Responsibility: Stateliners Use Trash-Talk as Motivation to Cleanup Rockford

ROCKFORD — We’ve all heard the trash talk, but today one group brought out the garbage bags on a quest to make a difference and clean-up the city

Joe Nepean and some of his friend’s cleanup the city of Rockford piece by piece, turning trash talk into action.

“I had seen numerous people complaining about the city of Rockford,” He said. “How it’s dirty and crime ridden but nobody’s offering solutions and that’s where clean the rock was born.”

Cassy Nepean is also an organizer of Clean the Rock, but she hopes the event doesn’t end this weekend.

“Even if it’s something as little as picking up garbage here or there,” Cassy said. “You’re helping the community in some way…. it motivates other people to get out whether it’s there neighborhood or they’re walking their dog they see trash and they can go ahead and pick that up.”

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Economy & Careers: Rockford-made Seal-a-Cup designed with start-ups in mind

Tom Sweeney talks about the Seal-A-Cup Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Wilpack Packaging in Rockford. MAX GERSH/RRSTAR.COM

ROCKFORD — Zina Horton’s dream to bring Zammuto’s flavorful granitas to the masses hit a roadblock two years ago.

The owner of the dessert and soul food stand at 725 Kent St. wanted to get Zammuto’s signature semi-frozen dessert in stores and restaurants everywhere, but packaging proved more expensive than the small-business owner could afford. Large-scale machines were thousands of dollars more than Horton’s budget.

Finding a partner company to package granitas was also too expensive. And Horton didn’t want to give up the secret granita recipe, which originated in Sicily and was handed down for years before she took over the business in 2007.

Enter Wilpack Packaging, a Rockford-based company that designed a packaging product with businesses such as Zammuto’s in mind. The Seal-a-Cup Cup Sealing System is a hand-operated device that’s about the size of a coffee maker. The company thinks its newest product — it was released in June — has big potential to help small businesses and start-ups.

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Recreation: Future of rock climbing looks bright in Rockford

Maple Elementary School students traverse climb the school

ROCKFORD — Third-graders Bethany Ashcraft and Juan Estrada jumped off of the multicolored rock climbing wall with flushed cheeks.

“Oh my gosh, I survived,” Juan said. “But don’t give me a high-five because my hands hurt.”

“Moving across the wall was hard,” Bethany said. “I like hard stuff because I like to be challenged. It’s good for me.”

Bethany and Juan were among nearly 40 Maple Elementary School students to try out the school’s new, 8-foot-high and 40-foot-wide traverse climbing wall at the ribbon-cutting Thursday. Acquiring the wall was a three-year process that cost the school $4,200; it was paid for using a $1,000 Action for Healthy Kids grant, $1,200 in Campbell’s soup labels and $2,000 in donations.

Physical-education teacher Annie Forrest thinks the investment is worth it.

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Economy & Recreation: New Sports Complex to Spark Downtown Rockford

Rockford (WIFR) — We’ll soon be seeing a lot of changes in downtown Rockford, as construction is starting on a multi-million dollar sports facility. A new hotel and convention center won’t be far behind.

“I think it will be great for Downtown Rockford.” District Bar and Grill is busy, as it is most Saturday nights, and manager Greg Taylor only expects business to increase.

“It’s going to bring a lot more excitement to downtown. My staff will be able to make more money obviously and tourism will hopefully go up,” says Taylor.

Taylor and many other restaurant owners in downtown Rockford expect their tables to be packed once new hotels, the convention center, and sportscore facility open.

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Education ~ Public Invited: RSVP to Meet Destir, the Telepresence Robot ~ 4/29 @ RVC ~ WIN A ROBOT!

This session is Free and Open to the Public!
Woodward Technology Center (WTC) Room 117-121
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM

Seating is Limited. RSVP by clicking here

Destir, the telepresence robot, is being used in over 800 schools and thousands of businesses throughout the United States. Destir is being utilized at Rock Valley College to help teach classes, greet potential students at local conferences, and give guest speakers a physical presence in classrooms when they couldn’t travel to Rock Valley College.

Prof Chuck Konkol will explain the technology behind Destir, as well as demonstrate its many features.

  • Attendees will have the opportunity to test drive Destir!
  • Dinner Provided
  • Door Prize: Robot


Destir is being utilized at Rock Valley College to:

1.Enhance Teaching

◦  Give guest speakers a physical presence in classrooms when they couldn’t travel to Rock Valley College

◦  Allow students or community members the ability to remote control Destir and visit a classroom or campus event!

2.Allow students or guests will disabilities the ability to attend class or campus events!

3.Greet potential students at local conferences

4.Visiting RVC Classrooms.

RSVP by click here

Snap or pull from digital archive a scenic photo of the Rockford region. Post with hashtag #rockfordscenery

The Rockford region has some beautiful scenery that we sometimes take for granted, This week we are recognizing these scenic spots. So far, we have had snapshots of Rock Cut Park, the Rock River and Sinnissippi.

Take a moment and snap or pull from your digital archives a scenic photo of the Rockford region. Post with hashtag #rockfordscenery

Prairie View Golf Club Byron, IL

Prairie View Golf Club Byron, IL