Rockford

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in Rockford to tout a new school funding framework. 

The governor paid a visit to the Barbour Two-Way Immersion School, which provides instruction in both English and Spanish. After touring several classrooms, Rauner said he would double down on funding schools more equally.

“We are going to change the way schools are funded in Illinois, improve it, get more resources overall, and especially more resources for lower-income schools that don’t have access to the same advantages as higher-income schools," he said.

city of Rockford

Members of Rockford's Finance and Personnel Committee forwarded a budget plan to address a  $5.3 million shortfall to the full city council.

SwedishAmerican Hospital says it’s partnering with Aunt Martha's, a Chicago-based nonprofit, to open a new clinic in Rockford.  

The Rockford Register Star reports the 4,000 square foot clinic will be based in the hospital tower on East State Street.  Aunt Martha’s aims to offer primary care, mental health, and women’s health services.  They hope addressing problems with primary care physicians can lower the amount of patients diverted to the emergency room (SwedishAmerican has around 74,000 emergency room visits each year).  

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Jurors have convicted a northern Illinois man of killing his wife with a baseball bat in 2012 and dumping her body in the Rock River.

Todd Smith was found guilty of murder Wednesday in a Rockford courtroom. He is to be sentenced March 22, when he faces a term of life in prison.

The jury also found that the allegation that the murder was accompanied by exceptionally brutal and heinous behavior indicative of wanton cruelty was proven, according to Winnebago County State's Attorney Joe Bruscato. 

Rockford Public Schools

The Rockford School Board voted to adopt its “last, best and final” contracts for several groups of employees, including bus drivers, food-service workers, and paraprofessionals.  

The measures would result in $1.7 million more in spending for bus drivers over the next three years, $178,287 for food service workers over the next two years, and $1.5 million over the next three years for paraprofessionals.  This increased spending also means annual raises.   

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