News Briefs 1/30/2024 for Roscoe, Rockton, and South Beloit


Tony Walker, Nick Sommer, Charlie Hunt, Cheryl Peterson

Thousands of our readers were inspired by Jean Seegers' story about COUNTRY Financial agent Nick Sommer. He recently purchased the Melodi Broege Insurance building on the corner of Main Street and Bridge Street in Roscoe, now that Melodi has retired. He will be leasing out the first floor to Velvet Robot Coffee Lab.

Hononegah's Charlie Hunt is the 2024 state boys bowling champion. The Hono team placed 9th in state, with a team average of 195.1 pins. Bowling powerhouse Harlem came in 7th. The state championships were held at St. Clair Bowl in Fairview Heights, IL on Jan. 20, 2024. 

The Hononegah boys swim and dive team were champions at the Beloit Memorial invitational on Jan. 27, 2024.

We lost several beloved community members in recent weeks.

  • Roscoe pipefitter and guitarist Tony Walker played in local bands such as Red Bud Thunder, The Continentals, and The Double Decker Bus. After a stroke in 1998, he wrote, "I now create music, art & other problems with my left hand."
  • Jack Oberg of Rockton was an active falconer who also taught his son Peter to hunt with birds of prey.
  • Cheryl Peterson gave away hundreds of hand-made blessings bracelets and was a familiar figure at DeeDee's in Rockton.

Our reporters love to celebrate the stories of our neighbors. What interesting people should we report on in Roscoe, South Beloit, or Rockton?  Let me know. Don't wait until they're gone. 

South Beloit's zoning board is holding a special meeting on Tuesday, January 30, 2024 at 6 p.m. to consider whether to grant the request of Pearl Lake Beach for a Planned Unit Development for their RV resort, which includes vacation home rentals, recreation and swimming facilities.

The Stateline Mass Transit District regular board meeting has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 31, 2024 at 9:30 a.m. at the SMTD Administration Office, 11722 Main Street, Roscoe, IL 61073.

At the NIC-10 boys wrestling tournament on Saturday, Jan. 27, 2024, Hononegah had eight first place conference champions: Isaak Smith, Kurt Smith, Connor Diemel, Brody Sendele, Max Haskins, Thomas Silva. Fortunately, identical twins Bruno and Rocco Cassioppi don't weigh the same even though they look the same, so they each won in different classes. Oh, and their sister Angelina Cassioppi won another regional championship in the IHSA Girls Wrestling Tournament. With second place finishes, Robert Darling and Max Aranki have guaranteed places at the Huntley Regional Tournament as well.

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The recent heavy snow reminded one of our neighbors that NFPA 1 Fire Code requires a 36 inch clearance around fire hydrants and a 60 inch clearance in front of them. Firefighters need to find them quickly in an emergency.

We just heard that Kaden Orendorff of Rockton marched with the University of Alabama's Million Dollar Band during the Rose Parade on New Years Day this year in Pasadena, CA. Did you see her on TV?

SMTD will take you to and from Roscoe, Rockton, and South Beloit (really, from Machesney Park to Beloit if you do it right). But many far northern Stateline people are commuting from here to Chicagoland, which is probably why I saw an ad on Nextdoor for Pace Bus. Even though Pace's regular routes don't reach Winnebago or Boone counties, Pace TDM Program Administrator Kim Koy tells me that Pace "provides vanpool service (which works like carpooling) for getting to work. Vanpoolers only need to have one point (either the start or the end) of their commute in the 6-county area [Cook, Will, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties] to participant. For examples, you can live in Winnebago County and take a Pace van to work in Schaumburg." 

For example, when I did a search, I found a rideshare from Madison to Hoffman Estates, which people in South Beloit or Roscoe could probably take. Also, PACE does have service between Chicagoland and Harvard, IL, so you can ride your bike on the Stone Bridge Trail to get there once the snow melts.

To find an existing vanpool or to create a new one, register on To learn more about Pace Vanpooling, visit

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