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Right in Our Region

The Easter Promise: ‘He is Risen’

By Janine Pumilia, executive editor magine overcoming death. Imagine knowing that, whatever else happens along the way, we’ll someday live joyfully with the creator of the universe. Imagine knowing that until then, we’re never alone, but have been given a “comforter.”


Imagine also knowing that God rescued us and loves us not because we’re good, but because God is good. Christians don’t need to imagine these concepts; they’ve been part of the faith since Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead more than 2,000 years ago. Continued on p. 20

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All About Roasted Lamb • Easy Easter Decorating Ideas • Local Earth Day Events Pros & Cons of High-Tech Banking • Local Dining Guide • The Future of Hearing Aids

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Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Freeport 95¢ • April 16, 2014


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Smart Living Weekly

April 16

In This Issue

Right in Our Region: .....................Cover & p. 20 He is Risen! Your Home ........................................................11 Easy Holiday Decorating Inspiration & Worship .....................................12 For the Beauty of the Earth Your Kitchen .................................................... 15 All About Lamb Your Outings ....................................................17 Local Earth Day Events Your Health ...................................................... 25 Prevent Hearing Loss Your Fun ........................................................... 27 Dining Locally ................................................. 29 Tips ................................................................... 31 Opening Day at Little Cubs Field Your Money ...................................................... 33 High-Tech 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 and Peggy Werner General Sales Manager Brent Hughes Sales Manager Brad Hughes Account Executives Steve Blachford, Brian Hughes Administration & Circulation Manager Lisa Hughes Website Published by Hughes Media Corp. 728 N. Prospect St., Rockford, IL, 61107 (815) 316-2300, Fax: (815) 316-2301 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.


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April 16

Sweet Messes


’m pretty sure that a lot of our Easter traditions are rooted in paganism, including fertility symbols like eggs and bunnies. But that doesn’t stop me from filling baskets with dubious over-priced candies. (I draw the line at Peeps, though. Are they even food?) I believe it’s how we live that counts, and seasonal traditions are a lot of fun. Well, sometimes. Many a tired parent understands the yin and yang of messy holiday projects like coloring Easter eggs. The kids are excited about it and you want to make them happy. But after a day of work, making supper and doing chores, the idea of setting small children loose with food coloring is ... exhausting. Well, so be it. You do it anyway, and you try to be cheery. You try not to allow your challenging day to dampen your childrens’ good time. You try not to be too critical of those eggs that, against your advice, get dunked into every single color and emerge a sickly brown. You try not to scold when the eggs get dropped too hard into their cups and crack, even when colored water splashes all over the kitchen. You gently pre-empt the impending feud over which kid gets to dunk the one remaining white egg. When it’s all over, you scrub little red, blue, green and yellow fingers as best you can and reassure the wee artists, as you tuck them into bed, that the beautiful eggs will certainly be worthy of central placement on Grandma’s Easter table this Sunday. Then, you go clean the kitchen. In short, you behave selflessly, showing oodles of grace and mercy. And you hope they’ll do the same for their own kids, someday. That’s being a good parent. And if that’s not living the Christian message, what is? Three cheers to all the grown-ups out there who take time to make good memories with kids. Happy Easter! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor Tell them you saw it in ... Smart Living Weekly

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Easy, Fun Easter Decorating Ideas W

hile elements plucked from the backyard, like daffodils, forsythia and pussy willow boughs, make the best Easter décor, they aren’t always in bloom. Smart Living Weekly offers five dependable alternatives.

1. Elevated Easter eggs. Eggs and food coloring (or packages of Kool-Aid) are cheap. Color up a few dozen eggs, dry thoroughly and place on matching footed dishes of contrasting heights. Place a pillar candle in the center if you like. If you hate plastic Easter grass, cushion the eggs with pastel paper that’s been run through a document shredder. Dust eggs with glitter glue if desired. Tip: Keep it simple. 2. Peep-a-Boo Planters. Partially fill a square glass vase (other shapes can work, too) with jelly beans or any pretty Easter candy you like. Line Peeps marshmallow candy around the inside glass,

anchor a silk bouquet in the candy and fill empty space with more candy, to hold the Peeps in place. To use real flowers, place a water container that’s about the same height as the vase in center and fill space around it with candy. Tip: Don’t get the Peeps wet or you’ll have Peeps puddles. 3. Spring Trees. Anchor a few tree branches upright in a container and decorate with twinkle lights (optional) and lightweight artificial Easter eggs or hollowed-out decorated eggs. To hang, glue a loop of thread or fishing line to top. 4. Animal Kingdom. Find inexpensive glass figurines of bunnies, chicks, lambs or other baby animals at a dollar store. If you like, spray paint them white, or use pastel glitter spray paint. Line them up on a mantle, table runner or window sill. Or, attach to wooden skewers, along with feathers or ribbons, and push into the dirt of potted plants.

5. Front Door Welcome. Find a flat-sided basket, grapevine wreath or colored umbrella that complements your front door or wall. If using an umbrella, tie it in center with a ribbon, to form pockets at the top. Attach silk spring flowers, decorated hollow eggs, twigs, feathers or craft store wooden letters spelling “He is Risen.” Alternately, make a cross from sturdy branches, wrap with a few grapevines and attach decorations. ❚

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I  W

Earth Day Every Day A

s our long-awaited Midwest springtime unfolds, and Earth Day approaches, we’re reminded of the boundless energy contained in all living things, even when they appear to be dead. Jesus of Nazareth certainly appeared to be defeated by death, when he was locked away in a tomb after being tortured and executed by crucifixion. God alone has power over life and death, however. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead, just as He promised that He would do. God also promises new life to each of us who believe on the name of Jesus Christ. Every unfurling leaf reminds us that we belong to a loving, limitless, living creator. This thought so inspired English poet and hymnist Folliott Sandford Pierpoint that he penned a beloved hymn, in 1864, that we still treasure and sing today.

For The Beauty Of The Earth For the beauty of the earth, For the beauty of the skies, For the love which from our birth Over and around us lies, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise.

For the beauty of each hour Of the day and of the night, Hill and vale, and tree and flower, Sun and moon and stars of light, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For the joy of human love, Brother, sister, parent, child, Friends on earth, and friends above, Pleasures pure and undefiled, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For each perfect gift of thine, To our race so freely given, Graces human and divine, Flowers of earth and buds of heaven, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. For thy Church which evermore Lifteth holy hands above, Offering up on every shore Her pure sacrifice of love, Lord of all, to thee we raise This our grateful hymn of praise. ❚ 12

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April 16

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from Rockford Health System. Laura Koch, women’s health N.P., discusses perimenopause and menopause; managing symptoms and maintaining good health; and causes and treatment of low libido. Elisha Robinson, M.D., speaks on cancer risk factors and prevention strategies, including eating well; exercising regularly; and getting regular mammograms. Melissa Stenstrom, M.D., addresses skin health, including recognizing the signs of skin cancer; minimizing your risks; and managing sun damage. Tickets are $20. To register, call (815) 971-1999.

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Roast Lamb – An Ancient Easter Tradition By Peggy Werner


efore Easter was ever observed, a roasted lamb dinner was a Jewish religious tradition. The sacrificial lamb was served with unleavened bread and bitter herbs as part of the Passover Feast, which commemorated the freedom from Egyptian bondage. The plague of death sent to the firstborn of the Egyptian Pharaoh and his people “passed over” Jewish homes marked with lamb’s blood. As Christianity grew and the resurrection of Jesus the “the Lamb of God” was celebrated, Christians made roasted lamb part of their Easter meal tradition. Today, in our region, lamb is the second most popular choice of Easter meat after ham, says Peter Lentz, owner of 640 Meats, 6410 E. Riverside Blvd., Loves Park. But he cautions, “lamb has a unique flavor and you have to like it.” He describes the characteristic flavor of lamb as mild and slightly sweet --sweeter than pork or beef. The age and diet of a lamb determines the strength of flavor and tenderness of its meat. Lamb is defined as a sheep killed before it is one year old. Spring lamb is three months old. The meat is light in color and very tender. Mutton is an older sheep, about three years old; it has a deep red color, lots of fat, and a much stronger flavor. It’s used most often in Middle Eastern and European dishes. In America, for Easter dinner, leg of lamb is a popular choice, as is standing rack of lamb ribs. The ribs are leaner but less meaty than the leg, says Lentz. Meat from leg and ribs are similar in flavor and tenderness. American leg of lamb is corn fed and larger in size, but has a milder taste than lamb from New Zealand, which is grain fed, smaller, and stronger in flavor, Lentz explains. Cuts of lamb that are most tender include leg, rib, and loin, which can be cooked quickly. “The biggest mistake

people make is overcooking lamb, which makes it too tough and dry,” says Lentz. “It’s best to cook lamb to a medium to medium-rare temperature. It should have some pink inside.” Other cuts, such as shoulder and breast, are tougher and require longer cooking times. Lentz recommends generously rubbing the lamb with a rosemary herb mix before roasting, and serving it with mint jelly. Leftovers can be pulled apart and mixed with barbeque sauce for a tasty sandwich filling. Or, thinly sliced lamb may be used in gyros – warm pita breads filled with meat, tomato, onion and tzatziki, a tangy yogurt and cucumber sauce. ❚

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April 16

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How to Participate in Earth Day 2014 By Janine Pumilia, executive editor


We’re h ere , for you.

mall changes can add up to big results, and many people who care about our planet are finding ways to do their part. Examples: Bringing your own re-usable shopping bags to the store rather than using up more and more plastic ones; buying more locally produced foods that have a smaller carbon footprint; using more native plants that sustain wildlife in our landscapes and fewer sterile plants bred only for beauty; finding alternatives to lawn pesticides which harm wildlife and poison waterways; choosing to drive energy-conserving vehicles; recycling whenever possible; and speaking up on behalf of the earth to policymakers. Many of us recall the first Earth Day in 1970. At the time, waterways across the nation were a horrible mess, including our own Rock River; industries had little incentive to behave responsibly with

regard to pollution; cancer rates were skyrocketing and whole species of wildlife were quickly disappearing, including the beloved American eagle. In many respects, we’ve come a long way, baby. But Earth still suffers terrible abuses. As long as people care, there’s hope. Here are a few of the events in our region this Earth Day 2014. • Natural Land Institute will host a clean-up at Reuben A. Aldeen Park, 623 N. Alpine Road, Rockford, on Sunday, April 21. Volunteers will collect debris throughout the park, woods and prairie and along Keith Creek, which runs through the 92acre park owned by all of us who live in Rockford Park District. • Rock Valley College will host Earth Day activities on April 21 from 11 a.m. to

3 p.m., with numerous “green” presentations and a vendor fair of earth-friendly products. View an electric car up close, watch a giant shredder in action, learn how to plant a successful garden, hear Rockford’s mayor speak about the city’s environmental efforts and listen to a keynote address by Tim Gruner, curator of Anderson Japanese Gardens. • Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful will lead our region’s Great American Cleanup April 26, from 9 a.m. to noon. Participants will pick up litter from selected locations around the area. Learn more at • JustGoods Fair Trade store, 201 7th St., Rockford, will sell items that reflect concern for the environment, April 14-30. Proceeds will benefit the environmental activities of Rockford Urban Ministries. ❚

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Continued from Cover

Easter is a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, but its story really begins much earlier. Throughout the Old Testament, which was written over many centuries, the birth, ministry, execution and resurrection of a savior, or Messiah, is foreshadowed. Meanwhile, the stories of the children of Israel play out. Governed by Mosaic law, prophets, kings and judges, generations of them obey and disobey God, love and rebel against God. And, time and again they experience the consequences of disobedience. Isaiah is one of many prophets who

The Easter Story

Follow Jesus from the end of his ministry to his ascension to Heaven 40 days after the resurrection, in these chapters: • • • • •

Matthew 26-28 Mark 14-16 Luke 22-24 John 13-21 Acts 1:1-1:11

forecasted that God would someday send a Messiah to reconnect people to Him once and for all. About 1,000 years before Christ’s birth, Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem to a virgin and a descendant of King David, both of Nazareth. This Messiah would begin his ministry in Galilee after someone else paved the way (Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist); he would heal the brokenhearted; be both exalted and beaten; would mostly be rejected; would take the blame for the sins of all mankind; would be silent before his accusers; would be executed with criminals; would die with no bones broken, but his body pierced; and would rise from the dead after three days and three nights spent in a rich man’s tomb. Other prophets predicted that the Messiah would be offered vinegar in his thirst, that his clothing would be auctioned off, and that he would be betrayed by a friend for 30 pieces of silver. All of these prophecies, and more, were fulfilled. What the Old Testament prophets could not predict was the magnitude of

the impact this Messiah would have on the world. They didn’t know that, by his death and resurrection, all people of the earth who believed in this Messiah – not just the Israelites – would become children (not just servants) of God, equipped with the holy spirit in this life and granted eternal habitation with God in the next. This remained a mystery until after Christ’s resurrection and ascension. Why? Because God didn’t wish to reveal his trump card and have his plan foiled by Satan, the Apostle Paul tells early Christians living in Corinth. “No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. However, as it is written: [Isaiah 64:4] ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him’ – but God has revealed it to us by His spirit. The spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God.” (I Cor. 2:7-10 NIV)

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April 16

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R  O R In the New Testament, the Gospels provide us with a first-hand account of many things Jesus said and did. He shocked those around him by ushing in a new spiritual era that exalts love above religious law. We learn about his birth, ministry, execution and resurrection from four eyewitnesses – Matthew, Mark, Luke and John – who quote Jesus extensively. Their accounts differ in some details, but the gospel writers agree on major points, such as Christ’s nature, purpose, priorities and expectations for us. Asked what the greatest commandments are, Christ answers: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:36-40 NIV) As the Book of Acts (written largely by Luke) opens, the resurrected Christ has appeared many times to various people over the course of 40 days; he even

stops to explain what the Old Testament prohesied about himself, as he walks with some men who don’t recognize him, on the road to Emmaus. In his final appearance, Jesus Christ instructs his 12 apostles to wait in Jerusalem for the coming of the “comforter,” or holy spirit. The day it arrives is known today as the Day of Pentecost, which comes 50 days after Easter Sunday. (It coincides with the Feast of Weeks, a commemoration of Moses receiving the 10 Commandments at Mt. Sinai 50 days after the Israelites’ exodus from Egyptian bondage.) After Pentecost, the previously fearfilled apostles are filled with new courage to preach Christ to the world. They perform many miracles and God adds people to His church daily. In Acts, we glimpse the struggles, miracles, persecutions and great joy of first-century believers. By chapter 9, a Christian-killer named Saul becomes a leading follower of Christ (The Apostle Paul). In Acts 11, we see confusion about non-Jews of all backgrounds being wel-

comed into the fold. By Acts 12, Paul lands in prison (again), but God frees him. Paul continues to preach Christ. The Epistles, or letters, that follow the Book of Acts, comprise most of the remainder of the New Testament. In them, leaders teach and encourage believers in various cities. Whether reading it for the first time or the 100th, the story of Easter is a story of great joy. It’s also a love story. By the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we’re no longer held captive by evil or death. “In the world you’ll find tribulation,” Jesus told us. “But be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” ❚

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April 16

“You’re telling me...

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Y H

A Little Care May Prevent Hearing Loss U By Peggy Werner

nfortunately, the little devices people plug into their ears to tune in their favorite music and tune out the rest of the world, could someday lead to hearing loss. Listening to loud music, loud motors or any loud sounds, over long periods of time, can cause nerve damage and hearing loss that can’t be restored. “I’ve never met anyone who worked as a machine operator or telephone operator for 15 years or more that doesn’t have hearing loss,” says Timothy F. Conley, audioprosthologist and owner of American Hearing Aid Labs, which has offices at 3910 N. Mulford in Rockford and 5007 Hononegah Road in Roscoe. Once hearing loss occurs, it only gets worse as you age, he says. When sound is fed directly into the ear, it has nowhere to go and causes pressure in

the ear which leads to damage. When wearing a headset, listen for only one to two hours a day, and keep the sound low enough so that someone standing near you can’t hear it, he suggests. Both aging and long-term noise exposure lead to nerve damage, Conley says. Sometimes, structural ear problems cause hearing loss that can be corrected by surgery. Research is in the works to find a way to regenerate nerve fibers in the ear, which are the smallest nerve fibers in the

human body. If success can be accomplished at this level, it will revolutionize medicine and open the door to repairing other organs in the body, he says. Implantable hearing devices will most likely be available in the future, but how health care insurance programs will provide for them is a looming question. “These solutions are coming, but are still a long way off,” he says. ❚

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Y F

Jazz at Emerson April 17, 5:30-7 p.m. Phil Pilcher on sax, flute and wind synthesizer; Chris Hyatt on keyboard. This duo’s improvisational music incorporates many traditions, Indian to pop. Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., IceHogs vs. Chicago Wolves April 19, 7 p.m. BMO Harris Bank Center, 300 Elm St., Rockford. (815) 968-5222, icehogs. com. $8-$27. Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza April 19, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Egg hunts at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Hosted by Discovery Center and Burpee museums, 711 N. Main St., Rockford. Children ages 2 to 9 may bring their own baskets to hunt for more than 10,000 hidden eggs. Also live animal petting zoo and see-and-touch fossilized eggs. Explore Geocaching April 19, 10-11 a.m. Do you have a GPS and have you heard about geocaching? Looking for a hobby the whole family can enjoy? Come to Klehm Arboretum to learn the basics. 2715 S. Main St., (815) 965-8146. Opening Day Rockford Speedway Car Show April 19, 11 a.m. Get an up-close look at the cars and stars that will take the track later that night and throughout the race season. At Onyx Bar & Grill, 1001 W. Lane Road, Machesney Park, Love, Death & The Prom April 25-May 4. These mini-plays are poignant and funny, and concern the lives of high school students. Pec Playhouse Theatre, 314 Main St., Pecatonica, Ill. (815) 239-1210. Check website for times, Vintage Shop Hop April 25 & 26, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. If you love antiques and vintage items, this self-guided road trip is for you. Learn more at VintageShopHopEvent. Troubadour Series -- Danny Schmidt April 25, 7:30 p.m. A rising star among singer/ songwriters, Schmidt’s poetry conjures magic from the mundane. At Emerson House, 420 N. Main St., Rockford, 4th Annual Furryville Bicycle Ride for Charity April 26, 9:30 a.m. This family-friendly group bicycle ride takes off from Kegal Harley-Davidson in Cherry Valley and heads north on Perryville. Rest stops and goodies planned along

Egg Hunt Eggstravaganza is April 19 at Discovery Center & Burpee museums.

the way. A portion of proceeds benefits The Fish-Abled Foundation for the disabled. Great American Cleanup April 26, register by April 18. Litter pick up equipment distribution at nine sites from 8 to 9 a.m.; 9 a.m.-noon cleanup. Sponsored by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, Unique Spaces Home Tour April 26 & 27, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tour various interesting homes throughout Rockford during this fundraising event for the Junior League of Rockford. (815) 399-4528. $25. Love of Homeland April 26, 7:30 p.m. This Rockford Symphony Orchestra performance will feature Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center’s Mendelssohn Chorale. (815) 965-0049, Aaron Shust Morning Rises Concert & Expo April 30, 7 p.m.; Christian music artist Aaron Shust is featured with MIKESCHAIR, Jonny Diaz and Lauren Daigle for a night of music and ministry. Pontiac Expo Center, 2809 N. Pontiac Dr., Janesville, Wis. Hollywood Canteen April 30 at Lindo Theatre, 115 S. Chicago Ave., Freeport. “Hollywood and WW II” film series finale. $5. (815) 233-0025 or (815) 232-8419. 11th Annual Unforgettable Art May 3, 6 p.m., featuring 50 artists who’ll tranform blank canvases into works of art. At Lou Bachrodt Auto Mall, Cherryvale North Blvd. Benefits Alzheimer’s Association Greater Illinois Chapter. Learn more at Shelter Care Ministries Spring Luncheon May 8, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Prarie St. Brewhouse, 200 Prairie St., Rkfd. Cruisin’ for a Cause May 10, 4-8 p.m. at Union Dairy, 126 E. Douglas St., Freeport. See classic cars judged in by-decade categories. Music from 3D Sound Co. ❚

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115 South Chicago Ave. • Freeport • 815.233.0413

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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. $. 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. $-$$. Amici Italian Grill  Upscale-Casual/Italian. Fresh, authentic Italian cuisine. 5506 Clayton Circle, Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-7171. LD Sun-Th 11am-9pm, F-Sat 11am10-pm. $-$$. Backyard Grill & Bar  Casual/American. 5390 Elevator Rd., Roscoe, Ill., (815) 623-6677. 201 State St., Cherry Valley, Ill., (815) 332-4176. 6473 N. 2nd St., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 636-9430. LD M-Th 11am-midnight, F-Sat to 2am, Sun noon-10pm. $-$$.

JMK Nippon Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar  Upscale-Casual/Japanese. Food cooked at your table. 2551 N. Perryville Rd., 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 specialties. 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. $. Lydia’s Café  Casual/American. Your friendly neighborhood café. 1710 Rural St., Rockford, (815) 2290322. BkL T-F 7am-1:30pm, Sat to 1pm, Sun 8am-1pm. $.

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. $.

Maciano’s Pizza & Pastaria  Casual. Gourmet pizza, Italian favorites, beer & wine. 6746 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 963-7869. LD Sun-Th 11ammidnight, F-Sat to 11pm. $$.

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. $$.

Merrill & Houston’s Steak Joint  Fine Dining/ American. Ironworks Hotel (formerly Beloit Inn), 500 Pleasant St., Beloit, Wis. (608) 313-0700 D. Sun.-Th 4:309p.m, Fri-Sat. to 10pm. Bar open later. $$.

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. $-$$.

Mulligans  Casual/American Pub. 2212 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 963-7869. LD M-Sat 11am-2am, Sun to midnight, F-Sat to 2am. $

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. $$.

Murphy’s Pub & Grill  Casual/Irish-American. 510 S. Perryville Rd., Rockford, (815) 986-0950. LD M-Sat 11am2am, Sun to midnight. $-$$.

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. $-$$. Dos Reales  Casual/Authentic Mexican. 5855 E. State St., Rockford. LD M-Th 11am-10pm, F-Sat to 10:30pm, Sun to 10pm $-$$. Fifth Alarm Firehouse Pub  Casual/American. 120 N. Union St., Bryon, Ill., (815) 234-7000. LD daily 11am. $-$$. 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. $.

Olympic Tavern  Casual/American. 2327 N. Main St., Rockford, (815) 962-8758. LD M-Sat 11am-2am. $-$$. Slanted Shanty Vintage Pub  Upscale-Casual/American. Vintage/Burlesque-themed pub. 6731 Broadcast Pkwy., Loves Park, Ill., (815) 708-7879. D M-Th 3:30pm-11pm, F 11am-midnight, Sat 3:30pm-midnight. $$. 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. $$. ❚

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Mirrors Beveled • Framed • Frameless Shower Enclosures Heavy Glass • Framed • Frameless Insulated Glass Tinted • Low E. • Argon Aluminum Storefronts Entrances


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T  I

Little Cubs Opening Day A

pril 21 is Opening Day 2014 for Little Cubs Field in Freeport. Celebrate at 6 p.m. with the first Little League game of the year and a special guest, to be announced, throwing out the first pitch. Little Cubs Field is a scaled down replica of Chicago’s Wrigley Field, complete with real ivy covering real brick walls, a replica of the original sign, and many more true-to-life details. It’s located at Read Park, 1160 W. Empire St. Tradespeople and craftsmen from the Freeport area donated much of the labor to build the park; in fact, more than 175 companies have donated or sharply discounted labor, materials, time and equipment to build the field. The Carpenters Local 790 built the gift shop with no labor costs. The field is used for T-ball, Little League and wiffleball games. The park is also a rental venue for special events, parties and fundraisers. As a non-profit corporation, it accepts donations that are 100 percent tax deductible. The first Little League game was held at Little Cubs Park in 2008. The Chicago Cubs have encouraged the project and donated ivy cuttings, dirt, grass, seats and flags from the real park. Cubs player Ron Santo attended the 2008 grand opening. Area residents are welcome to picnic at the park; there are tables, some shade and pop machines. Some equipment is available for use, too, like bats and balls. Friends of Little Cubs Field, the group which operates the field, reports that the park has welcomed more than 700 visitors per week since 2008, representing 48 states and 27 countries. For more information about Little Cubs Field, call (815) 235-5318. ❚

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Y M

High-Tech Banking Will Include Human Options By Jim Killam


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 - April 16, 2014  
Smart Living Weekly - April 16, 2014  

Featured this week: The Easter Promise. You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every week of the year, with this magazine c...