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From the editor’s desk

What a busy weekend. I’m referring to it as the “Arts Appreciation Weekend,” since there were so many events which focused around the artistic talents of area people.

On Saturday, many of my area colleagues and myself enjoyed “performing” in Festival 56’s “It’s a Wonderful Life” — a live radio show. It was really fun, and while none of us are professional performers, we gave it our all. If you came to see it or listened to it on the radio, I hope you enjoyed it.

I didn’t get the opportunity to attend the Illinois Valley Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, but from the rave reviews I’ve heard, it appears it was a truly sensational effort. I’m looking forward to the symphony performing more often in Princeton. Instead of the symphony, I attended an Advent Cantata at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Peru, which was directed by our own Barb Kromphardt. It was fabulous!

On Sunday, I had the opportunity to attend the Bureau County Chorus’ concert at the Evangelical Covenant Church in Princeton. Wow! What talent, and of course, it’s always a pleasure to watch Joy Schertz direct this musically-gifted group of people.

Christmas events abound; I hope you have the chance to attend one of two. It’s a great way to put you in the Christmas spirit, while helping you to remember the reason for the season.

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

• What a great stocking stuffer ... and just in time for the holidays! Get back on your fitness routine with Anytime Fitness in Princeton. Check out the BigDeal! on our website at www.bcrnews.com.

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And the winner is ... Congratulations to Pam Gibbs of Henry who won our Homemade Holiday gift basket for submitting a recipe for this special section, which ran in Saturday’s newspaper. The section was filled with a variety of wonderful recipes — many which I’m anxious to try. Please know the BCR’s Editorial Department is the official drop-off location for any taste testing you need! Ha!

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I’m proud to let you know the acquisition by Shaw Media of The Tonica News and the Putnam County Record is going well. The staff is working hard to adjust to a few changes, and for the first time last week, we ran color photos in those newspapers. There will be other changes — some very subtle and some bigger ones, but we are all looking forward to publishing these two well-respected weeklies.

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The winter edition of Illinois Valley Living will be hitting the stands soon. Like the first two editions, this one is jam-packed with great stories and photography about the people, places and things of the Illinois Valley. Make sure you pick up your own copy. If you’d like to order a year’s subscription of Illinois Valley Living (four editions) — mailed directly to your home, call Brandie in the BCR Circulation Department at 815-875-4461, ext. 239.

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Speaking of subscriptions, a subscription to the Bureau County Republican makes a great gift. I like to think of it as the gift that keeps being delivered all year long. Again, feel free to give Brandie a call in the BCR Circulation Department at the number listed above.

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Want to win some Festival 56 tickets? Wow! Do I have a deal for you! Go to www.bcrnews.com and find the Princeton Tourism feature on the right side of the page. Like Princeton Tourism on Facebook, and you’ll be entered to win Festival 56 tickets and a T-shirt! How easy is that!

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Thought for the day: “If you have much, give of your wealth; if you have little, give of your heart.” Anonymous.

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Just a reminder: Your input is integral to publishing a hometown newspaper. We look forward to seeing your photographs, which we publish on the back page of this newspaper — old and new alike. We also like your “Where in the World is the BCR?” photos, which show you and your family holding a copy of the BCR on your latest vacation. Story ideas, news tips are always welcome.

While we’d love to be able to attend all activities in Bureau County, quite frankly, we just don’t have the resources to do so. Therefore, we often count on you to take photos at your events around the county, in the schools or at any special activities that may be of interest to readers. Email your photos to us at news@bcrnews.com. Don’t forget to include information about the photo as well as the names of those in the picture. As always, please include your name and telephone number where we can reach you during the day, just in case we have any questions.

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Often I see or hear comments from readers who don’t understand why the newspaper publishes certain items ... or doesn’t publish certain items. There is a reason for everything we publish, so if you have questions, I’ll be happy to speak with you about any concerns, comments or questions you might have. Call me at 815-875-4461, ext. 229, or you can email me at tsimon@bcrnews.com.

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Christmas chaos abounds! You know it; I know it. It’s just a part of the season. In the throes of all the hectic items running through your head, please take time for you and those you love. Breathe. Exhale. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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