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iving n g Smart L ivi ivin ng Weekly Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • June 18, 2014

Right in Our Region

Dixon Petunia Fest in the Pink after 50 Years By Karla Nagy, associate editor

T

he annual Petunia Festival is always a much-anticipated event for the residents of Dixon, Ill., but even more so this year, the Fest’s landmark 50th anniversa-

ry. From July 2-6, the five-day event features a family carnival, two stages of live entertainment, food vendors, a beer tent, parade, fireworks and more.

Continued on p. 20

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Is My Mattress Defective? • All About Knee Arthroscopy • What to Know About Olive Oil Need Tires? Do Your Homework • Laundry Tips • Banking Tech Updates

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In This Issue

Right in Our Region: .....................Cover & p. 20 Dixon’s Petunia Festival Your Home ........................................................11 What’s With Those Mattress Indentations? Inspiration & Worship .....................................12 Keeping Things Simple Your Kitchen .................................................... 15 Is Your Olive Oil Fresh? Your Auto ..........................................................17 How to Choose Tires Your Health ...................................................... 25 What is Knee Arthroscopy? Your Fun ........................................................... 27 Dining Locally ................................................. 29 Outings ............................................................. 31 June 21 Winery Tour Your Money ...................................................... 33 The Human Touch in Banking

Smart L iving Weekly ™

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Bill Hughes Executive Editor Janine Pumilia

Managing Editor/Web Editor Chris Linden Associate Editor/Special Projects Editor Karla Nagy Senior Staff Writer/Promotions Coordinator Paul Anthony Arco Graphics Director Blake Nunes Graphic Designer Samantha Ryan Contributing Writers Jim Killam, Peggy Werner & Rachel Shore General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes General Manager/Northwest Business Magazine Dave Marino Account Executives Steve Blachford, Brian Hughes Administration & Circulation Manager Lisa Hughes Website www.NWQSmartLiving.com Published by Hughes Media Corp. 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 lhughes@northwestquarterly.com Smart Living Weekly. Copyright 2014 by Hughes Media Corp., 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any text, photograph or illustration without written permission from the publisher is strictly prohibited.

13750 Metric Dr. Roscoe, IL 61073 | (815) 389-9999 6

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June 18


Memories are Made at Our Hometown Fairs

I

t’s hard to put a finger on just what makes a community feel “close,” but whatever it is, Dixon has it. I’ve noticed this many times when visiting Dixon to write articles for Northwest Quarterly Magazine. This ‘special something’ existed even before the nation’s 40th president grew up here, but he certainly put Dixon on the U.S. map. Another very important person reared in Dixon, Ill., is our own Karla Nagy, associate editor. Karla does her homework before writing any article, but this cover article flows from her DNA and personal treasure trove of life memories, just as the Young at Heart Festival in Loves Park is part of mine. We two 50-somethings recently found ourselves laughing over childhood memories set against the backdrop of our respective hometown festivals. That’s one of the great things about these events – they become part of a family’s and a community’s collective memory. I’m guessing many of you clearly remember the first ferris wheel ride, first taste of cotton candy, first prize you ever won, first kiss or some other “first” that took place against the backdrop of a local festival. If you trek down to the Petunia Festival and eventually tire from all the hubbub, you may want to visit another great Dixon attraction, albeit a much quieter one, on the way home. Lowell Park, founded in 1907, is one of the few locally owned parks to contain an Illinois Nature Preserve on some of its 200 acres. It’s a great place to hike or just roll down your windows and listen to birdsong. Learn more about the natural, pre-settler features that make this preserve so rare, in our most recent issue of Northwest Quarterly Magazine, now available at the best shops and businesses in the region. Enjoy! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor Tell them you saw it in ... Smart Living Weekly

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Mattress Dip Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Trouble By Jim Killam

Y

ou invested a big chunk of money in that new mattress and now, six months later, you and your mate’s body impressions are eerily visible when the bed is empty. That’s not necessarily a sign of defect, says Ryan Poppie of Beloit Mattress Company, 1946 Liberty Ave., Beloit. Most mattresses are topped with varying qualities of foam, and even the best stuff will squish a little. “There is absolutely not a foam known to man that won’t show any dip at all,” Poppie says. “The key is, how much dip? In a queen or king-size bed with two adults in it, you’re probably going to see a dip on average of a quarter-inch to a half-inch. In heavier use situations, it might go to three-quarter inch and still be considered normal. Anything more than that is probably excessive and you prob-

ably have a problem there.” To measure, lay a straightedge horizontally on the mattress and then use a ruler vertically to gauge the impression. The good news is, you usually won’t lose sleep over what may look like a minor defect. “It really should not affect the comfort much,” Poppie says. “A lot of times it’s an appearance thing that people don’t like. A lot of it is just settling at the very surface layers. It’s something that’s pretty much unavoidable.” Which isn’t to say that a poorly made mattress won’t become a problem. Some companies are using cheaper, lighter foams, because foam – derived from crude oil or biochemicals – is the most expensive ingredient in mattresses. Poppie says density in mattress foam can range from 0.9 to 8 pounds per cubic

foot. If they aren’t labeled, the best way to differentiate foam density among several mattresses is simply to lift the corners. The heavier the better – and weight does not determine the foam’s firmness, or ILD (indentation load deflection). ❚

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I  W

God’s God & We’re Not

T

he Book of Job, in the Old Testament, is easy to avoid. Who wants to read about a good man who suffers terrible things in some cosmic wager between Satan and God? We should, because there’s much to learn about God, Satan and us. Before God restores Job’s life, Job demands an explanation from seemingly absent God, and boy does he get it – well, sort of. God tells Job that no part of the creation should put the Creator on trial. God’s tirade unfolds in four beautiful chapters in which He describes His own handiwork. If you’ve never read Job chapters 38 to 41, deny yourself the pleasure no longer. They quickly re-set one’s perspective. Job 38: 1-13; (NIV):

Then the Lord answered Job out of the storm. He said: “Who is this that darkens my counsel with words without knowledge? Brace yourself like a man; I shall question you, and you shall answer me. “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation? Tell Me, if you understand. Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone – while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’? “Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, that it might take the earth by its edges and shake the wicked [night] out of it? ...

Job 40: 1-2; 8-(NIV): The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer Him! ... Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like His? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor, and clothe yourself in honor and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at every proud man and bring him low ...” Editor’s note: A highly thought-provoking study of Job is found in The Bible Jesus Read, by author Philip Yancey.

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–Janine Pumilia

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How Old is Your Olive Oil? Age Matters Most By Peggy Werner

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eople interested in good nutrition and health benefits from the foods they eat will most likely end up wanting to know more about Olive Oil. Educating people is a big part of the business at The Olive Oil Experience and Spice Galleria, 6340-6342 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park. And there’s a lot to know. “Above all else seek out freshness,” said Charles Ducharme, co-owner with his wife, Brandi. “The most important thing about olive oil is not where it was made, but when it was made,” he says. Over time, olive oil degrades and loses the compounds that are so healthful. It’s best to consume olive oil within six months of the harvest date, but the oil will remain good for up to 14 months. “Best by” dates are misleading because

they sometimes reflect the date the oil was bottled, rather than harvested, says Ducharme. Some companies store oil for a long time before bottling it and may mix fresh and not-so-fresh oils together. Good olive oil has a vibrant, lively aroma and flavor. It should have a strong taste in your mouth and even a peppery sensation as it goes down your throat.

The business owners encourage tasting so customers can experience, with all their senses, what they’re shopping for, and imagine how certain oils and vinegars will pair with other foods. Unlike wine, which gets better with age, olive oil is perishable and starts aging from the moment of harvest. Because there are so many varieties of olives and conditions that affect the growing seasons, the color of olive oil should not be a factor when choosing a brand. Color varies from dark green to pale yellow and has no impact on freshness or health benefits. Flavors of fresh olive oil may vary from robust to mild and the oil selected should correspond with how it’s going to be used. ❚

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What to Know When Choosing New Tires W By Peggy Werner

hen picking out tires, do your homework. “Talk to tire dealers, look at what manufacturers have to say about their tires, and find the best value,” says Ryan Lovejoy, owner of Jack’s Tires, 4829 Prairie Hill Road, in South Beloit. “When picking out tires you have to look at the conditions you will be driving in, your driving habits, and your budget,” he says. There are hundreds of tires to choose from and many manufacturers. All brands are global, he says, and regardless of where the company is headquartered, there are factories in countries all over the world making tires. The only major American-based tire companies are Goodyear and Cooper Tires and they also have plants producing tires throughout the world. Jack’s is an independent, family-

owned business that carries many tire brands. To narrow down the choices, people need to focus on the value of the tire, what they want to spend, and what the best product match is for the vehicle. Www.jackstires.com is the company website and includes a tire catalog people can browse when looking to buy new tires, to find out about tire type, tire width, aspect ratio, construction, wheel diameter, load index and speed rating. “Certain brands work better on certain vehicles,” he says. Tread patterns can vary on tires and some do better on certain cars than others. Picking the right tire for a car is very important for safety and performance. The Tire Industry Association says a passenger car tire should not vary much from the recommended size of tire for any particular vehicle. “You see people putting oversized

tires more on pick-up trucks than any other vehicle and it is purely for looks rather than performance,” he says. Jack’s Tires specializes in name brand tires, auto repair and brake services, with a focus on customer services and competitive prices. ❚

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R  O R

Petunia Festival Continued from Cover

(JenW/Flicker photo)

“Everything is bigger and better this year,” says Josh Albrecht, executive director of Dixon Main Street, and a member of the Petunia Festival board. “We have some new events. We’re having a luau, and Steve Wilson has set up an exhibit at the museum at Loveland Community House, called ‘50 Years of Festival Memories.’ We’ve added nationally tour-

ing bands to our entertainment line-up, including Rusted Root, Parmelee and The Wood Brothers.” Daily admission to the festival is $5, and $15 covers all five days, including entertainment. Some events and activities may involve an additional nominal fee. Festivities officially kick off Wednesday evening, with the Petunia Luau, the opening of the Taste Trail along First Street, a charity Texas Hold ’Em Tournament and the first band of the celebration, Rusted Root. Daily activities include daylong bingo at the Dixon Elks Club on Franklin Grove Road, and Taste Trail, beer tent and live entertainment on First Street. The carnival begins Thursday at 4 p.m. and runs to the end of the festival. Special events are the annual tennis and bags tournaments, art show and sale, ice cream social and 5K Reagan Run, starting in front of Reagan’s boyhood home.

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The last day of the festival, Sunday, is always packed, with all of the daily events plus the 2-hour parade. Another addition for the 50th is the return of a once-popular event, the Drum & Bugle Corps Show, featuring six national groups performing on the Dixon High School Athletic Field. The grand finale is the fireworks display over the Rock River. “The fireworks are always spectacular, but they’ll be extended this year,” says Albrecht. “Fifty years for an event is an amazing feat for a community. It shows the commitment of community sponsors, residents and visitors. The people make it happen.” Dixon is divided north and south by the Rock River, and in the past, the majority of events took place along the north shore, on Page Drive, in front of Dixon High School. That changed in 2013, following completion of Heritage Crossing and Riverside Park, between Galena and Cover photo of Dixon arch by Tony Winstead


R  O R

(JenW/Flicker photo)

the river allows two stages for bands, one at the end of First Street and another at the pavilion. This also clearly separates the family-friendly and kids’ activities from the grown-up fun.” Dixon’s status as “Petunia Capital of the World” came about in the late 1950s, after Dutch elm disease left many of its main thoroughfares barren. Several highway expansions added to the loss of trees. In 1960, the Dixon Men’s Garden Club decided to dress up the roads leading into town with flower beds, planting both sides of South Galena Avenue – Ill. Rt. 52 – for about a half-mile, with 4,000 petunias. It’s not clear how pink petunias, in particular, became the flower of choice, but the late George Lindquist, then mayor, took credit for the basic concept. “George had visited Holland, Mich., and was really impressed with the way the city branded itself with its tulips,” says Burke. “When he came back, he

Peoria avenues along River Street. It has plantings, benches, a performance pavilion, walking paths, seating, restrooms, and a life-sized statue of Ronald Reagan. With Riverfront Park, the festival now spans both sides of the river, with food and entertainment on the south side, and the carnival on the other side, on the original festival grounds. In addition, the Petunia Festival Board and Dixon Main Street have partnered, and the festival grounds now include First Street, from Hennepin Avenue to Peoria Avenue. “The arrangement worked out really well,” says Dixon Mayor Jim Burke. “Folks who just wanted to go to the carnival didn’t want to pay the fee for the festival, and it can get very crowded. Moving the food and entertainment across

kept saying he wanted to brand Dixon in the same way, and the idea took hold. After the first year of plantings, the paper received several Letters to the Editor from people who had passed through town, commenting on the impact of the petunias.” The following year, 1961, the Garden Club put in 10,000 petunias, increasing their plantings to a three-quarter-mile stretch on North Galena. The number increased each year, extending east and west to other principle streets, into people’s yards and even their front porches, with flower boxes and hanging baskets overflowing with pink. The community embraced the bright flower as its symbol, and the first festival was held in 1964. “There wasn’t much to that first parade, but things ratcheted up pretty fast,” says Burke. “The festival really grew between’64 and ’67, thanks to many community leaders. It’s generated a tremendous amount of goodwill and has become part of Dixon. It’s iconic.” ❚

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Arthroscopy: Get Back on Your Feet Quickly By Beloit Health System

E

llie is an active 62-year-old retiree who loves to walk, bike and garden. When her ‘bad’ knee kept her from her favorite activities, a neighbor suggested she look into having knee arthroscopy. One week after having the minimally invasive procedure, Ellie was back to her morning walks and tending her flowers. “More than 80 percent of patients return to walking and other light activities within one week of having a knee arthroscopy,” says Dr. Daniel Sellman, orthopedic surgeon for Beloit Health System. “Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure where a joint is viewed internally using a miniature camera,” Sellman explains. “Knee arthroscopy is one of the most commonly performed arthroscopies. The camera is inserted through a small incision into the knee, allowing images to be sent to a television monitor.” This provides the orthopedic surgeon with a clear view of the inside of the

knee in order to diagnose and treat knee problems. Technological advances have resulted in high-definition monitors and high-resolution cameras, making arthroscopy extremely accurate. If the diagnosis shows that surgical treatment is required, the arthroscopy allows the surgeon to feel, repair or remove damaged tissue in the knee. This is accomplished with the use of small surgical instruments inserted through other incisions in the knee. Repair procedures typically take 30 minutes to an hour. Arthroscopy is performed under local, regional or general anesthesia. Treatments available include: • Torn meniscal cartilage removal/repair • Torn anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction • Torn articular cartilage trimming • Loose fragments of bone or cartilage removal • Inflamed synovial tissue removal

This minimally invasive procedure offers advantages over a traditional open knee surgery because it’s performed on an outpatient basis, minimizing downtime and cost. If you or a loved one would benefit from knee arthroscopy, discuss this option with your primary care physician or an orthopedic specialist. The orthopedic specialists at Beloit Health System and NorthPointe include Dr. Leighton Johnson, Dr. Ajmal Matloob and Dr. Daniel Sellman. To learn more, call (608) 364-2230 or (815) 525-4500. ❚ .

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Crumbs from the Table of Joy Through June 29, see website for times. In 1950, an African-American widower and daughters move from Florida to Brooklyn. Artists’ Ensemble, Rockford University, 5050 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 394-5004, artistsensemble.org. Honk! June 18-21, July 23-27, 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m. in June. A rousing adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling.”Starlight Theatre, Rock Valley College, 3301 N. Mulford Road, Rockford, (815) 921-2160. Juneteenth Festival June 19, 1-9 p.m. Activities, food and entertainment. Sinnissippi Park Music Shell, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford, rockfordparkdistrict.org. The Making of a Garden June 19, 7 p.m. An overview of Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, from Horticulture Manager Edward McKee. Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, (815) 316-3307, andersongardens.org Old Settlers Days June 19-22, Thu-Fri. 4-11 p.m.; Sat. 12:30-11 p.m.; Sun. 1:30-10 p.m. Food vendors; beer tent; carnival; parade; fireworks; free local entertainment; main stage performers include Bret Michaels, Colt Ford. Settler’s Park, 200 Hawick St., Rockton, Ill., oldsettlersdays.com. Jim Gill Family Friday June 20, 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. A lively performance buy nationally-known singer and musician Jim Gill. Discovery Center Museum, 711 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-6769, discoverycentermuseum.org. Glenn Davis & Matt Goodwin June 20, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free Friday in the Park music series; $6 lunch from Otha’s Ribs. First National Plaza, State & Grand, Downtown Beloit, Wis., downtownbeloit.com. Little Vito and the Torpedoes June 20, 7-9 p.m. Popular show band plays all the hits, from Chubby Checker and Elvis to Alice Cooper. Music & More, Harry C. Moore Pavilion, Riverside Park, 1160 Riverside Dr., Beloit, Wis., friendsofriverfront.com. Read with Lilly, the Library Dog June 20, 27, Aug. 8, 15, 2-3 p.m. Kids read with Lilly, a trained Reading Education Assistance

Attend Phantom Regiment’s 39th Show of Shows, June 20 in Rockford.

Dog. Registration/parental permission required. Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Blvd., Beloit, Wis., (608) 364-2905, beloitlibrary.info. Phantom Regiment 39th Show of Shows June 20, 7 p.m., gates open 5:30 p.m. This year’s lineup includes 2013 World Champion Carolina Crown along with Madison Scouts and The Cavaliers. All seats reserved. Boylan High School Stadium, 4000 St. Francis Dr., Rockford, regiment.org/sos. Summer Solstice Beer Tasting June 21, 7 p.m. Sample beers from local breweries, enjoy hors d’oeuvres and dance to local music. Klehm Arboretum, Rockford, klehm.org. Monty Python’s SPAMALOT June 25-28, July 30-Aug. 3, 8 p.m.; Sat. 2 p.m. in June. From the hit film Monty Python & the Holy Grail, this outrageously funny show won 2005 Tony for Best New Musical. Starlight Theatre, RVC, Rockford, (815) 921-2160. The Rock River Jazz Greats June 27, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Free Friday in the Park music series; $6 lunch from Suds O’Hanahan’s. State & Grand, Downtown Beloit, Wis., downtownbeloit.com. Rockford Concert Band “Rhythmic Journey” June 24, 7 p.m. Part of free Music in the Park. Music Shell, Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford, rockfordparkdistrict.org. Barbershoppers “Harmony Fest.” June 26, 7 p.m. Part of free Music in the Park. Music Shell, Sinnissippi Park, 1401 N. 2nd St., Rockford, rockfordparkdistrict.org. ❚

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Smart Dining Weekly Our Top Picks for Terrific Local Restaurants D Dinner, L Lunch, Br Brunch, Bk Breakfast. Cost: $ under $12.50; $$ $12.50 - $25; $$$ $25+ 2nd Cousin’s Bar & Grill  Casual/American. Full bar. 6246 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 637-2660. LD M-F 11am-2am, Sat-Sun 8am to late. $. 9 East Coffee  Specialty coffees, pastries, breakfast & lunch items. 9 E. Stephenson St., Freeport, Ill. (815) 233-7300. $ abreo  Upscale-Casual. Tapas menu. 515 E. State St., Rockford, (815) 968-9463. D M-Th 5-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. Bar open late. $-$$. Amici Italian Grill  Upscale-Casual/Italian. Fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. 5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-7171. LD Sun-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am10-pm. $-$$. Bravo Pizza  Italian/American favorites, full bar. 376 Prairie Hill Road, South Beloit, Ill. (815) 624-7900. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, Fri. & Sat. 11am-11pm, Sun. 11am10pm. $. Butterfly Club  Upscale-Casual/Fine Dining. 5246 E. Co. Road X, Beloit, Wis. (608) 362-8577. LD T-Th 5-9:30pm, F 4:30-10pm, Sat 5-10pm, Sun noon-8pm. Live bands. $$. Cafe Fromage  Artisan sandwiches, soups, cheese plates, baked goods from The Cheese People. 431 E. Grand Ave., Beloit, Wis. (608) 207-3094. $ Cannova’s Pizzeria & Fine Italian Cuisine  Casual. Pizza, pasta, steak, seafood. 1101 W. Empire St., Freeport, (815) 233-0032. D T-Th, Sun 5-9pm; F-Sat 10pm. $-$$. Ciao Bella Ristorante  Upscale-Casual/ItalianAmerican. Extensive wine list; daily specials. 6500 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 654-9900. LD M-F 11am-9pm, Sat 5-9pm. $$. Costa’s Italian Ristorante  Upscale-Casual. 133 Blackhawk Dr., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-4707. Open daily. D Sun-Th 4-10pm, F-Sat to midnight. $-$$. Dos Reales  Casual/Authentic Mexican. 5855 E. State St., Rockford. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun to 10pm $-. Giordano’s  Casual/Italian. Authentic stuffed pizza, salads, sandwiches, entrees, desserts. Pick-up/delivery available. 333 Executive Pkwy., Rockford, (815) 398-5700. LD Sun-Th 9am-11p.m, F-Sat to midnight. $.

JMK Nippon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar  Upscale-Casual/Japanese. 2551 N. Perryville, Rockford, (815) 877-0505. L T-F 11:30am-2pm, Sat to 2:30pm; D M-Th 5-9:30pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun 4:30-9:30pm. $$. Joey C’ Cucina & Cocktails  Upscale-Casual/Italian. 2583 N. Mulford, Rockford, (815) 639-1200. LD M-T 4-10pm, W-Th 11am-9pm, F to 10pm, Sat-Sun 4-10pm $. Leombruni’s Italian Village Pizza & Restaurant  Casual. 110 W. 2nd St., Byron, Ill., (815) 234-2696. D T-Th 5-9pm, F-Sat to 11pm, Sun to 10pm. $. Lucha Cantina  Casual/Mexican. Fresh ingredients, no MSG, steaks, mac ‘n cheese, burgers. 1641 N. Alpine, Rockford, (815) 977-4319. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat 2am. $. Main Street Bistro  Fine dining, full bar, live music Thurs. and Sat. nights. 109 S. Galena Ave., Freeport, Ill. (815) 232-2322. Mon.-Sat. 2p.m. to close. $$ Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria  Casual. Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 963-7869. LD Sun-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint  Fine Dining. Ironworks Hotel, 500 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. (608) 3130700 Sun.-Th 4:30-9p.m, Fri-Sat. to 10pm. $$. Mulligans  Casual/American Pub. 2212 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-7869. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight, F-Sat to 2am. $ Murphy’s Pub & Grill  Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am2am, Sun to midnight. $-$$. Olympic Tavern  Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-8758. LD M-Sat 11am-2am. $-$$. Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub  Upscale-Casual/American. Vintage/Burlesque-themed pub. 6731 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 708-7879. D M-Th 3:30pm-11pm, F 11am-midnight, Sat 3:30pm-midnight. $$. This Is It Eatery  Ribs, burgers, pasta, salads. Tues.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-8 p.m. (815) 616-5449. 16 N. Chicago Ave., Freeport, Ill. $ Vito’s Ristorante  Casual/Italian. Authentic fare from family recipes. Sauces, soups, mama’s meatballs, desserts fresh daily. 1620 N. Bell School Rd., Rockford, (815) 312-5080. LD T-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 11pm. $$. ❚

Visit NorthwestQuarterly.com/Dining to See Our Expanded Dining Guide Online

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Vineyard Tour Highlight: 10th Year for Famous Fossil

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mall vineyards tucked away in the rolling hills of northern Illinois. Sun dappled clusters of red and white grapes hidden among the leaves. A bluebird singing atop a trellis post. These are some of the sights and sounds you’ll hear on the 2014 Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery Tour on Saturday, June 21. “The vineyard is where wine begins,” says Ken Rosmann, winemaker at Famous Fossil Vineyard & Winery. Famous Fossil is one of several local vineyards hosting tours on June 21. They include: Famous Fossil Vineyard, 395 W. Cedarville Road, Freeport; Immaculata Vineyard, 15332 Sharp Road, Rockton; Steffenhagan Vineyard, 13710 Baker Road, Durand; and Lily Creek Vineyard, 3315 W. Lily Creek Road, Freeport. The driving tour is from 1 to 5 p.m. The public is welcome and there is no charge. In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Famous Fossil will offer wagon tours through the vineyard, burgers and brats on the grill and tasting of wines made from the grapes of the featured vineyards. More than 2,000 grape vines were planted at Famous Fossil in 2004. The tasting room and outdoor seating overlook the vineyards, where 12 varieties of red and white grapes grow. Famous Fossil Winery processes some 25 tons of Illinois grapes each year. Famous Fossil Winery is open every day from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, call (815) 563-4665 or visit famousfossilwinery.com. ❚

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Human Touch Still Big Part of High-Tech Banking By Jim Killam

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s technology advances and banking happens increasingly on mobile devices, a human element remains important, says Sara Porter, Assistant Vice President for Application Support/ eBanking at Alpine Bank, 6838 E. State St., Rockford. Bank customers embrace technology because they want to move money quickly – the newest feature being person-toperson electronic payments. But, Porter says, that doesn’t mean those customers don’t also want help when they need it, from a real person. Think: those Kindle Fire ads for the “Mayday” button, where a live assistant named Amy pops up on video in the corner of the tablet’s screen. Porter believes banks will adopt the same approach, with social media playing a key role. “It will be, ‘I can’t get my money to

send and now I want to Facetime or Skype with a banker, because I need help,’” she says. “‘But I don’t want to have to take any steps to do that besides press on my phone.’” In some test markets, automated teller machines also have begun providing human interaction, through a videoscreen link to a live teller. So, for instance, if a customer can’t get their ATM card to work, but they have ID with them, the video teller could verify that and allow cash to be dispensed. Or if the customer wants certain denominations of currency, the teller can do that. That reflects what customers consistently say they want, Porter says: quick help when they need it, but efficiency and speed when they don’t. “What we heard from our tech crew is that customers are saying they love the

technology but they want more assistance using it,” she says. “So that’s where there’s going to have to be better ease of use.” As ATM video teller technology’s use spreads, it even could prevent bank robberies. The would-be robber would be pointing a gun at a video screen rather than a live teller. ❚

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Smart Living Weekly - June 18, 2014  

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