... and a tip of the newspaper folded hat to the Normal Community High School Inkspot staff on the newspaper's 70th anniversary.
The students hope to celebrate the milestone with an annual print edition in addition to their online presence.
... to State Farm (and any other local business) that has provided its employees with a $1,000 bonus to say thanks for a job well done in a year of catastrophic disasters.
Many nationally known companies have offered the same bonus to help employees balance changes to the federal tax code. Whether local or national, and regardless of the reason, it's nice when companies recognize the hard work of their employees.
... to government bodies that spend exorbitant amounts of money on training that could by done via the internet, or at a cheaper site.
Last week, receipts revealed local school districts spending thousands of dollars for Illinois Association of School Board training in Chicago.
Government bodies need to be especially careful in how they spend tax money. Their oversight bodies, like IASB, should offer training in less-expensive cities and use online tools as much as possible.
When districts cut field trips to save money, shouldn't school boards do the same?
... to Barn Keepers of McLean County, for landing nationally-known speaker Donald Truax of National Barn Alliance for the group's February meeting.
Preservation of barns speaks to a community's dedication to local history. Truax will speak at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 8 at FS Evergreen, 402 S. Hershey Road, Bloomington.
... to the town of Normal and city of Bloomington as they try to work out plans to celebrate the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr.
The two had shared responsibility for an annual luncheon and awards ceremony, but Normal recently announced plans to back out and perhaps partner with Illinois State University.
Bloomington wants to continue with its recognition but isn't sure what form it will take.
Let's hope everyone works together, in the spirit of Dr. King, to honor his memory and those who continue to carry on his work in the Twin Cities.
... to Pamela Reece, newly named city manager for the town of Normal. A longtime town employee, she will succeed Mark Peterson when he retires in March.
... to whoever tossed damaging liquid onto the bronze Abe Lincoln bench outside the McLean County Museum of History in downtown Bloomington.
The liquid probably has permanently damaged the metal, despite its protective coating. Such criminal behavior deserves punishment.
... to Stan Geison, retiring executive director of Habitat of Humanity of McLean County, who is leaving that post after four years.
Habitat is a labor of love for those who need a helping hand, but not a handout. For Geison and those who volunteer with Habitat, thanks for your service.