Rockford Crime And Safety

May 27, 2015
Victor Yehling / WNIJ

We examine the perception and reality of crime in Rockford. We talk with people directly affected by violence, and examine efforts to prevent violent crime and ensure the safety of residents.

Rockford-area State Representative Litesa Wallace recently introduced a resolution calling on the Governor, the Mayor of Rockford, Attorney General and others to get to the bottom of the crime problem.

Rockford Leads In Illinois Population Decline

May 27, 2015
Northern Illinois University Center for Governmental Studies

New Census data indicates the third largest city in Illinois is leading the state in population decline

Illinois has about 1,300 incorporated villages, towns and cities. From 2010 to last year, Rockford’s population declined by 2.5 percent, or nearly 4,000 people.

That’s the biggest numerical drop of any city during that period.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois budget crisis is costing low-income public schools some of the federal money intended to help them compete with wealthier schools. That’s the finding of a report published this weekend by the Rockford Register Star. Reporter Corina Curry found that state lawmakers are diverting money from a program known as “Title One” and putting it toward teacher pension debt. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with Curry about her research.

A 36-year-old Sycamore man found dead early Monday morning in an elevator at the William Brown Building in Rockford was identified.

Yesterday's autopsy determined foul play is not suspected in the death of Nathan Gabriel, but Winnebago County Coroner Sue Fiduccia says the cause of death is still pending further testing.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Local services such as police and fire are at risk if one of Governor Bruce Rauner’s budget proposals goes through. That’s the message from a group of northern Illinois mayors.

The governor wants to cut the Local Government Distributive Fund in half. That’s the portion of income taxes the state sends back to communities. Rockford would lose more than seven million dollars. Mayor Larry Morrissey says everyone is willing to share in the budget sacrifice…up to a point.

Rock Valley College

A business incubator based in Rockford is going regional under its new owner. 

EIGERlab opened a decade ago as a place budding entrepreneurs could get help launching their products from concept to customer. Now the mission is the same, but the reach is getting bigger through Northern Illinois University, which acquired EIGERlab from the Rockford Area Economic Development Council. 


Illinois Department of Transportation says construction work resumes today to replace the Bypass U.S. 20 bridge over the Rock River on Rockford’s south side. 

The ramps are scheduled to be closed today as a result. The department says to use "extreme caution" while driving through work zones.

Traffic will be restricted to one lane in each direction during the construction after today. The $21 million project is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

New Rockford City Government Phone System Launched

Mar 12, 2015
city of Rockford

Yesterday was the first live day of Rockford’s new phone system. 

The original system consisted of five separate, outdated ones. The new system consolidates the five segments into one modern system.

Rockford Man Stabbed In Public Library

Mar 10, 2015

A man was stabbed multiple times inside the downtown Rockford Public Library yesterday.

Patrons found the victim lying on the bathroom floor. The man was taken to a hospital in serious condition.

The suspect was described as a middle-aged white or Hispanic man who fled the scene in a pickup truck.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Training a new generation of effective leaders often involves mentoring through a shared passion. It involves someone with a strong skill set who is willing to help someone else feel the spark. Sometimes, it takes more than a one-on-one relationship. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens reports, as part of our occasional series, “Pass The Torch.”