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A New Year And A Fresh Start

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America Was Ready To Ring In 2009

By Joe Foreman, Editor

As I sat in front of the TV late Wednesday night watching the final seconds of 2008 tick away in Times Square, it was very evident that Americans were eager to ring in a new year.

Maybe more so than any other year in a long, long time.

No doubt about it, 2008 was a rough year for many people, for many different reasons, and most people were ready to put the year to rest.

With the new year comes a breath of fresh air and the hope that America and the world will be a better place to live in 2009.

* * *

As noted in our front page story, Dec. 31 was a red letter day for Glenwood residents Ron and Betty Bales.

The day marked the end of Betty’s banking career at Mills County Bank / First National Bank and Ron’s tenure on the Glenwood City Council.

Congrats to Ron and Betty. They’ve both been assets to our community. I’ve always enjoyed Betty’s sense of humor and I’ll miss Ron’s “tell it like it is” common sense approach to addressing city matters. Enjoy your retirement, Ron and Betty.

The same wish goes out to Mack Taylor, who retired Dec. 31, after serving 16 years as Mills County Sheriff, and longtime Glenwood attorney Jim Thomas, who also retired.

* * *

In past years, I’ve used this space to make predictions for the new year. If you’re keeping score, about two-thirds of my predictions for 2008 came to pass.

Here’s my list of five predictions for 2009:

- Construction work at the new Glenwood Community High School won’t be completed by April 15, or even May 15, but the school will be ready to go in time for the start of the 2009-2010 school year. Once the school does open, everyone in Glenwood will be so happy with it that they’ll forget how long it actually took to get built.

- As for those IDOT bridge projects south of Glenwood – they’ll be done in time for the start of the 2009-2010 school year also.

- Mills County residents will be asked to pass a bond issue for the construction of a new county jail. A new facility is certainly needed but could be a tough sell during these tough economic times.

- Glenwood Police Chief John O’Connor will trade in his patrol car for a Segway.

Well, maybe not, but I do think the chief would look pretty cool buzzing around town on one of those things.

- The long-awaited ARFS animal shelter will become a reality in 2009.

Good job, ARFS. This has been a worthwhile project in the works for a long time.

Arf! Arf!

* * *

Many national TV pundits and others are declaring George W. Bush the worst U.S. president in the last 100 years.

Jimmy Carter received the same dubious distinction after he lost the 1980 election to Ronald Reagan, but even the peanut farmer from Georgia never found himself ducking a pair of shoes at one of his press conferences.

The irony of Carter is that he’ll be remembered as one of our worst presidents and one of our most outstanding ex-presidents. His work with Habitat For Humanity and numerous other charitable causes over the past quarter century are unmatched by any other ex-president in recent memory.

It will be interesting to see if Bush follows Carter’s lead and works to improve his image after he leaves the White House.