Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media


Top Dems nearly sweep, Caruana reelected sheriff

The Democratic state ticket was victorious in all but one race in Winnebago County in last Tuesday’s general election.

Gubernatorial candidate J.B. Pritzker slipped past incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner by fewer than 1,400 votes, while treasurer candidate Michael Frerichs and comptroller candidate Susana Mendoza also recorded narrow wins.

Jesse White, the incumbent Democratic Secretary of State, cruised to a 20-point victory among county voters.

Erika Harold, the Republican Attorney General candidate, scored her party’s lone top of ticket victory with a seven-point win over Democrat Kwame Raoul.

Statewide, all Democratic candidates were elected.

In Winnebago County races, incumbent Republican Sheriff Gary Caruana won nearly 57 percent of the vote while Republican county clerk candidate Lori Gummow also won. Susan Goral, the Democratic county treasurer, ran unopposed.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara has been named to Gov.-elect JB Pritzker’s transition team.


McNamara named to Pritzker’s transition team

Gov.-lect J.B. Pritzker last week has named Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara to a  Budget & Innovation Team as part of the bi-partisan Transition Committee. 

The team will focus on tackling the financial issues facing Illinois and help develop new ways to stimulate the state’s economy and improve its business climate. 

“I’m honored to join Governor-Elect Pritzker’s transition team,” said McNamara. “He has a vision for increasing our access to capital, developing our workforce and providing mentorship and opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurs. That vision echoes what we need in Rockford and northern Illinois and I’m looking forward to working with the Governor-elect and his team.” 

The 17-member Budget & Innovation Committee is chaired by former Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.


RPS launches school specific scorecards

Rockford Public Schools this year launched a school-specific accountability tool called a School Scorecard. Each school’s performance scorecard will provide a comprehensive picture of its students’ growth and achievement through metrics – such as how student achievement aligns to federal and state standards and how much progress is made on a yearly basis.

The scorecard will illustrate school-specific progress that can be broken down to an individual student, class, grade level and subject area. Each school’s goals will align with the district’s goals, and principals will have support to ensure their individual school goals are attainable. The Scorecard is comprised of three sections: Student achievement (70 percent), climate and culture (20 percent), and continuous improvement (10 percent).

“Our ultimate success as a district should come from the collective success of 44 schools,” said Superintendent Ehren Jarrett. “Rather than a districtwide approach to move 44 schools, we are providing goal-setting support at the school level to ensure each team of teachers and their goals align to achieve results.”

District leaders will monitor school-based progress at least three times each year. In some metrics, that progress will be monitored as often as once each week. The goal is to identify gaps and address them immediately, instead of waiting until summative data is released.


Remember military during holidays

Taking a few moments to write a holiday card or send a pair of socks might seem like a small gesture, but for service members and veterans on the receiving end, such gifts can mean the world. 

That was the message conveyed by First Lady Diana Rauner as she announced the 2018 Holiday Hero Drive for Illinois service members and veterans. The drive sends holiday cards and socks to Illinois service men and women, including those currently overseas, reminding them that they are cherished and remembered at holiday time.

 The drive is done in partnership with the United Service Organizations (USO) of Illinois, the Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs (IDVA), and the Illinois Governor’s Mansion Association.

In addition to cards, the Holiday Hero Drive includes sock donations this year. Participants can send in new tan or black boot socks to USO of Illinois officials, who will distribute the collected socks to deployed troops as well as veterans in Illinois Veterans’ Homes.

Tan or black boot socks — which can be worn with any uniform — are one of the most requested items, to keep service people’s feet dry, clean and comfortable. Cards and socks should be mailed through Nov. 20 to USO of Illinois – Holiday Hero Drive, 333 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 2226, Chicago 60601.

Cards and socks also can be dropped off at locations found online at


–Winnebago County News Briefs–