News Briefs for Aug. 19, 2023


In the news: James Ellis, corn boil, story hour, Fall Festival

Next week in the news: the Roscoe Fall Festival, the status of the class action lawsuit over the Chemtool disaster, a visit to the Historic Auto Attractions museum, the cost of the pro-drag and anti-drag protests in Rockton, the Roscoe VFW Corn Roast, and the Rockton doggie swim.

James “Boo” Ellis, 53, of Roscoe, Illinois, passed away peacefully with his family by his side on Monday, August 14, 2023. James was born to Elizabeth “Sue” Ellis and Jerry Witt in Rockford, Illinois. Visitation will be held Saturday, August 19, 2023 from 10 - 11 a.m. at Evans United Methodist Church, 7605 N 2nd St, Machesney Park, IL, followed by a funeral at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the family. (more)

Next week: businesses who begin advertising with us by Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023 will receive a bonus we've never offered before and a chance to reach thousands of new readers. I can't say more here, but email me for details at or call 815-408-0140. Our articles are read about 90,000 a month. We now have more than 1,300 daily email subscribers and more than 3,300 Facebook followers.

Here are this week's ads: for SchnucksWalmart, and Aldi. Where do you get your food and sundries?

Many Stateline homeowners are not satisfied with the property assessment notices they received from Winnebago County Supervisor of Assessment Tom Hodges. One factor: Roscoe has seen the highest home prices in the Stateline - 36.1% higher than five years ago. Rockton's home prices are up 43.7% over the past five years, while South Beloit's home values have grown even faster - up 48.1% since 2018. At the same time, between 2021 and 2022, tax rates went down [PDF] for every municipality and school district in Winnebago County - except for Rock Valley College, which went up 4.34%. Hodges says you can check appraisal information about your property online, similar to what you would find on your Property Record Card. You can use their Sales Locator Tool to locate comparable sales in case you need to file a property assessment complaint. (more)

On Monday, Aug. 21, 2023, the City of South Beloit is holding a Liquor Commission meeting and a City Council meeting. At 4:50 p.m. the Liquor Commission (consisting of the Board of Trustees members) will consider revoking or suspending the Class BG Liquor License held by Jenny’s Slots. Ten minutes later, the City Council meeting begins. On the agenda: completion of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, a special use permit to allow for personal storage of motor vehicles, lawn equipment, recreational vehicles, tools and furniture at Specialty Coatings & Accessories on Dorr Road, and a discussion of a disc course for the South Beloit City Park.

A non-stop flow of friends, families and community visited the Walter Graham American Legion Post #332 on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023 for the Legion's Rifle Squad's 60th Corn Boil fundraiser. (more)

The Village of Roscoe decided at their Aug. 15, 2023 meeting they will commit up to $600K in matching funds for a grant to expand Porter Park and the Porter Park Disc Golf Course. A state Open Space Acquisition and Development grant (OSLAD) grant for the park became more likely when Winnebago County received funds to connect the 15-mile-long Perryville Bike Path to the park in 2025. (more)

On Saturday, August 5, 2023, a large crowd of children and adults gathered in front of the Talcott Free Library in Rockton waiting for the doors to open. As part of a national event at public libraries promoted by actor and author Kirk Cameron, an area preschool teacher read a children's story that teaches values and patriotism. Since the library sponsored a Drag Queen Q&A on July 14, 2023, many residents saw the BRAVE book reading as a protest against the drag event. But the local organizer says, "We didn't talk, imply, or message anything in protest or in opposition during the Aug 5th event.... The message is about community involvement and raising children with virtues and morals and adults being a positive force in the children's development."(more)

What would you like us to cover next? A favorite local business? A favorite place or event? Let us know.

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