Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


Fans of ‘Diesel’ raising funds for bronze statue

Supporters of an effort to immortalize Diesel, the late Northern Illinois Huskies mascot, with a statue outside Huskie Stadium are almost halfway home in a fundraising effort.

Nearly $12,000 of a hoped-for $25,000 has been raised in an on-line fundraiser for the planned bronze statue which would depict Diesel in a famous “High Five” that was immortalized on an national ESPN telecast.

The statue is being created by renowned sculptor Renee Bemis. An agreement has been reached with the NIU Foundation to place the sculpture in a prominent place outside Huskie Stadium.

For more information or to donate visit:


Kiwanis donation gives tots a new place to play

Kids have a new place to play and explore along the Rock River Recreation Path.

The Rockford Park District, Rockford Park District Foundation, Kiwanis Club of Rockford, and area youth ages five and under celebrated the completion of the Tots Play Area, the first phase of a new Children’s Exploration Station along the Sinnissippi Riverfront.

The Tots Play Area includes a playground with equipment intended for ages 2 to 5, along with some playground surfacing with a river theme, and new concrete paths.

Since the fall of 2015, the Park District has been working to develop an overall master plan for Sinnissippi Riverfront Park, which includes improvements to the existing Rose Garden and Perennial Garden, and developing a new Children’s Exploration Station. The concept plan for the Children’s Exploration

Overall costs anticipated for the Children’s Exploration Station are $600,000-$700,000, and will be developed in phases.

Thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Rockford’s generous donation of $125,000 to the Rockford Park District Foundation, the Tots Play Area was built.


Extension offers food service training class

The University of Illinois Extension has partnered with the Illinois State Board of Education, to offer professional development trainings on Aug. 2 or Aug. 9 from 8:15 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Aug. 2, training will be held at the Pearl City High School, 100 South Summit St, Pearl City. The Aug. 9, training will be held at the Willowbrook Middle School, 6505 Prairie Hill Road, South Beloit.

This free training will provide six hours of USDA Professional Standards credits for the 2017-18 school year. There is no charge but preregistration is required.

To learn more about the trainings and to register, call (815) 235-4125 or visit

The National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is the second largest food and nutrition assistance program within the nation. Serving on average 30.4 million lunches each day during the school year. Considering the vast number of students receiving school meals, and the need to ensure students have the nutrition they need to focus and learn throughout the day, the NSLP is a vital aspect of the school day.


State releases boating Infractions during holiday

While much attention is focused on drunk driving on a holiday, this year the Illinois Department of Natural Resources Conservation Police participated in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide boating safety and boating under the influence awareness initiative.

During Operation, Dry Water and the 4th of July holiday weekend, the Illinois Conservation Police reported the following activity:

  • 617 written warnings,
  • 346 citations,
  • 30 boating OUI (Operation Under the Influence) arrests,
  • 1378 vessel inspections,
  • 3 DUIs (Driving Under the Influence),
  • 12 criminal/warrant arrests,
  • 108 vessel/person assists, and
  • 29 drug arrests.

–Winnebago County News Briefs–