City of Rockford

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

Rockford’s mayor wishes his city’s fire department wasn’t the second-busiest in Illinois. But he’s pleased about a big drop in violent crimes. 

Tom McNamara said, for the first four months of the year, the city’s fire department has seen an increase in total calls compared to the same period last year, with a 26 percent increase in fire calls.

More than 1,400 Illinois townships will hold their annual town meeting tonight.

More than 170,000 people live in Rockford Township, which is one of the largest townships in Illinois. 

Township Supervisor Jasper St. Angel says the typical number of residents that come to the town meetings is between 10 and 15. St. Angel says he’s not anticipating any controversial issues coming up during this year’s town meeting. He also says Rockford Township is one of the few local governments in the state without debt.

Jessie Schlacks/WNIJ

Rockford leaders unveiled an anonymous survey to get feedback on victims’ experiences with area resources.

This comes as Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara declared April “Sexual Assault Awareness Month.”

Survey questions include whether doctors or police made the victim feel supported – and ways the process could have been easier. 

Victor Yehling /WNIJ

Voters in Tuesday’s primary election rejected the effort to re-implement home rule authority in Rockford. WNIJ spoke with people on both sides of the issue about what this means for Rockford’s future.

The Illinois Constitution grants home rule authority to municipalities that have at least 25,000 residents. Others can gain that authority through a direct ordinance. Rockford naturally qualified in 1970 due to its population, but a referendum removed home-rule status in 1983.

The Rock River Times

The Rockford City Council approved a resolution Monday that would allow residents to recall aldermen and mayors if they go against certain provisions that are part of a bid for home rule.

A referendum on the March 20 ballot asks Rockford residents to grant home rule authority. But the council already has approved provisions to limit how the city raises property taxes and takes on debt.

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