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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, May 19, 2014 3:07 p.m. CST

Pomp and circumstance is definitely in the air, as Bureau County seniors receive their diplomas, thus ending their high school careers. I attended baccalaureate services at Princeton High School Sunday evening, and I was surprised by the empty auditorium. Less than 100 people came to the event, and only a handful of graduates attended. Things have sure changed since I was a graduating PHS senior, when the place was packed and every graduate attended.

Congratulations are in order for Hall High School and St. Bede Academy students who received their diplomas last weekend. May your education take you far into the future, and may you follow your dreams. Remember your Bureau County roots and the people who helped you achieve that diploma, for they are the ones who will truly be by your side the rest of your life. Congratulations!

This week, the graduation ceremonies include DePue, LaMoille and Ohio on Friday; Princeton and Crossroads on Saturday; and Bureau Valley on Sunday.

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I’ve heard lots of wonderful comments about our new Illinois Valley Scene. What do you think? Send me an email at tsimon@bcrnews.com.

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We’re gearing up for our second annual Women of Distinction Awards. We will have nomination forms ready soon, so start thinking of that lady from the Illinois Valley who you’d like to nominate. It’s really quite an honor. Nomination forms will be available soon.

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The Bureau County Republican always shares so much positive news that I’m dumbfounded when people say the news is so negative. They must not be reading this newspaper. Here are a few of the applause-worthy news items I’ve seen recently:

• Robert Russell of Princeton was named by his peers to the List of Top 5 Percent of Illinois Lawyers out of more than 94,000 lawyers licensed to practice law in Illinois. I’m not surprised. I’ve worked with Bob several times throughout the years, and his professionalism and integrity always impresses me. Way to go, Bob! Well deserved!

• I’m really impressed with the partnership between Putnam County High School and Illinois Valley Community College in launching their new “College Start” program, which allows academically-qualified high school seniors to enroll in classes at IVCC that will be considered dual enrollment with PCHS. The program allows high school seniors to earn high school and college credits at the same time. What a great idea!

• DePue Schools recently hosted an open house to showcase a year-long project of designing and painting a large wall mural and other characters in the school’s library. I only saw photos, but DePue art instructor Kathy Ballard and some of her students did a phenomenal job! Impressive!

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This Saturday is the annual Get Your Rear in Gear 5K run/walk in Ladd. This event is to bring awareness to the nation’s No. 2 cancer killer — colon cancer. Event Director Kathy Martin, who is a colon cancer survivor, does a bang-up job on this event, along with a host of volunteers. I hope you’ll support this important event.

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Most towns in Bureau County are hosting a Memorial Day service next week. Please make an effort to attend, and even more important, please take the young people in your life with you. The only way this important holiday will ever be more than a day off of school or a picnic in the backyard is if young people experience the importance of this day, as seen through the adult eyes of people they know and love.

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Reminder: The BCR is closed on Memorial Day, so we can spend the day with family and friends. Early editorial and advertising deadlines apply, so give us a call if you have questions.

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Have a great week. Be safe. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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