[rose] Roses to the three area high school students who are taking their Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities, or CEO, businesses to the national level. Cassidy Tucker of the Shelby County CEO program, Marlee Nolen of the Fayette County program, and Keri Zumbahlen of the Jasper County program are among the 25 students who will see their projects and businesses showcased in the annual Midland Institute for Entrepreneurship National CEO Trade Show on Sunday in Champaign. Midland Institute Community Director Kent Probst said this is the first year the national show is not being held in Effingham. Probst also noted that the CEO program in Effingham just wrapped up its 11th year following the 2018-2019 school year. The idea for a national trade show emerged as the program grew out of state with programs emerging across the country. Probst said starting in fall 2019, CEO will have 51 programs across five states. That just shows how roseworthy the program here has become.

[thorn] A mild collection of hardly-stabby thorns for the naysayers who seem to be convinced that Meijer never will get built in Effingham. Your EDN editor gets calls from time to time convinced that the project will never materialize. But there was more talk about the project during a city council this week: Bid letting for Ford Avenue work related to that project will be June 11. In fact, Meijer is already putting money into the project: In the agreement with the City of Effingham, Meijer officials will be designing the road improvements and reimbursing the city up to $600,000 for the work. The city will be handling the bidding and overseeing of the road project. Some of those smaller out lots are still for sale and have signs advertising them on the property.

[rose] As EDN reporter Kaitlin Cordes reported, downtown Effingham was abuzz Wednesday morning with area Special Olympians, their families, law enforcement and volunteers as they kicked off the Effingham County leg of the annual Law Enforcement Torch Run. Olympian Jessica Ludwig was talking with fellow athletes on the Effingham County Museum lawn before the torch run began. Ludwig plays basketball, softball and runs track with the Special Olympics. Ludwig said the torch run day is something she looks forward to every year. "I like it. It's a fun day," Ludwig said. Ludwigs mother, Diane Ludwig, said the run is a fun day for the Olympians to get together, and they are always excited to participate. Athlete Megan Young also passed on the torch to law enforcement Wednesday. Young said she was excited about the day and was ready to compete in the state Special Olympics Summer Games in Bloomington.

[rose] Your EDN editor enjoyed reading the story by Dawn Schabbing this week about Tim Zgonina, who finds solace in waking up at 4 a.m. and heading out into nature. Armed with a pair of binoculars and his Nikon camera equipment, he’s found a way to combine his love of photography with his love of wildlife, year-round. He has found two things he enjoys – birding and photography. “It is a little bit of ornithology and a little bit of art mixed in together,” said Zgonina, 64, of Effingham. “I love getting up before dawn, seeing the sun come up, the colors and hearing the sounds. It’s just a great way to appreciate nature.” His hobby brings him the challenge of making a good photo that is properly exposed and finding subject matter that’s pleasing, he added. Roses to his dedication, and the spectacular photography it generates.

[thorn] The Associated Press reported: "Illinois lawmakers are in line for a $1,600-a-year salary increase after the House surprised the Senate by slipping a pay raise into budget legislation, then refusing to take action on the Senate's attempt to reverse it. The $39.9 billion budget the House adopted Saturday night, followed Sunday by Senate action which ended the Legislature's spring session, includes a 2.4% cost-of-living adjustment in legislators' base salary of $67,836. It would be the first pay increase for lawmakers since 2008 and would take effect July 1 ... 'If we think we deserve one, then stand up and say it,' said Sen. Dale Righter, a Mattoon Republican who was the first to point out the missing COLA freeze to majority Democrats. 'Don't try to slip it through in the last hours of session because that's what people resent.' Roses to Righter, who has announced he will not seek re-election, for pointing out why this action deserves thorns.

Editor

Graduated with a degree in journalism from UW-Madison in 1987. Reporter at a newspaper outside London, England. Then a reporter at papers in Pennsylvania and Virginia. For 13 years, a reporter and editor at the Chicago Tribune. Named EDN editor in 2014.