Yours truly completed another lap around this tired old
globe last week (meaning I turned 77 on Dec. 27). I now face
2018 with some trepidation but a renewed hope for Kay and my
As one gets older, you tend to look back more than forward.
Keeping that thought, here are some flashbacks from the past
10 years in DeKalb County. They mostly come from the archives
of the Daily Chronicle.
The year 2008 saw the worst tragedy ever to befall Northern
Illinois University when five students were gunned down by a
deranged former student on Valentines Day, Feb. 14. On
a brighter note, the DeKalb schools $110 million referendum
to build a new high school was approved by voters.
It was 2009 when the wind farm of about 145
wind turbines, standing 400 feet tall from the tip of the blades
to the ground, was approved by the county. The Potawatomi Tribe
began restoring the 128 acres of farmland it bought (back in
2006) into native prairie grass, waiting for federal approval
to build a
A sampling of highlights from 2009 and 2011 from back
issues of the Daily Chronicle
gaming facility near Shabbona. Cavel, the horse-slaughtering
plant outside DeKalb, was converted for the slaughter of sheep
and goats for Muslim dietary purposes.
Come 2010, and another tragedy involving NIU happened when
a student, Toni Keller, was brutally murdered in Prairie Park.
Later, her killer, Billy Curl, was tried and convicted of the
heinous crime. Also that year, the County Board approved the
mega-dump expansion south of Cortland, which would
allow 2,000 tons of trash a day to be brought here from 17 surrounding
counties. Genoa lost, then thought it had gotten back the planned
Amtrak train route, but eventually lost it again.
Then in 2011, more drama was in the news. Jack McCullough
was charged in the 1957 kidnapping and slaying of Maria Ridulph
in Sycamore. His conviction was later reversed. February saw
the county get a foot of snow. Beloved band leader Dee Palmer
died. The new DeKalb High School opened.
Next it was 2012, when the NIU Huskies secured a berth
in the Orange Bowl. Mister Pumpkin Wally Thurow died
from a bike accident. Incumbent Clay Campbell was defeated by
Democrat Richard Schmack for states attorney.
The year 2013 saw John Rey elected DeKalb mayor, NIU police
chief Don Grady fired, then a new NIU president, Doug Baker,
named. Corn Fest returned to downtown DeKalb after being at the
airport for a few years.
In 2014, we saw the purchase and demolition of the Evergreen
Village Park trailers in Sycamore, plus the closing of Barnes
& Noble. Also, an odor from the Waste Management mega-dump
caused the evacuation of Cortland Elementary students.
The next year, 2015, hit hard, with a tornado ripping through
Fairdale and surrounding environs April 9, resulting in the death
of two women, and about $8 million in losses. KishHealth System
was acquired by Northwestern Memorial Healthcare. The County
Board voted to expand the county jail with a $35 million bond
sale. Laurie Borowicz was named president of Kishwaukee College.
The last of my 10 years tripping down memory lane, 2016,
brought the downfall of DeKalb School District 428 Superintendent
Doug Moeller for alleged misconduct with high school Principal
Michele Albano. In election news, Republican Rick Amato won the
race for states attorney over incumbent Schmack.
I cant remember much from 2017, but thats how
it goes as one ages. However, you can read all about last year
in the Daily Chronicles Dec. 30 edition.