News Briefs from Roscoe and Rockton: Jan. 20, 2023


Baby Isla needs to have a blood stem cell transplant before she is three months old. Photo courtesy of Becca Kobernat

Isla Chronister, the Roscoe baby born in November without an immune system, must remain inside a Chicago hospital,  protected from germs, until she can get an exact bone marrow match - and she must find one in the next few weeks. “Doctors said she needs that surgery before she’s three and half months old,” her mother, Ashley Chronister, told WIFR in December. “That would save her.”  If you're between 18 and 40, you could be a potential blood stem cell donor - join Be the Match (which I did) and find out. For those who can't donate, Isla's aunt Becca Kobernat has organized a GoFundMe option to help the family, as the parents shuttle back and forth between Isla in Chicago and her siblings in Roscoe. Kobernat said to us, "I can't tell you how much it means to our family to have help getting the story out there to more people."

American Aluminum Extrusion of Roscoe is now solely owned by Sam Popa after a buyout. Previously, when the company was in Beloit, Hendricks Holdings was the majority owner of the company as well as its landlord. According to the Beloit Daily News, after 22 years, the plant on McCurry Road and another one in Canton, Ohio is owned entirely by Popa Holdings. Popa is a Romanian immigrant who found his American dream in the aluminum extrusion business. His Roscoe plant employs about 180 people. You'll often find their products used in semitrailers.

We are sad to report that Kai Davies, the son of Carson and Kiza Davies of Rockton, died peacefully in the arms of his parents on Thursday, Jan. 12, 2023, the day he was born. He is survived by his parents and siblings Kayne, Aeris, and Rush and is celebrated by his grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. His mother has been a detective sergeant with the Rockton Police Department.

The Illinois Attorney General's office reports that a former Roscoe man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for embezzling more than $100,000. According to a WREX story in 2019, Steven A. Bennett was arrested in 2019. For more than three years, he had supervised 29 Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) homes where developmentally disabled people in northwest Illinois could live independently. Bennett pled guilty in September 2022 to using corporate credit cards to buy electronics from Best Buy, to remodel his bathroom at home, and to go to Six Flags.

The Stateline YMCA, with a branch on Main Street in Roscoe, is waiving the join fee for new memberships in January. All the branches are holding "fun, summer-themed activities" throughout the month. The Roscoe facility has a gymnasium, an indoor running/walking track, a Life Center, and a cardio & strength training room. But the Beloit Ironworks location has a pool.

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