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Smart L iving Weekly Your Better Quality of Life Magazine • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • Feb. 13, 2019

Right in Our Region

Beloit International Film Festival Opens Feb. 22

See Page 16

It’s Heart Health Month! Home Show Comes to Town Have Your Tested for Radon? Hearty Meals for Dreary Days Renovated Transit Center Re-Opens

FREE WIN!

2 tickets to Thomas the Tank Engine at the Discovery Center Museum See Pg. 28 Details

Best of Life Information for Our Region’s Residents & Visitors Proudly Serving the Needs of 326,000 Neighbors - For Your Home, Health & Fun!

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In This Issue

Right in Our Region ........................Cover & p. 16 Beloit International Film Festival Your Home ............................................... ..11, 19 New Project Showroom; Solar Energy is Here Inspiration & Worship ......................................12 Peace That Can’t Be Shaken Your Kitchen .....................................................15 Hearty Dishes for Dreary Days Your Health ................................................. 21, 23 It’s Heart Health Month; Have You Tested for Radon? Your Outings ............................................. ........24 Rockord Home Show Your Community .............................................. 29 Renovated RMTD Transit Center Opens Your Fun ................................................... ......... 25

Restaurant of the Week ................................... 26 Capital House Dining Locally .......................................... ........ 26

Smart L iving Weekly ™

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Bill Hughes

Executive Editor/Web Editor Chris Linden Managing Editor Lindsey Gapen Assistant Managing Editor Jermaine Pigee Editor Emeritus Janine Pumilia Graphics Director Blake Nunes Graphic Designer Samantha Behling Contributing Writer Peggy Werner, Paula Kalivoda Furniss General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes Advertising Sales Representatives Brian Hughes, Jeremy Jones, Nita Lasky, Anthony Franklin Administration & Circulation Manager Lisa Hughes Distribution Kelly Fairbairn Website www.SmartLivingWeekly.com Published by Hughes Media Corp. 222 Seventh St., Rockford, IL, 61104 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 lhughes@northwestquarterly.com Smart Living Weekly. Copyright 2019 by Hughes Media Corp., 222 Seventh St., Rockford, IL, 61104. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

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Hammer in Hand T

he sparkling trees and winter wildlife antics have been a joy to watch, the past few weeks, but I bet you’re getting antsy, like me. I’m pondering home and garden projects, ready to trade in Netflix for a hammer and trowel. Our story about the Feb. 22 Rockford Home Show only kicks those thoughts into higher gear. You can meet a number of reputable home contractors at the show. Oh, to have a dollar for every home project mistake I’ve made, over the years. It once took me two years to fill an in-ground pool because my fly-by-night contractor only brought in loads of dirt when he felt like it. The frogs in my half-filled pool loved their new swamp. I did not. But it was a great lesson in “you get what you pay for.” Experience is an expensive teacher. Today I know how to deal with everything from ice dams to opossum-infested heating ducts. (One night, four glowing red eyes stared down at me from inside the return vent near my bedroom ceiling. Now THAT was a surprise.) I’ve lived through total roof tearoffs (beware flying shingles that decapitate plants) and stood dumbfounded in my basement as geysers burst through the floor tiles. Here are a few random things I’ve learned the hard way. • Ask friends for honest assessments of companies they’ve used. • Get apples-to-apples project bids. • Get every contract in writing. • Resist extreme trends and go for classic options on big-ticket items. • Specify the completion date in writing. • If a deal looks too good, it is. • It’s not a good deal if you have to hire someone to fix the original job. • Never pay in full up front and limit the down payment amount. • A legit contractor is happy to show you proof of license and insurance, so ask for it. • Companies that blow off appointments for estimates don’t deserve our business. Our local Better Business Bureau is a wonderful resource. Find tips at bbb.org/ article/tips/14081-bbbtip-hiring-a-contractorB.com. Have a great week! ❚ Janine Pumilia SLW Editor

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You Deserve Angie’s Unsurpassed Service Angie Leiva, Gambino Realtors Here’s What Angie’s Customers Have to Say: Angie gets 5 stars for her good advice knowledge about the house biz wisdom regarding decisions handholding when necessary and high communication level. Thank you!

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Y H  G

Renovation Showroom Opens in Machesney By Peggy Werner

M

acktown Construction, 9957 N. Alpine Road., in Machesney Park, has put on a new addition to make life easier for homeowners who are looking for ideas and materials for their own home renovations. Cedar & Stone Cabinetry and Flooring is a new 2,400 square-foot showroom opening this month at the same location and will carry a full line of cabinets, flooring, cabinet hardware, countertops and lighting to help people make choices, says President Tony Bonnet. “We want to create a better overall experience for our customers. In this business for more than 15 years, one thing that stands out is just how overwhelming and stressful it can be for people trying to make choices,” Bonnet says. Macktown specializes in kitchens, bathrooms and home renovations in the Stateline area and adheres to a seven-step

process to make sure every construction project runs as smoothly as possible and with minimal surprises. “When it comes to remodeling, you can find a lot of buried headaches in the areas of plumbing, electrical work and framing that can’t be seen at first. We want to make sure we have everything covered and there are no surprises,” he says. Macktown Construction professionals offer a free in-home consultation with customers. They give advice, talk about goals and any fears a customer may have regarding the project. A pre-construction meeting takes place before the project begins. When work is finished, a warranty is delivered and follow-up appointments ensure satisfaction, Bonnet says. When thinking about a home remodeling project, people need to have an idea in mind of how they want an area to look

and what they are willing to invest, he says. “The first thing we always want to know is why someone wants to make a change, whether it’s to update an existing space, open up an area, or set another goal,” he says. Macktown Construction and Cedar & Stone Cabinetry and Flooring will be at the Rockford Home Show (Booth 148) Feb. 22-24, at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park. ❚

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I  W

Internal Peace I

n the book of Isaiah, written more than 700 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, Isaiah prophesied the coming of the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). In Galatians 5:22, we see “peace” listed among the fruit of the spirit that Christians reap when they follow the ways of God. The word is translated into English from the Greek “eirene,” (“pax” in Latin), which appears more than 90 times in the New Testament. (The name “Irene” comes from eirene.) Throughout the Gospels, Jesus cautions that this world will never be a place of peace. “Don’t suppose that I’ve come to bring peace on the earth,” he says in Matthew 10:34. In fact, the very act of following him will stir turmoil, not peace, he warns. (Luke 12:51) So if this earth isn’t a peaceful place, why is peace promised to us? Because God’s peace is internal, not external. Jesus knew what the Old Testament proclaimed about peace: “You [God] will keep in perfect peace all who trust in You, all whose thoughts are fixed on You,” (Isaiah 26:3 NLT). Jesus promised that God would send the gift of holy spirit, a “comforter,” to live inside each believer. That promise was fulfilled on the Day of Pentacost. This supernatural kind of peace only comes from God. “And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus,” Paul wrote in Philippians 4:7. Shortly before the darkest moment of history – the betrayal and execution of Jesus – he told his disciples: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I don’t give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your hearts be troubled and don’t be afraid.” (John 14:1). “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33). God has already delivered peace to us through Jesus Christ, whether or not we “feel” it. Studying how the word "peace" is used in scripture helps us to internalize and claim this precious gift that nothing in the world can take away from us. ❚ – Janine Pumilia

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Y K

Hearty Dishes for Dreary Days W

arm up from the inside-out with these hearty recipes from Circulon Cookware. Find more at circulon.com.

comes out clean, 20-22 minutes. Cool in pan 5 minutes. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack at least 10 minutes before cutting.

Honey-Pumpkin Cornbread

Skillet Chicken and Dumplings

Servings: 12-16 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour 1 1/4 C yellow cornmeal 3 TB sugar 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/4 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. sea salt 1 C canned pumpkin puree 2 large eggs, at room temperature 5 TB unsalted butter, melted 4 tB honey 1/3 C buttermilk 1 TB grated orange zest Heat oven to 400 F. Lightly butter baking pan. In bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In separate bowl, whisk pumpkin puree, eggs, butter, honey, buttermilk and orange zest. Stir flour mixture into pumpkin mixture until moistened; transfer to prepared baking pan. Bake until cornbread pulls away from sides of pan and toothpick inserted into center

Servings: 8 3 containers (32 oz. ea.) low-salt chicken stock 2 medium onions, diced 4 carrots, peeled & sliced in 1-inch rounds 1 head broccoli, chopped 2 TB butter 2 TB olive oil 3 C chopped chicken 2 bay leaves 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. dried thyme 1 tsp. powdered garlic 1/2 C half-and-half 2 TB cornstarch Salt & Pepper to taste

Dumplings: 1 1/2 2 1/2 1

C whole-wheat or all-purpose flour tsp. baking powder tsp. salt cup half-and-half

In saucepan, bring chicken stock to boil. In large skillet, saute onions, carrots and broccoli with butter. Add olive oil as needed. Cook until onions are translucent and carrots are beginning to soften. Add chopped chicken, bay leaves, oregano, basil, thyme, garlic, salt, pepper and hot chicken stock to skillet. Simmer 20-30 minutes until vegetables are softened. Adjust seasoning, as necessary. Whisk cornstarch into half-and-half until smooth. Whisk into soup and simmer 5 minutes, until slightly thickened. To make Dumplings: In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt and half-andhalf. Swirl soup with wooden spoon and add heaping tablespoons of dough into center of soup at strong simmer. Continue adding until all dumpling batter is used. Cover with lid and cook on high 2-3 minutes. Serve topped with grated Parmesan and fresh cracked pepper. ❚ (Source: Family Features)

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R  O R

‘Women in Film’ Focus of 2019 BIFF B y To n i R o c h a

F

orget the winter doldrums! The Beloit International Film Festival (BIFF) is starting its 14th season with 10 days of excellent quality films rarely seen in local theaters. It’s an opportunity to soak up the imagination and vision of innovative, thoughtful directors and musical performances in intimate settings. From Friday, Feb. 22 through Sunday, March 3, the 2019 BIFF season focuses on “Women in Film,” not only with films that portray strong women but also those directed and produced by women. There will be 104 films juried and selected for screening in several categories, including narrative and documentary features, and narrative and documentary short films, including animation. The jam-packed film schedule promises to fill the five major screening locations: Bushel & Peck’s, Bagels & More,

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the Hendricks Center for the Arts, La Casa Grande and Domenico’s, as well as the Beloit Public Library, the Beloit Memorial High School Auditorium and Schubert’s Luxury 10 Theatre. Chosen films undergo an extensive vetting system in which dozens of volunteers, including Beloit College students, rate the movies, says Greg Gerard, BIFF’s artistic director. “We use two submission platforms, one with a 5-star rating and a second with a 10-star rating system,” he says. “It takes at least a 4-star rating on the first and at least an 8-star on the second to be considered. I use a green, red and blue code as well. Green is a go and blue is on the bubble.” This ensures that the films are consistently of high quality and interest. “Many are good enough to be picked

Feb. 13

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up by Netflix or other entertainment venues,” Gerard adds. “We’ve lost films we’ve selected because they were contracted with distribution companies and are no longer available for film festivals. On the other side, we’ve had filmmakers contact us because they’ve heard of our top-notch reputation.” Gerard describes the mix of movies as about half narrative features and half documentaries, plus short films. “We want to see full rooms, so we are particular about balancing the films selected,” he says. “One year, we offered more than 200 films. It wasn’t a good idea because people simply didn’t know where to start, and we didn’t want to have directors or performers facing a small audience. Plus, there are only so many places we can screen films.” In keeping with the 2019 theme of


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strong women in film, there are three movies that stand out, says Gerard. In “Eternal Winter,” Soviet soldiers invade Hungary and capture young ethnic German women, transporting them to a Soviet labor camp where they are forced to work in the coal mines under inhuman conditions. “Eternal Winter” is the very first feature film about the 700,000 Hungarians whose stories remained untold for more than 70 years. “This film is intensely moving, and the cinematography is breathtaking,” Gerard says. “The Hello Girls” depicts the story

of 223 women sent by the Army Corps of Engineers to France as telephone operators in 1918 to help win World War I. They wore Army uniforms and swore Army oaths. They served during the German occupation and the Paris Peace Conference. The last of the Hello Girls returned home in 1920, only to be told they were never soldiers after all. For 60 years, they fought the U.S. government for recognition. In 1977, they won. Only 33 were still alive. “The Army signal corps called for volunteers from more than 1,000 operators,” says BIFF executive director Marty Densch. “The Army didn’t understand how to use the new telephone technology, but the women did. They were on the front lines, and there was one casualty. Afterward, they weren’t recognized until 1977. Upon accepting her award, one of the survivors asked, ‘When do we get our backpay?’” Two of the operators were from Green Bay and Milwaukee. A third choice, “Radium Girls,” is

based on true events of the late 1920s. Teen sisters Bessie and Jo paint glow-inthe-dark watch dials at American Radium Factory in New Jersey. When girls mysteriously fall ill, Bessie stands up to the corporation in a radical coming-of-age story. “Elgin had one of those clock factories, so the story hits close to home,” Gerard says. Not all of the BIFF films focus on women, but all are engaging and promise to entertain nearly every taste in film. “Women have made a huge imprint on today’s film industry,” Gerard says. “The panel will be led by Melissa Houghton, executive director of the Women in Film and Video organization out of Washington, D.C., with a possible Skype guest appearance by actress Melissa Gilbert.” The wrap-up of BIFF 2019 is the BIFFY awards program. A full list of films and show times, plus ticket information, is available at beloitfilmfest.org. ❚

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Y H  G

Now is the Time to Consider Solar Power By Peggy Werner

F

amily-owned Fosler Construction, 703 E. South St., Freeport, in business for more than 20 years, is known for its quality building and remodeling services. Now it has broken new ground to help people save money and contribute to a cleaner, greener state. About a year ago, the business made a decision to help people understand the value of solar power. There is no better time to make the change, says Shane Werntz, energy consultant. “We’re excited to create job opportunities and help people save money with solar power. Solar doesn’t replace the electric bill, but it greatly reduces the need for electricity. Our goal is to help eliminate the need for electricity at a reasonable price and with a quick payback. The panels create kilowatt hours, which can be rolled over and used later through a process called net-metering,” he says.

With state rebates and federal tax credits currently available for those switching over to solar power, homeowners can save up to 75 percent of the installation cost. Illinois has set a goal to reduce its dependency on fossil fuel by 25 percent by the year 2025. Fosler helps customers every step of the way and will do everything from start to finish, including taking care of the applications, getting permits, applying for incentives, and ordering, installing and maintaining the panels. “We design systems and walk customers through the process, showing them where their energy costs are coming from and what kind of system would best work for them,” he says. The first step is a free consultation, with recommendations being made based

on the size and style of a home and its average energy consumption. Depending on the design of a home, roof or ground panels are used. Solar energy is growing in popularity as homes and businesses want to become eco-friendly and “go green,” while being environmentally conscientious, he says. To set up an appointment, call Fosler at (815) 656-4440. ❚

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Y H

Have You Tested Your Home for Radon? By Janine Pumilia

R

adon is the No. 1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers, yet most of us don’t think about having our homes tested for it. Lora Gilbert, a licensed radon professional and owner of 815Radon, wants to change that. “I just want to be sure people are safe in their homes,” says Gilbert, who lost her mother, a non-smoker, to lung cancer several years ago. “She spent a lot of time in her basement sewing room and we never even gave radon a thought back then.” Decaying uranium deposits inside rock, soil and water produce radon gas. It seeps into the areas of our homes closest to the ground and accumulates. Because radon is invisible and odorless, testing is the only way to know if your home is putting your health at risk. “There’s no predicting the presence of radon,” says Gilbert. “I’ve tested

homes next door to one another that have very different radon levels. It doesn’t matter if the home is older or newer, either. In fact, newer, better-insulated homes may trap more of the gas.” Two of five homes tested in Winnebago County have high levels of radon. According to the Illinois Radon program, of the 118,447 homes tested across the state, more than 41 percent had radon levels above the recommended action point. Nearly 1,200 Illinois citizens die

from radon-related lung cancer each year. Inhaling radon can lead to cancer because radioactive particles damage cells in the linings of our lungs. “People spend more and more time indoors, kids play video games by the hour in basements, and a lot of people work from home offices,” says Gilbert. “All workplaces should be tested, too.” Gilbert charges $175 for a home radon test. What can be done if you discover you do have a radon problem? “An affordable mitigation system can be installed that ventilates the soil beneath your foundation and funnels the radon outside the foundation so it can’t accumulate indoors,” says Gilbert. She doesn’t sell or install mitigation systems but can help you to locate companies that do. Learn more at 815radon.com or call Lora Gilbert at (815) 494-8286. ❚

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Y H

What You Should Know About Heart Attacks By Mercyhealth Staff hen the coronary arteries are unable to deliver blood to the heart muscle for a prolonged period of time, a heart attack can occur. A heart attack means that the heart muscle cells have been without oxygen long enough that the cells begin to die. It often means that permanent damage has occurred to the heart muscle. Persons suffering from a heart attack may be able to prevent permanent damage if their treatment is started very early. Heart attacks occur most often from blockages or plaque build-up in the coronary arteries that prevent oxygen from getting to heart muscle cells. The plaque may build up until the coronary artery is completely closed, or the plaque may allow for blood clots to form which block the artery. Heart attacks can also occur from a coronary artery spasm.

• Nausea or vomiting • Back pain

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Heart attack warning signs include: • Chest discomfort: Pain, pressure or a crushing feeling in the middle of the chest • Can last more than a few minutes or go away and come back • Burning sensation, like indigestion, that does not go away • Discomfort can also be felt in the arm, neck, jaw and upper back • Shortness of breath • Light-headedness • Dizziness • Breaking out into a cold sweat

Sometimes women experience shortness of breath, nausea, back and/or jaw pain or fatigue. Treatment must happen fast. If you or someone else may be having a heart attack, call 911 for assistance immediately. Don’t try to drive yourself to the hospital or wait for a doctor’s appointment. Some risk factors for heart attack, such as age or heredity, are out of our control. Others can be managed with medication and/or lifestyle changes, such as treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and diabetes. Managing weight, quitting smoking, reducing stress and using alcohol only in moderation can reduce the risk of heart attack. Eating a healthful diet and getting regular exercise are two of the best ways to fight cardiovascular disease. Learn more at Mercyhealth.org. ❚

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Y O

Spark Some Ideas at Home Show Feb. 22-24 T he 39th Annual Rockford Home Show will take place Feb. 22-24 at the Indoor Sports Center/Expo, 8800 E. Riverside Blvd. in Loves Park. This event makes it easy to speak with vendors and gather information about all things home related. See new products and learn about services, concepts, materials and expertise on interior and exterior design. There’s always a touch of spring to enjoy, too, thanks to landscape and water feature displays, such as the Relaxing Pondless Waterfall exhibit and low-maintenance wáter feature ideas created by Tim Siegner of Natural Water Gardens. All new this year is the Backyard Retreat exhibit from Hernandez Brothers Professional Landscape. Cooking and product demonstrations will be part of the fun, along with entertainment for the whole family, at no extra charge.

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• Hoo Haven Wildlife Rehabilitation & Education Center will present “Raptors, Up Close and Personal.” See snakes, hawks, turkey vultures and more. Learn more about Hoo Haven at HooHaven.org. • Ms. Twisty Pants will give balloon twisting lessons all weekend long. • Atwood’s Birds of Prey will exhibit a great horned owl, turkey vulture, redtailed hawk, barred owl and bald eagle on Saturday, Feb. 23, from 11:30-2 p.m. The birds in this exhibit are unable to survive in the wild due to previous injuries. • Family Fun with Kids gardening projects will be presented by the Landscape Connection, plus a bouncy house and face painting. • The Antique Road Show is back by popular demand. This is a chance for visitors to get their items appraised by professionals from Hacks Auction and Antiques on Sunday from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Free with show admission.

Feb. 13

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• Flower Power. On Sunday afternoon, all flowers in the garden display are sold at bargain prices starting at 2 p.m. Hours are Friday, Feb. 22, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Saturday, Feb. 23 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 24 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission for adults is $6 and discount coupons are available at area McDonald’s restaurants. Children under 12 are admitted free and free parking is available. Find the complete schedule and learn more at showtimeproduction.net/homeshow. ❚


Y F Autumn just might be the best time of year.   The sun is a little lower (and prettier), the air is a little crisper (and cleaner) and the leaves cascade  down in colorful splendor.   This fall, spend some quality time in the fun, nearby, value-packed Rockford Region.  See stunning fall colors at 

Real. Original. SM

Anderson Japanese Gardens, the finest in North America.  Visit beautifully  spacious Rock Cut State Park.  Don’t miss Klehm Arboretum & Botanic Garden, with more than 500 different species of trees, shrubs and vines, all 

ILLINOIS, USA

glowing in autumn’s glory.  Indoors, our concert and theater season will be  gaining momentum at Coronado Performing Arts Center, a beautifully  restored downtown vaudeville house.  Plus, our Riverfront Museum Campus  will be coming alive for the whole family.  Visit gorockford.com today for  a full list of autumn special events, festivals, gardens, golf and more. 

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau NWQ_fall.indd 1

102 N. Main St.

Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau

Tourism

Attractions & Events

Regional Juried Exhibition Through Feb. 16, Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. Featuring work by artists from Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin. Freeport Art Rockford, IL 61101 gorockford.com Museum, 1211.800.521.0849 N. Harlem Ave., (815) 235-9755, freeportartmuseum.org. 9/10/07 2:07:37 PM

Comedy on Main Feb. 15, 8 p.m. Nationally acclaimed comedians and up-and-comers perform in an intimate setting. JPAC, Janesville, (608) 758-0297, janesvillepac.org. ‘Elephant’s Graveyard’ Feb. 14-23 & 28, Thu.-Sat. 8 p.m. Townspeople are starving for a show. Sparks World Famous Shows has a special attraction for 1916: the largest living land animal on earth. [usual] Suspects, Nordlof Center, Rockford. Info: rockfordpubliclibrary.org. ‘Guys and Dolls’ Feb. 15-17, Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. With hits like “Luck Be a Lady” and “Sit Down, You’re Rockin’ the Boat.” Main Street Players, Community Building Complex of Boone County, 111 W. 1st St., Belvidere, (800) 7412963, mainstreetplayersofboonecounty.com. John Mellencamp Feb. 14, 8 p.m. The Rock and Roll Hall-ofFamer entertains with classics like “Hurts So Good” and “ROCK in the USA” as well as material from his new album, “Other People’s Stuff.” Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 9680595, coronadopac.org. Kane Brown Feb. 15, 7 p.m. Brown’s debut album topped the Billboard Top Country Album chart and has garnered him accolades as one of Nashville’s most promising young stars. BMO Harris Bank Center, Rockford, (815) 968-5222, thebmoharrisbankcenter.com. FAM: ‘I am American’ Feb. 15-April 15, Tue.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. noon-5 p.m. Immigrants and Native Americans explore the bicultural experience and the meaning of being American. FAM, Freeport, (815) 125-9755, freeportartmuseum.org. RSO: Schubert Revisited Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. Schubert’s “Symphony No. 8 in B minor,” Beethoven’s “King Stephen Overture, Op. 117,” Mozart’s “Exsultate

Enjoy "Schubert Revisited" at the Coronado Performing Arts Center on Feb. 16.

Jubilate” and Golijov’s “She Was Here.” RSO, Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 965-0049, rockfordsymphony.com. Avalon String Quartet Feb. 17, lecture 2 p.m., performance 3 p.m. The quartet returns for its eighth season, performing works by Mendelssohn. MPAC, Mendelssohn Hall, Rockford, (815) 964-9713, mendelssohnpac.org. Sebastian Maniscalco Feb. 22, 7 p.m. Comedian Maniscalco has a new top-ranked show on Sirius XM, “The Pete and Sebastian Show.” Coronado PAC, Rockford, (815) 968-0595, coronadopac.org. Beloit International Film Festival Feb. 22-March 3. See website for schedule and ticket information. Scores of shorts, documentaries and feature films are presented in venues throughout the Beloit area. Tickets/ Info: (608) 312-4256, beloitfilmfest.org. ‘Run for Your Wife’ Feb. 22-March 10, Fri. 8 p.m., Sat. 2 & 8 p.m., Sun. 2 p.m. In this British farce, a taxi driver with two wives in different areas of the city has to work overtime to keep his double life from blowing up. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 239-1210, pecplayhouse.org. Jabali African Acrobats Feb. 23, 11 a.m.-noon. Direct from Mombasa, Kenya, these acrobats combine the artistry of fast-paced movement, music, dance and elegance. Nordlof Center, rockfordpubliclibrary.org. ❚

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WDL

Capital House: High Quality & High Value

By Peggy Werner

C

apital House, 308 W. State St., is known for quality food at affordable prices and a cozy urban atmosphere. “We’ve listened to the community and made adjustments based on what they wanted to see,” says corporate chef Ted Brothers, a partner in the business with owner Robin Young. The restaurant no longer serves lunch but is focused on an expanded dinner menu. “Most of our clientele see us as a dinner spot, so that’s where we’re going to put our emphasis,” says Brothers. “About 90 percent of the people come to Capital House for dinner because they love the menu and the live music on Friday and Saturday nights.” The menu changes daily but always offers freshly flown-in seafood and high quality meats. A recent menu included a variety of

salads and homemade soups plus entrees featuring Atlantic diver scallops with lobster cream sauce, heirloom tomatoes, herbed butter and seasonal accompaniments for $28; a 16-oz. prime New York strip with hand whipped potatoes, demi glaze and seasonal accompaniments for $34; seared Ahi tuna steak with peppercorn, Asian slaw, risotto and fresh lemon for $34; and filet mignon, shrimp scampi, Alaskan wild salmon, pan-seared pacific halibut, salt-crusted Chilean sea bass and New Zealand rack of lamb. Young says the menu is dictated by getting the best quality food at the best prices, so she can avoid shocking customers with steep increases because of changing market values. “I love to try new things,” says Young. “A dish served one weekend may not be on the menu the next weekend. For our regulars, this means there’s always

Alaskan King Salmon with Lobster Risotto

something new and fresh to try.” She describes the atmosphere as upscale but comfortable, with “a low key vibe that awakens the senses.” Capital House is located in a renovated space formerly occupied by Kryptonite bar. Capital House is open from 5 to 10 p.m. Tues. through Thurs. and 5 p.m. to midnight Fri. and Sat. ❚

In the Spotlight

Top Picks for Local Restaurants Baci’s Kitchen  Fast-Casual, dine-in, carry-out. 2990 N. Perryville Road, inside A Perryville Place. (815) 329-6922. Open 7 days/wk. at 8 a.m. BkLD. Complete menu at Baciskitchen.com. Backyard Grill & Bar  Casual/American. 5390 Elevator Road, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-6677. 2nd St., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 6369430. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat to 2am, Sun noon-10 p.m. $-SS. Bravo Pizza  Italian/American. 376 Prairie Hill Road, S. Beloit, Ill., (815) 624-7900. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $. Capital House  Lunches, fine dining, sushi bar, gourmet coffee & pastries, martini bar. 308 W. State St., Rockford, (815) 708-8989. LD T-Th 11am-10pm, Fri.-Sat. 11 am-10pm. $-$$$. Ciao Bella Ristorante Upscale-Casual/Italian-American. Daily specials. 6500 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill. (815) 654-9900. LD M-F 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Sat. 5-10 p.m. $$ Cucina di Rosa  Italian Bistro/Bakery 1620 Bell School Road, (815) 395-5040. BkLD. M-Sat 7am-9pm. $$ Dos Reales Mexican Restaurant  Casual/Mexican. 5855 E. State St., (815) 227-4979. LD $-$$.

398-5700. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11 pm. GreenFire  Upscale-Casual/American contemporary. Live entertainment. 6795 E. Riverside Blvd., Rockford, (815) 3163473. BkLD M-F 11am, Sat-Sun 8am. Bar open late. $$$. Hearthrock Cafe  Restaurant/cafe. Baked goods, coffee, breakfast, lunch. Inside Benson Stone Co., 1100 11th St., (815) 227-2000. BkL M-F 7:30am-3pm; Sat. 8am-3pm. $-$$. Lino’s  Italian/American. 5611 E. State St., Rkfd. (815) 397-2077. D M-Sat 4:30am-10pm; Sun. 4:30am-9 pm. $$. Maciano’s  Casual Italian. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, (815) 633-7500; & 5801 Columbia Pkwy., Rkfd., (815) 227-5577. LD Sun-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $-$$. Olympic Tavern  Upscale-Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., (815) 962-8758. Extensive beer list. LD M-Th 11 a.m.-midnight; Fri-Sat. to 2 a.m. $-$$. Prairie Street Brewhouse  Upscale-Casual/American. 200 Prairie St., Rockford, (815) 277-9427. LD Sun-W 11am10pm, Th to midnight, F-Sat to 2am. $-$$.

Fresco at the Gardens.  Casual/American Café. 318 Spring Creek Road, (815) 316-2256. BkL Daily 7am-3pm. $$

Salamone’s North  Italian-American. 2583 N. Mulford Road, Rkfd. LD. Sun. noon-10 p.m.; Mon.-Th 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Fri. 11 a.m.-11 p.m.; Sat. noon-11 p.m. (815) 639-1200

Giordano’s  Casual/Italian. Stuffed pizza, salads, entrees, sandwiches, desserts. 33 Executive Parkway, Rockford, (815)

Taco Betty’s  Casual/Mexican-American. 212 E. State St., Rkfd., (815) 977-5650. LD Daily 11am-1am. $$. ❚

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D

Dos Reales

os Reales, 5855 E. State St., Rockford, has been serving up authentic Mexican fare and signature margaritas, along with some American fare, since 1998. Its recently updated menu features a burrito cheesesteak and chimichangas, along with newer items such as torta Mexicana, a Mexican style of sandwich filled with grilled chicken or steak; sopes Mexicanos, a traditional Mexican dish served with rice and beans; and molletes, a traditional Mexican meal with toasted bread covered in refried beans and grilled steak. Dos Reales offers glutenfree options, and dishes are mild unless a guest requests spicy. “We prepare everything from scratch and purchase our products from local sources,” says Jose Gonzalez, Dos Reales’s manager. Dos Reales is open Sun.-Thurs., 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Fri.-Sat. until 10:30 p.m. ❚


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Y C

RMTD Opens Renovated Transfer Center T

his week, Rockford Mass Transit welcomed the public into its newly renovated Downtown Transfer Center, marking substantial completion of the first of a two-phased renovation project. Phase II, which involves the redesign of the outside bus berthing and customer waiting area, will continue into the spring with an estimated completion date of May 2019. Customers now have a much brighter, larger and more efficient facility to use. As a result of the larger footprint, those with wheelchairs or other mobility devices will find it easier to navigate through or stop and wait in the facility. RMTD also has added enhanced Information System Displays in key locations in the building. Charging stations have been added and are conveniently located for passenger use. A family restroom was added for families in transit with small children. Too, RMTD staff

will benefit from the newly installed touchscreen computer system which will allow for a quicker and more efficient bus dispatch. The safety and security of riders is of utmost importance to RMTD. Therefore, improved security cameras have been added throughout the building and a designated security office will enhance security’s presence in the building and on the grounds. The entire project is funded by several state and federal grants equally. No local funds have been used on this project. The cost of the Transfer Center renovation is $4.8 million. With the new facility opening and outdoor work continuing at the north end of the property, passengers will now be asked to board and alight their respective buses on West State Street rather than

Mulberry Street. Buses heading eastbound will board from the south side of West State and westbound buses will board from the north side of West State. West State will be closed to through traffic between Court Street and Winnebago Street until the completion of Phase II. Mulberry Street, between Court and Winnebago, which was previously closed, will now be open to through traffic. ❚

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