Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Applications now available for persons interested in becoming Rockford police officers.


RVC prof, children found dead in home

Winnebago County Sheriff’s Police are investigating the death of Rock Valley College professor Dr. Peter Ruckman Jr. and his two children.

Rock Valley College officials were informed that early last Saturday morning that Sheriff’s deputies responded to Ruckman’s home to conduct a welfare check. Deputies entered the home and found Ruckman and his two children deceased.

Ruckman had been a professor of political science at Rock Valley College since 1998. 

“The Rock Valley College community is devastated by the news of the tragic deaths of Peter Ruckman, and his two children,” said Dr. Doug Jensen, President of Rock Valley College. “Our deepest sympathies go out to the family, friends, and colleagues of Professor Ruckman and his children at this difficult time.” 

Due to the ongoing criminal investigation being conducted by the Winnebago County Sheriff’s office, any inquiries should be directed to the Winnebago County Sheriff’s office at (815) 319-6000.


Sheriff has $500 college scholarship available

The Illinois Sheriffs’ Association is awarding over $53,500 in college scholarships throughout the State of Illinois to students wishing to pursue higher education during the 2018-2019 academic year. 

Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana will be awarding one scholarship in the amount of $500.

The scholarships are to be applied to tuition, books and fees only. The student must be enrolled full-time at a certified institution of higher learning within the State of Illinois:

  • Applicants must be permanent Illinois residents.
  • Scholarships must be utilized at institutions of higher learning within the State of Illinois.
  • Students must be enrolled as a full-time student during the 2018-2019 school year (excluding summer session).

Applications are now available at local sheriff’s office or on the ISA Website Students must complete the application; answer the essay question and return all documentation to the Sheriff’s office in their permanent county of residence by March 15.

For more information, contact the Sheriff’s office, Illinois Sheriff’s Association, high school advising center, or college financial aid office.


Applications for police officers now available

The Rockford Police Department is now seeking qualified men and women who wish to serve the city of Rockford to join its force as a police officer.

Candidates must have strong verbal communication, interpersonal and writing skills, and should possess common sense and problem-solving ability.

Those seeking a career in law enforcement must successfully complete a multi-step process.

Applications are available online at


Applications must be completed by Saturday, March 3.

Applications may also be completed in the Human Resources office at City Hall, 425 E. State Street.

The starting salary is $52,811. For more information about benefits, working conditions, and minimum qualifications, visit the Rockford Police Department website  or contact Rockford Police recruiter Katy Statler at


Two RU professors honored by peers

Two Rockford University assistant professors of chemistry—Gidget Tay, Ph.D, and Matthew Bork, Ph.D.—have been honored with 2018 awards from the American Chemical Society.

Dr. Tay received the Local Section Outreach Volunteer of the Year Award for the Rock River Section of the ACS, nominated both for her chemistry demonstrations at after-school centers and public libraries as well as her series of “educational videos that combine dance and chemistry to explain concepts that students find difficult,” according to the ACS.

Dr. Tay, who was a dance minor as an undergraduate, collaborated with Rockford University Performing Arts faculty and students to produce the latest video on her DanceChemistry YouTube channel. Her videos have tackled topics including stereochemistry, reaction rates, distillation and solubility, with the hope that this free content will “inspire a younger generation of future scientists” and “be used to improve scientific understanding from a creative viewpoint.”

Dr. Bork earned a Salute to Excellence Award from the Affiliated Chemical Society for his work revitalizing an annual Chemistry Olympiad for the Rock River Section of the ACS. Dr. Bork has coordinated the event for five years, adding a banquet to the yearly meeting and working to build relationships with local high schools.


–Winnebago County News Briefs–