Rockford Marshall students have top scores in Illinois

By Corina Curry  Staff writer  Posted Dec 18, 2017 at 4:16 PMUpdated Dec 18, 2017 at 5:48 PM   

ROCKFORD — Thurgood Marshall School has the highest composite score on 2017 Illinois standardized tests.

Students at Marshall, who are in the district’s Gifted Academy for grades five through eight, had the highest composite score of all public schools in Illinois compared with other schools’ fifth- through eighth-graders, Rockford Public Schools announced Monday.

Results are from the composite scores on the PARCC exam. PARCC stands for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers.

Marshall students’ scores rose year over year, as more students moved from the “met expectations” category to the “exceeded expectations” category, as defined by the PARCC. Six percent of the students at Marshall do not meet or exceed the state’s standards as determined by PARCC scores.

The results are based on grade-level data fr…

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Hot Diggity Dog Festival

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- A local arboretum and botanical garden holds a festival for our furry friends called the Hot Diggity Dog Festival.

Klehm Arboretum and Botanic Garden shares their dog friendly atmosphere with food giveaways and even a costume contest that 23 News Chief Meteorologist, Mark Henderson emceed. Klehm says this annual event is particularly important right now. They highlighted the dog adoption agencies are saying after the floods there are many pets that moved into our Stateline, now without homes.

Klehm says they believe it's important to have events like this for our furry best friends.

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Stateline Farm Beginnings program aims to expand farm businesses

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- Angelic Organics Learning Center is gearing up to train the next generation of organic and sustainable farmers with its Stateline Farm Beginnings program next month.

Stateline Farm Beginnings is a year long program designed to help launch and expand sustainable farm businesses. Since 2005, over 60 new sustainable farms have launched right here in the Stateline providing everything from vegetables to goat’s milk. Participants in the program gain not only field experience, but business and finance training in addition to networking with other farmers.

“Not only is all of the business training at the financial literacy training really important, but so is the networking and the relationships that are formed during that class during that year when you’re working side-by-side with other beginning farmers,” says Peg Sheaffer, Director of Farmer Training Initiative.

Angelic Organics Learning Center is still accepting applications for…

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Housing inventory struggles to meet demand

OREGON, Ill. (WIFR) -- It's a time to sell in Rockford area.  With home prices reaching a near decade high and sales hitting their highest levels in 11 years.

Rockford Area Realtors say 450 homes were sold in July this year, a 12% increase from this time last year.

Realtors say home sales are expected to continue rising through the rest of this year, keeping the area on pace for a 5% increase in home sales.

Home prices have also hit a new milestone, averaging just under $133,000, reaching its highest point since December of 2008.

Though it's the perfect time to sell a home, if you're in the market for buying, it may be difficult.

The Drew family started searching for a forever home in Oregon this past fall.

"We realized that we were quickly outgrowing our house, and two toddlers was not going to be sufficient with we were living," says Lindsay Drew.

The Drews quickly realized the process wouldn't be as simple as they'…

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Veterans turned away because of service dogs

Posted: Aug 01, 2017 10:18 PM CDT ROCKFORD (WREX) -


Army Veteran Tammy Nelson takes her service dog, Woody everywhere, but when she took him to a Loves Park restaurant, they told her to get out and never come back. 

"When they told me the reason they didn't want me to come back, because I had a service dog and i wasn't blind," said Nelson.

Nelson isn't the first put in this situation.

"It's demeaning, you feel heartbroken," said veteran Robert Johnson.

 Johnson says he's been kicked out of multiple Rockford businesses for the same reason.

"After arguing with the individual for about five minutes, I just decided to wait out side for my son to use the bathroom," said Johnson. 

Earlier this summer, 13 News covered a story about another veteran, wrongfully told to leave a local liquor store because of his service dog and he caught it on tape. 

Three separate cases, but Johnson and Nelson say there are m…

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