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Monthly Archives: October 2014

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Caring: RHS Ambassadors to host Halloween party

ROCKFORD — The Rockford Health System Ambassadors, a volunteer organization of the Rockford Memorial Development Foundation, will host a Halloween party for hospitalized children from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Oct. 31 at Rockford Memorial Hospital, 2400 N. Rockton Ave.

Ambassadors will assist pediatric patients with face painting, cookie decorating, a bean bag toss, pumpkin decorating and crafts. Young patients will dress in costume and trick-or-treat on the unit.

For information:


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Arts & Recreation: Rocktown Adventures to open Nov. 1

ROCKFORD — Rocktown Adventures, a specialty outdoor retailer and adventure club, will open its doors at 10 a.m. on Nov. 1 at its location, 313 N. Madison St.

The store will carry equipment and apparel for paddlesports, nordic sports, camping and lifestyle and will offer guided trips and lessons for paddle and nordic sports. Its hours are from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays; and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. The store will be closed Mondays.

For information:


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Check out the TransformRockford section on RRSTAR!

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Familes & Neighborhoods: 2nd Annual RHA Trunk or Treat Event

ROCKFORD (WIFR) — A safe alternative to going trick or treating.

Members of the Rockford Housing Authority and Blackhawk Leadership Council held its 2nd Annual Trunk or Treat event [on Thursday Oct 30th]. Kids dressed up to go around and pick candy from the trunks of cars.

They also could play games and get their faces painted. The idea behind the event is to give kids and parents a safe environment to enjoy Halloween.



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Safety: Rockford Police Reminding Families About Trick-or-Treating Safety

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – While thousands of kids in the Stateline will be going door-to-door on Friday for Halloween, Rockford Police will be on watch for the more than 450 registered sex offenders living in the city.

Between 4-8 p.m. tomorrow night, kids all over the Stateline will be out and about in their costumes but before you begin your holiday trek, police say it would be a good idea to plan ahead.

Rockford Police say to check out online resources to see where nearby sex offenders are located.

Child sex offenders are not allowed to decorated their homes or pass out candy on Halloween, or participate in any holiday event involving kids under 18. Police ask that all children are paired with a parent or guardian and this is all just as a precaution. Police say that typically this is not a problem.

“We’re not indicating that these sex offenders are at any risk to anyone at this time, but it’s just documents that their past behaviors which led them to be on the sex offender list so because of that, they have restrictions and we want the public to be aware of that,” said Rockford Assistant Deputy Chief Pay Hoey.

Police ask that if you see a registered sex offender on Friday night either passing out treats or with their houses decorated, to call your local law enforcement.



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Education, Arts & Recreation: Rockford Lutheran student named to national Mixed Choir Honor Ensemble


Staff Report

Claudia Holen from Rockford Lutheran High School has been named to the 2014 NAfME All-National Mixed Choir Honor Ensemble sponsored by the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). Holen will join 670 of the most musically talented and skilled high school students in the United States for a once-in-a-lifetime experience: performing on the stage of the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee, Oct. 29.

These exceptional students, named the “best of the best” out of approximately 2.5 million students nationwide from local, district and state music festivals, will rehearse a repertoire of remarkably challenging music. They will perform under the baton of four of the most prominent conductors in the United States.

The NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles, consisting of a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble, are organized by members of the National Association for Music Education (NAfME). The concert band and symphony orchestra will each have approximately 150 instrumentalists, the jazz ensemble will have 20 instrumentalists, and the mixed chorus will have approximately 350 vocalists.

Program and ticket info: Tickets are $25.

From the Oct. 29-Nov. 4, 2014, issue


arts education

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Responsibility: Vice President Joe Biden stops in Rockford to promote early voting


Vice President, Joe Biden

Vice President, Joe Biden

1992. That was the last time a U.S. vice president visited Rockford, until Monday. Prominent political figures like Joe Biden stop by, sharing a message to citizens– get out and vote.It’s a day the Forest City hasn’t seen in 22 years, a stop in Rockford from our nation’s vice president. Joe Biden joins democratic candidates like Congresswoman Cheri Bustos, Senator Dick Durbin and Governor Pat Quinn for an early voting rally.

“Rockford and Winnebago County are huge parts of this state a lot of times we hear so much about Chicago, but our city and our county will make a difference in this election,” says 67th District Representative Litesa Wallace.

But, both political parties have ramped up presence in Rockford recently. Just last week our area welcomed Republican Senator John McCain from Arizona and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. The message at Monday’s rally– your voice needs to be heard on the ballot from now until November 4th. It appears Winnebago County is listening.

“We’ve got record numbers of people coming in to vote early and we’re glad to see it and the absentees are unbelievable,” says Winnebago County Clerk Margie Mullins.

If there’s one thing political parties could agree on, it’s the importance of making your vote count.

For early voting hours, click here.

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 Arts & Recreation, Education: Rockford Students Reach for the Stars (Video)




ROCKFORD (WIFR) — Thousands of Rockford students are reaching for the stars.

More than 2,000 Rockford fourth graders were at the Coronado Theatre for the 13th Annual Reach for the Stars. The National Acrobats of the People’s Republic of China were in town to perform for students. The event allows area kids to experience the theatre, which maybe the only chance they get to see live entertainment.


education arts

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Vice President Joe Biden Coming to Rockford on Monday


ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Vice President Joe Biden is headlining an Early Vote Rally in Rockford on Monday.

It’s at the IBEW Hall Local #364 on Mill Road. The event is open to the public, but tickets are needed. Doors open at 12:30pm, the rally starts at 2:30pm.

Click the link to apply for free tickets:

The Secret Service as well as campaign staffers for Senator Dick Durbin have taken over the IBEW Hall in Rockford to redecorate for Monday’s rally.

“We had a contract ratification meeting today and once that meeting was over, it was like locusts,” says Charlie Laskonis, IBEW 364 Business Rep. “It is incredible how they transformed everything. Staging, they have a bunch of dividers that are up, they put up blue curtains all around.”

The Secret Service won’t be the only ones protecting the Vice President. Rockford Police are calling in nearly every available officer.

“We have to provide security and the site and some traffic control posts,” says Assistant Deputy Chief Pat Hoey with the Rockford Police Department. “What’s nice about it being during the week we have all the detectives working so were utilizing almost all on duty people, we just have to bring a few officers in early from the afternoon shift.”

For security reasons, the exact route of the Vice President isn’t being released but some busy roads may be temporarily closed while Biden is in town. Drivers should keep an eye out for Illinois State Police and Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies who will be manning temporary traffic blockades.


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Quality: Rockford Park District receives sustainability award

ROCKFORD — The Rockford Park District received a 2014 Governor’s Sustainability Award Oct. 23 from Illinois Governor Pat Quinn for the Sinnissippi Riverfront Park Renovation project at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center’s Sustainability Award ceremony held in Chicago.

The award is a first for the Rockford Park District and recognizes the transformation that took place within Sinnissippi Riverfront Park, the oldest and most heavily used park in the park district.

For information: