Thumbs-up: To Jack Backe, a 6-year-old from Crystal Lake who won a national contest after designing a hospital gown for his sister, Everly, who was born with a congenital heart defect. Jack began designing a gown for his sister when he saw that most were too big to fit her. The Backe family learned that Jack won the Starlight Children’s Foundation’s national competition Wednesday as they were standing outside of Wrigley Field at a Cubs game. Now his gowns will be distributed to about 30,000 children in U.S. hospitals – including the hospital his sister attends. We hope Jack’s story can inspire other big brothers to be as caring as he is.
Thumbs-down: To stores selling synthetic marijuana. Since March, the Illinois Department of Public Health has learned of more than 110 people who have suffered severe bleeding after using a product designed to imitate the effects of marijuana. Three people have died, the most recent coming this week. Synthetic marijuana, often called K2, spice or fake weed, is illegal in Illinois, and the substance sickening people now is believed to be contaminated with rat poison, officials said. Don’t buy or use synthetic pot, and if you see any stores selling it, call the police.
Thumbs-up: To Huntley softball pitcher Tiffany Giese, who became the program’s all-time leader in wins when she picked up her 73rd on Wednesday against Leyden. The senior, who will play in college at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, has pitched on varsity since her freshman season and has helped the Red Raiders to arguably their best four-year stretch in program history.
Thumbs-down: To continued infighting in Algonquin Township. This week, township trustees voted to move the highway department to a separate building and all records into the township’s main building. The next night, residents showed up to complain about the cost of the continuing fight.
Thumbs-up: Again, to the local Olympic ski jumpers who continue to represent the area well. Casey Larson, Mike Glasder and Kevin Bickner were at a Cubs game this week to throw out the first pitch and will host a meet-and-greet from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Norge Ski Club. The trio not only became the first Norge Olympians, but they also didn’t forget where they came from and who they represent. So we applaud them for returning and being available for the community. Glasder has been a Norge member since he was 5 years old, Larson joined at age 6, and Bickner started when he was 9. Bickner is from Wauconda, Larson is from Barrington, and Glasder, of Cary, is a McHenry County native.