Teen stress in Naperville, big cats in DuPage County, football success at Fremd and more.
Addressing teen stress
A report this month from Naperville-based KidsMatter will deserve our close attention. Based on a survey of 5,000 Naperville teens to determine sources of their stress, it could give adults ideas for ways to help address those problems. It's proactive work by KidsMatter and North Central College professor Patricia Schacht.
Soaring to new heights
Something special will be in the air this weekend when the Norge Ski Club hosts its 113th tournament (noon to 4 p.m. both days). Officials are bursting with pride that three members (Michael Glasder, Kevin Bickner and Casey Larson) qualified for the Olympics. That's impressive. Hopefully some future Olympians will be cheering on their local heroes.
A recent sighting of a cougar at the East Branch Forest Preserve near Glendale Heights isn't the first time officials have been alerted to the possible presence of a big cat in DuPage County. But it is a reminder to keep your eyes open in our preserves. If you happen to see a cougar, or any large, unexpected animal, call officials at 847-608-3100. Safety first.
A quick labor turned into an "exhilarating" experience for a Hawthorn Woods woman and several Lake Zurich firefighters and paramedics who helped deliver a baby girl in the family's house. Carolyn Dale was surrounded by first responders who coached her through the birth. "They were such great cheerleaders, which is what I needed," Dale said.
Fremd High School's football squad may have struggled through a 1-8 season in 2017, but the Palatine school's players were big winners off the field. Through a new program called Iron Will Outreach -- a play on the team's longtime "Iron Will" slogan -- players logged nearly 1,000 community service hours this fall. Now, that's a successful season.
A year of waiting
Today is the one-year anniversary of Matthew Lange's murder outside a Naperville middle school. In those 12 months, his parents have grieved, his son has grown a year older without his father. We hope the Naperville Police Department's efforts soon bring his killer to justice and bring closure, if not peace, to his family.
Getting district on right track
The interim superintendent of Des Plaines District 62, Paul Hertel, seems to be the right man for the times, as the district recovers from the sexual harassment complaints that torpedoed his predecessor, Floyd Williams Jr. When, as reported this week, a teacher now says, "I feel safe, I feel secure," it's a sign things are improving for all 900 employees.
Hungry for learning
Kids eligible for breakfast at Wheeling Township Elementary District 21 schools used to have to arrive early, posing logistical problems for parents and questions about stigmatizing the kids. Moving breakfast into the classroom after the bell has been a big success. The simple change could have a big payoff in keeping kids focused on learning.
Bound for Cooperstown
Congrats to former White Sox slugger Jim Thome, who will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. While many will treasure the memories of some monstrous blasts among his 612 home runs, we always appreciated his positive spirit and that infectious smile.