FEATURES
Overall, quality of life is  good in Rockford, and it’s in the process of getting even better. (RACVB photo)
Rockford’s Victory Lap: A Deeper Look at Our Progress

Our editors have given out grades as we reflect on many facets of Rockford’s renewal. We know there’s still room for improvement, but we’re proud of how far things have come.

FEATURES
(Illinois Office of Tourism photo)
8 Unexpected Midwest Vacation Destinations

Forget Disney World and your family’s traditional summertime escape. We’ve found eight Midwestern locations that, even if they seem a little familiar, still hold plenty of surprises for those willing to accept the journey

FEATURES
Rockford Police dump confiscated illegal booze into the street in front of the county courthouse. (Midway Village Museum photo)
Prohibition: The Noble Experiment That Failed

The 18th Amendment was a “noble experiment” to correct the ills of substance abuse, but as a law proved to be an ultimate failure. Jon McGinty takes a look at how Prohibition affected our region. Spoiler: there was definitely mayhem and murder.

ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT
For 135 years, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has been a home for musicians in the Rockford community. Part of its mission is to educate the next generation of talent and introduce students to professional musicians.
Celebrating 135 Years: Mendelssohn Leaves a Mark on Local Culture

As one of the nation’s longest-running music clubs, the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center has been a home for Rockford-area musicians and a community support in many ways.

REGIONAL DINING
Beer drinkers have been enjoying craft creations at Generations Brewing Company, in Freeport, since 2014. The brewery celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. (Generations Brewing Company photo)
Generations Brewing Company: A Freeport Brewery Built From the Ground Up

This Freeport brewery has been serving up craft beer since 2014. Learn how the brewery got off the ground and find out what makes the beer so unique.

HOME & GARDEN
Maintaining your lawn during the fall, by cutting it properly and feeding it with the right fertilizers, will help it to flourish in the spring.
Preparing Your Lawn For Next Spring

Just because the weather is getting cooler doesn’t mean you have to stop maintaining your lawn. Local experts share tips to help your lawn survive the harsh winter and flourish in the spring.

HEALTH & FITNESS
Health-disease-S19
Stopping the Spread of Infectious Disease

Infectious diseases are sometimes forgotten, but never gone. Here’s a refresher on the simple steps you should be taking to keep yourself healthy.

NORTHWEST WOMAN
Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, Rockford (Michael Cullen Photography photo)
A Bride’s Inside Guide to Local Venues

Of all the components that comprise a wedding ceremony and reception, few are as important – or as challenging to schedule – as the venue. Whether you dream of a Midwest destination or a hometown setting, these are some top options.

MIND & SPIRIT
Andy’s Books for Kids puts brand new books into the hands of young readers. The books are about topics that educate, inspire and entertain young minds. (Photo provided)
How ‘The Book Lady’ Pays Tribute to Her Son

Started as a way of honoring a Belvidere mother’s late son, Andy’s Books for Kids has become a fixture in classrooms all over our region, and beyond. This is the real power of books.

RECREATION & DESTINATIONS
Started by a group of retired educators who wanted to inspire local children, the Children’s Hands-On Museum of Northwest Illinois has become a family fixture at Freeport’s Lincoln Mall. (Sherry Maves photos)
Freeport’s New Attraction for Families

Some museums ask you not to touch anything, but at this hands-on attraction, it’s openly encouraged. Step inside this family fixture and learn how a group of retired educators turned a dream into a reality.

PERSONAL & FINANCE
Finance-Retire-Sum19
Avoid these Common Retirement Risks

It’s easy to take for granted the sorts of strategic moves that can help you to fully finance a comfortable retirement. David Cyrs, of Cyrs Wealth Management, highlights some common risks, and know how to respond.

NW BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Gail Kelce started Kelce & Co. when she was looking for a career change. She and her husband, Dennis, impressed their kids into the business, including daughter Lisa Campion, now the company vice president.
Business Milestone: Kelce & Co. Celebrates 40 Years

Risk has always been present for this Rockford-based expert in carpet cleaning, but it’s the family’s adaptability to changing conditions and a focus on quality that have kept this business moving with the times.