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Author Archives: transformrockford

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#TRGoodNewsFriday: Rockford Realtors say real estate market is hot

A for sale sign sits near a home that is under construction Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, at Rote Road and Devine Drive in Rockford. MAX GERSH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM

A for sale sign sits near a home that is under construction Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2016, at Rote Road and Devine Drive in Rockford. MAX GERSH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM

And cheap.

That’s according to the website 24-7 Wall St., which has been notorious around here for frequent dubious rankings of the Forest City.

Last week the website said Rockford had the sixth fastest growing housing market among metropolitan areas. This week it said housing prices here were the fifth least expensive, with a median sales price of $109,000 for the first six months of 2016.

Realtors are interpreting that as good news. Rockford Area Realtors gathered the media today to celebrate the news.

“That’s a great statistic for us and we’re proud of that,” said Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, of the fastest growing housing market.

“That needs to go up,” he said of the median price.

News Source: http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160824/rockford-realtors-say-real-estate-market-is-hot?template=printart


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Economy & Jobs: Manufacturing company holds job fair for Rockford Products employees

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — Nearly 200 Rockford Products workers are officially out of a job, leaving them wondering where they will find their next employment opportunity.

For many, that opportunity may come sooner than later. Maclean Fogg, a manufacturing company based out of Mundelein, Illinois, is looking to hire nearly 80 employees as manufacturing and quality engineers.

The jobs are located all across the country with some in Savanna and Mundelein, Illinois.

If those are not local enough, Freeway Rockford is also looking to hire press operators, journeymen, tool and die makers, and lead maintenance workers.

“We’re looking to grow and looking to hire local people so if there’s anyone out there from Rockford Products looking to stay local here in Rockford please stop by and see us,” said Freeway Rockford Vice President Scott Sommers.

MacLean Fogg will hold a job fair at the Hilton Garden Inn in Rockford on Friday August 26th from 8am to 8pm. If job applicants qualify, interviews will be conducted at the career fair.

News Source: http://www.wifr.com/content/news/Manufacturing-company-holds-job-fair-to-hire-Rockford-Products-employees-391352132.html


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Caring: Rockford man’s trip improves lives of thousands

Children in Haiti gather around buckets of fresh water provided by Hope for Haitians, a Rockford-based organization which raises money to improve the lives of people in that country. PHOTO PROVIDED

Children in Haiti gather around buckets of fresh water provided by Hope for Haitians, a Rockford-based organization which raises money to improve the lives of people in that country. PHOTO PROVIDED

The trip was a pilgrimage to Haiti.

“We couldn’t believe what we saw. This was shocking. It was poverty, extreme poverty,” Lorden said. “You can smell it, taste it in the air. The (residents) have nothing.”

Lorden returned from the trip with a mission. He wanted to raise money to help Haitians living in mud huts and walking miles for drinking water.

In a few months, he had raised $100,000 and took a few of the donors back to Haiti to meet the people who would be helped.

Read more http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160824/slice-rockford-mans-trip-improves-lives-of-thousands?template=printart


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Economy & Jobs: Rockford Realtors say real estate market is hot

Rockford Realtors say real estate market is hot

And cheap.

That’s according to the website 24-7 Wall St., which has been notorious around here for frequent dubious rankings of the Forest City.

Last week the website said Rockford had the sixth fastest growing housing market among metropolitan areas. This week it said housing prices here were the fifth least expensive, with a median sales price of $109,000 for the first six months of 2016.

Realtors are interpreting that as good news. Rockford Area Realtors gathered the media today to celebrate the news.

“That’s a great statistic for us and we’re proud of that,” said Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors, of the fastest growing housing market.

Mike Schablaske, executive director of Transform Rockford, said real estate trends are a barometer of the region’s growing economic health. He said the region is in the middle of a $2 billion capital-spending boom that is driving recovery.

“We should not be surprised to see these results,” Schablaske said.

Read more http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160824/rockford-realtors-say-real-estate-market-is-hot?template=printart


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Leadership: Scott Olson selected as next Rockford Park District commissioner

ROCKFORD — Rockford Park District commissioners have selected Scott Olson as their new colleague.

Olson will replace Doug Brooks, who announced his resignation in July because he moved out of the city.

Olson was among finalists that included Bill Lewis, Marjorie Veitch and former Rock Valley College President Jack Becherer. Board members and Executive Director Tim Dimke screened applicants before four finalists were interviewed at special board meetings.

Read more http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160822/scott-olson-selected-as-next-rockford-park-district-commissioner?template=printart


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Unity, Pride, Culture: Rock River Anything That Floats Race returns to Rockford

Katrina (from left), 7, and Kendra, 8, help their dad, Scott Howse of Rockford, get their shark-towing canoe prepared for launch Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, during the Rock River Anything That Floats Race in Rockford. MAX GERSH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM

Katrina (from left), 7, and Kendra, 8, help their dad, Scott Howse of Rockford, get their shark-towing canoe prepared for launch Sunday, Aug. 21, 2016, during the Rock River Anything That Floats Race in Rockford. MAX GERSH/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM

Anderson was the captain and eager to see how his makeshift crew of students would fare on the water as the Rock River Anything That Floats Race returned to downtown Rockford on Sunday for the first time in 17 years.

“The first time I heard (a radio) commercial, I signed up the next day,” Anderson said. “I thought it was an awesome thing for our kids to get involved with and I hope more high schools get in it next year.”

Sixty fabrication class students helped create the raft reminiscent of a Viking ship adorned with a Guilford flag.

An oar-powered boat, it was made of spare wood and sealed with spray-on foam. Students made Viking swords and shields and carved a wooden dragon for a masthead. The boat was large enough for a crew of about a dozen.

Read More http://www.rrstar.com/news/20160821/rock-river-anything-that-floats-race-returns-to-rockford?template=printart


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Youth & Leadership: Rockford University Students Volunteer in the Community

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) — As some local colleges are kicking off their school year, some students are keep up with tradition by going around town to help out the community.

More than 200 new Rockford University students are volunteering at local non-profit organizations for the 22nd annual “Plunge”.

Students moved into the dorms this weekend and as a part of their orientation, the student advisors lead the new students throughout the city.

Some of the volunteering included pitching in at thrift stores, visiting retirement homes, painting fences and yard work.

Students will continue to have different orientation activities for the next couple days. The fall semester for Rockford University begins on Wednesday

News Source http://www.wifr.com/content/news/Rockford-University-Students-Volunteer-in-the-Community-390987881.html


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Strong Towns: Chuck Marohn will host two Curbside Chats & Community Conversation in Rockford

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below article from www.StrongTowns.org & www.CitySmiths.org

Chuck Marohn will host two Curbside Chats & Community Conversation, sponsored by Transform Rockford

Monday, August 29: 

*5:30pm: Chuck will speak to Rockford City Council during their regular meeting at City Hall. The public is always welcome to attend Council meetings.

*7-8pm: “Chat on the Curb”, meet at the future site of The Norwegian Restaurant, 1402 N. Main St., and enjoy discussion about and a tour of the North End.

Tuesday, August 30:

*9-10am: “Chat on the Curb”, meet at Katie’s Cup, 502 7th St, enjoy discussion and a tour of the Midtown District.

*10:15-11:15am: “Chat on the Curb”, meet at City Market Pavilion (intersection of State and Water), enjoy discussion and a tour of the River District.

*2:30-3:30pm: “Chat on the Curb”, meet at Dairy Depot, 5413 N. 2nd St, enjoy discussion and a tour of Loves Park.

*5:30-7:30pm: Community Conversation event, Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N. Main St.. Chuck will give the Strong Towns “Curbside Chat”, the cornerstone presentation of the Strong Towns message which you will NOT want to miss.

The Curbside Chat is a presentation followed by a community-specific discussion about the financial health of our places.

  • Why are our cities and towns so short of resources despite decades of robust growth?
  • Why do we struggle at the local level just to maintain our basic infrastructure?
  • What do we do now that the economy has changed so dramatically?

The answers lie in the way we have developed; the financial productivity of our places. This stunning presentation is a game-changer for communities looking to grow more resilient and obtain true prosperity during changing times.


Strong Towns is a national media nonprofit whose content reaches tens of thousands of readers and listeners every month. Our work has four main components:

  1. Daily written content – We publish award-winning daily articles on our website, covering topics related to our mission including transportation, land use, urban design, community resilience, and more.
  2. Weekly podcasts – Our Thursday podcast series features interviews with distinguished guests in the fields of urban planning, academia, public policy and more. Our “Week Ahead” podcast on Mondays provides updates on the Strong Towns movement.
  3. Events across the country – Strong Towns’ staff lead presentations, workshops and community gatherings across the country. See our calendarfor information about upcoming events.
  4. Friends throughout the world Strong Towns is a member-supported organization. Become a member and you become part of the Strong Towns community.

THE MISSION OF STRONG TOWNS IS TO SUPPORT A MODEL OF DEVELOPMENT THAT ALLOWS AMERICA’S CITIES, TOWNS AND NEIGHBORHOODS TO BECOME FINANCIALLY STRONG AND RESILIENT.

For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns and neighborhoods. Enduring prosperity for our communities cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time.


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Community Idea Exchange – 9/8 @ Klehm Arboretum

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Adobe Spark (34)

  • To view the strategies for Safety, visit here
  • To view ALL strategies, visit here
  • Please join us for more Community Idea Exchanges! For dates, visit here

Use hashtag #TRIdeaXchange

Klehm Arboretum
2715 S Main St, Rockford, IL


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Unity, Pride, Culture: Downtown plaques to highlight various sites in Rockford’s history

ROCKFORD (WREX) –
Rockford’s downtown is filled with many historical sites and even more stories. With a new project, Midway Village Museum aims to tell those stories to the community.

From the Coronado Theatre — to Memorial Hall — and even over to the Prairie Street Brewhouse.

If you’ve spent some time in downtown Rockford, you’re probably familiar with all those places, but how much do you know about their history?

“I want to make Rockford’s history much more visible in people’s lives for people’s awareness,” said David Byrnes, President of Midway Village Museum.

Midway Village plans to highlight up to 20 different sites across downtown with plaques, detailing the history behind them.

Byrnes says it’s not just about the buildings — but the people.

“There’s been an enormous number of people from different walks of life, different paths that they were pursuing that have impacted the history of our community,” Byrnes said.

People such as politician Zeke Giorgi — to Jonathan Peacock of Rockford Brewing Company, to name a few.

To help with the project, the museum received a grant from the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois for more than $30,000, which fully funds the project.

Gloria Lundin, Vice President of Development for CFNIL says this is an important step in preserving Rockford’s history.

“By highlighting these buildings and the people that were part of these buildings, we may have a renewed sense of appreciation and respect, and they perhaps will not be destroyed,” said Lundin.

Something the museum hopes showcases the city’s downtown, adding another dimension to its colorful past.

The plaques are currently in the planning and design stage. If all goes according to plan, Midway Village expects them to be installed by December.

News Source http://www.wrex.com/story/32792945/2016/08/Thursday/downtown-plaques-to-highlight-various-sites-in-rockfords-history