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From the editor’s desk

Published: Monday, July 7, 2014 3:50 p.m. CST

I hope everyone had a great Fourth of July. I really liked having the holiday fall on Friday, which gave most a three-day weekend. Several of us at the Bureau County Republican did work on Friday, but we were able to get the newspaper to the press fairly early, which was nice.

I’m always impressed with the way Bureau County approaches the Fourth of July — with much patriotism and a good share of hoopla. Driving through several towns/villages on Friday, you could smell many grills fired up — kind of made me want to stop by and see (OK, maybe taste too) what was being prepared for the holiday!

Walnut had its annual celebration, complete with fireworks to end another great event, plus there were fireworks in Princeton, Spring Valley and Mineral — plus a bunch of random fireworks heard throughout many neighborhoods in the county. On behalf of the BCR and myself, I’d like to extend our appreciation for all the work, time, energy and money which goes into these celebrations. I’m not sure everyone actually realizes how much goes into what seems like a simple event, not to mention something as large as the one in Walnut. I also think it’s great how the communities who have fireworks make sure they don’t set their displays on the same nights as other towns in the county. That’s really considerate, plus it affords folks the opportunities to see more than one fireworks show.

Another big thanks to the fire departments and ambulance personnel who were on stand-by at these activities ... just in case. Thankfully, I heard of no accidents, but these professionals’ presence at these events is always comforting.

I hope your Fourth of July was full of memory-making moments.

•••

The storm that ripped through the area last Monday (June 30) was a doozie! I live in Sheffield, and several of us had trees downs and other damage caused by the strong, straight-line winds, as well as downed electrical lines. I know others around the county had damage too and power outages.

Bureau County is no stranger to storms, but as I looked around town Monday evening after the winds were long gone, I couldn’t help but think how lucky we were. Nobody died. Damage was to a minimum, compared to places like Washington, Ill., and other tornado-ravaged areas. And even though the lack of electricity kept many folks’ sump pumps from running after several inches of rain, things could have always been worse.

For me, I am continually impressed and amazed with the kindness of people in small towns like the ones in Bureau County. The normal quiet and serenity of our small towns was soon replaced with the hum of chainsaws, as neighbors helped neighbors remove the downed trees and branches. My personal heroes were Randy and Cleo, who helped us with the trees/branches we lost.

Sometimes I long for the big city and everything it has to offer, but then something like this comes along, and I quickly remember why small town living is so wonderful.

•••

They’ve arrived! I’ve been asked several times about the Summer 2014 edition of Illinois Valley Living. Well, they are being distributed now. If you can’t find a copy, just swing by the BCR, and we’ll be happy to give you one. As always, I think you’re going to like it. Please feel free to email me any story suggestions for the next issue.

•••

It looks like we are going to have some hot and humid weather. Please remember to keep an eye on your neighbors, family and friends — especially those seniors or other folks who might have health concerns. And don’t forget your four-legged friends, who can quickly succumb to heat in your vehicles or without enough cool water.

•••

Have a great week, and remember ... you are important to me and the BCR.

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