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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,…

Police: Rockford man shoots self during struggle with officers

Staff  Report ROCKFORD - Rockford man was wounded Monday after accidentally shooting himself in the leg during a struggle with officers. Police say the incident unfolded at around 8:55 p.m., when officers responded to a report of a stolen phone in the 2900 block of Lapey Street. It was there they encountered 24-year-old Jacob Bennett, and say he was in possession of a what was later determined to be a stolen firearm. "Bennett resisted the officers, and during the struggle, the suspect…

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…

Congressional Democrats call for sweeping police reform

By Lisa Mascaro AP Congressional Correspondent WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats proposed a sweeping overhaul of police oversight and procedures Monday, a potentially far-reaching legislative response to the mass protests denouncing the deaths of black Americans in the hands of law enforcement. Before unveiling the package, House and Senate Democrats held a moment of silence at the Capitol's Emancipation Hall, reading the names of George Floyd and others killed during police interactions. They…

2020 State Street Mile canceled

Staff Report ROCKFORD - Due to the health risks caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and per the guidelines from the Winnebago County Health Department and state and local governments, the 2020 SwedishAmerican State Street Mile has been canceled. The State Street Mile would have celebrated its 36th year this summer. The mile-long race is held every August in downtown Rockford and brings families and individuals of all ages together for fun and fitness. The race also gives away $2,250…

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…

Rockford man guilty of murder in 2019 beating death

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - A Rockford man is guilty of murder in the beating death of another man on the city's west side last year. Winnebago County State's Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross reported Friday that Douglas Williams, 57, was convicted of seven-counts of first-degree murder after a jury trial in front of Judge Debra Schafter. The conviction stems from the death of 64-year-old Samuel Randolph, who was found dead in his 621 Alliance Avenue home. "The jury found that the…

Joe Biden clinches Democratic nomination

By Stephen Ohlemacher and Will Weissert Associated Press WASHINGTON (AP) — Joe Biden formally clinched the Democratic presidential nomination Friday, setting him up for a bruising challenge to President Donald Trump that will play out against the unprecedented backdrop of a pandemic, economic collapse and civil unrest. "It was an honor to compete alongside one of the most talented groups of candidates the Democratic party has ever fielded," Biden said in a statement Friday night, "and I…

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…

Rockford man sentenced to 15 years for possession with intent to deliver cocaine

Staff Report ROCKFORD - A Rockford man was sentenced to 15 years in prison Thursday. Willam Spears, 62, pleaded guilty in March to possession with intent to deliver cocaine. At around 10:15 a.m, April 21, officers from the Winnebago County Narcotics Unit arrived at 1708 26th St., to execute a search warrant. Spears was arrested a the scene. Possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance is a Class X felony with a sentencing range of six to 30 years in the Illinois…

$1.3M in COVID-19 relief awarded to rural Illinois communities

Staff Report SPRINGFIELD - Gov. J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO), on Friday, announced the first round of grants awarded as part of the new Downstate Small Business Stabilization Program. The fund was created to support small businesses in downstate and rural counties across Illinois that have experienced a negative impact due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. "As businesses across Illinois grapple with the devastating financial…

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…