Rock Falls

Rock Falls Bar Shooting Suspect Is Arrested

Apr 20, 2017
city of Rock Falls

Rock Falls police say a shooting at local bar “The Cooler” possibly was carried out by the owner’s cousin. 

A white man entered the bar Saturday evening brandishing a firearm, and his shots injured four people.

Police received a tip Monday night from the owner's relative in South Carolina, which suggested that second cousin Seth T. Wallace was the shooter. Officers issued a warrant for Wallace's arrest, and the suspect turned himself in the same day. 

Leaf Burning Ban Is Rejected In Rock Falls

Apr 19, 2017
McHenry County Health Department

An ordinance to ban burning of leaves and other yard waste in Rock Falls failed at a city council meeting.  

The ban had strong support from Mayor Bill Wescott as well as residents with health problems exacerbated by the burning of yard waste.  However, Saukvalley.com reports that Ald. Jim Schuneman believed the ordinance was rushed through council and went against the wishes of residents who filled out surveys on the subject several years ago. 

What Consolidation Means For Rural School Districts

Jun 6, 2016
Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

One of the quirks of Illinois public education is the fact that public elementary, middle, and high schools in a single city or county may be their own independent school district.

While some tout the advantages of greater local control, others argue this governing structure is inefficient. In the first of a two-part series, we examine the ways these separate entities may consolidate, starting with rural schools.

An early morning house fire has killed five members of a family in northern Illinois.

Whiteside County Coroner Joe McDonald says firefighters responding to a blaze in Rock Falls found a husband and wife and three of their children dead around 5 a.m. Wednesday.

He identified the victims as Patrick and Mary Hopkins and their children, 24-year-old Maggie, 16-year-old Donovan and 13-year-old Katie Jo. The couple had two other children in their 20s.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The opening of a hotel on Rock Falls’ riverfront is being pushed back to late spring. Sauk Valley Media reports that the city learned last week that the company building the hotel -- Fitchburg, Wisconsin-based Landgraf Construction -- is ceasing operations and will be unable to finish the Holiday Inn Express & Suites on East Second Street.

The developers, Rock Falls Hotel Group, said the announcement was unexpected, but hotel construction will proceed. Switching construction firms, however, means the opening won’t happen till May.  

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