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Local Editorials

Annual prom dress sale keeps getting bigger

Thumbs up … to the new leader of the PROMise Sale scheduled for March 13-14 in Cushing Hall at the First United Methodist Church in Princeton. Kelly Davis has taken over as sale coordinator this year, after sale founder Amy Thompson stepped aside after organizing and operating it for seven years.

The sale offers hundreds of donated dresses at modest prices so that any girl can afford to buy one to wear to her high school prom. Dresses for other occasions, such as eighth-grade dance dresses, formal gowns, short dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses, are also available.

Proceeds from the sale will benefit the First United Methodist Church youth group, which Davis leads.

The sale, which has grown larger every year, fulfills an important need in the community. Many thanks to sale organizers, past and present, and dress donors for making it possible.

Thumbs down … to voter apathy – especially in an era where lawmakers and election officials have made it so easy to vote. With the March 17 primary coming up, the deadline to register to vote is Feb. 18. If you’ve moved or changed your name, you need to update your voter registration to remain eligible.

But with grace period registration after Feb. 18, citizens can still register and cast ballots (must do both at the same time) up to Election Day.

Call the clerk’s office at 815-875-2014 for details.

Early voting is such a convenient way for people to vote. It’s going on now through March 16 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays at the Bureau County Clerk’s Office at the courthouse in Princeton. You can also vote there from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays, March 7 and 14.

Plus, on weekdays from March 2-6 and March 9-13, you can vote early at the Princeton Moose Lodge (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Spring Valley City Hall (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.).

Oh, and there’s also the option to vote by mail, for those residents absent from the county. Visit or call the office for details.

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Study the candidates and issues, and cast an informed vote this election season.

Thumbs up ... to Ladd love. The way the Habitat for Humanity construction program has blasted out of the starting blocks in Ladd is especially inspiring. An initial meeting — on a Sunday afternoon in late January — expected to draw no more than two dozen people but ended up requiring overflow seating for discussions about the Habitat mission, its home ownership program and how things would take shape in the village.

The driving forces are Ladd natives and brothers Dave Margherio, a retired draftsman, and the Rev. Ron Margherio, St. Bede Abbey monk and St. Bede Academy chaplain.

St. Bede students are already involved with a $1,000 donation for a Ladd home, a natural extension of the volunteer efforts students have put in at the current build site in Ottawa.

People can now contribute to Habitat for Humanity of LaSalle, Bureau and Putnam counties through the new Club LADD 89 as discussions are ongoing to choose a home site, get local building trades students involved and take steps to make sure this initial energy transforms into a long-term movement.

To get involved, visit The energy behind this effort is invigorating.

Thumbs down ... to a recurring reminder. It’s 2020, which means it’s again time for the federal government to conduct its once-a-decade count of all the folks living in the country. That means this will be the 24th census, dating all the way back to 1790, and yet officials have to expend time and energy to remind people to actually participate.

Everyone should be concerned about counting every last Illinoisan so the state doesn’t lose out on congressional representation or otherwise have a weakened position concerning federal allocations.

We encourage all our readers to stand up and be counted. Having accurate information is in everyone’s best interests for a lot of reasons, and there’s nothing to lose from taking a few minutes to answer the relevant questions.

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