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Education: Rockford City Administrator Jim Ryan takes job at Rock Valley College

ROCKFORD — City Administrator Jim Ryan, one of the first people appointed to Mayor Larry Morrissey’s administration, will leave City Hall for a job with Rock Valley College.

Morrissey announced Ryan’s resignation at 4 p.m. today at a news conference at City Hall.

Ryan, along with City Attorney Patrick Hayes, were Morrissey’s first appointments when he took office in April 2005 and has been the city’s “chief strategist and problem-solver.”

Ryan will join Rock Valley as the college’s new vice president and chief operating officer. He will oversee information technology, the RVC Police Department, events management/theater, athletics, print services, mail services, transportation, facilities management, capital construction, emergency management and food service contracts.

As city administrator, he oversaw the operations of 10 city departments, more than 1,000 employees and an annual budget of $262 million. Ryan created the city’s first information technology department, negotiated deals to bring the Lowe’s Midwest distribution center and the Chicago Blackhawks minor league franchise to Rockford and guided the city through record capital investments in the city’s infrastructure.

“We are thrilled to bring in a person with such a diverse and extensive level of operations experience,” RVC President Dr. Doug Jensen said in news release issued this afternoon. “Under his watch, and due to his collaboration with Mayor Morrissey, the city of Rockford has transformed itself into a place people want to live and work. Just look at the great things that are happening downtown. We’re beyond excited to see what Mr. Ryan can do for Rock Valley College.”

Read more http://www.rrstar.com/news/20170117/rockford-city-administrator-jim-ryan-takes-job-at-rock-valley-college?template=printart


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Unity, Pride, Culture: Rockford’s YES Club Celebrates Dr. King

Monday marked the celebration of one of the most important figures in American civil rights.

The Yes Club held its annual celebration of Martin Luther King Day at Mendelssohn Hall.  For the dozens who showed up, they were treated to a concert.  Organizers say the event is a great way to teach kids about Dr. King’s legacy.

“He was one man and if he could do what he did with those who were willing to follow him, then we can certainly continue that legacy and do what we can do in today’s society and world,” said Yes Club’s Dianna Cole.

Monday’s event was the Yes Club’s 11th annual MLK celebration event.

News Source: http://www.mystateline.com/news/rockfords-yes-club-celebrates-dr-king/641335697


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Economy & Jobs: Rockford Market Is Seeing Some Of It’s Best Numbers In A Decade

“We see move in ready homes sell quickly, sometimes we will have multiple offers on those properties,” said Steve Bois, CEO of Rockford Area Realtors .

The time to sell a house in Rockford is now. According to Rockford Area Realtors, nearly 4,300 homes were sold last year at an average rate of $120,000. This means, there was a ten percent increase from 2015. Some of the homes were sold within three and a half months, where typically Rockford Area Realtors said it takes sellers at least five months.

Part of the quick selling time is due to low interest rates, which range between four and five percent. “If you’re a buyer, I would take advantage of the low interest rates today. If you’re a seller the price of your home might be going up, and so is the home you might choose to buy at the same time,” said Jonathan Krause, President of Gambino Realtors.

Krause said he noticed homes are selling fast, which has been keeping the number of available homes low. He believes as homeowners become more confident in the economy, there will be even more homes available for purchase.

“Until we start getting into levels where more homeowners can put their properties on the market and we get that inventory out there, I think we will only see moderate increases, and eventually the market will really catch fire in two or three years,” said Krause.

Read more http://www.mystateline.com/news/rockford-area-realtors-releases-its-2016-housing-review/641328089


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Education: “Learn Coding with Robots” coming 1/28 to RVC! Purchase Tickets or Sponsor Local Youth to Attend!

The Rock Valley College Computers and Information Systems (CIS) department will host a “Learn Coding with Robots” workshop on Saturday, January 28, 2017, 10 a.m. to noon, in the Woodward Technology Center (WTC) on RVC’s main campus (3301 North Mulford Rd.). The first “Learn Coding with Robots” workshop was held on December 10, 2016 and was a success (see post).

“Learn Coding with Robots” empowers children and adults to create adventures, play games, solve problems, and learn to code anywhere they go.

“This event is for all ages,” says RVC Professor Chuck Konkol, workshop leader and CIS faculty. “I even encourage families to attend. If you or someone you know is interested in coding or robotics then register for this fun, engaging workshop. Oh, and you get to take home a robot to continue the fun!”

All attendees will take home award winning robot, named Ozobot.

Purchase Tickets

Tickets to participate in the workshop are $85. Tickets for students or educators (K-12 and college) or RVC employees are just $65. Parents and grandparents can purchase a tickets for their child or grandchild and sit with them during workshop at no extra cost. In addition, the opportunity is available to SPONSOR a local young person to attend by using code HELP  during checkout!

Tickets can be purchased at rockvalleycollege.edu/CodeRobots.

Questions?

Please email Professor Konkol with any questions at c.konkol@rockvalleycollege.edu.

 

News Source http://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/News/Article.cfm?customel_datapageid_9035=190599


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In Memoriam: WREX pays tribute to the life of Mark Mayhew

IN MEMORIAM: We take a look back at the life of WREX assignment editor Mark Mayhew and the incredible impact he had on the lives of so many people. Rest in peace, Mark. We miss you.

Mark Mayhew was a born on January 17, 1956 in Romeoville.

Like boys his age, he picked up sports. Wrestling and football were his strengths. So was learning-not just from books, but the world.

He spent part of his 20s living in Europe, so by the time he moved to Rockford in the early ’90s he was a wealth of knowledge.

“I think in many ways Mark was brilliant,” Mark’s former radio co-host Ken DeCoster said.

Ken DeCoster worked with Mark for nearly 20 years at then-WNTA radio. Mark produced the news radio talk show with Ken.

“Back in our radio days we used to joke about Mark being ‘Mr. Know it All,’” DeCoster said. That was not meant to be a negative comment. It was meant to praise his knowledge.”

Mark loved music, television, trivia and cars.

“He had a number of antique cars over the years,” DeCoster said. “He would take long road trips.”

Along the way, he picked up a lot of friends. He was a good listener. He was compassionate.  Someone who truly cared about other people.

“He would talk to myself or Division Chief Matt Knott or myself on a daily basis looking for stories to run or asking for interviews,” said Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten. “And then he’d always check in and talk with us after some major incidents. Just a very caring individual that will be missed by the Rockford Fire Department.”

He became WREX’s Mark four years ago. Mark took on producing news-a different way to transmit with a different set of co-workers.

“I knew that when our newsroom would get the adrenaline going that it does when there’s a big story that he’d be a calming factor,” said 13 WREX General Manager John Chadwick. “Most of our young reporters, in my opinion, need someone to calm them down and center them, and I knew he’d be a great mentor. He turned out to be a great mentor.”

When Mark had heart surgery last spring, we did a story on his recovery, and of course, what he learned from it all.

“I decided OK, let’s do the heart surgery,” Mayhew said last September. “Well this has the best chance of the long term recovery.”

Not long enough for us looking back, but in those 9 months since then, those who knew him best say there was something different about Mark-in a good way.

“I think in the last 9 months of his life is the happiest I’ve ever seen him,” DeCoster said.  He was more outgoing. He was more loving. So it’s so sad that Mark passed away, but I think there was comfort in knowing he was happier.”

“I’m going to miss him. I know everyone in this building is,” Chadwick said. “We can fill lots of voids, but it’s going to be tough filling the void he left.”

When people think of Mark, many will think of that love he filled any room with. It’s amazing how much love he had for others.  His capacity to make us feel it and the eternal nature of it.  Mark was an organ donor, so he will continually give of himself to others.

WREX.COM|BY SEAN MUSERALLO

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Education: Learn Coding with Robots at RVC #MakerSpace #Stem

 

Media Contact: Dave Costello, 815-921-4516

Event Date: Saturday, January 28, 2017

Event Contact: Chuck Konkol

The Rock Valley College Computers and Information Systems (CIS) department will host a “Learn Coding with Robots” workshop on Saturday, January 28, 2017, 10 a.m. to noon, in the Woodward Technology Center (WTC) on RVC’s main campus (3301 North Mulford Rd.).

“Learn Coding with Robots” empowers children and adults to create adventures, play games, solve problems, and learn to code anywhere they go.

“This event is for all ages,” says RVC Professor Chuck Konkol, workshop leader and CIS faculty. “I even encourage families to attend. If you or someone you know is interested in coding or robotics then register for this fun, engaging workshop. Oh, and you get to take home a robot to continue the fun!”

All attendees will take home award winning robot, named Ozobot.

Tickets to participate in the workshop are $85. Tickets for students or educators (K-12 and college) or RVC employees are just $65. Parents and grandparents can purchase a tickets for their child or grandchild and sit with them during workshop at no extra cost. Tickets can be purchased at rockvalleycollege.edu/CodeRobots.

Please email Professor Konkol with any questions at c.konkol@rockvalleycollege.edu.

News Source: http://www.rockvalleycollege.edu/News/Article.cfm?customel_datapageid_9035=190599

Read about the “Learn Coding with Robots” workshop that took place December 10th 2016 (See photos from workshop below)


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Safety: Rockford Resident Starts Crimefighting “Eyes-on-the-Street” Initiative

“Video surveillance just like gated communities have,” said Gile. “Now, gated communities are generally for more wealthy persons but I do not think freedom from fear should be a prerogative served for only for the wealthy.”

Even if you don’t have a camera but a neighbor does, adding signs to notify passersby that they’re under surveillance is another part of the initiative that you can find on their website.

“Being American is not a spectator-sport,” said Gile. “If you want something to happen, it’s up to you to make it happen. We can’t sit back and expect others to do these things. We can’t just turn it over to the police, we have to help them. We have to cooperate with them.

“Citizens are instrumental in being the eyes and ears in helping police do their jobs,” said Ken DeCoster of the Rockford Crimestoppers.

Read more http://www.mystateline.com/news/rockford-resident-starts-crimefighting-eyes-on-the-street-initiative/637819303


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Videos: Transform Rockford accepts the challenge

The Rockford region was once an area in its prime with thriving businesses and residents experiencing a high-quality of life. During the past four decades, our region has witnessed a decline resulting in an environment where many in our community are challenged economically and socially.

Transform Rockford accepts the challenge to dramatically improve the social the economic conditions of our region and its residents through a structured and inclusive process where all ideas will be heard and given weight for the betterment of our community.

Be inspired by visiting our YouTube channel to watch 40+ informational videos

Join us today, become involved, and be part of the movement for a better community.


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Arts & Recreation: Thousands view Cubs’ World Series trophy at BMO

Cheryl Morley (left) and Joe Carter of the Chicago Cubs safety and security team remove the case from the 2016 World Series trophy as they prepare to load it onto the IceHogs’ Zamboni on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, at the BMO Harris Bank Center. IceHogs Executive Director Troy Flynn said roughy 7,000 people were in the building. KAYLI PLOTNER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER/RRSTAR.COM

ROCKFORD — Don Ritter was 10 years old the first time his parents took him to Wrigley Field to see Ernie Banks and Ron Santo take the infield.

Today, he got in line at 9 a.m. outside BMO Harris Bank Center to see the World Series trophy his beloved Cubs brought home 50 years later.

“I can sleep peacefully now,” said Ritter of Rockford. “I’ve waited 108 years to get that picture.”

Ritter and Adam Naylor of Belvidere were among the first fans outside BMO this morning, despite the trophy not arriving until 3:30 p.m.

“It was about six hours total,” Naylor said. “But it was completely worth the wait.”

Read more http://www.rrstar.com/news/20170108/thousands-view-cubs-world-series-trophy-at-bmo?template=printart


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Unity, Pride, Culture: 6 things to know about seeing Cubs World Series trophy in Freeport, Rockford

Derrick Mason Staff writer

Published Wednesday January 4, 2017 at 4:25 pm

Updated Thursday January 5, 2017 at 12:24 am

You never know when you’ll get another chance to see a Cubs World Series championship trophy in person. After Orval Overall pitched the Cubs to a World Series-clinching win in 1908, anyone who skipped out on the celebration would have had to wait 108 years to get another chance.

Luckily for local Cubs fans, the championship trophy is making two stops in the 815 on Sunday. There are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind in order to give yourself the best chance to see the trophy, just in case it takes a few more years for the Cubs to reign again.

1. Time and Place

Freeport: The Masonic Temple, 305 W. Stephenson St., will host the trophy. Doors open at 10:30 a.m. and an assessment will be made at 1 p.m. to determine how many more people will get the chance to take a picture, Little Cubs Field Vice President Denny Garkey said.

Rockford: The trophy will be on display at the BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., from 3:30-6:45 p.m. during the IceHogs game against the Chicago Wolves. Puck drop is at 4 p.m. Doors will open at 2:45 p.m. for season ticket holders and general admission begins at 3:00 p.m., IceHogs Director of Business Operations Mike Peck said.

2. Availability

Read more http://www.rrstar.com/news/20170104/6-things-to-know-about-seeing-cubs-world-series-trophy-in-freeport-rockford?template=printart


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