Winnebago County News Briefs

Chronicle Media

It’s just too warm. So the 33rd annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition — originally set for Jan. 16-19 at Rockford’s Sinnissippi Park — is moving to Feb. 6-9. (Chronicle Media file photo)


Snow sculpting contest postponed until February

Unseasonably warm weather has forced postponement of the 33rd annual Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition, originally set for Jan. 16-19 at Rockford’s Sinnissippi Park.

Temperatures hovered in the 40s last weekend and were predicted to reach 50 on  Monday, Jan. 7, making snow creation and sculpting problematic.

“Due to current and future weather conditions, we are postponing this year’s Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition,” organizers said in a statement. “The new plan is to run the event February 6-9, 2019 (weather permitting).”

The event draws teams from around the state to compete for the right to represent Illinois in the 2020 U.S. National Snow Sculpting Competition. High school teams from the Rockford area are also entered in a separate division.


Christmas tree pickup now through Jan. 17

Rock River Disposal will be collecting Christmas trees for two consecutive weeks from City of Rockford residents on their normally scheduled garbage pick-up days  through Thursday, Jan. 17. Non-bagged trees should be placed alongside resident’s regular garbage and must be free of all ornaments, stands, lights, and other decorative materials.

Residents may also dispose of any remaining yard waste if properly containerized.  Yard waste should be placed in two-ply biodegradable paper bags and not in garbage cans for this pick-up, as yard waste may freeze in cans preventing removal.  Loose branches and limbs should be bundled with string or twine (no wire) and placed out for collection, as long as the bundles do not exceed four feet in length and two feet in diameter.  All bags, cans or bundles should not exceed 50 pounds in weight.

Additionally, Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful (KNIB) has arranged for 12 regional Christmas tree collection sites in Winnebago County for citizens to drop off trees. All trees must be free of all ornaments, stands, lights, and other decorative materials. Wreaths are not accepted due to wire frames.

Drop-offs will be permitted from January 1 through January 15, 2019.


Farm show to offer herbicide training

Training on the use of the herbicide dicamba will be a new feature of the annual IDEAg Northern Illinois Farm Show, scheduled for Jan. 9 and Jan. 10. in the NIU Convocation Center, 1525 W. Lincoln Hwy., DeKalb.

The show hours are 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Jan. 9 and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Jan. 10. Admission is free. The dicamba workshop will take place at 1 p.m. Jan. 10.

The training will help area farmers get ready for the 2019 growing season, following the USEPA’s decision to allow the continued use of dicamba, a broad-spectrum herbicide, on soybeans for 2019 and 2020. The Illinois Fertilizer and Chemical Association is coordinating the workshop with Bayer. Attendees are asked to register online at

The farm show will also feature exhibits from major agri-business companies across the Midwest, including Altorfer, Inc., who will feature its all-new Cat Side by Side. In addition to the dicamba training, the University of Illinois Extension will provide workshops with topics including weather and watersheds.

Attendees will also find tips for controlling the financial side of their business from financial management company, Stewart-Peterson. WTVO’s Candice King will give farmers an idea of what to expect with her weather outlook, and Bryan Doherty, senior market Advisor of Stewart-Peterson, will give a talk entitled, “Take Control of the Financial Side of Your Business.”

The schedule of educational programs and a full list of exhibitors can be found at


New year, new laws are on the books

In 2018, more than 250 new laws were passed in Illinois. Here is a small sampling of some of the laws that went into effect Jan. 1.

Rear-facing seats for youngsters: Children who are under the age of 2 years old have to be in rear-facing seats when in a vehicle. Also, children under the age of 8-years-old must be secured in an appropriate child restraint system. There are exemptions in the law. The rules would not apply if a child weighs more than 40 pounds, is taller than 40 inches, or is traveling in a vehicle weighing more than 9,000 pounds.

Preparing for the worst: At least once a year, schools will need to have active shooter drills that are led by law enforcement. Students have to be present for the drills. The drills need to take place within 90 days of the first day of the school year.

New gun laws: Family members or police may ask a judge to order a person’s firearms be taken away temporarily if they believe the person is a threat. Also, when buying a firearm in the state, a person will have to wait 72-hours before completing the purchase. Previously when people were buying long guns such as shot guns or rifles, they only had to wait 24 hours. Handguns already had 72-hour waiting period.

Fashion for hunters: In addition to wearing orange, people who are hunting may now wear pink in order to keep safe. State law requires hunters to wear blaze outerwear and caps for certain types of hunting, including firearm deer hunting. Proponents of the bill said pink can be easier to see in the woods, which makes it a safer option for hunters. Pink camoflauge has been popular for years with female hunters.

Nursing moms and jury duty: Moms who are nursing their child may now be excused from jury duty at their request.

Preventing sexual harassment: Companies that want to do business with state government, or companies in the EDGE tax credit program, need to have policies on how they address sexual harassment complaints. The new protections come during a time when the #MeToo movement highlighting how common sexual harassment is in workplaces.

That message on Facebook: Unwanted messages sent via social media can now be considered stalking behavior, under a new law. That same new law also allows businesses, schools and places of worship to seek no-contact orders against stalkers.

Black history in post-secondary education: Community colleges and other public institutions of higher education in Illinois will be required to offer courses studying black history.



–Winnebago County News Briefs–