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Save Smarter • Live Better • Rockford Region/Beloit 95¢ • March 12, 2014

Right in Our Region

Meltfest! It’s Time to Celebrate Spring! By Janine Pumilia, executive editor


f there’s ever been a year to celebrate the melting away of winter, this is it. A group of local folks from all over the city are launching a new festival to do just that, dubbing it “Meltfest.” The familyfriendly event will take place March 22, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., no matter what the weather brings, in the parking lot between Riverview Ice House, 324

N. Madison St., and Prairie Street Brewhouse. “The idea is simply to celebrate the end of winter together, with a free, family-friendly festival that offers a little something for everybody,” says event organizer Brian Huels, an assistant accounting professor at Rockford University. “People from every part of the city are involved in making this happen.”

Continued on p. 20

• Get All the SAVINGS You Deserve from Local Businesses

Ideas for Living Room Updates • Cooking with Soy • Prevent Identity Theft Tax Time Tips • Female Foot Problems • Auto Care: Check Your Suspension


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Issue 1

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Sept. 4



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In This Issue

Right in Our Region: .....................Cover & p. 20 Meltfest, A New Festival Your Home ........................................................11 Updating Your Living Room Inspiration & Worship .....................................12 Qualities of Jesus: Mercy Your Kitchen .................................................... 15 Yummy Soy-filled Recipes Your Auto Care ....................................................17 Winter’s Toll on Suspensions Your Health ...................................................... 25 Womens’ Foot Problems Your Fun ........................................................... 27 Dining Locally ................................................. 29 Your Money ...................................................... 33 Tax Time Tips: Who Claims the Children? Cover photo of Prairie Street Brewhouse by C. Tyson Photography

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 Writer Jim Killam 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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March 12

Meltfest & ‘Trek’sters


s I write, it’s a balmy 46 degrees outside, but more snow is coming our way. What will the mercury read on March 22 for Meltfest? The Farmer’s Almanac says it’ll be frosty, but I don’t put much stock in long-range forecasts, with or without groundhogs. (In perusing the Almanac, however, I did learn that Meltfest is the same day as the 83rd birthday of William Shatner, Captain James T. Kirk of the original “Star Trek.” Actor Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock, Kirk’s half-Vulcan First Officer, will reach the same age four days later. Just thought you’d want to know.) No matter the temp, on March 22, Meltfest will give us a fun excuse to climb out of our hibernation holes and readjust our squinty little eyes to sunlight, together. If temps are below 35, organizers will move the party indoors. Kudos to people across the city who are taking the risk and initiative to make an event like this happen. It’s a lot of work! Learn more in our cover story. The official start of spring is March 20, the vernal equinox. Since I haven’t had a science class in a LOT of years, I looked up the word “equinox,” which is derived from Latin words meaning “equal” and “night.” There are two equinoxes per year, spring (vernal) and fall (autumnal), and they occur when Earth’s axis tilts neither toward nor away from the sun, meaning the northern and southern hemispheres are illuminated about equally. At these times, we experience about the same amounts of daylight and darkness each day. What this really means, however, is that we can start searching for objects so long ago buried in snow banks ... like the 46 hanging bird suet cages plundered from my deck and dragged away by marauding squirrels over the course of the winter, despite my continuing attempts to outsmart them. OK, squirrels, you win. Again. Here’s to the anticipation of springtime! Janine Pumilia, Executive Editor Tell them you saw it in ... Smart Living Weekly

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March 12

Y H  G

Ideas & Tips for Updating Your Living Room By Chris Linden


omfort and durability are top concerns in this favorite gathering space. When updating, first consider your major focal points, says Coleen Carlson, furniture designer at Benson Stone Co., 1100 Eleventh St., in Rockford. Then, draw a layout of the room and consider your personal tastes. “Find an inspiration piece, like a picture in a magazine,” says Carlson. “Do some homework before you arrive, so the designers have an idea of what turns you on, style- and color-wise. There are so many styles to consider – are you modern or transitional? Do you have children, meaning you need washable fabric? Do you have pets?” Today’s furniture style is eclectic. Long gone are the days of matching sets – pieces are unique, yet coordinated. Medium-dark and black-rubbed woods are in vogue, as is the reclaimed wood

look popularized by Restoration Hardware. “The palette is still soft neutral – the tans, grays and creams,” says Carlson. “And then the pop of color comes through accessories like artwork, lamps, vases and area rugs.” Don’t underestimate the impact of small elements such as rugs and pillows. Asian and Thornton sofa group by Flexsteel. South American-inspired meyou have the plush seating arrangements. dallions, ikat patterns and colors are evThat’s where you sink down or squish into er-more present within upholstery, as are pure comfort to unwind,” says Watts. “In bold prints and hues. contrast, formal areas typically have furFormal living rooms are waning niture with firmer cushions and straighter in American homes, but many families backs. This makes sense, because these still enjoy keeping a stylish room that’s are rooms where conversation, not watchalways ready for drop-in visitors and is ing TV, is the main activity.” conducive to conversation. Comfort is Decor for formal rooms is returning not top-of-mind here, says Larry Watts, to 1960s chic, with straight lines, bold furniture supervisor at Benson Stone. colors and rigid furniture, says Watts. ❚ “The casual living area is where

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I  W

Jesus the Merciful

This series looks at qualities embodied by Jesus Christ during his time on Earth.


ear, guilt and shame sometimes cause us to shrink away and try to hide from God. It’s hard for us to believe that He really accepts us, warts and all. Selfcondemnation is counter-productive, however, since it’s hard to share God’s love or otherwise do His will when we’re in “hiding.” And, just as a dog hides his head under a sofa, not realizing that everyone can still see his body and tail sticking out, we can’t hide from God, anyway. Jesus knows what’s in the heart of people; our sins don’t surprise him (John 2:25). Hebrews 4:15 tells us, “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are – yet he did not sin.” In the gospels, Jesus reassures followers that he’s come not for the righteous, but for the sinners; and we’re all sinners. Yes, we deserve punishment for our sins, but God chooses to be merciful. To ignore this is to ignore the price Jesus Christ paid. Further, the mercy we’ve been shown should inspire us to show mercy to others. “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.” (Matthew 5:7 KJV). Jesus frequently comforted those who loved him. “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me,” he told his disciples in John 14:1 (NIV), shortly before his crucifixion. “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:18-21) Rather than hiding from God, we can find courage to break free from our sins, motivated by the love shown to us. As Jesus told the adultress who was nearly stoned to death: “Neither do I condemn you: Go, and sin no more.” -- Janine Pumilia


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Y K

Manage Hunger with Wholesome Foods Soy and Spinach Artichoke Dip W hether you’re following a weight loss plan or simply maintaining healthy habits, finding foods that are nutritious sources of protein and promote satiety can help curb your urge to snack throughout the day. Wholesome soyfoods can replace other foods in your diet that might be adding too much fat, sugar and cholesterol. Soyfoods also provide high-quality, complete protein, shown to increase the feeling of fullness. “Soy protein can play a major role in satiety,” says Russ Egbert, director of protein research at Archer Daniels Midland Co. “We know that diets that are high in protein are more satiating than diets that are high in carbohydrates or fat.” Regardless of your lifestyle or age, protein is an essential nutrient your body needs, and compared to other common protein sources, the soybean is a giant, at upwards of 38 percent protein, says Karl Weingartner, director of the International Soybean Program at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Fish such as salmon contain about 18 percent protein, while a T-bone steak is about 22 percent. A recent study published in Molecular Food & Nutrition Research found that soy fiber has “favorable effects on body weight, body mass index and fasting LDL-cholesterol levels in overweight and obese adults.” “The soybean by its nature is a complete food. It’s very high in protein, it contains valuable oils, essential fatty acids, fiber, even the sugars in it are considered to be prebiotics,” said Peter Golbitz, director of international business development for the SunOpta Grains and Foods Group. Simple substitutions make it easy to incorporate soy into your favorite dishes: • Combine an avocado, a cup of extra-firm tofu and salsa for a lighter guacamole • Substitute soymilk into garlic mashed potatoes • Energize your child’s morning breakfast with protein-rich soy yogurt

12 Servings 1 lb. silken tofu, crumbled 1 lb. low fat cream cheese, cubed 1 cup low fat mayonnaise 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper 1 lb. thawed, drained chopped spinach 1 lb. marinated artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped 1/2 cup green onions, chopped Parmesan cheese, grated for garnish

• Fix a quick, healthy dinner with soy-based burgers in place of traditional ground beef • Toss fresh edamame on top of your favorite salad • Snack on whole soy nutrition bars Or, you can experiment with new recipes such as this protein-rich, low-carb Soy and Spinach Artichoke Dip for guiltfree indulgence.

Beat tofu until smooth. Mix in cream cheese, mayo and pepper in mixer bowl. Fold in spinach, artichokes and onions. Divide mixture equally into 12 (4oz.) au gratin dishes. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top, if desired. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and browned on top. Serve with low-carb crackers or bread. Nutrition per 4-oz. serving: 62 calories, 6.6 g protein, 5.7 g carbohydrates, 1.5 g fiber, 1.4 g fat, 254 mg sodium

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Y A C

Winter Takes a Toll on Car Suspensions A By Jim Killam

s a brutal winter finally recedes, drivers will start noticing problems with their vehicles’ front suspensions. Every rough road has taken a toll. “The potholes around here are unreal,” says Scott Lawver, Service Manager at Bryden Motors, 548 Broad St., Beloit. That’s a big safety issue. Suspension repair will keep auto repair shops busy this spring, often focused on two critical components: ball joints and tie rods. Depending on the type of vehicle, each front wheel has either one or two ball joints. They work like the human hip’s ball-and-socket joint. Eventually they work loose, affecting wheel alignment and tire wear. If they break, the driver can lose control. Tie rods are part of the rack-and-pinion system that turns the wheels. If a tie rod breaks, you can’t steer the car.

As the weather gets warmer, Lawver suggests drivers pay attention to what they hear and what they feel. “In the wintertime, people’s windows are always up, so you don’t hear things,” he says. “Summertime comes along and your windows are down and all of sudden you hear rattles. You hear your brakes squeal. In the front end, you can start hearing ball joints go bad.” The way the car drives will be an even bigger indicator. “You’ll feel it in your hand – in your steering,” Lawver says. “You’ll feel clunks. Potholes will do that. They’ll tear up ball joints and tie rods.” When a vehicle goes in for an oil change and tire rotation, service techni-

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cians often can identify suspension problems early simply by tugging on the tires. If they’re loose, something’s wrong. Even if there’s no damage, rough winter roads throw most cars out of alignment. That’s another thing to check soon. “You can wreck your tires, and now you’re talking another $800 or $900,” Lawver says. “It doesn’t take long to wear a tire out the wrong way if the front end is off a little bit.” ❚

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R  O R

Meltfest Continued from Cover If an outdoor celebration sounds a little too optimistic, don’t worry. “We can move the festival indoors if the temperature is below 35 degrees, but we’re really gearing up to be outside,” says Huels. “If it’s over 35 degrees, it’ll feel like a real heat wave, after what we’ve been through this winter.” Event attractions include: • Some 30 to 40 vendors will sell food and retail items. Among them: Rockford Art Deli, Kate’s Pie Shop, Vintage @ 501, Woodfire Brick Oven Pizza, Kokobear Bakery, Girl Scouts and JavaMania Gourmet Coffee Roastery. Some vendors will operate outdoors; others will set up shop inside the Brewhouse. • An outdoor stage will feature two bands: Missing Links and Unity The Band, as well as DJ music. • Rockford Park District will offer


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free skating and skate rental at Riverview Icehouse, and free trolley rides (weather permitting) on Madison Street. • A non-competitive group bike ride, 3.1 or 6.2 miles, will be coordinated by Team Fur Bandit, a group of Rockford cyclists who ride furry bicycles and raise money for charities. • An early morning 5K walk/run will traverse east and west sides of the Rock River, starting at the Prairie Street Brewhouse, traveling south and crossing the Rock River at the new Morgan Street Bridge, then heading north behind the new Justice Center and returning to the Brewhouse via the underside of the Jefferson Street Bridge. Participants will receive a goody bag and have access to a post-race snack/drink table. “The 5K has a really cool route through five historic neighborhoods in three downtown wards of the city,” says Huels. Rockford University’s sports management program volunteers will coordinate the run with city police cooperation.

March 12

Children will enjoy a scavenger hunt (with their parents) that makes stops at local Rockford landmarks. They’ll also enjoy a craft and activity area (parent or guardian must be present). In addition, attendees can view some of the recent transformations of the ever-improving Prairie Street Brewhouse and Rockford Brewing Co. The latter is gearing up for a grand opening later this spring, when food and beer will be served daily and dockside dining will expand. Although the festival officially ends at 4 p.m., the celebrating doesn’t have to stop, says Huels. “We fully expect that some people will continue their fun after dark. They might want to go out to dinner at a local restaurant or go hear some live music or catch the IceHogs game scheduled that night at BMO Harris Bank Centre.” The ’Hogs face off against Chicago at 7 p.m. The festival is a good opportunity for many organizations to gain exposure, but that’s not the motivation behind it, says

R  O R

Huels. “No one who’s involved in putting on Meltfest is doing it for bragging rights. It’s not an advertising ploy. Everyone working on it wants to strengthen the sense of community in Rockford and give people a fun way to celebrate spring – together.” Organizers expect 2,000 to 4,000

people and plan to make this an annual event. If crowds spill out of the parking lot, Meltfest has permission to expand onto Madison Street, which will be closed off from car traffic in the vicinity of the 200 block. Half of vendor rental fees and part of the 5K registration money will benefit Rockford’s Community Center Collaborative, which includes Ken-rock, Harlem, Patriots Gateway and Northwest community centers, as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Rockford. Sponsors include BMO Harris Bank, Prairie Street Brewhouse, Rockford University, Sjostrom & Sons, Inc., Rockford Art Deli, and the Rockford Park District. Huels is excited about the many ways students from Rockford University are involved in supporting Meltfest. “It gives them a chance to get some experience in fields like sports management, early childhood education and business management, while providing volunteer services that benefit the community. Everyone wins.”

Huels serves on a Transform Rockford committee and believes Rockford’s future is as bright as residents make it. Ongoing projects like Rockford City Market and special events like Meltfest, Stroll on State and Screw City Beer Festival provide stepping stones to a stronger community, he says. “I think this is an absolutely awesome city, with so much to offer,” says Huels, who moved here 11 years ago from Downers Grove. “I love the river, the bike paths, the museums, the restaurants, the parks and beautiful landmarks like the conservatory and the Jefferson Street Bridge. I’ve just never understood why some people from Rockford don’t seem to understand what they have here. It’s really fun to be part of changing that perception.” Other Meltfest supporters at Rockford University include Dr. C. Lewis, Dr. I. Freeman, Dr. J. Hunter and Leah Nelson. Learn more at ❚

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Y H

Why Women Have More Foot Problems O ver the centuries, women often have sacrificed comfort, and even good health, to be fashionable. This still holds true today, especially when it comes to foot care. “Women are more vulnerable to certain foot problems than men, mainly from years of walking in narrow-fitting shoes that squeeze the toes and from high heels that cramp the forefoot and pose risks for arch and ankle problems,” says Dr. Lisa Garcia Reinicke, a podiatrist with offices at both Dr. Lisa Garcia Reinicke practices at Beloit NorthPointe Clinic Podiatry and Health and WellNorthPointe Health & ness Campus, Wellness

5605 E. Rockton Road, Rosoe, Ill. and Beloit Clinic Podiatry, 1905 E. Huebbe Parkway, Beloit, Wis. One foot and ankle problem commonly experienced by women is called Morton’s neuroma. “This is a thickening of nerve tissue in the ball of the foot resulting from compression and irritation of the nerve from wearing improperly fitted shoes,” explains Reinicke. Bunions are another common problem. “These begin with a leaning of the big toe, gradually changing the angle of the bones over the years and slowly producing the characteristic bump,” she explains. “Women’s shoes sometimes make the deformity get progressively worse.” Still another common condition is heel pain and plantar fasciitis. “Although faulty foot structure is the most common cause of plantar fasciitis, in women it may result from wearing non-

supportive shoes such as flip-flops and ballet flats,” says Reinicke. Improper footware also causes women to be especially vulnerable to ankle sprain, she adds. “Wearing high-heeled or platform-soled shoes, especially on slippery surfaces, certainly increases a woman’s odds for foot problems.” While a few foot problems heal on their own, others worsen with time, if left untreated. If you’re experiencing bothersome foot conditions, be sure to have them evaluated by a trained professional. After all, our feet have already carried us thousands of miles, but there are many thousands more to go. ❚

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Amsoil Snocross Series Championship March 14-16, Sat. 9:30 a.m., Sun. noon. Top pro snowmobiliers race in the season-ending championships. Monster Slednecks Invasion Tour freestyle showcase Friday night. Grand Geneva Resort, Lake Geneva, grandgeneva. com, Bubble Festival March 15, shows 9 & 10:30 a.m., noon, 1:30, 2:30 and 3:30 p.m. Bubble-Palooza Playground; bubble and art activities; shows by bubble celebrity Geoffrey Akins (reserve tickets early). $4/$3 members; $5/$4 door. Museum admission extra. Discovery Center, Rockford, AJG: Exploring Hostas in Japan March 20, 7 p.m. Mark Zilis, owner of Q & Z Nursery in Rochelle, Ill., will talk about diverse Japanese hosta habitats, from the rocky outcrops at the edge of rushing rivers on Shikoku to the grasslands at the base of Mt. Fuji. Zilis has introduced more than 300 hostas to the nursery trade and has studied them in gardens throughout the U.S., Netherlands, Belgium and Japan. Anderson Japanese Gardens, 318 Spring Creek Road, Rockford, Spring Awakening Gathering March 22, 1-8 p.m. Outdoor activites; barn dance; community supper; live music. The Pec Barn, Pecatonica River Forest Preserve, 7260 Judd Road, Pecatonica, Ill., (815) 335-2915, Buttons, Beads & Bangles March 22, 1-4 p.m. Welty Whimsies Rustic Art Series. Create retro-style jewelry using feathers, old, repurposed jewelry pieces, zippers, beads and buttons. $35 includes materials. Big Hill Park Cabin, Beloit, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra March 27, 7:30 p.m. Enjoy 15 of the best soloists, ensemble players and arrangers in jazz, widely regarded as one of the best big bands in the world today. Coronado Performing Arts Center, Rockford, Earth Day Luncheon April 3, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., RSVP by March 27. Hosted by Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful, at Giovanni’s Restaurant, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. More info at Botanica: A Gardener's Luncheon Presented by Klehm Arboretum. 9:30 a.m. registration; 10 a.m. design workshop by Poska

See amazing intricate designs created on egg shells at the 24th Annual Egg Artists’ Show & Sale March 29-30 at Midway Village Museum.

and K. Hill Antiques; 11 a.m. social hour with silent auction; noon lunch; 12:30 p.m. live auction; 12:40 presentation “Creating Perennial Plant Communities -- The Know Maintenance Approach,” by Roy Diblik, renowned landscape designer and co-owner of Northwind Perennial Farm, Burlington, Wis. Location: Giovanni's Restaurant, 610 N. Bell School Road, Rockford. Learn more at Murder at the Speakeasy March 22, 6-8:30 p.m. Get out your flapper dress, zoot suits and Tommy guns. At a speakeasy during Prohibition, where bathtub gin is being mixed, the mob and the police are sure to bring trouble. $20. Tinker Swiss Cottage Museum, 411 Kent St., Rockford, (815) 964-2424, Spring into Science March 24-28, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Jumpstart your spring break with amazing science demonstrations, a planetarium show and fresh art and crafts. Discovery Center, Rockford, Spring Constellations March 28, 7-8 p.m. Learn about the spring constellations and other planets. Free. Weiskopf Observatory, 7993 N. River Road, Byron, Ill., (815) 234-8535, 24th Annual Egg Artists’ Show & Sale March 29-30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Amazing artistic eggshells; egg art vendors; classes; Featured Artist demos; food & snack vendors. Vote for People’s Choice. Midway Village, Rockford, ❚

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March 12


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 11 am-10 pm, Fri. & Sat. 11 am-11 pm, Sun. 11 am-10pm. $.

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 4:309 p.m, Fri-Sat. to 10 p.m. 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 2 a.m. $

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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March 12



Smart Living Weekly

March 12

T  I

Prevent ID Theft


t least 110 million consumers were affected by the hack involving Target and Neiman Marcus retailers. Millions more could have their identities manipulated due to more breaches of security, at other stores, says identity theft recovery expert Scott A. Merritt. He offers these tips: • Understand how and where it happens. Most thefts occur in places where you do business every day. Either a place of business is robbed, a bad employee acts improperly or a hacker breaches the office through the computer. • Secure your wallet’s information. Photocopy everything in your wallet: photos, credit cards (front and back), membership cards – everything. Put the copies in a strong box or safe. • Make sure your information is consistent. Discrepancies such as using your middle initial on some documents, and not others, or having different addresses, can wreck havoc in proving your identity, and can compromise your credit score. • Secure your digital habits. Change passwords at least twice a year on a nonscheduled basis. Have a strong firewall if you shop online, and only access sites that are protected by high industry standards. Access such accounts only from your personal computer. • Protect your banking information. Keep account numbers and other data out of sight, and avoid stating account numbers, Social Security numbers and similar information out loud. When planning a bank visit, have items such as deposits and withdrawal slips prepared in advance. • Account for your interactions with vendors. Every time you speak to someone with whom you do business, write down the time, date, name and the purpose or outcome of the call. • Don’t carry around your birth certificate or Social Security card. Keep those vital items in a safe, or at least a firebox. If you know someone is going to need a copy of your tax returns or your driver’s license, for example, make the copies ahead of time so a firm’s employee won’t leave the room with such information. “If you’re going to use credit, use a card from a national bank or a national credit union and never a debit card, no exceptions,” says Merritt. ❚

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March 12




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


Smart Living Weekly

March 12

Y M

Who Claims Children of Divorced Parents? By Glen Greenberg


n most cases, because of the residency test, a child of divorced or separated parents is the qualifying child of the custodial parent. However, a child will be treated as the qualifying child or qualifying relative of his or her non-custodial parent (the parent with whom the child lived for the lesser part of the tax year) if all of the following apply: 1. The parents are divorced, legally separated, separated under a written separation agreement, or lived apart at all times during the last six months of the tax year. 2. The child received over half of his or her support for the tax year from the parents (without regard to the rules on multiple support agreements). Support of a child received from a parent’s spouse (step-mom or step-dad) is treated as provided by the parent.

3. The child is in custody of one or both of the parents for more than half of the tax year. 4. Either of the following applies: • The custodial parent signs form 8332, release/revocation of release of claim to exemption for child by custodial parent, or a substantially similar statement that he or she will not claim the child as a dependent for the tax year and the non-custodial parent attached it to the return, or • A pre-1985 decree of divorce or separate maintenance or written separation agreement between the parents that applies to the tax year provides that the non-custodial parent provided at least $600 for support of the child during the tax year. For post-2008 decrees or agreements, the non-custodial parent must use

Form 8332 to claim an exemption deduction. Pages from the divorce decree or agreement that are similar to form 8332 in substance are no longer allowed. Court cases arising from disputes over which divorced parents get to claim a child as a dependent usually center on the signing or lack of signing Form 8332, and issues concerning who has custody for more than half of the year. Glen Greenberg is the owner of Professional Accounting & Tax Service, Inc., 2955 11th St., Rockford. ❚

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March 12


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Smart Living Weekly

March 12

Smart Living Weekly

Issue 1


Smart Living Weekly - March 12, 2014  

Featured this week: Meltfest at Prairie Street Brewhouse. You and your family will live smarter and better lives, every week of the year, wi...