Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


School board okays contract with REA

The Rockford School Board last week approved a labor agreement with the Rockford Education Association, the union that represents RPS 205 teachers, psychologists, counselors, nurses and other certified staff.

REA members approved the agreement last week after more than a year of negotiations and collaboration; The REA has 1,973 members. The three- year contract is effective July 1, 2017, through June 30, 2020.

The agreement includes a total base salary increase equal to 5 percent over three years. REA members will see a 1 percent base salary increase, prorated to the first day of second semester this school year (2017-18), followed by a 1.5 percent base salary increase on July 1, and another 2.5 percent base salary increase effective July 1, 2019.

The agreement introduces targeted professional development to increase teacher retention and better prepare new teachers with professional development, training and support.


City voters turn down home rule proposal

Rockford voters turned down a proposal to restore home rule and city officials will now have to scramble to close a deficit with possible new fees and taxes.

Home rule was rejected by a 53 to 43 percent margin. It would have offered the city some financial flexibility as it faces up to a $10 million budget deficit.

Among the options now on the table is a potential utility tax that could generate up to $3.5 million in revenue. The city will also consider savings and revenue enhancement projects to find and additional $3.5 million.

The city is required to produce a balanced budget by March 31.

Home rule was granted to any state municipality with at least 25,000 residents under the 1970 Illinois Constitution. But a 1983 referendum ended home rule status in the city.


RU honored by advertising federation

Rockford University has been recognized by the American Advertising Federation of Northern Illinois with seven 2018 American Advertising (ADDY) Awards for advertising creative excellence.

The AAF Northern Illinois is the ad industry trade association serving advertising creatives, public relations, marketing, and other communications industry professionals in Rockford and Northern Illinois and represents the Northern Illinois Chapter of the American Advertising Federation (AAF).

Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the AAF is the oldest advertising trade association representing over 40,000 professionals in the advertising industry in a national network of more than 200 ad clubs in communities across the country.

Rockford University’s Institutional Advancement division submitted a collection of collateral materials into this year’s competition. The assortment of entries included six different categories, and all six submissions were selected by the panel of judges to receive an ADDY.


Two schools host career, internship fair

Rockford University and Rock Valley College will be co-hosting a Career & Internship Fair on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, from 1:00-3:00 p.m in the Burpee Student Center on Rockford University’s campus (5050 E. State St, Rockford).

Participation in the Career & Internship Fair is a great way to connect and network with representatives of employing organizations. A number of our students do obtain part-time and full-time employment and internships as a direct result of participating in this event. Current and former students from both institutions are welcome to attend as are members of the community. 

More information is available online at


Four presidents honored in new exhibit

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield has a new exhibit that looks at what four U.S. presidents with ties to Illinois had in common and how their time in the state affected their lives.

The exhibit, “From Illinois to the White House: Lincoln, Grant, Reagan, Obama,” is being done as part of Illinois’ bicentennial celebration. Located inside the museum, it runs through the end of the year and includes historic artifacts that show the achievements of the presidents as politicians and communicators. Also included are items from the presidents’ wives.

For museum times and admission prices, go to


–Winnebago County News Briefs–