Rock Valley College

Rock Valley College Announces Layoff Proposal

Rock Valley College announced Friday that it will recommend to the College’s Board of Trustees to approve a reduction in force of certain non-tenured and tenured faculty members to be effective for fall 2017. According to a news release, the College is required under the Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Faculty Association and the Illinois Public Community College Act to give notice to each individual faculty member of the Board’s action no later than 60 days before the end of the...

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The man who kidnapped and murdered a Rockford newspaper boy in 1975 has died in prison at the age of 78. Now the family of Joey Didier will no longer have to circulate petitions to keep his killer, Robert Lower, from being paroled.

Lower’s 20th attempt for release from his life sentence was set for 2019: he was last denied parole in February 2014.

The disappearance and murder of the 15-year-old in March 1975 affected the community deeply. Thousands of Rockford residents have signed petitions over the decades asking the state's parole board to keep Lower in prison. 

"Airplane" by Flickr User Sean MacEntee / (CC X 2.0)

Northern Illinois University students and staff had an opportunity Wednesday to address concerns with how recent executive orders could affect travel to and from Muslim-majority countries.

Legal experts say Muslim travelers may face more intense questioning about their faith by airport officials, and even requests to access their smartphones.

As Republicans look at ways to replace or repair the Affordable Care Act, many suggest that shrinking the list of services that insurers are required to offer in individual and small group plans would reduce costs and increase flexibility.

City governments across Illinois are asking to have their state funding passed along automatically. It’s the latest consequence of Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate.

The money in question comes from taxes on gasoline, phone bills, and gambling. Normally, it's collected by the state and passed along to local governments.  However, the lack of a state budget has complicated this process.  

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

On February 28, voters in Aurora will whittle down the number of candidates running for mayor of Illinois’s second-largest city.

National Ice Skating Competition Is Coming To Rockford

Feb 22, 2017
ussynchrochampionships.com

The U.S. Synchronized Skating Championship is taking place at the BMO Harris Bank Center for the first time.

The annual competition has traveled to different cities, like San Diego and Boston, since 1984. 

People ages nine through 65 choreograph synchronized team skating routines, which include complex formations and step sequences.

Winners from the senior-experience-level go on to represent the U.S. in a worldwide competition.

Andrea Mandala is with the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The next four years will be very good for poetry.

That's according to Susan Azar Porterfield, who says our nation's current political divisions echo previous tempests, which sprouted an abundance of biting verse.

In 2003, Robert Bly, Lawrence Ferlinghetti and more than 8,000 other poets submitted their work to a global movement opposing the Iraq invasion. The book Poets Against the War collected 262 of those poems.

"old gym locker room" by Flickr user Charles Kremenak / (CC X 2.0)

Student enrollment has been trending down at Western Illinois University for much of the last decade. For the first time this century, there are fewer than 10,000 students enrolled at Western.

Dr. Ron Williams is the interim vice president for student services at Western. He says there about 629 fewer students this semester compared to last spring. 

He says that’s a loss of about 6.5 percent.

"Pages" by Flickr User Toshiyuki IMAI / (CC X 2.0)

McHenry County prosecutors say they won't file criminal charges against a student who circulated racist pamphlets in school.

The Daily Herald in Arlington Heights reports the decision not to prosecute the Huntley High School student was made despite officials finding the pamphlet's content "disgraceful and purveying a message that is unacceptable in this community."

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

More than $55 million went back to Illinois municipalities from video gaming in 2016. But how do those communities use those funds?

Springfield Budget Director Bill McCarty says the city received about $1.5 million from video gaming last year. Those funds generally contribute to the city’s capital improvement projects, like sidewalk and street maintenance.

However, McCarty says, they haven’t had to dip into the video gaming money yet, thanks to a sales tax increase also contributing to the capital fund.

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Less than a week after a man opened fire in a crowded Kansas bar, killing one man and injuring two others, thousands of strangers from around the world have opened up their wallets to comfort the victims' families.

Three separate GoFundMe accounts have between them raised more than $1 million in donations, which they pledge to help with the families' medical expenses.

The Indonesian island of Java has long been synonymous with coffee. But it's only in the past decade or so that Indonesians have begun to wake up and smell the coffee — their own, that is.

Big changes are brewing in the country's coffee industry, as demand from a rising middle class fuels entrepreneurship and connoisseurship.

The trend is clear at places like the Anomali Coffee shop in South Jakarta. It roasts its coffee just inside the entrance on the ground floor.

Updated at 12:38 p.m. ET

Bill Paxton, prolific actor and big-screen fixture for decades, has died at the age of 61. In a statement released to media outlets Sunday, a family representative says Paxton died of complications from surgery.

"A loving husband and father, Bill began his career in Hollywood working on films in the art department and went on to have an illustrious career spanning four decades as a beloved and prolific actor and filmmaker," the statement reads.

The nerve agent smeared onto the face of Kim Jong Nam, estranged half-brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jon Un, was administered in such a high dose it killed him within 20 minutes, according Malaysia's health minister.

At least 28 people were injured — 21 of whom have been hospitalized — after a man driving a pickup truck plowed into a crowd of spectators Saturday night at a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans.

The city's mayor, Mitch Landrieu, said none of the victims had sustained a life-threatening injury in the wreck, which both he and police are calling a drunken-driving incident.

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