnews.com; just click on “Contests” and find the pet contest icon. First place received a $100 gift basket and a professional portrait taken for the cover of the Bureau County Republican’s 2013 Pet of the Year Calendar. Second- through 12th-place winners receive a professional portrait in our 2013 pet calendar. Thanks to all who participated. Congratulations to all our four-legged friends and their proud owners!

• Checkered Flag Challenge: Racing season is finished for the season, and we’re proud to announce our winners. David Hull of Kewanee is our first-place winner. Hull wins a weekend racing package including pit passes from Michigan International Speedway. Our second-place winner is William Ellis of Bradford, who also wins a weekend racing package including pit passes from Michigan International Speedway. Third place is Mike Fletcher of Ladd, who gets race tickets for the Geico 400 for the 2013 season at Chicagoland Speedway. Congratulations, guys!

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I’d like to personally invite each and everyone of you to a fun-filled event on Saturday, Dec. 8. A cast of area folks, including myself, are set to perform in Festival 56’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” at the Grace Performing Arts Center in Princeton. Holiday entertainment begin at 1 p.m., and the show starts at 2 p.m. Mark your calendars now! This live radio show is a barrel of fun; you won’t want to miss it! Ticket price is $18 per person.

Area folks who will participate are Brandon Behrens, Dr. Paul Bonucci, Jay Schneider, Rex Conger, Kim Frey, Dexter Brigham Sr., Bob Davidson, Dick Dorsch, Keith Cain, Terry Madsen, Tim Harris, Mick Henneberry, Steve Gunning, Mary Phillips and myself — all under the direction of Dave Roden.

I know the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra is also performing that same evening, however, Festival 56 Director Dexter Brigham said this show will be over in plenty of time for you to enjoy both holiday performances. I’ll see you there.

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Many of you probably read in Saturday’s BCR that Shaw Media is acquiring the Putnam County Record and The Tonica News. This is very exciting, and I’m so happy to be a part of these two area newspapers, which have served the area well for many, many years.

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It’s difficult to believe Christmas is less than a month away. As you plan your shopping excursions, please check out the ads in the BCR and plan to shop locally when you can. Our area merchants need your support

And in the throes of all the holiday chaos, remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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