Thursday, March 31, 2011

COMMENTARY: Former Commissioner Thanks Bob O'Brien

COMMENTARY (FROM HTTP://KEEPBOB.BLOGSPOT.COM) - I left Rockford four years ago, but after living there 32 years I try to keep up on events that are going on. It was always with great pleasure how I read the continued accomplishments Bob O’Brien continued to bring Rockford time and time again. When he came to Rockford he put together a great staff. With that staff, experience and entrepreneur skills he achieved substantial and multiple infrastructure improvements, an international status airport and improved passenger & cargo service. In the interim he provided a long list of other accomplishments that made the people of Rockford and Winnebago County very proud and were shared by the adjoining community. It is my belief the entire community will suffer greatly by Bob O’Brien’s departure. I can only hope the community will hold the responsible people accountable. The seven person Board of Commissioners are appointed by the Mayor of Rockford, the Winnebago County Board Chairman, the Mayor of Loves Park and the President of Machesney Park. You may want to let them hear your thoughts.

Brad Bennett
Former Greater Rockford Airport Board of Commissioner

Pasque Flower Walk at Pecatonica Ridge Prairie Friday, April 1st

FROM PRESS RELEASE  (NATURAL LAND INSTITUTE) - Pasque Flower Walk at Pecatonica Ridge Prairie Friday, April 1st

Please join us for a Pasque Flower Walk at Pecatonica Ridge Prairie at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, April 1, 2011. Enjoy an easy walk at one of the best spots in northern Illinois to see this earliest of spring-blooming flowers.

From Rockford, drive west on U.S. 20, turn north on Conger Road. At the point where Conger curves west into Berglund Road, keep going north on the gravel entrance. Please call the Natural Land Institute at 815/964-6666 with any questions.

Profile - Sharon Atkins for Roscoe Village President

Village of Roscoe Trustee Sharon Atkins is running for the village's top job as President/Mayor. Visit for more information on her campaign.

Gas main replacement project will cause traffic, parking changes - – Rockford’s News Leader

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Nicor Gas crews will begin work next week on a major gas main replacement project...


Rockford Public Library adjusts hours beginning April 3 | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Rockford Public Library Board of Directors voted Monday, Feb. 28, to adjust the hours of operation for the Rockford Public Library locations. The new hours will be effective as of Sunday, April 3, 2011...


Rollins and Westholder disagree on board's handling of cuts - – Rockford’s News Leader

ROCKFORD (WREX)- Jeanne Westholder tries to hang on to the Rockford Board of Education Subdistrict B Seat she's held for the past four years but attorney, Tim Rollins, wants it too...


Airport: O'Brien rumor mill starts | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD - A few hours after the announcement that Bob O'Brien has stepped down as executive director of the Chicago Rockford International Airport, sources told The Rock River Times officials have named his replacement...


Website aims to keep Bob O’Brien at airport | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD - A website has been created with the hope of encouraging Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) Executive Director Bob O'Brien to stay at the airport.

The site,, was created less than a day after The Rock River Times first reported O'Brien, along with Airport Authority Board Chairman Brian Boyer, resigned during a closed session board of commissioners meeting. Read about the resignations here...


O’Brien’s resignation effective March 31 | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD - Bob O'Brien's resignation as executive director of Chicago Rockford Airport is effective tomorrow, Thursday, March 31...


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Rockford Board of Education RIFs 29 teachers and staff

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A round of Rockford teacher RIFs puts 29 tenured staff members out of a job...


2011 District 205 school zones unveiled

ROCKFORD (WREX) - After months of discussion, District 205 Administrators made public the elementary, middle, and high school zones voted in by the Board of Education earlier in the school year...



ROCKFORD (WNTA) - Long time Rockford Airport Director Bob O'Brien is leaving his post...


Faith Center Trying to Repay Debt

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A local church that fell victim to the foreclosure crisis in 2008. Is now looking to sell some of its assets, which could allow them to finish a big construction project...


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

NIU murder case update

WNIJ NEWS (WNIJ) - The case of William Curl was back in court Monday morning. Curl is the DeKalb man suspected of killing a Northern Illinois University student last fall...


Rockford's Goodwill Diva Dress Sale This Weekend

Rockford - With the warmer weather on the way and prom and wedding season right around the corner, why spend a lot of money on a special occasion dress that you'll probably only wear once or twice? MORE...


Rockford area farmers hear more about mega dairies

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  Rockford area farmers learn more about potential risks to their business...


Rally planned before special school board meeting

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A "Save Our Schools" rally is being planned for a few hours before the doors open to the public on a special Rockford School Board meeting that could result in tenured teacher cuts...


Driver Hits Rockford Airport Fence

Rockford - A local man is being investigated after crashing his car into a fence at Rockford's airport.  Police say the 20 year old driver was headed south on Kishwaukee around 2:30 this morning...


This Week in The Times: H. Dennis Smith

ROCK RIVER TIMES PROFILE OF LOCAL LEADERS - Vitals: H. Dennis Smith has served as president and CEO of Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB) since August 1998. He will be retiring March 31...


Monday, March 28, 2011

Rockford kicks off road construction season

ROCKFORD (WREX) - As the weather begins to turn, the orange cones will be going up. The City of Rockford will officially launch its road construction season with a news conference this afternoon to detail some of its bigger projects this summer...


Guest Column: Charter Schools 101

GUEST COLUMN (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Amid the controversy and turmoil of district budget deficits and the closing of schools, something is not being talked about nearly enough: the dismantling and privatization of our public schools. Taxpayers need to understand this agenda fully before decisions are made that will impact our school district and our community for many years to come.


Voter registration grace period ends Tuesday

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Tuesday is your last day to take advantage of the voter registration grace period for the April 5th election...


Teacher Jobs on the Line

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Hundreds of teachers are slated to be let go from District 205 to savemoney on next year's budget...

WIFR - The Cursaders got to the Final Four of the Lutheran Basketball Association of America's Tournament...


Petition Going Strong to Save Auburn High School Principal

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Parents, teachers and students are rallying behind a local principal who's losing his job at the end of this school year...


Police Looking for Hit-and Run Suspect

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Police are on the lookout for a hit and run suspect after a teenage boy was struck Sunday afternoon...


3 Homeless, Hospitalized After Rockford House Fire

ROCKFORD (MYSTATELINE.COM) - Three local residents are in the hospital, after a fire ripped through their Rockford home early Sunday morning.  It happened around 6 am at 707 South Pierpont...


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Case related to Barmore shooting returns to Winnebago Co. Court

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX)- A case related to a shooting that left Rockford man, Mark Barmore, dead returns to the Winnebago County Court. State's Attorney Joe Bruscato...

Read the story:

Rockford Area students tour historical black colleges

ROCKFORD (WREX)- A local non-profit organization tries to inspire African American students to continue their education...

Read the story:

Step by Step, Stateline Residents Walk to Raise Money For Epilepsy

CHERRY VALLEY - People from the Stateline walked all around Cherryvale Mall Saturday to help raise awareness for those with epilepsy....


'Tip-A-Cop' to Benefit Special Olympics Saturday

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some local officers are turning in their badges for aprons. Members of the Rockford Police Department, Winnebago County Sheriff's Department and Rockford Park District Police were at Red Robin restaurant in Rockford today (Saturday) for their annual torch run, 'Tip-A-Cop fundraiser...

Read the story:

Fundraiser TODAY SUNDAY for Home of the Rockford Peaches

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- (ORGINALLY RELEASED SATURDAY NIGHT) - Friends of Beyer Field, home of the Rockford Peaches, will host a bowling fundraiser Sunday to continue restoration to the stadium...


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Brandt Truck Line Closing in Rockford

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A Bloomington-based trucking company with a local office is shutting its doors after nearly 90 years in business...

Hamilton Sundstrand And UAW start Negotiations

ROCKFORD - Contract negotiations between two Hamilton Sundstrand unions and the company have started and will continue over the next 8 weeks. The current contract for U.A.W. local 592 and region 4 of the United Auto Workers expires on May 22nd...


RV Show Returns To ISC

LOVES PARK (WIFR) -- There's plenty of opportunity to purchase an RV at an affordable price this weekend, and without the high gas prices...


Neblock and Powers target School Dist. 205 spending

(WREX)- Bill Neblock wants another run on the Rockford Board of Education. He served in the late 1990s and wants to end wasteful spending...


DISCLAIMER: The editor of Winnebago County News, Paul Gorski, lives in District G and is strongly endorsing Laura Powers in this race.

Johnie Faren "Person of the Week"

ROCKFORD - At just 12 years old Johnie Faren made his national television debut on "Ted Mack and the Original Amateur Hour. Over the years he has performed at countless Jazz festivals and concerts in Rockford and around the world. In December he got an invitation he just couldn't pass up...


Houston company new owner of Rockford’s Clock Tower Resort

ROCKORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Houston-based Allied Hospitality, Inc., has been named the new owner of Rockford's Best Western Clock Tower Resort and Conference Center...


School Board Race: Candidates preach transparency, Sheffield's days could be numbered

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - About 200 people gathered at Heartland Community Church Thursday (March 24) as nine candidates for the Rockford Board of Education gave a host of statements about the changes they would make if voters elect them April 5...


Rockford AirFest 2011 lineup announced

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - A premier lineup of performers will be at the Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD) for the 2011 Rockford AirFest, officials announced...


Friday, March 25, 2011

FatWallet moving headquarters to Beloit

BELOIT (WREX) - Rockton-based internet company FatWallet is moving its operations to Beloit to avoid a new internet tax law in Illinois...


Urban Ministries hosts used book sale March 29-April 2

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Rockford Urban Ministries is hosting its first Used Book Sale at 201 Seventh St., Rockford, in the JustGoods Gallery...


Education Funding: Sen. Dick Durbin fights Head Start cuts

WASHINGTON DC (ROCK RIVER TIMES) U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) has joined forces with state early childhood education officials to fight against cuts proposed  by the U.S. House...

Marquette Elementary raises money for Japan victims

MACHESNEY PARK (WREX) - Students and staff at Marquette Elementary have been busy raising money for victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami...


School Board Candidates Debate

MYSTATELINE.COM - All the candidates wanting to be on the next Rockford School Board hammered out their positions on the issues tonight...

Schools: Citizens petition to retain Auburn principal

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - A group of citizens is circulating an online petition to urge officials to retain Auburn High School Principal Dr. Kye Gaffey...


Thursday, March 24, 2011

New "Green" Courthouse


WNIJ NEWS (WNIJ) - Tenants will soon begin moving into Rockford's new federal courthouse, which is almost complete. The building comes with more space than the existing facility, along with security enhancements. WNIJ's Mike Moen reports, the new structure will also include eco-friendly elements...


COMMENTARY: American middle class are sold down river

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Whatever happened to the phrase "United We Stand, Divided We Fall"? Also, liberty and justice for all—along with government by the people and for the people...


Panoramic with Liam Teague performs March 25 at Mendelssohn

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Charlotte's Web will present "Calypso, Afro-Cuban, Brazilian—world rhythms" featuring Panoramic with Liam Teague at 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 25, at Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 415 N. Church St., Rockford. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m., and concert begins at 7:30...


Volunteers Still Needed for Great American Clean Up -

WINNEBAGO COUNTY - We're one month away from the Great American Clean-Up. And volunteers are still needed to help meet Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful's goals.


Guest Column: Help YouthBuild!

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Last week the Congress passed a new Continuing Resolution (CR) to fund the federal government through April 8th...


Report: Grenade found at Windsor Elementary inactive war relic | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - The hand grenade a Windsor Elementary student brought into the building Thursday morning was ...


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RPS School Board Votes to Layoff 60 Administrators, Save Early Childhood

ROCKFORD (MYSTATELINE.COM) - Rockford's school board voted to layoff 60 administrators Tuesday, including principals at Beyer, Marsh, Haskell, Riverdahl, Kishwaukee and Auburn.  It's part of a plan to fill the district's $50 Million budget...

See the story:

Theater Review: Artists’ Ensemble stages fine production

ROCKFORD (By Edith McCauley, Theater Critic) -  As Jackie, Casiena Raether, states, "Mauritius, a small island in the Indian Ocean, became one of the first countries to publish stamps." Their original value, only a few cents, has increased to millions, and it is that value that centers the action of Artists' Ensemble's Mauritius...


Rockford Symphony performances

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) will take the audience to "Baroque & Beyond" beginning at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, March 26, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center...


Magic Waters enhancements, new ride approved

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Commissioners have approved upgrades and an addition to the attractions at Magic Waters...


Parents, students and faculty weigh in on District 205 climate

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  The results of a climate survey of parents, Teachers and faculty in District 205 have been released...


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Rockford City Council committee OK's extending liquor sales

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Rockford businesses might soon be able to sell alcohol longer on weekends...

Read the story:

AFSCME union members agree to concessions for Rockford Schools

ROCKFORD (WREX) - The Rockford School District could save some money thanks to a meeting tonight...

Winnebago County increasing drug force

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WREX) - The Winnebago County Sheriff's Office is adding officers to its drug enforcement unit...

Read the story:

Monday, March 21, 2011

COMMENTARY - Auburn teacher escorted off campus, placed on leave

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) COMMENTARY - An Auburn High School special education teacher was placed on administrative leave Thursday, March 17, after being escorted off the campus, the teacher confirmed this afternoon...


Investigation details released in deadly train derailment

ROCKFORD (AP)-The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) releases details on its investigation into a deadly train derailment two years ago...

See the video:

Make-A-Wish Helps Local Boy Get To His Room

Poplar Grove (WIFR) -- A local boy, whose illness prevents him from getting around his own house, can now make it upstairs for the first time in nearly a decade...

See the story:

Decision On Extending Liquor Sale Hours Comes at Monday Meeting

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- We could find out whether Sunday bar hours could be extended. The change would allow liquor sales five more hours of business on Sundays...

See the story:

School district gets $50K for West Middle School improvements

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Rockford Public School District 205 was awarded a $50,000 grant to improve West Middle School's auditorium...


Woman, child displaced by apartment fire

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Fire sparks inside a second floor apartment in Rockford Sunday afternoon...

Read the story, see video:

State faces disparities in children’s reading achievement

CHICAGO—In third and fourth grades, children make an important transition in their education—from learning to read to reading to learn. But in Illinois, reading scores at these grade levels have barely improved, and wide disparities among student groups remain; challenges are particularly great among the 45 percent of public school students who come from low-income families...


Saint Mary’s Church Celebrates Saint Joseph's Day -

ROCKFORD (MYSTATELINE.COM) - It's a tradition that goes back centuries, and today a Rockford church is keeping an Italian heritage alive by helping the poor...


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hononegah health teacher is a Golden Apple winner

ROCKTON — Ann Reynolds handed out the class assignment to her health class at Hononegah High School Friday, as the students displayed a higher degree of excitement than normal...


Machesney Park Leaders Hold Budget Retreat

MACHESNEY PARK (WIFR) -- Machesney Park leaders are taking an indepth look into the city's budget...

Read the story:

Gospel Music Takes Over Coronado Theatre

ROCKFORD - The best of local gospel singers belted it out at the Coronado Theatre Saturday...


March Madness 2011 - Library Book Sale

Friends of the Cherry Valley Public Library District present:

March Madness 2011 - Library Book Sale

Friday, March 18 12n - 3pm (preview day, $5 fee)
Saturday, March 19 9am - 5pm
Sunday, March 20 1pm - 5pm
March 21-25 library open hours
Saturday, March 26 Half Price Day (9am-5pm)
Sunday, March 27 Bag of Books for a Buck (1pm-5pm)

Thousands of carefully sorted hardcover fiction and non-fiction for adults, teens and children, paperbacks, videos, music CDs, and audiobooks, plus vintage items, await your consideration. With low prices and high quality, you�re sure to find something for everyone. All proceeds benefit the library for expanded programs, equipment, and materials. Tell all your friends, too. Thanks.

P.S. If your library card has expired, why not stop by after the book sale to renew the card that enhances your life?

Cherry Valley Public Library District
755 E. State Street
Cherry Valley, IL 61016
(815) 332-5161

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Man pleads guilty to involuntary manslaughter in relation to February 2010 altercation | The Rock River Times

WINNEBAGO COUNTY - Terrance D. Coad, 37, pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter March 17 in relation to a February 2010 physical altercation that left one man dead...

Golden Apple Winners Announced

ROCKFORD/BELVIDERE (WREX) - Call it the best kept secret in Rockford area education - 5 teachers honored for their dedication in and out of the classroom...

Rockford's Montessori program may expand

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  As budget cuts hit Rockford schools, the superintendent says she actually wants to expand one program...

Read the story:

Rockford Police charge mother and boyfriend in girl's death

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Rockford Police say a couple beat a 3 year-old little girl to death. The girl's mom and the woman's boyfriend are under arrest facing first degree murder charges...

Read the story:

Friday, March 18, 2011

Pecatonica Tales Weekly update

The new edition of Pecatonica Tales is now available at:

Judge Temporarily Blocks Wisconsin's Collective Bargaining Law

Dane County Judge Maryann Sumi on Friday issued a temporary restraining order blocking implementation of the bill gutting collective bargaining for public workers in Wisconsin...

Read the story at:

LETTER: Company outsourcing does not promote ‘buy local’ | The Rock River Times

Goodbye to the Rockford Register Star. I try to buy local, and if a company outsources...


District 205 Magnet School enrollment on hold

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  While meeting with the North End Square Neighborhood Association, Rockford Public Schools Superintendent Dr. LaVonne Sheffield did not mince words...


Belvidere Firefighters protest proposed cuts to the department - – Rockford’s News Leader

BELVIDERE (WREX) -  Belvidere Firefighters plan to blanket several neighborhoods to talk with people about proposed cuts to the department...


District 205 faces Attorney General inquiry regarding Open Meetings Act

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan's (D) office is launching an inquiry into at least seven Open Meetings Act (OMA) Requests for Review in relation to the Rockford Board of Education.


Man found guilty of September 2009 robbery of Loves Park Title Cash Store | The Rock River Times

WINNEBAGO COUNTY - Phillip Merritt, 58, was found guilty of the Sept. 26, 2009, armed robbery and aggravated robbery of the Title Cash Store at 1728 Riverside Blvd., Loves Park...


Thursday, March 17, 2011

March MADness Book Sale at Cherry Valley Library

A long winter without books can drive you stir crazy! Rescue your mind and spirit with the ever-fun, ever-surprising used book and media offerings at the March MADness Book Sale beginning March 18 at the Cherry Valley Library, 755 E. State St., Cherry Valley...


Education researcher encourages public to be ‘cautious’ of school reform, do homework on charter schools | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD - Watchdogs for Ethics in Education (WEE) brought independent education researcher Noel Hammatt back to Rockford Wednesday, March 16...


State faces disparities in children’s reading achievement | The Rock River Times

CHICAGO—In third and fourth grades, children make an important transition in their education—from learning to read to reading to learn. But in Illinois, reading scores at these grade levels have barely improved, and wide disparities among student groups remain; challenges are particularly great among the 45 percent of public school students who come from low-income families...


Joe Jencks, Reggie Harris perform at Emmanuel Lutheran

International touring performer, songwriter and entertainer Joe Jencks and acclaimed folk singer Reggie Harris will perform in concert at 7 p.m., Friday, March 18, at Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 920 Third Ave., Rockford...


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

La Voz Latina executive director to retire in June

La Voz Latina's Board of Directors announced that Executive Director Patricia Gomez will retire from full-time duty in June...

Read the story at:

Black Box Voting founder to speak March 24

Who will steal the 2012 election, and how will they accomplish it? Learn how to prevent it by hearing Bev Harris in a special engagement in Rockford.

Read the article:

Katie’s Choice Book Club to discuss Harvard Yard

ROCKFORD - The Katie's Choice Book Club selection for March is Harvard Yard by William Martin. Hosted by Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries and Katie's Cup coffeebar, the book discussion will be at Katie's Cup at 7 p.m., Monday, March 21...


Artists’ Ensemble opens Mauritius March 18

Jackie is way overdue for a little luck by the time she gets her hands on a couple of old stamps that just might be worth a fortune in the suspense thriller Mauritius, at Artists' Ensemble (AE)...

Read about it at:

Guest Column: Mayor Morrissey serves the Kool-Aid, dances with Sheffield, and bows to Scott Walker’s vision

The State of the City address Thursday, March 10, by Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey (I) was a disappointment to those who applauded his fleeting moment of courage at the Board of Education meeting Tuesday, March 8, and who expected something more from him after many months of silence.

Read the commentary at:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Securing Rockford's Midtown District

ROCKFORD (WIFR)-- Storefronts may start looking a little different in Rockford's MidtownDistrict. In about two weeks the city's Codes and Regulations Committee will meet to discuss the topic...

Read the article:

Rockford company lets you help the environment and get paid for

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Doing a little spring cleaning could add up to some extra cash. A Rockford company takes what would might normally get tossed in the trash...

Read the story:

Former Health and Human Services employee, three others sentenced in benefits fraud case

From press release

Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato announced that the Judge John Truitt sentenced Alondra Luna, 31, and Carlos Luna, 23, and Sharon Nunez, 51, and Michael Luna, 34, to serve 180 days in the Winnebago County Jail and 30 months probation and to pay $27,000 in restitution.

Read the article at:

Sunday Liquor Hours Could Change

ROCKFORD (MYSTATELINE.COM) - Rockford is one step closer to having bars open earlier... and close later on Sundays. The measure will help keep the city competitive...


Winnebago School District Making Cuts to Staff

WINNEBAGO (MYSTATELINE.COM) - The Winnebago School Board begins laying off teachers tonight. The district is in a financial pinch because Illinois is behind on payments...


Winnebago County Residents Could See Water Bill Increase

WINNEBAGO COUNTY (WIFR) -- Winnebago County residents could soon see an increase on their monthly water bill. "It's our pocketbooks that are paying for all this stuff."


Amerock building closer to national historic site status

ROCKFORD (WREX)- A grass roots citizens group sees a potentially promising future for a falling apart Rockford landmark...

Read the story at:

Monday, March 14, 2011

Local MoveOn members plan March 15 ‘Defend the Dream' Rally

PRESS RELEASE - A “Defend the Dream” rally, organized by local members, is set for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 15, at the corner of State Street and Mill Road in Rockford.

Metro-style police force - WNIJ

WNIJ NEWS (WNIJ) - Metro police forces have been around for a while in the U.S. A northern Illinois county is now considering the idea. WNIJ's, Mike Moen, has more...

Listen to the story at:

Red Cross responds to Japan earthquake, Pacific tsunami; donate locally or give $10 by texting ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Red Cross stands ready and willing to assist following a magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami that affected other countries in the Pacific region...


Reclamation District Public hearing 6:30 PM

ROCKFORD (WNTA) -  The Rock River Water Reclamation District is hosting a public hearing tonight to discuss its $188 million dollar capital improvement plan and corresponding rate increase.


First Warn Weather Team: The Last Week of Winter Sure Looks Like Spring

A massive high pressure ridge extends form Quebec southwest across Wisconsin and Iowa into the Texas panhandle...


Parish Celebrates St. Joseph's Day, Helps Those In Need

ROCKFORD - It's a tradition that goes back centuries and Sunday a Rockford church is keeping their Italian heritage alive by helping the poor. Saint Anthony of Padua parish celebrated St. Joseph's day with an altar full of Sicilian meals for the community...


Newly Expanded Cancer Center Reopens Doors

DIXON (WIFR) -- These days it's rare to see any business expanding in the Stateline, but a medical facility opens its door for the first time this morning...

Read the story:

"Rock the Air" Scholarship nears deadline

ROCKFORD (WREX)- The deadline for the "Rock the Air" scholarship fund is just days away and still more than $100,000 from its goal...


Sunday, March 13, 2011

Largest Protest Crowd Yet Hits WI Capitol

MADISON - The largest crowd yet has descended on Wisconsin's Capitol to protest cuts to public worker collective bargaining rights day after Gov. Scott Walker signed the measure into law...


RoRo expo suggests economic growth

ROCKTON (WREX)-Rockton and Roscoe Area businesses showcase their companies at the 16th Annual RoRo Expo. Everything from non-profits to health organizations set up booths that filled the Hononegah Dome...


Rockford Unions Travel to Wisconsin to Protest Gov. Walker's Bill -

ROCKFORD - Members from Rockford United Labor Union were on the picket lines in Madison Saturday, when the 14 milling democratic stste senators returned. About 200 people from the Stateline road buses up to Wisconsin's capitol....


Saturday, March 12, 2011

Local Hospital Introduces New Four-Legged Volunteers

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Dogs have always been considered man's best friend, and one local hospital enjoys that same canine companionship...

Read the story at:

Weekend of live rock and country music this May at the Rockford Speedway

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Rock and country are set to collide at the Rockford Speedway when 2 local radio stations team up for a weekend of music...

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Demand For GED's Growing in the Stateline

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A potential bright spot in the economic downturn, high school dropouts heading back to school to get their GED's...

Read the story:

Auction of Former Amcore Headquarters Fails to Attract Bidders

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Bidding for the 7th street structure ended Wednesday. An FDIC spokesperson says they did not receive a single bid on the property, and will now attempt to sell it the old fashioned way, through a broker...

Read the full story at:

Freeport family waits to hear from loved one in Japan

FREEPORT (WREX) - A Freeport family waits for word their relatives are safe in Japan. Katelyn Nesheim's sister, Lindsay Jewell, just had a baby four days ago...

Read the story at:

Red Cross responds to Japan earthquake, Pacific tsunami; donate locally or give $10 by texting ‘REDCROSS’ to 90999

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The American Red Cross stands ready and willing to assist following a magnitude 8.9 earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami that affected other countries in the Pacific region...

Get the details at:

Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra in “A Handel Celebration” March 18th

Come out for the Mendelssohn Chamber Orchestra's "A Handel Celebration"  on March 18, 2011 at  7:30 PM.

The orchestra, directed by Stephen Squires, will perform with members of the Mendelssohn Chorale, organist Bill Stein, and baritone Jonathan Beyer, winner of the 2010 Amelia Guthrie Promising Singer of Merit Award. Performance will be at Court Street United Methodist Church, Rockford. Tickets are $25 for adults and $5 for students. Groups of 10 or more adults receive $5 off per ticket.

Call the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center at (815) 964-9713 or visit to purchase concert tickets or for more information.

Friday, March 11, 2011

RSO - RSO Star: Who Will It Be? - March 12th

RSO Star: Who Will It Be? March 12, 2011, 7:30 PM, Coronado Theatre. Rockford.
After 22,500 online votes, the field of competitors in the RSO Star competition has been narrowed to nine...

For tickets or more information visit:

Wrestlers invade downtown Rockford

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  The Rockford area hopes to make some money when wrestlers invade the MetroCentre this weekend...


Animal import legislation one root cause of Asian carp crisis

CHICAGO (ROCK RIVER TIMES) —Asian carp were allowed into this country under a law governing animal imports that was passed in 1900, and which has remained unchanged, despite a drastically different global trade reality. As two species of Asian carp, the bighead and silver carp, knock at the door of the Great Lakes, conservation and fishing groups are calling on federal officials to finally update import screening laws before the next invader gets here...

Read the article at:

Theater Review: Keith’s I Remember Mama memorable

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - I rarely write reviews about high school, college or community theater productions. But once in a while, I see something I feel the community should know about. Such was my feeling when I came out of Keith School's current musical, I Remember Mama...


Downtown Tales - Pecatonica - Now Available

The latest editon of Downtown Tales, with news and events from Pecatonica, IL, is available at:

Rockford man faces arson charges in string of fires

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  A Rockford man faces charges for starting fires in the city, possibly over the past decade...


Hundreds killed in tsunami after 8.9 Japan quake - WREX, WIFR, WTVO

TOKYO (AP) - A ferocious tsunami spawned by one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded slammed Japan's eastern coast Friday, killing hundreds of people as it swept away boats, cars and homes while widespread fires burned out of control...coverage at out local TV outlets...




Earthquake and Tsunami Coverage - WNIJ and WNTA radio

You'll find local coverage of the Japan earthquake and tsunami at our local radio outlets:


Rockford Police to start accepting applications soon

Rockford (WREX) - For the first time since 2008, the Rockford Police Department will start accepting applications to join the force in about three weeks...


Park District won’t partner with school sports

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Rockford Public School District 205 will now attempt to find a way to offer athletics at a lower cost for the 2011-12 school year after it was announced a proposed partnership between District 205 and the Rockford Park District will not happen...


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Blood Drive Saturday 8:00 AM to Noon

The Northwestern Illinois Building Trades will be holding a Blood Drive "In Memory of Lew Blais" on Saturday, March 12th from 8 AM to Noon. The blood drive will be held at the IBEW Local 364 Building, 6820 Mill Road in Rockford. All are welcome, the least busy time is expected to be after 10:30 AM.

Plan to plant trees in Rockford needs seed money

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A campaign to "Reforest the Forest City" begins to grow...

Find out who is making this happen at:

COMMENTARY: Sheffield’s vitriol vs. Hammatt’s restraint

COMMENTARY (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - I watched the Feb. 22nd Board of Education meeting and was amazed at Dr. Sheffield's comments. At the beginning of the second semester, she sent an e-mail to staff promising a "softer tone." In her Register Star guest column of Feb. 20th, she decried the vitriol in the community's tone when discussing educational issues. Apparently, she has a short memory...

Read the article at:

COMMENTARY: Remembering Frank Ware—a champion for mental health issues

COMMENTARY (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - The city of Rockford, our great nation, and the entire world has just suffered the tremendous loss of yet another truly exceptional human being. Frank Ware, who had been the president and CEO of the Janet Wattles Mental Health Center for 22 years, passed away Sunday, Feb. 13, 2011, due to natural causes. He was 64 years old...

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Teacher of the Week: Rani Russell

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Good teachers teach, but great teachers also learn from their students.  That's the case with our Teacher of the Week who is constantly surprised with her first graders...

Read the story at:

Benefit for Haylie Howe, brain disease victim, April 2

PRESS RELEASE (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - St. Andrew Lutheran Church will host a benefit for Haylie Howe, a 4-year-old who suffers from Vein of Galen Malformation, a very rare brain abnormality where capillaries are not present in this vein...

School board turns to Rockford teachers cuts & concessions

ROCKFORD (WREX) - The Rockford School Board announces it's up to $49 million in cuts to close the budget deficit. But a big portion of that comes from teacher cuts and concessions...

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Rainy Season beginning soon

ROCKFORD - Did you know that almost twice as much precipitation falls in March than February? Typically, February is the driest month here in Rockford with an average melted total of...

Read about it at:

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rockford Public School programs saved - WNIJ

ROCKFORD, IL (WNIJ) - It was a long and emotion-filled night for public school students, parents, and teachers. More than 400 people attended the marathon meeting where the Rockford School Board finalized last week's decision to close six schools. It notified hundreds of untenured teachers that they may lose their jobs. And then, when it came to voting on another round of cuts including eliminating specialized programs the board delivered a real surprise. WNIJ's Susan Stephens reports.

Listen to the story at:

60 degree weather in our future?

ROCKFORD - 60 degree weather may not be too far off in our future as overall pattern changes continue to take shape through the country...

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Further school cuts delayed after hours of public comment

ROCKFORD (WREX) – A vote on further cuts within the Rockford School District was taken off the table late Tuesday night, after hours of passionate public comments against the cuts...

Read about it at:

Clergy To Walker: Don't Harden Your Heart Like Pharaoh

WISCONSIN (WORKERS INDEPENDENT NEWS) - Governor Walker thought he had built an all- powerful ship of state with total control of the legislature, but his ship has crashed on the rocks of Wisconsin's progressive people power...


St Patrick's Day traffic enforcement begins March 11th

FREEPORT (WIFR) -- For many Americans, *St. Patrick's Day has become a popular night out to celebrate with friends and family...


Ethnic Heritage Museum honors five local women | The Rock River Times

PRESS RELEASE - March is traditionally "Women in History Month." Each year, the Ethnic Heritage Museum (EHM) honors local women who have made many outstanding contributions to life in Rockford. The 2011 "Women in History" honorees are Emma L. Gipson-Gentry, Rose Nicosia Virgili, Anne E. O'Keefe, Lorena Belmonte Moctezuma and Bogumila Sas...

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District 205 budget review report raises red flags, attorney calls CFO to carpet

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - As the Rockford Board of Education moves forward with its massive $45 million cost-cutting plan, some of what District 205 officials say is a $50 million fiscal 2012 deficit is under fire.


Video: Mayor Larry Morrissey questions school closings, deeper cuts delayed

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - After more than two hours of public comment from more than 50 speakers, votes on deeper budget cuts were taken off the table by the Rockford Board of Education Tuesday, March 8.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Contract talks resume at Titan Tire in Freeport - – Rockford’s News Leader

FREEPORT (WREX) - Negotiations have resumed in the ongoing Titan Tire contract dispute...

Read about it at:

Illinois Labor Relations Board to mediate between city and police union

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  The Illinois Labor Relations Board will mediate a complaint filed against the City of Rockford by its police union...

Discipline Doubts: A Look at District 205

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- When Dr. Lavonne Sheffield became Superintendent of Rockford Public Schools, she made some changes to the discipline code. Her intention is to keep minor infractions off students' records in an effort to help them become more successful...

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Makulec finds discrepancies in Dist. 205's savings

ROCKFORD (WREX)- Rockford School Board Member, Jude Makulec says cuts approved at last week's board meeting are millions of dollars more than what the administration reported...

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Last Day to Register to Vote

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Today is the last day you can register to vote or change an address before the April 5 Elections...

Get the rest of the story at:

Winnebago County deputy heads South Beloit police during search for new chief

SOUTH BELOIT (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - The South Beloit City Council gave control of its police force to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department...

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Monday, March 07, 2011

Ski Broncs prepare for water ski season

LOVES PARK (WREX)- Another Rockford tradition prepares to make a comeback this summer. The Ski Broncs Water Ski Show Team practiced today in preparation for their free summer shows...

Read the story and see the video:

WNIJ: The philosophy behind "rogue" lawmakers

If you didn't catch it the first time...

DEKALB (WNIJ) - NIU political scientist Matt Streb and WNIJ's Dan Klefstad examine the philosophy behind Wisconsin and Indiana lawmakers who fled their states to avoid casting votes they disagree with.

Hear the story at:

Guest Column: Charter Schools 101

COMMENTARY - Amid the controversy and turmoil of district budget deficits and the closing of schools, something is not being talked about nearly enough: the dismantling and privatization of our public schools. Taxpayers need to understand this agenda fully before decisions are made that will impact our school district and our community for many years to come...


Education rally Monday Night 6:30 PM

WNTA reports there is an education rally tonight, Monday night.
Get the details here:

Ill. farmers to study trade opportunities

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A group of Illinois farmers is heading to Panama and Colombia this week to study trade opportunities...

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Soaring Fuel Prices Gouging Local Trucking Company

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- With the economy improving, freight haulers are in demand, and on the road. "Every time the economy starts taking off, which it is right now, this type of thing starts... "

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School Board Candidates’ Forum set for March 6


Candidates for Rockford School District 205 will participate in a Candidates' Election Forum at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 6, hosted at First Presbyterian Church, 406 N. Main St., downtown Rockford (parking in the lot north of the church).

The forum is co-sponsored by Rockford Area Lutheran Ministries, Rockford Urban Ministries, American Association of University Women, and the League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford...

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The Second Half: Ease pain and more with Epsom Salt

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - I have been working out at the gym quite a bit lately and noticed some soreness that lingers, sometimes for days, after a workout. "It isn't like I'm in screaming pain," I tell Dr. J (Dr. Jarrod Kerkhoff of Loves Park Chiropractic). "It's just that I'm achy and uncomfortable."...

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Sunday, March 06, 2011

Rockford Man Opens Door, Gets Shot

ROCKFORD (MYSTATELINE.COM) - A Rockford man was shot when he answered the door for a stranger.  It happened at...

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Fire breaks out in Rockford home

ROCKFORD (WREX) - A person makes it out safely after their home catches fire Saturday afternoon.  Crews were called to...

See video and read the story at:

Becca's Closet Hosts Annual Prom Fashion Show

ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- A local organization is reaching out to those in need…for Prom...

Read about it at:

Freeport's Mayor Is Innocent

FREEPORT - An ethics commission ruled today that Freeport mayor George Gaulrapp didn't engage in electioneering...

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Saturday, March 05, 2011

Local TV Rockford Weather Blogs Are Great Resources

COMMENTARY - The local Rockford TV stations offer very useful weather blogs, maps, and other information. The information at these sites is great when planning your weekend, a family outing, or how to dress for an outdoor sporting event.

Visit: to find links to the Rockford TV stations' weather blogs, news sites and closing information.

A poem: Rockford Repurposed

Editor's note: The following poem is being presented as a Letter to the Editor.

Rockford Repurposed

Think it possible a town could banish reason?
Our leaders, if they ever were, have run away.
A Mayor come from hiding...

Read the commentary at:

Rockford Woman Speaks Out Against Gangs

ROCKFORD - Blue spray paint on a 2500 hundred dollar fence is enough to make anyone mad. The property owner blames gang activity...


Shortage forces Walgreens pharmacists to make liquid Tamiflu

ROCKFORD (WREX) -  Increased cases of the flu have some pharmacists taking pro-active measures to fight the outbreak...


Agribusiness lobby fights against clean water

SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—Big agribusiness interests are among the largest roadblocks to clean water in the United States, according to a new report by Environment Illinois Research & Policy Center...


Tube Talk: Is your favorite show on the bubble?

ROCKFORD - It's that time of year again when hardcore fans begin strategizing and plotting campaigns to save their favorite TV series from cancellation...

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Winnebago County deputy heads South Beloit police during search for new chief

SOUTH BELOIT (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - The South Beloit City Council gave control of its police force to the Winnebago County Sheriff's Department Thursday (March 3)...


Person of the Week Founder of Rosie's Birthday Club

ROCKFORD - For a child, birthdays are supposed to be anticipated with great excitement and make for fond memories...


Friday, March 04, 2011

Downtown venues offer First Friday events March 4

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - The next installment of First Friday events in downtown Rockford is set for 5 p.m.-midnight, Friday, March 4. The following venues will be participating:

Rockford Sketch Comedy at Sullivan Theater, 118 N. Main St.—"Rockford Sketch Comedy (RSC) presents…": The laughter continues to grow...


Medical merging: Pros and cons

ROCKFORD (WREX)- Hospitals across the country combine facilities, talent and technology to stay competitive in the healthcare industry. The number of hospital mergers...

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Thursday, March 03, 2011

Rockford Home Sales Dropped More Than 18% in February

Rockford - ( Local housing numbers were down last month.  The Rockford Area Realtors released February figures Thursday morning...

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Home buying challenges

WNIJ NEWS (WNIJ) - Many analysts say one of the keys to resolving current economic problems is reviving the real estate market. However, slow growth, and bad memories...

Get the audio and story at:

Teacher of the Week: Kristin Burns

ROCKFORD (WREX) - History may seem like one of those boring school subjects to some people, but not to one Rockford teacher.  Our Teacher of the Week, Kristin Burns, takes kids back in time to teach them about their own lives...

Read the story and see video at:

School Board Candidates’ Forum set for March 6

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Candidates for Rockford School District 205 will participate in a Candidates' Election Forum at 2 p.m., Sunday, March 6, hosted at First Presbyterian Church, 406 N. Main St., downtown Rockford (parking in the lot north of the church)...

Read the press release at:

Video: Local attorney challenges school budget review findings | The Rock River Times

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - According to Chicago-based accounting firm Baker Tilly, the budget shortfall of $50 million projected by the Rockford Public School District is "in the ballpark." The firm made the announcement Monday, Feb. 28, at a special meeting of the quickly formed Budget Review Consultant Selection Committee...

See the video and read the story at:

First round of budget cuts could save District 205 $34M

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) -  Key District 205 officials met at the Administration Building  today, (March 2) to determine how much the district will save by closing six schools...

Read the story at:

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

District 205 officials: Additional revenue will not keep schools open

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - No amount of additional revenue will prevent the Rockford Board of Education from closing schools at tonight's special school board meeting. At least that's the message coming from officials...

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Editorial: Journalism in a new age and a call for a warrior to run our public schools

ROCKFORD (ROCK RIVER TIMES) - Freedom of the press initially applied to anybody who owned one. Today, that freedom is still intact. Millions of smartphones, laptops and other devices are the presses of a new generation–one illuminated by a growing social network...

Read the entire commentary at:

New program suggest 4 strategies to make Rockford safer

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Rockford signs on to a new way to prevent crime in the Kishwaukee Corridor. It's called Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED). the national program has worked in other major cities throughout the U.S. Like Houston and Montgomery, Alabama...

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Board Votes: Six Rockford Schools Will Close for 2011-2012 School Year

ROCKFORD (MYSTATELINE.COM) - The Rockford School Board votes to close 6 schools help fix the district's budget deficit. School Closures Include...

Read about the closings at:

Embry Riddle decision delayed

ROCKFORD (WNTA) - It appears area residents will have to wait a few more months before learnng whether Rockford will be selected as the site for...

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Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rockford Library Hours Changing

Rockford (WIFR) -- The hours of operation for rockford's public libraries are changing again, but this time it's not because of budget cuts...

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Choice is power for electricity customers in the Rockford area

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Rockford area customers have other options when it comes to power.  There are companies that offer alternatives to ComEd service. Constellation Energy just branched into residential service in northern Illinois...

Read the story and find out more about electricity choices:

Quinn appoints former Rockford mayor to lead commerce commission

ROCKFORD (WREX) - Former Rockford Mayor Doug Scott has been appointed as the new head of the Illinois Commerce Commission by Illinois Governor Pat Quinn. Scott has been the Illinois EPA Director since 2005, where he has worked to reduce emissions at the state's power plants and has supported low-emission coal technology, wind power, and other alternative energy and fuel sources...

Read the story and get more history at:

Baker Tilly and ex-mayor committee: ‘School district budget projections in ballpark’

ROCKFORD - (ROCK RIVER TIMES) Findings of the District 205 budget review were announced Monday, Feb. 28 at a meeting of the Budget Review Consultant Selection Committee. According to consulting firm Baker Tilly and City of Rockford Finance Director Andres Sammul, District 205, led by Cheif Financial Officer Cedric Lewis...

Read the full story at:

Ancient Sites of Ireland - A Visual Tour - March 6th

Cherry Valley Library District - Ancient Sites of Ireland

Sunday, March 6 at 2 PM - 12% of Americans identify themselves as descendants of Ireland. Celebrate your ancestry, reminisce about a wonderful vacation, or plan your upcoming trip to the Emerald Isle as Cherry Valley Library Director Eve Kirk shares a visual tour of the ancient sites of Ireland. Registration is required. Use our online calendar or call 815-332-5161.

Find the calendar at:

Rockton Fire Station Renovation Almost Complete

ROCKTON (WIFR) -- It's been used for more than three decades, now a local fire stationrenovation is almost complete...

Learn more about the station's history at:

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