Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

Rockford Park District’s Carlson Ice Arena hosts a “Party Like It’s 1998” at a celebration of the facility’s 20th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 1-3 p.m.


Carlson Ice Arena celebrates 20 years

Rockford Park District’s Carlson Ice Arena, 4150 N. Perryville Rd., Loves Park, IL invites the community to “Party Like It’s 1998” at a celebration of the facility’s 20th anniversary on Saturday, Sept. 22,  from 1-3 p.m.

In addition to a discounted public ice skating session admission of $3 per person including skate rental (no discount coupons accepted), the festivities will include DJ music from the ‘90s, meal deals, and giveaways.

Pete’s Skate Shop is also celebrating its 20th anniversary, and will offer hockey sticks for $20, plus 20% off most items in the store.

Information about the facility, including recreational, figure, and hockey skating programs, clinics, and camps, monthly public skating schedule, birthday party packages, and private rentals is available at, or by calling 815-969-4069, where information on accessibility and adapted skating equipment for skaters with disabilities is also available.


Rockford Bank & Trust Pavilion officially opens

A toast to community partners investing in Aldeen Golf Club, followed by a ribbon cutting, symbolized the completion of construction for Rockford Bank & Trust Pavilion, 1868 Reid Farm Road, Rockford.

Construction began in November, 2017, to not only expand the north parking lot, but to add a 9,000-square-foot facility that holds 250 people.  Indoor amenities include a full cooking kitchen and event bar, exposed rafter ceilings, large stone fireplace, huge glass windows to view the golf course to the south and west, outdoor pergola, and private brides’ room for weddings.

The Rockford Park District utilized a variety of funding opportunities to make this project happen, including $2.7 million in donations, a naming rights agreement, and a continued partnership with Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center, which already operates Graystone Grill at Aldeen Golf Club.  Generous partners such as Rockford Bank & Trust (naming rights partner), Rick and Lana Engen, along with Giovanni’s Restaurant & Convention Center contributed to the project.

“We would not be standing in this gorgeous and elegant facility today without the generous financial support from these community partners who invested in their Rockford Park District.  We can’t thank them enough for being a part of this new addition that will bring back golf events we’ve lost due to not having an indoor banquet option,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine. 

Construction costs included kitchen and catering equipment, site work, additional parking, actual structure, and architectural design.

“We are thrilled to be a sponsor of this project; which further enhances the Rockford Park District and Aldeen Golf Club. As a community bank, we see this as an extension of our commitment to the Rockford area, and we look forward to people enjoying this space for years to come,” said Tom Budd, President and CEO of Rockford Bank & Trust.

The District receives 100% of all rental fees, and will also receive a portion of food and beverage sales.

Giovanni’s will operate, book events, and promote rental opportunities at Rockford Bank & Trust Pavilion.  For any additional rental needs, contact Molly or Cortney at 815-398-6411.


DeKalb Ag honored for its innovations

The ninth in a series of historic DeKalb County markers commemorating local agricultural innovation was unveiled last week.

The honoree was DeKalb Ag, recognized for its success in commercializing various agricultural innovations in seed, swine, poultry and other endeavors.

According to the historical marker, DeKalb’s roots date back to 1912, when a group of farmers and bankers formed the DeKalb County Soil Improvement Association.

Through the years, DeKalb has been known as DeKalb Agricultural Association, DeKalb AgResearch and DeKalb Genetics Corp.

DeKalb’s hybrid corn research began in 1924, and by 1940, DeKalb led the nation in hybrid corn sales. The company was also involved in oil and gas exploration and other agriculture and oil-related businesses. 

DeKalb is recognized as the first company to patent transgenic corn, later introducing genes that provide farmers with herbicide, pest and disease resistance. DeKalb applied hybridization principles to sorghum, sunflowers, egg-laying poultry and swine breeding stock and later varietal alfalfa and soybean seed.

Information about the markers, sponsored by DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association (DAAHA) Inc. and the Illinois State Historical Society, has been compiled into “The Historical Markers of DeKalb County,” a free self-guided tour booklet. It is available at the DAAHA, 111 S. Second St., Suite 204.

For information about DAAHA and the nine historical markers, visit


Jail program helps inmates beat addiction

A Winnebago County Jail program aimed at helping incarcerated individuals beat opioid addiction is being emulated in nine other county jails in Illinois.

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti, who co-chairs a state Opioid Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force, said last week those who struggle with opioid use disorder before they are arrested receive an injection of naltrexone (Vivitrol) to reduce opioid cravings while they’re in the Winnebago County jail.

Once released, they receive continued residential or outpatient treatment. This state-funded program partners with Rosecrance addiction treatment center to provide this service.

“This program that started in the Winnebago County Jail years ago has been so successful that the state is now emulating it in other county jails,” Lt. Governor Sanguinetti said. “Of the more than 400 inmates treated with naltrexone statewide, 92 percent were admitted into treatment programs upon release and are in recovery where they can rebuild their lives.” 

The Rockford program is just one of the strategies the State of Illinois is pursuing as part of the Illinois Opioid Action Plan, which was released one year ago with the creation of the Governor’s opioid task force. 

The Illinois Dept. of Human Services (IDHS) has secured more than $32 million in federal funds to battle the opioid crisis over the past two years and has launched several new initiatives that provide resources to those in need.


–Winnebago County News Briefs–