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Monthly Archives: December 2016

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Arts & Recreation: What’s happening in the Rock River Valley

The Temptations will showcase their smooth voices, stepping and entertaining presentation at a concert Friday, Dec. 30, 2016, at the Coronado Performing Arts Center in Rockford. PHOTO PROVIDED

It’s tempting 

What: The Temptations

When: 8 p.m. today

Where: Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford

Tickets: $46-$61, plus fees

Information: Iconic musical group The Temptations will bring its concert of uplifting, room-rocking Motown classics to the Coronado stage for one night.

The group — which currently includes Terry Weeks, Larry Braggs, Ron Tyson and Willie Green — formed more than 50 years ago, first hitting the charts in 1960 with “The Way You Do the Things You Do.” Other hits include “My Girl,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” and “I Wish It Would Rain.”

Contact: 815-968-0595;

Party all day

What: Countdown to Fun

When: 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. Saturday

Where: Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford


Passport to fun

What: New Year Around the World

When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday

Where: Burpee Museum of Natural History, 737 N. Main St., Rockford


Visit the Frankenstein place 

Grab a bag of goodies and celebrate the new year with a special production of “The Rocky Horror Show” at 9:30 p.m. Sunday at the Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford.

Presented by The (usual) Suspects, the event will feature pre-show music and entertainment, contests, trivia, a cash bar and complimentary snacks. Attendees will receive a special prop bag for the show.


A trip to the surreal

Movies on Main begins 2017 with two films, one for children and another for adults, on Jan. 8 at the Nordlof Center, 118 N. Main St., Rockford.

At 4 p.m., “Alice Through the Looking Glass” will take your family on an adventure as Alice returns to Wonderland to help the Mad Hatter. That movie is rated PG.

For adults, “10 Cloverfield Lane” will be on the screen at 6 p.m. After getting in a car accident, a woman is held in a shelter with two men who claim the outside world is affected by a widespread chemical attack. It is rated PG-13.

Colorful world

Watch soaring aerialists, contortionists, acrobats, jugglers and musicians in Cirque Dreams Jungle Fantasy at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Coronado Performing Arts Center, 314 N. Main St., Rockford.

The event — which features flipping monkeys, hopping frogs and stretching lizards — is one of more than 2,000 performances that have taken place across North America. It was the first of its kind to show on Broadway.

Maggie Hradecky: 815-987-1367;; @maggiehrad 

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Caring: Rockford hopes to eliminate chronic homelessness by January 2017

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — Nearly two years ago, Rockford mayor Larry Morrissey announced his goals of ending veteran homelessness by 2015 and chronic homelessness by 2017. While the city met their goal of housing homeless veterans, they say there’s still work to be done.

PHOTO: Homeless person

Things are looking up for 19-year-old Isaiah Ferro. He’s hoping to start a new job at a napkin factory in Harvard in a few weeks, but not too long ago, Ferro wasn’t looking for a job, but for a place to live.

“I felt hopeless probably for the first two or three days,” says Ferro.

He was able to get off the streets with the help of his sister and the federal Built for Zero program.

“It did take some time and all it really took was some perseverance to get through it,” says Ferro.

Angie Walker works for the City of Rockford Human Services Department. She’s helping house the city’s homeless by completing the program’s four goals.

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Recreation: Snow Park at Alpine Hills Opens for the Season

About Snow Park at Alpine Hills

Snow Park at Alpine Hills is divided into separate tubing and terrain park sections designed to accommodate riders of all abilities. On-site snowmaking equipment will keep the snow park covered with fresh snow, and the Sno-Cat machine will help maintain perfectly-groomed hills. The handy surface lift will bring tubers and boarders to the top of the hill, so more time is spent riding down, and less time hiking up. Tubes are provided on site, as no outside tubes are allowed. Limited snowboarding equipment is available to rent (first come, first served). Hot and cold beverages along with snacks are available at The Lodge, and fire pits located at the top of the hill provide warm relief from the cold outdoors. Birthday party packages are available. The Lodge can be rented for a meeting, or the entire facility can be rented for a private party.

Snow Park Web SummaryHours of Operation

Special Holiday Hours December 21, 2016 – January 6, 2017
• Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
• Sunday: 2 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Regular Hours Starting January 7, 2016
• Monday – Wednesday: closed for tubing and terrain park maintenance
• Thursday and Friday: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
• Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.
• Sunday: 12 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• General: $10 ($13 non-resident)
• Lap Riders (36” – 42” tall): $5 ($7 non-resident)

Contact Information
Phone: 815-966-8737
Website: (Updated snow reports)

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Unity, Pride, Culture: World Series Trophy To Appear In Rockford January 8.

Cubs fans in Rockford will soon get to have their picture taken with the World Series Trophy.


It’ll be at the BMO Harris Bank Center Sunday, January 8th during the IceHogs-Wolves game. It’ll be in the main concourse from 3:30 p.m. until 6:45 p.m.

The trophy is moving around the Midwest making stops in cities in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. It’s part of what’s called the Cubs Trophy Tour presentyed by State Farm.

The tour began December 9 when the Trophy was at the Cubs’ team store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The tour is the Cubs way of celebrating their first championship since 1908 with the fans.

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Caring: Salvation Army distributes toys to families in need

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) – Many children throughout the Stateline will have a little more Christmas cheer this holiday season thanks to toys donated by the Salvation Army.

Thousands of toys lined the walls of the Salvation Army Rockford Tabernacle Community Center on Kilburn.
Parents partnered with a volunteer to shop and pick up donated gift and gift bags. Christmas dinners in a box were also donated to parents including a ham and are the other holiday fixings. One volunteer is excited to be participating in the event for the third year.

“This is my third year doing it and I think it’s wonderful what they are doing because there are a lot of people out here with children that don’t have the funds and the resources to do for their children. This is a way that I can give back to the community,” says volunteer Mattie Prunty.

Organizers say Monday’s cold weather didn’t stop several families from getting donated gifts, proving there was a demand for gifts this year.

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Caring; Delivering Holiday Cheer: Rockford letter carrier finds joy in the season


It’s the busiest week of the year for postal workers, but for one local man, it’s a labor of love.


Mitch Lind has been carrying mail for nearly 30 years — and he’s part of an army of letter carriers making sure your family has what it needs to enjoy the holiday season.

Between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, letter carriers are expected to deliver more than 30 billion pieces of mail across the nation.

And just today, more than 30 million packages will be delivered.

Lind says it’s busy work during the most wonderful time of the year.

“We take the package, we drop it off, we ring the doorbell and head on to the next one. Somebody will pop out the door and say ‘Thank you!’ and then we head on to the next.”

Lind says the Christmas card load is quite a bit lighter because not as many people are sending them these days.

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Education: A Rockford college & Oregon School District, receive CFNIL’s largest grants in 63 years

Updated Friday December 23, 2016 at 12:19 am

ROCKFORD — Schools were the big winner today as the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois awarded its largest one-year grant to a Rockford college and second-largest to an Ogle County school district.

This grant cycle is the largest in the foundation’s 63-year history, with more than $1.1 million given to 54 recipients.

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Leadership: Dan Cataldi to retire, leaving impact on small businesses in Rockford area

ROCKFORD – In a little more than a week, Dan Cataldi, the executive director of the Northern Illinois University EIGERlab, will finally get to “rest a bit.”

Dan Cataldi

Dan Cataldi

Cataldi will retire at the end of the year after six years at the helm of the business incubator. He worked with members of the Rockford Economic Development Council to develop a strategy to brainstorm, develop and grow small businesses in the Rock River Valley.

“We have been pretty successful in identifying and encouraging, supporting and celebrating not just start-ups but existing small and mid-sized privately held businesses,” Cataldi said. “As a result of all of that, I think we have impacted the economic development and wealth in Rockford.”

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Education: Rockford University’s Wallace Honored

The awards continue to pile up for RU senior forward Zach Wallace (Rockford, Ill.) who has now been named to the Team of the Week.


This is already the third weekly award Wallace has received this season after previously earning NACC Men’s Basketball Student-Athlete of the Week honors and being selected D3 Men’s Basketball HERO of the Week. This marks the first time in his career that Wallace has received an award from, and he is also the first Regent to be recognized by the network this academic year.

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Rockford Named ‘Most Festive Christmas Town in Illinois’

By Shannon Zimmerman December 19, 2016 8:40 AM

A major round of applause and tip of our hats are going to GoRockford and all of this city’s amazing citizens responsible for organizing these awesome holiday events that put Rockford on the NICE list for once!

A big smile hit my face when I saw this post on Facebook, because I knew immediately that this picture was from Rockford’s Stroll on State…

Could this really be true? Could Rockford actually be the most awesome at something in this state? The answer is yes, and we have places like the Nicholas Conservatory, Midway Village Museum and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra to thank for it!

Here’s what you need to do, and where you need to be in Rockford this week in order to fully take advantage of the “Most Festive Christmas Town in Illinois” according to

Merry Christmas, Rockfordians!

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