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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, Nov. 18, 2013 3:10 p.m. CST

Other than a few comparatively small problems, it looks like Bureau County fared well through Sunday’s storm. Our thoughts and prayers are with those in the Washington, Ill., area, Pekin, East Peoria and elsewhere, who suffered extensive damage to their homes and places of business. Mother Nature’s fury is not to be taken lightly. As I’ve watched the horrific aftermath of this storm, it sure puts life into perspective ...

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While Saturday’s weather was cold and blustery, it didn’t dampen the spirits of those attending the Celebrate Sheffield holiday event. A ton of great silent auction prizes as well as Sheffield Bucks were delivered, and it seemed like everyone had a great time.

I so enjoyed seeing so many of my friends and neighbors at the Sheffield Library, where I was doing a book signing for my new book, “Grandma’s Cookie Jar.” It was also neat to see the great improvements at the library and how much area folks appreciate this great facility.

This upcoming weekend, Princeton will be hosting its Christmas Open House, with special events planned for Friday, Saturday and Sunday. It looks like the holiday spirit will be alive and well in Princeton with a myriad of activities all three days, including the annual German Christkindl Market at Open Prairie United Church of Christ, the Bureau County Chorus, a vendor fair, Festival 56 in front of Heartland Bank, Christmas trolley rides, the Bellringers, the Covered Bridge Chorus, Mini-Tree Festival at Prairie Arts Center, Christmas story telling with Mick Henneberry, Princeton High School Madrigals, the Praise and Shine Quartet, Santa at the Prouty Building and more.

I’m planning on being inside Brandy’s Hallmark on South Main Street to sign my book from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday. Hope you’ll stop by and see me.

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The Bureau County Republican needs some help from you — our readers:

• The BCR is hosting its 2013 Illinois Valley Scenery Photo Contest. We hope you’ll enter one of your beautiful scenic shots, which could appear in our 2014 Illinois Valley Scenery Calendar. To enter go to www.bcrnews.com, click on the contest tab and then click on the contest artwork. First register and then enter your favorite photo(s). We will accept photos until 5 p.m. Nov. 27. Then from Nov. 28 through Dec. 4, we’ll ask readers to vote on their favorite photo. The winner will receive a $100 gift certificate and have their photo featured on the cover of our annual calendar. See the official rules online at contest guidelines. No professional photographers/photographs allowed.

• It’s time again for our “A Homemade Holiday” recipe section, where we feature your delicious homemade recipes in a special, keepsake edition.

It’s really easy to participate. Type or print out your favorite holiday recipe(s). Make sure the directions to the recipe are complete and easy to understand. Include your first and last name, your hometown, your email and telephone number. (Your telephone and email will not be published.)Submit your recipes by email at news@bcrnews.com; by using our online form at www.bcrnews.com/forms/recipe; mailing it to us at P.O. Box 340, Princeton, IL 61356; or dropping it off at our office at 800 Ace Road, Princeton. The BCR has an after-hours drop box at the rear of our building, where you can also deposit your recipe if our office is not open.If you get your recipe(s) to us by 5 p.m. on Nov. 22, we’ll enter your name in a drawing for a $100 holiday baking basket filled with tons of goodies to help you with your holiday baking. The final deadline to submit a recipe is 5 p.m. Nov. 27.

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Busy times. Make sure you take time for you and those you love. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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