Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media
The Rock River Recreation Path is the most utilized recreational path in Rockford. (Photo courtesy of

The Rock River Recreation Path is the most utilized recreational path in Rockford. (Photo courtesy of


Grant to expand usability of Rock River rec path

The Rockford Park District has received a $25,000 grant for expanded usability of the Rock River Recreation Path. The grant was awarded by the Dr. Louis and Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois’ Community Grants Program.

The path is the most heavily utilized recreational path in Rockford, attracting walkers, joggers, bicyclists and rollerbladers. In addition, many local clubs and groups partner with the Rockford Park District to host walks, runs, and other special events along this portion of the river.

The 10-mile path was built as the bicentennial community project in 1976. With the grant money, lighting improvements will take place on the most heavily used portion of the path just north of the YMCA parking lot to the Auburn Street bridge, replacing existing light poles and existing lights with improved LED lighting. Lighting under the Auburn Street bridge will also be updated.

“The improvements will increase visibility and expand evening usage of this path. The Rockford Park District wants to make sure citizens have a variety of recreational activities for their health, well-being, and entertainment. Having a quality path system encourages people to get out and walk, which is essential for a healthy lifestyle,” said Laura Williamson, Director of Capital Planning & Asset Management.

RVC hosts open house new downtown campus

The public is invited to pay a visit to Rock Valley College’s newest location, RVC Downtown, located on the second floor of the Rockford Register Star News Tower (99 East State St.).

The college will host an open house for RVC Downtown on Friday from 3-6:30 p.m. in conjunction with Rockford City Market.

Visitors may take self-guided tours of the new facilities and RVC staff and faculty will be on hand to answer questions and talk more about the services being offered there.

A wide range of classes are being offered at RVC Downtown for students at various educational levels. Students can take many of the same college level credit courses offered at the RVC main campus, such as English, Speech, Humanities, Psychology, and Sociology. The new location also includes a Mac Lab, which will allow the college to offer courses from its Graphic Arts Technology and Computers and Information Systems programs.

Grant to U of I for early lung cancer screenings

The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford has been awarded a grant of $50,000 by the Dr. Louis & Violet Rubin Fund of the Community Foundation of Northern Illinois to continue work on early screening of lung cancer.

Dr. Neelu Puri, Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Sciences, will be the lead investigator in this grant.

In 2014, 204 deaths were reported out of 245 cases of lung cancer in Winnebago County. The high mortality is likely due to late clinical diagnosis. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) proposed new guidelines for early screening of lung cancer in individuals aged 55-80 with a smoking history of 20 cigarettes a day for 30 years.

Beginning last year, Dr. Puri and her collaborators conducted seminars and provided educational materials to the general public and area physicians to promote and implement the CDC guidelines.

“Having additional funding to continue this initiative will allow this group to continue this important work and to attempt to translate these findings to clinical applications for improved detection and prognosis of lung cancer patients in Winnebago County which could potentially also be applied nationally,” said Alex Stagnaro-Green, MD, MHPE, Dean of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford. 

Police seek information in murder investigation

Rockford Police are seeking the public’s help to solve a July 31 murder which occurred on the 3200 block of Greendale.

Police responded to the location at around 1:30 a.m. after reports of multiple shots fired calls from residents.  Upon arrival officers located a male in the driveway of 3218 Greendale suffering from gunshot wounds.  The victim was transported to a local hospital by Rockford Fire Department ambulance where he died from his wounds. 

Anyone with informationis asked to contact the Rockford Police Department at (779) 500-6555 or Crime stoppers at 1-888-769-STOP (7867).

–Winnebago County News Briefs–