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.



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.



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:


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:


Unity, Pride, Culture: Stroll on State Returning to Rockford

ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Stroll on State is expected to be even bigger than last year.

More than 30,000 people participated in the inaugural Stroll on State last November and today, the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (RACVB) announced it will return.

The 2nd annual Stroll on State is set for Saturday, November 29th, from 4-9 p.m. in downtown Rockford.

This year, the event will take place on both sides of the Rock River, along East State Street. A highlight of the evening will be the community stroll along State from City Hall to the PNC Bank Plaza for the lighting of the Rockford Christmas Tree.

“Stroll on State is really an opportunity for the community to come together. Family and friends kicking off the holiday season and last year we were so thrilled to see how many people came out. Really overwhelmed by the positive response and so we’re going to do that again this year,” said RACVB President/CEO John Groh.

Additionally, live entertainment and music will greet visitors along State Street as well as an ice skating rink, Santaland, the brand new Frostyland, and there will even be s’mores stations.

Stroll on State is also in need of almost 500 volunteers to help decorate on November 21st and 22nd.

Please click on the attached links for more information or to sign up to help.



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

Econony & Jobs: Rockford area manufacturing sees more openings for welding jobs

WREX.COM – Rockford’s News Leader

ROCKFORD (WREX) – A career that used to have limited openings in the Rockford area is now starting to expand.

There have been 150 welding jobs open in our region since September, and many more are expected thanks to a shift in the workforce.

While technology has trained robots to perform certain welding skills, the need for actual human hands to weld is still present.

“Repetitive processes for welding you, know you can teach machines to do that, but there certainly is still need for that individual to perform that type of welding,” says Kurt Beier, manager of Mobile Welding Lab.

But it doesn’t take just anyone to get the job done.

“It’s not an easy job. You have to lift 50 to 75 pounds. A lot of bending, turning, twisting. It’s not a skill you can just pick up. It takes practice,” Beier says.

And that’s what this mobile lab is trying to offer students — practice, so they can fill the growing welding void in our region.

The average age of welders in Illinois is 58.

Experts say the need for welders will only continue to grow as those workers retire and the expected growth of the manufacturing industry in the Rockford region.

Right now, there is a sense of urgency in filling all of the current openings, according to Accelerated Training for Illinois Manufacturing Project Manager, Darryll Cummings says.

“They won’t be there forever. Some employers are even going out of the region to fill the need and we don’t want that,” Cummings said.

According to experts the starting rate fo a welder is around $14 per hour, but they can make as much as $40 to $50/hour.



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