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Rockford included in $270M child care grant

Staff Report ROCKFORD - Joined by child care providers and local officials at the Rock River Valley YMCA Children's Learning Center Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Rockford will be included in the $270 million Child Care Restoration grant program provided for in the FY21 budget passed by the Illinois General Assembly. The first program of its kind in the nation, this program will support Illinois' vast network of childcare providers as they continue to provide care to children…

Man arrested in Rockford looting incident

Staff Report ROCKFORD - A Rockford man has been jailed after police say he broke into a east-side department store and started a fire last month. Sean Cardenas, 20, is charged with burglar, arson and felony criminal damage to property, charges that stem was reported as a looting incident at Burlington Coat Factory May 30. Rockford officers responded to the department store at about 11 p.m., and noticed the front door had been smashed. Police also discovered a fire smoldering in the…

Rockford shooting victim dies

Staff Report ROCKFORD - A 29-year-old man who was shot over the weekend at a northwest barbershop has died. The victim, who has not been identified, was shot Saturday at Top Notch Cutz, 3424 N. Main St., near North Main Street and West Riverside Boulevard. Police are on the lookout for a single suspect in the case, a man they say also shot another person. The incident unfolded at around noon, when a fight broke out between two men inside the barbershop. Police say the man who died…

Pritzker pushes for expedited insurance claims for businesses damaged by rioters

By Jerry Nowicki Capitol News Illinois SPRINGFIELD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Insurance are calling on insurers to expedite claims and payments to businesses hit by looters in recent days. “It is my expectation and the expectation of the Illinois Department of Insurance that insurance companies will do everything in their power to give their customers the resources they need to rebuild and get back on their feet as soon as possible,” Pritzker said. “To that end,…

Local protesters call for better policing, not dismantling

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Removing officers from the Rockford streets would certainly bring change. But, contrary to an array of cries to disband police departments across the country, a group of local activists wants something else. Nearly 30 protesters who rallied at Davis Park Monday say it's time for Rockford to reallocate funds the police department spends on armaments and big salaries towards proactive community programs. "There is so much money and equipment that's being…

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara takes first step to secure police body cams

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara, on Monday, announced that he is taking the first step to outfit city police officers with body cameras. "I signed the Mayoral Pledge from the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance to review, engage, report and reform common-sense limits on police use of force with feedback from the community, McNamara said. "I hear the concerns of our residents and want to take steps to ensure justice and equity for all in our community. I urge all…

Illinois COVID-19 cases continue to drop

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health on Sunday announced 867 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), including 43 additional confirmed deaths. Sunday's deaths include 33 Cook County: a man in his 30s, five women in their 60s, six men in their 60s, five women in their 70s, six men in their 70s, two women in their 80s, a man in his 80s, four women in their 90s, three men in their 90s. There have been 127,757 cases of COVID-19 statewide, including 5,904…

Family cat tests positive for coronavirus; state infection rate steadies at 6%

By Jim Hagerty Reporter SPRINGFIELD - Illinois health professionals, on Friday, reported that a family cat has been infected with COVID-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. "The cat was in a home with people who had tested positive," the Illinois Department of Public Health said in a release. "This is the first animal to test positive for the virus in Illinois.  There is no evidence COVID-19 is transmitted from animal to humans.  However, if you are sick, you…

Man, woman wanted in Rockford home invasion

Staff Report ROCKFORD -  Investigators are searching for a two people they say committed the offense of home invasion in the near-east side of the city earlier this week. Police responded the scene, a home in the 1600 block of of South Fifth Street, Wednesday, June 3 to investigate the incident, which occurred the previous "When they arrived, officers learned that the victim was asleep on her couch when two unknown suspects, a male and female, entered the residence through a cut screen…

Illinois reports 982 new cases of COVID-19

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Department of Public Health, on Wednesday, announced 982 new cases of COVID-19, including 97additional deaths. Wednesday's deaths include a Winnebago County main in his 70s and 56  people in Cook County. Deaths were also reported in DeKalb, DuPage, Kane, Kankakee, Lake, Madison, McHenry, Peoria, St. Clair, Stephenson County, Union and Will counties. Currently, IDPH is reporting a total of 123,830 cases, including 5,621 deaths, in 101 counties.…

Murder charges upgraded in death of George Floyd, three others now charged

By Amy Forliti and Steve Karnowski Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors are charging a Minneapolis police officer accused of pressing his knee against George Floyd's neck with second-degree murder, and for the first time will level charges against three other officers at the scene, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Widely seen bystander video showing Floyd's May 25 death has sparked sometimes violent protests nationwide and around the world. The officer, Derek Chauvin, was fired…

Boone County Fair canceled because of coronavirus, other events planned

Staff Report BELVIDERE - The 2020 Boone County Fair has been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. Organizers voted Saturday to not hold this year's event for the safety of fairgoers, staff, vendors exhibitors, sponsors, suppliers, volunteers, and the community. "The Boone County Fair Board has been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic data along with local, state, and federal health officials," President Lyle Lee said in a release. "Although some restrictions have been…

J.B. Pritzker accuses Trump of making George Floyd aftermath worse

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - Gov. J.B. Pritzker accused President Donald Trump Monday of making the aftermath of George Floyd's death worse with what he called “inflammatory” and “dangerous” rhetoric about the nationwide protests. Pritzker unloaded on Trump during a conference call with several governors that was leaked to media Monday morning. “I’ve been extraordinarily concerned about the rhetoric that’s been used by you,” Pritzker said. “It’s been inflammatory, and it’s not…

J.B. Pritzker: Donald Trump is a racist, misogynist, homophobe and xenophobe

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker minced no words Friday when asked about President Donald Trump's tweets regarding the death of George Floyd and rioting that's erupted in Minneapolis. "From the very moment I announced my decision to run for governor three plus years ago, I said that this president is a racist, a misogynist, a homophobe, a xenophobe," Pritzker said. "I was right then, and I am right now." Pritzker was responding to tweets in which Trump accused…

ARRESTED: Former Minneapolis cop Derek Chauvin in custody in death of George Floyd

By Tim Sullivan and Amy Forliti Associated Press MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minneapolis officer who was seen on video kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who died in custody after pleading that he could not breathe, was arrested Friday. Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington said Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension arrested Derek Chauvin. He's charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.  The arrest comes after three days of protests,…