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From the editor’s desk

Fall officially knocked on our doors on Sunday and left the crisp weather outside and some beautiful September moons as its calling card. Except for the impending visits from Jack Frost and the bittersweet presence of Mother Nature’s future winter fury, it’s difficult to not appreciate the fall season.

It won’t be long before we’ll be knee-deep in those vibrant fallen leaves, and pumpkins and gourds will soon be making an appearance on our front porches. Halloween costumes/candy/decor have been in the stores for weeks now, and the days are definitely getting shorter.

In the coming days, Bureau County and the areas beyond will be prime locations for getting some beautiful glimpses of fall. Why not set some time aside right now to gather your family and friends and plan a fall drive, an bonfire in the backyard or other autumn gatherings that will hopefully create memories for years to come. Once at a fall gather among family members at my house, we made a fire in the firepit, and the entire family sat around and roasted marshmallows, made s’mores, talked and laughed until late in the evening. My young cousin, Aaron, was only about 5 at the time. Last week, he turned 16, and he still asks if we’re going to light the firepit this year too. Memories can last a lifetime!


Last week, we announced the winners of the Women of Distinction Award, sponsored by our Illinois Valley Living magazine. In case you missed the story, I’m happy to repeat the winners’ names here:

• Kim Abel of Mendota.

• Kathy Casstevens of Utica.

• Mary Ann Cernovich of Sheffield.

• Lisa Clinton of Cherry.

• Dawn Conerton of Magnolia.

• Pat Schou of Princeton.

• Nedda Simon of Princeton.

• Loretta Volker of Princeton.

• Judith Wilkins Wright of Tiskilwa.

• Teresa Zearing of Princeton.

Nominations were solicited from the entire Illinois Valley, and those who chose to nominate an area woman were asked to think of someone who has made a difference in the Illinois Valley and gone the extra mile to benefit others. Winners were selected by a panel of judges from McHenry County, who had no ties to anyone in the area.

These women (and all women) will be honored at a luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 17 at Deer Park Country Club in Oglesby. Princeton’s own Kathy O’Malley, who is also the co-host of the ever-popular WGN “Kathy and Judy Show,” is the keynote speaker. Besides a great lunch and a sure-to-be fun time with O’Malley, the event will include awards, an opportunity for the award winners to briefly tell their stories and giveaways. The event is open to the public, and tickets are $28. You can call our office at 815-875-4461 to order your tickets with a credit card, or feel free to stop in our office and pick your tickets up personally. Tickets are limited.

I’m excited to be the emcee of this fun-filled event. I hope you’ll mark your calendars now and plan to attend this event honoring women in the Illinois Valley. Questions? Give me a call at 815-875-4461, ext. 229.


If farmers aren’t in the fields already, they will soon be harvesting the fruits of their labor. Oftentimes, farmers must drive heavy and slow-moving equipment from one field to the next. I ask you to use caution as your drive through the countryside. You just never know what is just over that hill or around that curve. Take a few extra minutes and drive cautiously.

And to all those hard-working farmers ... I know time is of the essence when it comes to your harvest, but I’d like to encourage you to make sure you get enough rest. A tired farmer behind the wheel can be a danger to himself and others. Be safe and have a great harvest. We are proud of you!


It’s Homecoming Week for three of our area schools: Bureau Valley, LaMoille and DePue. Watch the BCR for photos of all the fun, including sports coverage of their athletic events. It’s a fun time for area students. Please remind your students to make good choices, while they make some wonderful memories.


Just a reminder: The BCR is happy to publish news of your upcoming events. Please send a press release giving us all the information folks will need to know — what, when, where, what time, why, etc. Send your releases to We’ll be happy to let other readers know about your upcoming event.


I’ve had countless people ask about our next edition of Illinois Valley Living. The pages are being printed right now, so watch for it soon. I know you are really going to enjoy this edition.


Had a chat the other day with Bureau County United Way Director Andrea Anderson about the upcoming Christmas for Kids Toy Drive. That agency, among others like the area food pantries, will be needing your help this holiday season. Please plan now to help out those less fortunate.


Just want to thank all the folks who have called and email their kind comments about my new book, “Grandma’s Cookie Jar.” Your words have been an inspiration. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


It’s a beautiful time of the year. Make time to enjoy it. Breathe. Exhale. Relax. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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