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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, June 30, 2014 3:20 p.m. CDT

I can hardly believe July has arrived! Where did June go? For that matter ... what happened to January, February, March, April and May? This year is flying by us.

Friday is the Fourth of July already. I hope you have a big day planned! Several towns around the area are holding special celebrations, which include a variety of activities and of course — the grand fireworks displays. While I understand the hot and humid weather, coupled with several other factors, might encourage you to stay home, where it’s cool and mosquito-free, however, I strongly urge you to try to attend at least one of the area fireworks shows. A lot of time, energy and money go into these fun-filled events; plus, it’s a great way to show your respect for our nation’s birthday.

Here I go getting on my soapbox again ... But please think about your pets when you go to the fireworks. I know there are some dogs who don’t mind all the noise, but on the flip side, those loud noises can really frighten some dogs. It might be a good evening to let Fido rest inside the house, while you celebrate the holiday.

Also, if you happen to have some sparklers and other July 4 fun at home, be very careful. According to the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission, some sparklers can burn at temperatures close to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit! Putting those sparklers in the hands of small children can be very dangerous. You want to remember the day with special memories and fun with family and friends — not a trip to the emergency room!

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On behalf of the Bureau County Republican, I’d like to extend our sympathy to the families of Mary Win Norris and Kurt Garvin.

Through the years, I’ve done several stories with Mary Win, and each time, I found her to be so gracious and kind. She truly was a legend in this area, and I will always look at the Mary Win paintings I have at home with a certain fondness.

The tragic and untimely death of Kurt has clearly rocked Princeton and the surrounding area. A noble firefighter and EMT, it’s difficult to tell how many lives/homes he helped to save. BCR Sports Editor Kevin Hieronymus said he was always a good friend to the our sports department and clearly a mentor to young people. He will be missed.

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Thoughts for this week:

• “You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4, not with a parade of guns, tanks and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.” Erma Bombeck.

• “We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.” Robert J. McCracken.

• “The United States is the only country with a known birthday.” James G. Blaine.

•••

I’ve had quite a few calls from folks who are looking for our next edition of Illinois Valley Living. Thanks for your interest. The Summer 2014 edition will be hitting the street in just a few days. It’s jam-packed with a variety of great stories about the people, places and things in the Illinois Valley. I think you’re really going to like it. You’ll be seeing it soon!

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Just a reminder: We will be taking nominations soon for the second annual Women of Distinction Award. Start thinking now about who you would like to nominate. It’s really a very nice honor.

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The BCR will be closed on Friday, so that our staff can celebrate with their family and friends. I hope you have a fantastic Fourth of July. Enjoy every moment. Laugh. Breathe. Exhale. And remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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