WBEZ | Rockford http://www.wbez.org/tags/rockford Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Morning Shift: Rockford getting a boost from an Esty economy http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-03/morning-shift-rockford-getting-boost-esty-economy <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/Flickr Charles &amp; Hudson.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>We take a look at how the online craft marketplace Etsy has teamed up with Rockford, Illinois. Plus, what&#39;s the real deal with e-cigarettes? We talk with smoking cessation expert Dr. Philip McAndrew to clear through some of the confusion.&nbsp;</p><div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-rockford-getting-a-boost-from-an-est/embed?header=false" width="100%" height=750 frameborder=no allowtransparency=true></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-rockford-getting-a-boost-from-an-est.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-rockford-getting-a-boost-from-an-est" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: Rockford getting a boost from an Esty economy" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Mon, 03 Feb 2014 08:35:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2014-02-03/morning-shift-rockford-getting-boost-esty-economy Rockford’s new parolee database could be model for state http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford%E2%80%99s-new-parolee-database-could-be-model-state-108291 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/rockford.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Updated 8.7.13</em></p><p>The Rockford Police Department is working with the state of Illinois to develop a new way to keep track of people on parole and prepare reentry services for the ex-offenders.</p><p>Officials say if it works, it could serve as a model for the rest of the state.</p><p>The northwest suburb will use a $400,000 grant from the federal government to build a parolee database that will be the first of its kind in Illinois.</p><p>The new database will inform local authorities when a parolee from the Illinois Department of Corrections is settling in their area.</p><p>It will also include information on each parolee, like known addictions or potential homelessness.</p><p>Rockford applied for the grant through the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority.</p><p>Authority spokeswoman Cristin Evans wrote in an email that the grant will help Rockford arrange for reentry services for parolees with local providers before they arrive in Rockford.</p><p>&ldquo;American Reinvestment and Recovery Justice Assistance Grants, provided to Illinois by the U.S. Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA), were used to support this project. Offender community re-entry is a BJA priority, data exchange projects/collaboration is a BJA priority, and [the] Rockford Police Department [is] replicating a proven model used in Racine, Wisconsin.,&rdquo; Evans wrote.</p><p>Police Chief Chet Epperson said people on probation and parole account for 12 to 15 percent of weekly arrests.</p><p>Tom Shaer, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections, said his department is working closely with Rockford to develop an infrastructure for data sharing.</p><p>&ldquo;Just as consumer information sharing has evolved and rapidly improved, so too can public servants improve their sharing of information,&rdquo; Shaer said.</p><p>Shaer said this kind of database is something the state &ldquo;definitely&rdquo; wants to expand statewide. And he said Rockford will be a test for that potential expansion.</p><p>&ldquo;What better way to share data than for these purposes?&rdquo; Shaer asked. &ldquo;The more information that is shared, and the quicker it is shared is better for everyone.&rdquo;</p><p>The new database could address what Rockford officials say is a flaw in the current system: that they sometimes aren&rsquo;t told about ex-offenders until a month or two after they arrive in the city.</p><p>But Shaer said that isn&#39;t true, and that the department always notifies local police before parolees are released.</p><p>&ldquo;It&rsquo;s not that it&rsquo;s bad now or broken now, but if you can make it better, why not do that?&rdquo; Shaer said of IDOC&rsquo;s notification system.</p><p>According to Evans, the project will be completed before Sept. 30.</p><p><em>Patrick Smith is a WBEZ reporter. Follow him on Twitter <a href="http://twitter.com/pksmid" target="_blank">@pksmid</a></em></p></p> Mon, 05 Aug 2013 15:19:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford%E2%80%99s-new-parolee-database-could-be-model-state-108291 Rockford records 14 homicides in 2012 http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford-records-14-homicides-2012-104646 <p><p>ROCKFORD, Ill. &mdash; The city of Rockford ended 2012 with 14 homicides &mdash; the lowest total in eight years.</p><p>The Rockford Register Star <a href="http://bit.ly/WXmmiK" target="_blank">reports</a> the total is a drop from the 20 homicides the city has averaged in recent years.</p><p>Police say arrests have been made in eight of 2012&#39;s 14 homicides. They also say eight of the year&#39;s homicide victims were shot to death, three were beaten, one was stabbed, one died in a car crash and a premature-born infant was found to have cocaine in its system.</p><p>Police say they don&#39;t know why the number of homicides fell in 2012.</p></p> Wed, 02 Jan 2013 09:51:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford-records-14-homicides-2012-104646 Rockford gets $1 million award from Illinois EPA http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford-gets-1-million-award-illinois-epa-99041 <p><p>The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency is giving $1 million to Rockford to help fund the removal of contaminated soil in the city's downtown.</p><p>City officials say the clean-up will help Rockford move forward with plans to expand a park and build a new Amtrak station downtown.</p><p>Officials say the state grant will be used at the site of a former rail depot and another structure that were demolished last year and the Tapco building, which is slated for demolition after sitting empty for nearly two decades.</p><p>The project will include digging up and hauling away 2,500 loads of dirt.</p><p>The grant is part of a state program designed to encourage communities to redevelop brownfield sites as part of efforts to improve their local economies.</p></p> Fri, 11 May 2012 08:53:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/rockford-gets-1-million-award-illinois-epa-99041 Rockford Diocese gets new bishop http://www.wbez.org/story/rockford-diocese-gets-new-bishop-97465 <p><p>Pope Benedict XVI has picked a priest from Lake Geneva, Wis., to serve as the next bishop in the Rockford Diocese.</p><p>Monsignor David Malloy currently is the pastor at St. Francis de Sales in Lake Geneva, which is in the Milwaukee Archdiocese.</p><p>Malloy will replace Bishop Thomas Doran, who submitted his resignation to the Vatican on his 75th birthday as the church requires.</p><p>Malloy is a Milwaukee native who graduated from Marquette University and studied at St. Francis de Sales Seminary in Milwaukee and the North American College in Rome. He was ordained in Milwaukee in 1983.</p><p>The Rockford Diocese covers 11 counties in northern Illinois and includes more than 450,000 Catholics.</p></p> Tue, 20 Mar 2012 16:16:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/rockford-diocese-gets-new-bishop-97465 Custom Frank Lloyd Wright house up for auction http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-07/custom-frank-lloyd-wright-house-auction-94669 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2011-December/2011-12-07/ba_cafra.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><a href="http://www.franklloydwright.org/web/Home.html" target="_blank">Frank Lloyd Wright</a> certainly left his mark on architecture. He also had something of a reputation for being inflexible on matters of design. But there’s at least one house where he let the client define the process. The Laurent house is one of Wright’s <a href="http://www.pbs.org/flw/buildings/usonia/usonia.html" target="_blank">Usonian houses</a> – a simpler structure built for middle class families. But it was also the first residence Wright designed for an owner confined to a wheelchair.</p><p>It was commissioned over 60 years ago by returning World War II veteran Kenneth Laurent and his wife Phyllis; they live there still today. When Dennis Rodkin of <a href="http://www.chicagomag.com/" target="_blank"><em>Chicago</em> magazine</a> heard the house was on the auction block he insisted <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> talk with Mr. Laurent; both men joined <em>Eight Forty-Eight</em> Wednesday.</p><p><em>Music Button: Charlie Chaplin, "Park Avenue Waltz", from the album Oh! That Cello, (Zebra Acoustic)</em></p><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 07 Dec 2011 14:25:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-12-07/custom-frank-lloyd-wright-house-auction-94669 Boeing's long-awaited Dreamliner boosts Rockford economy http://www.wbez.org/story/boeings-long-awaited-dreamliner-boosts-rockford-economy-92475 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-September/2011-09-26/boeing 787 pic.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Boeing’s first 787 Dreamliner jet is flying to Japan today to begin commercial service. That’s good news for Chicago-based Boeing, but also for a growing aerospace industry based in Rockford, Illinois.</p><p>Rockford’s unemployment rate is 13 percent, but if those people out of work knew how to make airplane parts, they might be able to find a job.</p><p>Take Kaney Aerospace, for example. President Ron Soave says the company plans to hire 20 to 50 people in the next three years, mostly engineers. Kaney tests the electrical systems for the plane.</p><p>There’s a whole industry in Rockford depending on the Dreamliner.&nbsp; Hamilton Sundstrand has a $50 million testing lab for the plane there.</p><p>Soave of Kaney Aerospace says now that production is ramping up, Rockford’s economy could benefit.</p><p>"People are realizing how important it is to get that message out as a community to attract bright engineers and bring high-paying jobs to the area," Soave said.</p><p>And as people in Seattle and Chicago pop champagne corks, folks in Rockford are also watching the first Dreamliner with pride. Soave says they're planning a celebratory dinner tonight to mark the occasion.</p><p>"It’s definitely a milestone worth celebrating," Soave said.</p></p> Tue, 27 Sep 2011 10:00:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/boeings-long-awaited-dreamliner-boosts-rockford-economy-92475 Illinois metro areas see May jobless rates drop http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-metro-areas-see-may-jobless-rates-drop-88267 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/story/photo/2011-June/2011-06-23/107316494.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>State officials say unemployment in all 12 Illinois metro areas dropped in May, and all but three of those regions added jobs or were unchanged.&nbsp;</p><p>The Illinois Department of Employment Security put out its monthly metro and county-level unemployment stats today. The department says the biggest decreases last month were in Peoria, Rockford, Danville and the Kankakee-Bradley area.&nbsp;</p><p>Rockford remains the area with the highest unemployment rate at 10.7 percent. But that's down from 14.2 percent a year earlier.&nbsp;</p><p>Unemployment in the Chicago-Joliet-Naperville area was 9.8 percent in May. That's down from 10.4 percent over the past year.&nbsp;</p><p>The Peoria area added 5,300 jobs over the past year as manufacturers such as Caterpillar Inc. continued to bounce back from the recession.</p></p> Thu, 23 Jun 2011 20:40:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/story/illinois-metro-areas-see-may-jobless-rates-drop-88267 A Tour of Rockford's History http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tour-rockfords-history <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2010-October/2010-10-25/Rock River Dam.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>With the midterm election just over a week away, the politicking and punditry are in high gear. In the state of Illinois, a lot of energy is focused on Chicago. But the big races&mdash;like those for Governor and U.S. Senate&mdash;will be decided at polls&nbsp;well beyond this metropolitan area. <br /><br />We wondered how the election looks from outside Chicago so WBEZ&rsquo;s Richard Steele headed out to meet the electorate in other parts of the state. He traveled to Rockford, Bloomington and East St. Louis.&nbsp;<br /><br />David Byrnes is the president of the <a href="http://www.midwayvillage.com/" target="_blank">Midway Village Museum </a>in Rockford. He led Richard on a tour of the city, including its rich industrial past.</p></p> Mon, 25 Oct 2010 16:49:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/tour-rockfords-history Richard Steele hits the road to check in with voters http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/richard-steele-hits-road-check-voters <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/segment/photo/2010-October/2010-10-20/848_20101020c_large.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>While we&rsquo;ve been chatting with candidates this week, WBEZ&rsquo;s Richard Steele has taken to the road to meet the electorate. He&rsquo;s talking to voters throughout Illinois - to find out what they&rsquo;re thinking in the run-up to the election. And listen up, politicians! Voters are not happy with what they&rsquo;re hearing from you. Richard joins us now from Bloomington where he just finished breakfast with a panel of farmers.</p></p> Wed, 20 Oct 2010 15:24:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/richard-steele-hits-road-check-voters