Pretty in paint

Pick a sunny fall day and take a drive around Elgin's historic neighborhoods to gawk at the beautifully Victorians that took seven of nine prizes in a Chicago area contest for "painted ladies." The grand prize went to a house at 214 South State St., and others are on Park, Porter, South Liberty and Highland streets.

Haul out the holly

We understand the griping about the holidays overtaking Halloween, but: Don't we all need a little Christmas, right this very minute? So, Santa, welcome to Woodfield and elsewhere.

Wonderful Wildcats

Quite the start of the school year at Naperville's Neuqua Valley High. First it won a national Blue Ribbon for educational excellence. Now principal Robert McBride is among just eight educators nationwide to receive the Terrel H. Bell Award for outstanding leadership.

Coexisting with coyotes

The thought of coyotes roaming our neighborhoods is disconcerting, but Grayslake officials made the right call to abandon plans to hire trappers. As wildlife experts told village officials, more coyotes would simply move in to replace the others. The more effective move: educating us on how to safely coexist with these typically shy creatures.

A valuable contribution

A tip of the cap to longtime Arlington Heights Elementary District 25 school board member Chuck Williams, who has resigned after 27 years. Williams was a team player who also would think and act independently.

Sweet treat

A team of volunteers made Halloween sweet for 12-year-old Iker Lagunas of Elgin and not because of the candy he collected. Iker, who has muscular dystrophy, uses a wheelchair that the team from DePaul University customized into an uber-cool gold racing kart modeled after the one in his favorite video game, Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. What a costume.

Have arm, will travel:

After years as understudy to Tom Brady of the Patriots, former Rolling Meadows High quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo will get a chance to prove he's a starting NFL QB with his trade to San Francisco. Leaving the Super Bowl champs to join a winless team will be a huge challenge. Good luck, No. 10.

Funding the future

It takes half a million dollars to provide the benefits offered by the Education and Work Center in Hanover Park -- free English classes, high school equivalency classes, computer skills and employment assistance. In agreeing to keep splitting the main costs to run the center, Harper College and Elgin Community College are funding the future.

Celebrating Elgin's athletes

On Sunday night, the Elgin Sports Hall of Fame Foundation will hold its 38th annual induction and recognition banquet at The Centre of Elgin. In addition to inducting five new members, the Foundation will award $1,300 scholarships to nearly 30 local student-athletes. Congratulations and thanks to ESHOFF.

Remembering two icons

While Abdul Hameed Dogar and Zia Hassan had different personalities, they were a great match to found a successful community of faith. The men -- one comfortable in the limelight, one who worked behind the scenes -- built the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park into a dynamic religious and academic institution. They died within hours of each other Sunday. They leave a worthy and important legacy.