Winnebago County

Winnebago County

A former Winnebago County purchasing director was charged with two counts of embezzlement.

Sally Claassen was charged with taking at least $5,000 from county funds in 2014 and again last year. Court documents also say Claassen must return more than $450,000 to federal authorities, but the indictment does not say exactly how much Claassen is accused of stealing.

Winnebago County Owes $283,000 To Microsoft

May 11, 2016

  A software slip-up means that Winnebago County owes Microsoft $283,000.  

The Rockford Register-Star reports that the issue comes down to the county installing versions of Office that it didn’t pay for.  Microsoft conducted a routine compliance check, and found that Winnebago County had Office Professional installed on its computers.  This program costs $100 more than Office Standard, which is the program covered by the county’s license.  

Winnebago County Must Pay $626K From Tax Overpayment

Apr 26, 2016
Winnebago County

Winnebago County is still working on a way to repay the $626,000 it owes the state after a tax error. 

The mistake occurred when the Department of Revenue overpaid thousands of state districts for their 2014 Personal Property Replacement Taxes.  The funds would normally go to Winnebago County’s general fund and retirement system, but this year’s will need to be partially repaid.  County Administrator Stephen Chapman is frustrated at the state’s lack of a repayment plan.      

Rockford Schools Receive $400,000 Grant

Mar 31, 2016

Rockford Public Schools received a $400,000 grant from the Chicago-based Joyce Foundation. 

The funds are part of a greater effort by the organization to improve student educational opportunities, particularly as they relate to college and the job market.  In choosing Rockford, the foundation zeroed in on the district's Academy program, which, in addition to standard instruction, provides career-based learning through company visits, job shadowing programs, and more elaborate capstone projects. 

Rockford Shigella Outbreak Reports 4 New Cases

Mar 24, 2016

The shigellosis outbreak in the Rockford area has risen to 152 cases. 

  The Winnebago County Health Department reported four new cases in the outbreak this month, and that the bacterium has spread beyond individual schools and daycare centers to the entire community.  Todd Kisner with the Department’s Center for Health Protection says the best way to prevent the disease, which can cause diarrhea and vomiting, is to enforce routine handwashing, particularly among children. 

Winnebago County

Federal authorities have seized nearly $300,000 from bank accounts belonging to a former Winnebago County purchasing director and her husband in a continuing investigation.  

The Rockford Register Star reported Saturday that the seizures were from Sally Claassen and her husband's accounts.  They occurred in mid-December but agents posted online notices about the action this month.  The notices refer to U.S. forfeiture laws but offer no other details.  

Claassen hasn't been charged with any crime.  She resigned her post in September amid an internal investigation.  

scottforchairman.com

The chairman of the Winnebago County Board will not run for re-election. Republican Scott Christiansen is dropping out of the March 15 primary. 

In Winnebago County, the chairman of the county board is elected by voters, not chosen by the board itself.

Christiansen has held the position since 2004 and, up until Sunday, it appeared he would run again. That’s when he told Rockford Register Star political editor Chuck Sweeny he was ending his re-election bid for health and family reasons.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford area has a long history of women’s baseball, from the Rockford Peaches in the '40s and '50s to today’s Starfires. Now it’s trying to capitalize on that history by wooing the International Women’s Baseball Center to build a museum there.

ioc.state.il.us

Senior citizens in Winnebago County will not be required to renew their Senior Citizen Homestead Exemption this year.

If the exemption shows up on seniors’ tax bills, they will still receive it as long as they still live in and own their home.

The decision to not require renewals will save many elderly citizens the inconvenience of either having to deliver the form in person or mailing it back to the county. 

Former Winnebago County Sheriff Don Gasparini died Friday in Naples, Florida. He was 72.

The Democrat was first elected sheriff in 1980 and served until he retired in 1997.

Gasparini was popular among county residents for his big, friendly personality. He was an avid hunter and well-known for his wild game dinner fundraisers.

He did, however, gain some national notoriety 20 years ago related to a hunting violation. He was caught hunting on land in Ogle County without permission and fined for failing to immediately tag a deer he had killed.

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