Rockford

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Students at Rockford’s Guilford High School showed off their latest high-tech projects to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner today.

Rauner stopped by the school to talk about education funding and to check out their innovative engineering-track programs. He pledged to increase K through 12 funding and reduce state mandates on schools.

The Republican governor also clued the students in on the partisan battles that were blocking progress on a state budget.

"ARBRE ÉVOLUTION" By Flickr User MONTAGE CHARPENTE / (CC BY 2.0)

An arboretum in northern Illinois hopes to draw new interest by building treehouses where visitors can climb into the branches for better views.

The Register Star reports the treehouse initiative at Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Rockford coincides with efforts to offer more family-friendly activities.

Three treehouses would be built at the arboretum, which is owned by Forest Preserves of Winnebago County.

Leaders will discuss at a meeting next month the possibility of hosting a treehouse design competition for architects.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Three teens were arrested in Rockford this weekend, suspected of stealing cars and using them during recent crime sprees.

Rockford Assistant Deputy Police Chief Doug Pann says juvenile crime was the major factor in a big increase in violent crime in the city last year.

“We’ve got some groups we know are engaging in the robberies and auto thefts. It’s all tied together," he said. "We’ve been working on this for several months now, identifying them and getting them off the street. And we will continue to do that until it stops.”

City of Rockford / rockfordil.gov

There are big plans for an important part of Rockford’s downtown. Thursday night, the public gathered at Memorial Hall to hear about the future of Davis Park.

A 23-year-old Rockford man was killed and two others injured in a crash that shut down a busy intersection for most of the day Wednesday. He’s been identified as Juan Lozano Junior.

The three were spotted driving a stolen car overnight near Rockford and were briefly pursued by Illinois State Police troopers, who gave up the chase. The stolen car was found a short time later after crashing into a tree near Anderson Japanese Gardens at the intersection of Spring Creek and Highcrest Roads.  

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