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This Week in Rockford

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This Week in Rockford is a podcast about people, places, politics, events, and more, in Rockford, Illinois. Hosted by Caleb Wilson, Jim Hagerty, and Jeff Orduno.

This Week in Rockford is a podcast about people, places, politics, events, and more, in Rockford, Illinois. Hosted by Caleb Wilson, Jim Hagerty, and Jeff Orduno.
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This Week in Rockford is a podcast about people, places, politics, events, and more, in Rockford, Illinois. Hosted by Caleb Wilson, Jim Hagerty, and Jeff Orduno.






19 - Brian Leggero and Eric Mueller

Rockford mayoral candidate Brian Leggero joined us just after the primaries to talk about the battle ahead. Rockford IceHogs communication intern Eric Mueller talked with us about his time with the Hogs and perspective on Rockford. Check out more episodes at


18 - Aaron Tokarz

With the February 28 primary election rapidly approaching, Second Ward Aldermanic Candidate Aaron Tokarz told us how things are going for his campaign and what sets him apart from his primary competitors. Upcoming events around town: Aaron Tokarz Coffee & a Candidate, 2/25/17 at 10 AM at Poska, 2213 E. State St., Rockford, IL Ald. Karen Elyea's Swedish Pancake Breakfast, 2/26/17 at The Lyran Society, 1115 4th Ave., Rockford, IL One for the Books, An Evening with Dean Lowry of the Green...


Episode 17

We had a crowd at the studio for Episode 17! We were joined by Second Ward Aldermanic Candidate Jonathan Logemann, 12th Ward Aldermanic Candidate Barb Verni-Lau, and Alderman Karen Elyea, who faces a primary challenge in the 11th Ward. This episode was sponsored by Downtown Barbers Shave Club. They bring back the Art of the Shave and Cut and are located at 115 South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois, 779-221-5080. Show notes available at:


16 - Ronnie Manns

Ronnie Manns, independent candidate for Rockford Mayor, talked with Caleb, Jim, and Jeff about his background, the best aspects of Rockford, and race relations in Rockford. We also discussed Ronnie's article on campaign finance. This episode was sponsored by Downtown Barbers Shave Club. They bring back the Art of the Shave and Cut and are located at 115 South Main Street, Rockford, Illinois, 779-221-5080. Recorded February 8. 2017. Show notes and links available at:...


15 - Lisa Palmeno

Candidate for Rockford's 11th aldermanic ward, Lisa Palmeno, joined us to talk about her campaign and her business, Market Street Press. The guys then covered the Rockford IceHogs and the newly opened Burnham Lofts. They also discussed Jim and Jeff's new show, Case Reports, which has been covering the Steven Avery case and plans to cover the unsolved Jennifer Lockmiller murder. This episode was sponsored by Downtown Barbers Shave Club. They bring back the Art of the Shave and Cut and are...


14 - Frank Haney Frank Gambino Dan Petrie

Winnebago County Board Chairman Frank Haney talked with Jeff about the county’s new leadership team, strategies for stemming crime, modernizing the county’s policies, and the principles of accountability, collaboration, and transparency. Rockford First Ward Aldermanic Candidate Frank Gambino discussed his ideas to streamline business, land-use, and construction application processes in Rockford, current issues in the First Ward, and how he would compare with incumbent Tim Durkee on...


13 - Rudy Valdez

Rockford Mayoral Candidate Rudy Valdez came to visit the chilly confines of the This Week in Rockford studio. We talked about Rudy's background and his business and community leadership experience, plus the frequent campaign topics of crime and economic development. The guys then discussed the death of Rock River Times' Frank Schier, Gary Hill's newly published music book, Jim Ryan's move to Rock Valley College, and Jim's observations on the Todd Smith murder trial. As usual, Jim also...


12 - Kathy Mehalko and Becky Baux

Kathy Mehalko, one of her foster dogs, Katie, joined us to talk about the problems with puppy mills. Then we talked with Becky Baux and her efforts to make the Winnebago County Animal Shelter a no-kill shelter. (We didn't know at show time that both Kathy and Katie are Packers fans.) Then, in case our prior episodes didn't have enough crime reports for you, this one has double the crime! Plus, we discussed the Longwood Gardens TIF loan extension, all the new ways to legally catch catfish...


11 - Crime in Rockford

Caleb, Jim, and Jeff discuss crime in Rockford, including the New Year's shootings at Cliffbreakers and Rockford Police Chief O'Shea's press conference. The guys also talked about's upcoming series on domestic violence and another series on true crime, including the Lockmiller murder case that is now, apparently, unsolved as a result of Alan Beaman's exoneration. Note: County Board Chairman Frank Haney is rescheduled for the January 25, 2017, episode. Show notes at...


10 - Eli Nicolosi and David Soll

Candidate for Loves Park's second aldermanic ward, David Soll, joined us to discuss issues in Loves Park, his aldermanic campaign platform, and government in general. Then Eli Nicolosi, Winnebago County Board Member for District 8, sat in and talked about changes in the County Board, transparency and control within the County, looking forward to the new Board Chairman's administration, budgetary issues facing the County, the County's role and position to solve Rockford's crime problem, and...


9 - Ald. Venita Hervey and Aaron Tokarz

Aaron Tokarz tells us why he should be the next Rockford Second Ward Alderman. We also talk about his history, both in Rockford as owner of White Shutter Photography and as a Village of Gurnee police officer, and how those experiences inform his views as a potential alderman. Alderman Venita Hervey also joins us. The wide-ranging discussion covers police and firefighter residency requirements, low income housing, medical care in Rockford, the Ziock / Amerock building project, and more!...


Episode 8 - Ald. Tom McNamara and Holly Sias

Alderman Tom McNamara, candidate for Rockford mayor in 2017, and Holly Sias from the Rockford IceHogs joined us. Holly brought us up to speed on IceHogs events, including Bomber Hat night on 12/21/16, and we talked about her history in sports reporting. Alderman McNamara told us what a McNamara mayoral administration would do to make it easier to start a small business in Rockford, combat crime, bring jobs to the area, retain talent, improve neighborhoods, and more. He talked about the...


Episode 7 - Pablo Korona

Pablo Korona of CNVR / Conveyer joins us to discuss social issues in Rockford, the "Our City, Our Story" video series, his current video projects, and the storytelling component of video production. Pablo shares some of his favorite Rockford restaurants, like Wong Wong, Hai Quynh, 15th & Chris, and Magpie. After the break, Caleb, Jim, and Jeff then talk about County Board Chairman Frank Haney taking office and John Guevara's feedback on that (see page 13 of The Rock River Times, Dec....


Episode 6 - Brian Leggero

Brian Leggero joins us to discuss his professional background and mayoral campaign. We talked about his primary platform subjects, which include reducing crime, reducing taxes, and bringing jobs back to Rockford. Brian then stayed on with Caleb, Jim, and Jeff to discuss the week's events, including more crime in Rockford, Strollgate, Forest Hills Country Club chef Gerald Madero's gingerbread Wrigley Field, and the Rockford IceHogs. Brian also asked us to share the link for the Fatherhood...


Episode 5

Chris DeSousa, center for the Rockford IceHogs, joins us to talk hockey. Then Caleb, Jim, and Jeff cover Stroll on State, the recent round of carjackings and crimes in Rockford and whether the crime rate will give rise to more citizens wielding guns, Dan Fellars' County Board election victory, TIF districts, Movies on Main on 11/27/2016 ("Finding Dory" and "Hail Caesar"), and more. Then, producer Jake "The Snake" Morgan tells us what was wrong with the Guilford High School Sadie Hawkins...


11/15/2016 - Episode 4

Guests Tommy Meeks and Hon. Pamela Connell, 6th Ward Alderman, join hosts Caleb Wilson, Jim Hagerty, and Jeff Orduno to discuss Rockford topics. Alderman Connell tells us what we could expect from a Connell mayoral administration. Tommy Meeks, host of "It's Time for a Change" (airs Wed. evenings at 8:30 on Comcast channel 17), discusses race relations in Rockford and how communication and economic opportunity aid racial harmony. Caleb, Jim, and Jeff review the week's events for Rockford,...


Episode 3

Caleb Wilson, Jim Hagerty, and Jeff Orduno are joined by Downtown Barber Shave Club's Dave Armstrong to discuss Brovember, which is in full swing and raises funds to promote men's health initiatives, including prostate cancer research. The hosts then review Bacon Fest, early voting, the new Alpine Bank, Der Rathskeller, the Richard Wanke trial status, and new sports tournaments in Rockford for 2017. Then they look ahead to the upcoming Rockford Public Library Stories with Veterans event,...


Episode 2

Caleb Wilson, Jeff Orduno, and guest Jim Hagerty of Rockford Advocate discuss Bishop Malloy and Fr. Romke's Carpool Karaoke, Caleb's adventure to Cafe Benelux in Milwaukee, Monday night's juvenile crime spree, Scott Saporiti's newly-formed Sapori stationery, the Rockford SuperPAC and what candidates it's supported, racial relations in Rockford, and more.


Episode 1

This week, Caleb, Jeff, and guest Jim Hagerty of discuss the Chicago Cubs, Clock Tower shootings (and Johnny Emerald III's efforts to save The Clock Tower), crime around Rockford, Jesus sighting in downtown Rockford, the Rockford Ice Hogs (including Chris DeSousa), The Usual Suspects, the BMO Harris Bank Center usage, election face offs in Rockford, Great Lakes Basin Railroad, and more.


Episode 0

This week's topics include ArtScene, progress on the Amerock-Ziock building, hotels and economic development in downtown Rockford, mayoral candidates, and more. Caleb Wilson and Jeff Orduno are joined by guest Jim Hagerty.