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SwedishAmerican names Rachel Galliano Nurse of the Year

Staff Report ROCKFORD - SwedishAmerican has named Rachel Galliano this year Daisy Foundation's Nurse of the Year. The Daisy Award is the highest honor given to a SwedishAmerican nurse each year. A pediatric registered nurse, Galliano was surprised with the award by her colleagues May 12 at a breakfast honoring National Nurses Week at SwedishAmerican Hospital. The Daisy Award was one of several honors handed out during the event. Co-workers nominated Galliano by submitting the…

Rockford Public Library makes WiFi available in branch parking lots

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Rockford Public Library is making internet accessible to the public by keeping its wireless network live and accessible from parking lots during regular library hours while the facilities are closed during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are welcome to park at any of the library locations and access the Internet from their cars in order to work, communicate, or enjoy online entertainment. Social distancing is advised; people are asked not to gather in groups or be…

State Sen. Dave Syverson weighs in on governor’s COVID-19 plan: ‘Open businesses’

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Illinois Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford), has weighed in the impact COVID-19 restrictions are having on the economy. "We are just now starting to see the warned about social impacts as a result of these leader’s decisions to shut the state down as they did," Syverson said in his May 12 E-Newsletter. "Disturbing data is emerging that, during the lock-down, we are seeing increases in depression, domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, suicide, and child…

Mayor appoints 12th Ward alderman to replace John Beck

Staff Report ROCKFORD - Rockford Mayor McNamara on Wednesday, announced that he has appointed Jennifer “Ginger” Hanley to serve as 12th Ward alderman to replace John Beck, the longtime Republican who died last month. Hanley, a physical education teacher at All Saints Catholic Academy and a fitness instructor for the YMCA, has served as the Republican committeeman for the 12th Ward since May 2019. “I’m truly honored to be nominated to serve my community,” says Hanley. “I will strive to…

Nicholas Conservatory honoring 2020 graduates with school colors

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Nicholas Conservatory and Gardens, on Monday night, kicked off"Glowing for Grads," the Rockford Park District's way to celebrate local 2020 graduates by lighting up the facility with school colors. For the next month, the conservatory and gardens will bear colors of each Rockford-area high school and colleges: Rockford Career College, Rock Valley College, and Rockford University. Lights will go on at dusk and stay on through each night. Citizens are…

Illinois COVID-19 peak pushed to June, Winnebago County on pace to reach ‘Phase 3’ of restart plan

By Jim Hagerty Reporter CHICAGO - Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that Illinois has not reached its peak in new COVID-19 cases. The governor said during his daily press briefing that it could be a month before the state hits a peak, according to models. “Compared to the forecast that I shared with you on April 23, which predicted peaking between late April and early May, that time frame of plateauing near a peak has been expanded from mid-May into mid-June,” Pritzker said. “In many…

LIHEAP open through June 30

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) will be open through June 30 for eligible residents of Winnebago and Boone counties. LIHEAP pays a benefit directly to utilities or energy vendors on behalf of eligible households or directly to eligible renters if all energy costs are included in their rent. A single-person household can qualify with a monthly income for up to $1,561, a two-person household up to $2,114, a three-person household up to…

Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital receives $12.9M in COVID-9 relief funds

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Rockford's Mercyhealth Javon Bea Hospital will receive nearly $13 million in federal relief funds for treating COVID-19 patients during the coronavirus outbreak. The funds are part of Illinois' share of a $12 billion relief package from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for 6,000 medical centers that provided inpatient care for 100 or more COVID-19 patients through April 10. Illinois will receive $694,340,792. Mercy's totals…

New grocery store coming to northwest Rockford

Staff Report ROCKFORD - A new grocery store is coming to the northwest side of Rockford this year, the City of Rockford announced on its social media channels Friday. Jet Foods will move into the former Hilander location on North Main Street this fall. "The grocer currently operates a store in Park Forest and is known for providing fresh local produce at affordable prices," the city posted on Facebook. The space, which has been vacant since 2012, is in the same complex as CVS…

Winnebago County COVID-19 Donations Center seeking donations

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Winnebago County COVID-19 Donations Center is in need of donations. Items can be dropped off at the former Circuit City building, 5460 E. State St.,  during the center's new hours, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday. Current needs are handmade face coverings, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, hand soap, cleaning spray, feminine hygiene products toothbrushes and toothpaste, trash bags, new socks, new underwear and body wash When dropping…

Improvements coming to Rockford’s Keye-Mallquist Park

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The Rockford Park District will receive a $275,000 grant from the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, giving area youth, teens, and families a  variety of new ways to recreate and spend quality time together at Keye-Mallquist Park, 1702 11th St. The park district will utilize $275,000 out of its capital funds to fulfill the required grant match to improve the park. In addition, the Blazer Foundation, a local foundation committed to improving the lives of…

COVID-19: Rosecrance, two more nursing homes now local areas of concern

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - Three more congregate sites have been added to the local COVID-19 areas of concern list, Winnebago County Health Department Director Dr. Sandra Martell reported Thursday. The Atrium and Lincolnshire Place, two assisted-living facilities that specialize in memory care, along with Rosecrance, have now seen cases of coronavirus disease. "They have self-identified and have also notified their staff and residents of the communities," Martell said. "That is…

Frank Haney: 60% of county’s pending COVID-19 tests are missing

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - More than 2,100 COVID-19 specimens collected at the UIC Health Sciences Campus are nowhere to be found, according to Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney. Haney said National Guard teams began collecting nose-swab specimens since April 24 and have been sending them to a third-party vendor for processing. "Zero tests have been reported to the Winnebago County Health and the Illinois Department of Public Health from this vender," Haney said in a…

City of Rockford receives EPA grant to clean up downtown properties

Staff Report ROCKFORD - The City of Rockford has received a $275,000 grant under the Environmental Protection Agency's Brownfield’s Program to assess and clean up two downtown properties. Under President Trump’s administration, the EPA has delivered approximately $287 million in Brownfield grants directly to communities and nonprofits for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation, and economic development through the award of over 948 grants. Rockford will use its award for the Rockford…

Belvidere Assembly Plant re-opening June 1

Staff Report BELVIDERE, Ill. - The Belvidere Assembly Plant will re-open June 1, a FCA Group spokesman said Wednesday, May 6. "This plan has been developed following continuous discussions with the unions – the UAW, Unifor and Section 23 CTM – as well as local governments," Jodi Tinson, of FCA said. The status of production at FCA’s Mexico plants will be the subject of a separate announcement." The Belvidere Chrysler assembly facility has been closed for several week, in part because of…