Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


Last Kmart to close, CherryVale Sears spared

A Kmart store on East State St. will shut down but the Sears store at CherryVale Mall was spared the axe last week as Sears Holdings announced the latest round in a series of store closings last week.

The announcement comes in the wake the shutdown of Bon-Ton Stores, including a Bergner’s at CherryVale.

With the closure, Kmart will no longer have any stores in the Rockford area. The company’s

Sandy Hollow Road store was shut down earlier this year.

Sears Holdings, the long-struggling Hoffman Estates-based retailer, also announced last week it will close a Sears story at Aurora’s Fox Valley Mall and three other Illinois locations.

The latest closures announced last Thursday are among 72 targeting unprofitable Sears and Kmart stories around the country, including five in Illinois. A total of 63 closings were announced with nine more to come.

Other Illinois closures include Sears stores in Vernon Hills, Gurnee and Springfield plus a Rockford Kmart.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to streamline the Company’s operations and focus on our Best Stores, we have identified approximately 100 non-profitable stores, many of which will begin store closing sales in the near future,” Sears Holdings said in a statement. “We continue to evaluate our network of stores, which are a critical component in our transformation, and will make further adjustments as needed and as warranted.”

Sears Holdings announced the closings along with first quarter financial results, which showed a loss of $424 million. Revenue plunged more than 30 percent to $2.89 billion from $4.2 billion in the same period in 2017.

Liquidation sales are expected to begin as soon as June 14, the company said.


Arts Council welcomes artists to ‘Beatie Is …’

One of the Midwest’s most popular and highly regarded outdoor celebrations of the arts is returning to downtown Rockford on Sept. 8.

Beattie Is… Returns is a free, family friendly festival that will feature a high-quality artist market, art demonstrations, live music and entertainment, specialty food vendors and exciting “hands-on” experiential art activities.

In the “Make-and-Take” creative zone patrons will have a unique opportunity to experience being real artists and create something to take home. Guests of all ages and interests will find something to enjoy at Beattie Is!

The Rockford Area Arts Council is looking for all artists (visual, musicians, poets, performers, etc) to participate.

Admission will be free to the public.


IceHogs set annual postseason garage sale

The Rockford IceHogs announced they are hosting their annual offseason Garage Sale and Select-A-Seat event on Saturday, June 9 from 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. The event will be held on the arena floor at the BMO Harris Bank Center.

Season ticket holders will have early access to the Garage Sale from 9-10 a.m., before all fans are allowed entrance to the BMO Harris Bank Center beginning at 10 a.m.

Fans can get their hands on many unique IceHogs items at this year’s Garage Sale, including practice and game-worn jerseys, hockey sticks and other player-used equipment.

Many items are priced below $10 for the event, and select merchandise from the IceHogs’ 2017-18 season will have savings of up to 60 percent.

Items for the Garage Sale are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Certain items not sold in-person during the Garage Sale may also be available for purchase online through the IceHogs eBay store following the Garage Sale.

In addition to the Garage Sale, Saturday will also feature this year’s Select-A-Seat event inside the arena. Ticket plans begin as low as $105 for a seven-game mini pack, or just $266 for full-season tickets.

For additional information contact the IceHogs front office at (815) 986-6465.


NIU camps help teens explore STEM careers

Many of today’s high school students will find future employment in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) careers. Northern Illinois University is showing them what awaits them with its Careers Camp.

The camps give students an opportunity to explore career options in several areas. NIU faculty and staff in several colleges as well as local professionals will staff specialized tracks in coding, engineering, health sciences, physical sciences, social hacking, and video game design. Participants will apply to the track of their choice and spend the bulk of the week with the smaller group of students who have also chosen that track. Evening recreational activities will involve all campers.

Campers can expect a fun and busy week as STEM career options open up before them STEM Careers campers will experience dorm life by living in one of the newly renovated Gilbert Hall and in the dorm and the Blackhawk Cafeteria in the Holmes Student Center. Campers will have the opportunity to interact with professionals and students in many STEM fields throughout the day, including informally at meals. Evening activity choices include visits to Davis Hall Observatory, video game night, movie night, and outdoor recreational activities.

Camp dates are June 17-22, June 24-29, July 22-27 and July 29-Aug. 3. Fees are $670 to $720. 

This event is hosted by Northern Illinois University STEM Outreach. For more information, visit or email


–Winnebago County News Briefs–