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Sterling-Rock Falls P.O. Box 498 Sterling, IL 61081




Local couple breathes new life into an old church and turns it into a salon to tend to the body and mind.

Business owners raise the bar in Rock Falls

CGH app lets people take medical matters into their own hands

Riverfront has its very own art District

United Way of Whiteside County 2018 Fall Campaign

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Sterling-Rock Falls




PAGE Talk about a

church revival: A Rock Falls couple breathed new life into an old church and turned it into a salon and spa where customers can recharge, rejuvenate and relax.

Publisher Don T. Bricker General Manager/Advertising Director Jennifer Heintzelman Magazine editors Rusty Schrader & Kathleen Schultz Page design Rusty Schrader Published by Sauk Valley Media 3200 E. Lincolnway Sterling, IL 61081 815-625-3600 Do you have story ideas for Sterling-Rock Falls Living? Let us know. Call 815-625-3600, ext. 5535, or e-mail us at Articles and advertisements are the property of Sauk Valley Media. No portion of Sterling-Rock Falls Living Magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. Ad content is not the responsibility of Sauk Valley Media. The information in this magazine is believed to be accurate; however, Sauk Valley Media cannot and does not guarantee its accuracy. Sauk Valley Media cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by advertisers listed in any portion of this magazine.

More inside

11 – Health care on tap

CGH, KSB apps offer patients a portal to a place where they can take medical matters into their own hands

15 – The head of the class Owners set out to raise the bar and give patrons a classy place where they can lounge around and hoist a few

19 – Art District Rock Falls is putting artists on a pedestal at RB&W District Park, where the greenspace is doing double duty as a place for some riverfront relaxation and an outdoor art studio

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Jerrie Garcia, massage therapist and owner of Lotus Wellness Spa and Salon in Rock Falls, said the goal of her business is “to offer a place where people can come in and relieve life’s stresses, to help them feel rejuvenated and beautiful.”

arden OF


Talk about a church revival –a local couple breathed new life into an old church and turned it into a salon and spa where customers can recharge, rejuvenate and relax TURN TO PAGE 7 FOR STORY


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Story Gavin T. Jensen | Photos Michael Krabbenhoeft For Sterling-Rock Falls Living

edded deep within a murky pond, a lotus seed extends its stem above the water, yearning for sunlight, and blossoming into a beautiful flower. It’s an ancient symbol of rebirth, purity and enlightenment, and the inspiration Jerrie Garcia used for her new business, Lotus Wellness Spa and Salon, which offers massages, waxing and facials. “I wanted to offer a place where people can come in and relieve life’s stresses, to help them feel rejuvenated and beautiful, just as a lotus flower rises from a muddy pond,” Garcia said. About 2 years ago, Garcia, and her husband, Mark Garcia, 49, purchased the old church at 501 W. Second St. in Rock Falls and started an extensive restoration project. The time and effort spent repurposing the building was worth the wait, she said. “We had looked for about 5 to 7 years before finally deciding on this place,” Garcia said. Incorporating pieces original to the building was important to Garcia, like tearing up the carpet to find maple and Douglas-fir wood flooring. “I’m a nostalgic person, so we refinished the flooring and kept a few of the church pews for the hair-drying bench.” Continued on page 9

ABOVE: Jerrie Garcia and her husband Mark have spent the past couple years remodeling and renovating the old church at 501 W. Second St. for their newly opened business, Lotus Wellness Spa and Salon in Rock Falls. LEFT: A view of the church before the renovation.

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LEFT: Wide open spaces, simple lines and muted colors help give Lotus Wellness Spa and Salon a relaxing feel. CENTER: Church pews from the church that used to be housed in Lotus’ location have been repurposed as hair drier benches. RIGHT: One of the massage rooms at Lotus. Continued from page 7

Garcia has more than a decade of experience as a massage therapist, and that passion stems back to when she was in high school and met a massage therapist during a career day demonstration in Tampico. “I volunteered and thought this was something I wanted to do,” Garcia said. However, it wasn’t until 2007 when Garcia decided to quit her job at Wahl Clipper to follow her dream. “I remembered how I felt whenever I got a massage so I wanted to reciprocate that feeling by helping others the best way that I could – becoming a massage therapist,” she said. She attended Capri College in Davenport, Iowa, to become certified and after graduating in 2008, the Rock Falls resident landed her first job at Statik Hair Studio and Day Spa in Sterling where she worked for 2 years. She then worked at Extreme Hair and Day Spa in Sterling

where she worked from 2011 until opening Lotus. “I definitely learned a lot at the two different salons, mostly that every one of my clients were different in what they need,” Garcia said. “I also got to see what I enjoyed and what I didn’t enjoy while working there and implemented that in my vision for my own business.” Lotus also features a range of services from a simple haircut, waxing and manicures, to ear candling, an old remedy that helps remove ear wax, relieve a sore throat, swimmers ear, allergies and other sinus problems. Garcia said she also plans to add yoga classes and pedicures in the near future. She also anticipates adding another massage therapist, wellness practitioner and salon stylists that have the same goal in mind. “We’re all on the same team here, to help people feel good and find their inner beauty.”

MORE INFORMATION Lotus Wellness Spa and Salon 501 W. Second St., Rock Falls 815-632-3433 Hours: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed Sunday, appointments recommended, walk-ins accepted Online: Find Lotus Wellness Spa and Salon on Facebook

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Health care CGH, KSB apps offer patients a portal to a place where they can take medical matters into their own hands




Story Kathleen Schultz Sterling-Rock Falls Living


ave a smart phone? Add making your own doctor’s appointments – even at 3 in the morning, if you like – at CGH clinics to the list of things you can do with it. Like its online My Access Clinics Portal service, CGH Medical Center’s new app also allows its clinic patients to check their lab results, get appointment reminders, view and refill prescriptions, and check out the backgrounds and ratings of staff physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants.

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Private Suites Available

Continued from page 11

CGH Medical Center and KSB Hospital offer online portals that allow patients to access a host of health care services.

Tap on any one of CGH’s 16 clinic locations and get a list of services available and directions to the office, which the app will call for you. It also comes with a CGH Main Clinic floor plan. Anyone can download the app and test some of its features, but unless they already have signed up for the clinic portals service, patients must take a photo ID to the nearest clinic location to get a verification code and instructions before they can make appointments and check test results. That’s to ensure sensitive medical information cannot be accessed by the wrong person. A CGH hospital portal also is available on the website, but for now, only clinic services can be accessed via the app. Those who already have a CGH My Access account simply need to download the CGH Clinics app from either the Apple App or Google Play store and log in their using existing log in and password. In the works for nearly a year, the app was used in-house by staff for months, to work out any bugs. It was launched for public use on Aug. 27.

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KSB Hospital

Over in Dixon, KSB Hospital also has online patient portals to its clinic and hospital services, and a clinic portal app available to clinic patients only – for a few more months. Come March 19, the two portals will merge into one log-in, and hospital services will be added to the app, providing all of a patient’s electronic records all in one spot. “It is a great way for patients to manage their health, their children’s health, or loved one’s health when needed,” Jessica Nance, KSB’s quality specialist, said in a news release. “Our goal is to increase patient access to their providers via this great communication tool and to allow patients to feel more in control of their health with 24/7 access to their health record.” Go to to sign up or learn more. Margaret Shaw is KSB’s patient portal specialist; she can troubleshoot or answer questions at 815 285-5424.



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of the

class Owners set out to raise the bar and give patrons a classy place where they can lounge around and hoist a few Story Gavin T. Jensen | Photos Alex T. Paschal


n the same building where Cindy Nusbaum once styled hair and painted nails, she now manages the new bar in town, Hammer Headz. “Some may think it might be a little too classy for Rock Falls, but I feel like Rock Falls deserves a classy bar,” Nusbaum said of the new watering hole, which offers clean lines and a loungey vibe. Hammer Headz opened Aug. 12 at 315 First Ave. It features domestic and imported beer, wines, liquors, and signature drinks like the Dirty Hammer – akin to a dirty martini – as well as five video gambling slot machines and a bowling game. Continued on page 17

​ efore it was B a bar, it was a beauty shop, where Cindy Nusbaum ran Cynergy Styling Salon. Today, she’s back in her old styling grounds in the salon-turned saloon, running Hammer Headz. “I designed the bar from concept to reality,” she said. “It’s hard to imagine that this used to be a salon.”

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Continued from page 15

Nusbaum said the business raises the bar in class and stature, and it also raises a glass to her husband Eddie’s late father, Gail Nusbaum, who often asked “What are you hammer heads up to?” “Eddie’s father used to greet him and his brother Arnie with that phrase. He was such a well-known and liked guy around town, so it just felt right to name it after him,” she said. Gail died Jan. 13. She used to run Cynergy Styling Salon in the same location, but being a full-time stylist and managing a bar is a lot to handle, so she hung up the clippers and combs to see to the opening of Hammer Headz. In March 2017, the salon re-opened in the downstairs of her husband’s first bar, Fast Eddie’z at 611 First Ave. “Eddie gave me full reign from the beginning. I designed the bar from concept to reality, and it’s hard to imagine that this used to be a salon,” she said. They did extensive renovation work, including a new restroom, flooring, decorations, a separate video gambling area and a small lounge to set the dark and clean tone, illuminated by blue and orange neon lights from the liquor shelf and the electronic fireplaces. The bar also offers a spot where your phones can get a drink of juice, courtesy of a charging station. “One of my favorite touches was the petrified wood finish on the bar; it helps tie the room together to give it that soft, dark look we were trying to achieve,” she said. The same level of work was put toward the drink selection, and Nusbaum said those looking to honor Gail can simply pop the tab off his drink of choice, a Miller Lite, and raise a glass.

When Cindy Nusbaum was designing Hammer Headz, she wanted to bring something upscale downtown, a bar with a laid-back lounge vibe. “I feel like Rock Falls deserves a classy bar,” she said. This area with the TV and fireplace is a popular spot to gather and chit chat.

LEFT: Eddie Nusbaum opened Fast Eddie’z in March 2017 at 611 First Ave. Now, he’s opened a second bar up the street, Hammer Headz, at 315 First Ave. Eddie is shown here at Fast Eddie’z before it opened last year. The bar’s name is a nod to Eddie’s late father, Gail (inset), who used to ask his sons, “What are you hammer heads up to?” (Photo: Michael Krabbenhoeft/mkrabbenhoeft@ RIGHT: John and Sue Gray of Rock Falls try their luck on the video gambling machines at Hammer Headz.

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Rock Falls is putting artists on a pedestal at RB&W District Park, where the greenspace is doing double duty as a place for some riverfront relaxation and an outdoor art studio


LEFT: “Apparition Schmoosh,” by Charles Yost of Chicago. Yost spearheaded the effort to get the sculptures displayed at the park. INSET ABOVE: “Atomic Slender” by Robert Oakley Gregory of Chicago

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f you’ve been strolling through RB&W District Park one day, you’ve no doubt noticed in recent weeks that some new additions have popped up on the Rock Falls riverfront park’s landscape. Nearly a dozen sculptures have been planted in the park, where they’ll be staying through next year. The 10 sculptures were installed in September as part of the city’s new Art in the Park Sculpture Tour. The self-guided tour is designed to promote art and provoke thought, and provide another draw for a park that’s quickly becoming a star attraction in the city’s ongoing efforts to rehabilitate its riverfront. Chicago artist Charles Yost organized the effort to turn the park into an outdoor art studio. The goal is to have different artists display their work on a rotating basis, with new pieces brought in each September for a year-long visit to the park. And with each new installation, the city will hold what it describes as a “gala event of great music, fine wines, craft beers and gorgeous, thought-provoking art.”​ In the meantime, if people really like what they see, they can purchase any of the sculptures. The only catch: They’ll have to wait until the next batch of sculptures arrive before they can take their works home, so that people can continue to enjoy the art in the park. The first batch of art comes mainly from Chicago artists, but the goal is to feature more local artists. Rock Falls Tourism Director Janell Loos has already been working with Woodlawn Arts Center to bring local artists into next year’s showcase. Call Loos at 815-622-1106 or go to for more information about Art in the Park.

“Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” by Ted Sitting Crow Garner of Chicago.

“Blue Staura” by Micki Le Mieux of Chicago

Andrew Arvanetes of DeKalb stands by his work “Exemplar” on Sept. 8 in RB&W District Park.

Gregory Mendez of Decatur, Indiana, stands with his work “Nemesis” on Sept. 8. in Rock Falls.

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LEFT: Michael Young of Chicago poses with his work, “Flight Path Up,” on Sept. 8 in Rock Falls. CENTER: “Balancing Art,” by John Adduci of Chicago. RIGHT: “Sentry Series 5” by Brian Monaghan of Chicago. BELOW: “Mercury” by Terrance Karpowicz of Chicago.

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