Agustin Baeza and Maria I. Bernal, along with Scarlett Llagunas, watch as their son and cousin Edward Baeza is announced as a finalist on Univision's La Banda, on Oct. 23, 2016, at their Belvidere home.
Rockford police officer Sam McNutt extends the police perimeter in the 400 block of Montague Street during a domestic standoff on Monday, Nov. 14, 2016. Neighbors say the standoff began around 6 p.m. and was still underway as of 11 p.m. Police say one individual was inside and he could be armed.
Michelle Williams (right) sits with Natalya Tellez, 4, after opening gifts at the Blackhawk Boys and Girls Club on Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. "She doesn't usually warm up to people like this, I'm kind of shocked," said Jessica Tellez, Natalyia's mother. Natalyia was one of the six children who were surprised with gifts from Williams.
Micah Walker, 8, of Murphysboro throws his green chalk into the “color cloud” following the third annual Color Fun Run near the Lew Hartzog Track & Field Complex on April 16, 2016. Micah’s mother Akemi Walker also took part with her 8-month-old daughter Akayla. “He ran the whole thing and we walked,” she said. “We really came to support a great cause and have fun.” The event was sponsored by the Carbondale chapter of the Autism Society of Illinois, which aims to raise awareness and money to fund Southern Illinois families that have a family member affected by autism.
Kaysha Smith (left) performs during the Land of Snow scene in Rockford Dance Company's the Nutcracker on Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016, at Rockford University's Maddox Theatre.
Bobby Reynolds installs a security camera at the Loves Park Police Department on Tuesday, March 7, 2017. The department upgraded its camera system, along with an electronic entry system, to provide a 360 degree view of the outside of the building.
Attendees of the 80th annual Easter sunrise service take their seats on Sunday March 26, 2016 at Bald Knob Cross of Peace in Alto Pass. The opening prayer, led by Rev. Larry Gilbert correlated the rising of the sun with Jesus’s ressurection. “We have all gathered here this morning to see this beautiful sunrise,” he said. “But in reality, the most important son has already risen.” Site directors claimed this year’s crowd of more than 1,000 people was a record high for attendance.
Joe Dean, of the Rockton Fire Protection District leaves the scene as crews finish extinguishing a fire in the 1600 block of Guetschow Street in South Beloit on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. South Beloit, North Park, Harlem-Roscoe, and Northwest fire districts responded along with Rockton.
Gene Payton Bradford, 26, waits for the bus at the downtown terminal on Monday, Oct. 17, 2016. She said with two kids and one on the way, the bus is her only way to get to prenatal care. Rockford Mass Transit drivers voted not to strike later in the week.
Callie Nilson, 3, celebrates as her pumpkins hits the ground on Nov. 6, 2016 at the 13th annual Smashing Pumpkins event at the Discovery Center Museum.
Brian Nicolls, an 18 year veteran of the Rockford Park District police department escorts Angie Walker and two other volunteers during the city's annual Point in Time homeless count.
Harold Erb (right) of Machesney Park, shakes hands with World War II veteran Edward Pavelek, 91, of Roscoe on Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 at the Loves Park Tribute to Veterans. "He doesn't talk about it," said Pavelek's daughter Karen Dawson (left). "I didn't get the full effect until I was an adult." Pavelek served two years in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific, while Erb, a member of the VFW Post 9759 Color Guard, served two tours in Vietnam for the U.S. Marines.
Bobby Wlezien, 18, (left) learns the basics of how to fly an airplane from Vietman veteran Nick Parnello Sr. (right) on Sunday, June 25, 2017, over north Rockford. The flight was part of the LZ Wings for Serenity program, in which local veterans volunteer their time to show troubled teens the joys of flying.
Megan Brown, a sophomore studying animal science at SIU dumps horse manure into a pile Saturday March 5 at Rose of Sharon Equine Farm in Makanda. "I usually leave work smelling like manure every day," Brown said. "But you get used to it."
Bill Howard talks during a tour of the 1907 Hill House on Nov. 3, 2016. Howard's goal is to rehab the contents of the house through historic deconstruction, selling the wood and furniture to be rehabed. The 6,000 square-foot home is being brought down after being bought by the owner of an adjacent skyrise, to be made into a parking lot.
Carbondale police officers Molly Reeves and Brandon Weidenberger instruct Maria Tragoudas, a sophomore at Carbodale Community High School, how to escape a front-facing attack on Friday March 4, during the school’s self-defense class. “There is a strong, capable woman deep down inside all of you,” Weidenberger said. “This is the time and place she needs to come out. Don’t hold back.” The class is offered as part of girls’ physical education curriculum.
Janice Forrest, manager of the Buddy House at Blackhawk Courts, a complex operated by the Rockford Housing Authority, puts away food after a community-wide dinner on Oct. 27, 2016. Forrest describes the Buddy House as a "safe haven" for the residents of Blackhawk.
Former interim-Minister Peter Makiriyado leads the sermon Sunday March 6, 2016 at Grand Avenue Christian Church in Carbondale. Makiriyado fulfilled the role of the Senior minister while the church searched for a replacement, following the departure of Jon Hughes, in May of 2015. Hughes served as Grand Avenue’s senior minister for nearly eight years before stepping down to become a Director of small groups in Naperville, Ill. His replacement, Mitch Morrow took over in April 2016. During his first sermon Marrow and the congregation thanked Makiriyado with a round of applause. “What a blessing he has been during this transitional time,” Marrow said.
Kara Flatt, of Cobden discusses various ways to style her hair after having it cut by stylist Crystal Warner of Tonic Headquarters Salon in Carbondale while Maddie Clarke styles her client in the background. Warner has worked at Tonic Headquarters for 10 years, and said the best part of being a hairstylist is the relationships you build with your clients. “You sort of become an extended family,” she said. “But they tell you a lot more stuff than they would their family. You’re more like a therapist while also being their friend.” Flatt has been a client of Warners for going on four years now, and often brings her nine-year-old daughter Hannah along for a spa day.
Paul Poirier, 10, of Rockford slides down the tubing lane on Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2016, at Snow Park at Alpine Hills. Snow Park opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday, and Paul was the first official customer of the season.
Kyle Seaworth, left, 27, of Loves Park, hugs Evan Groves, 24, of Freeport on Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, at Rockford First Church. The two have been members of the Illuminators Sunday school class for about three years.
SIU senior guard Cartaesha Macklin dives in an attempt to steal the ball from Drake’s Maddy Dean at SIU Arena. Macklin was one of five departing seniors to suffer the 71-64 loss to the Bulldogs for their final game at SIU Arena. “SIU basketball has always such a huge part of my life for five years,” she said. “Adjusting to the non-athlete schedule is going to be different.” Macklin ended her time as a Saluki ranking first in program history for points (1,779) free throws made (465) and minutes played (4,088).
Saluki diver Esther Chen performs a dive during the 2015 MVC Swimming and Diving Championships, at Edward J Shea Natatorium. Chen finished second in the 1 meter dive, and the Salukis finished second overall.
SIU senior guard Leo Vincent drives the ball past Evansville’s D.J. Balentine at the Ford Center on Feb. 20. The Salukis fell to the Purple Aces 83-71, dropping them to fourth place in the Missouri Valley standings. Vincent, a junior college transfer from Harcum College, ended the 2015-16 season as the fourth-leading scorer on the team.
Junior Arthur Vinke pitches during Belvidere North's 5-1 win over Harlem High School on Wednesday, April 12, 2017. Vinke gave up only one run in his 6 2/3 innings against the defending NIC-10 champions. Of the seven hits he allowed, all were singles.
Carbondale’s Carol Burruss (22) and Waterloo’s Mollie Zeisset fight for the ball during the Waterloo Bulldogs 1-0 Fralish Cup championship win over the Terriers on April 16. The Terriers finished their season as the South 7 Conference champions with a 13-6-1 record.
Sandy Henert, 28, of Kent, Ohio, runs the Rockford Half Marathon on Sunday, May 21, 2017, near Sinnissippi Park. Henert finished with a time of 9:31 placing 18th in the women's division and 204th overall. A total of 948 runners took part in the full marathon, half marathon, and 10K courses.
Senior Dyana Pierre comes down from a rebound alongside Morehead State's Miranda Crockett on Dec. 12, 2015 at SIU Arena. The Salukis broke the school scoring record with a final score of 102-69, and just one short of breaking the school rebounding record. Pierre finished with her 42nd career double-double and with her 13th rebound, becoming the second-ever Saluki to record 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career.
Abigail Williams (left) a midfielder for the Prior Lake, Minnesota Typhoon and Rockford Raptors Ellie Gasso (right) fight for the ball on Sunday, April 9, 2017, during the Puma Champions Cup tournament at Mercyhealth Sportscore Two in Loves Park. The Puma Cup marked the largest tournament in the history of the complex, bringing in 540 teams from across the United States and Canada.
Rockford's Chris DeSousa fights for the puck with Des Moines' Pat Cannone on Saturday, Mar. 4, 2017, at BMO Harris Bank Center. DeSousa tied the game 1-1 for the Icehogs in the second period.
SIU junior Sean O'Brien (right) dives for the ball along with Drake's Kale Abrahamson and Dominik Olejniczak on Feb. 13, 2016 at SIU Arena. The Salukis went on to defeat the Bulldogs 75-60, reaching 20 wins for the first time since the 2007 season. During the game senior Anthony Beane reached his 1,000 point in conference play, becoming only the second Saluki in men's program history to do so.
Senior Derek Fogel pitches the ball during the Salukis’ three game series against the University of Illinois on March 15, 2014. The series was played as the inaugural games at the newly renovated Itchy Jones Stadium. Fogel pitched a perfect eight innings until a ground ball from the Illini’s Casey Fletcher forced Fogel to be relieved from the mound. The Salukis won the series 2-1.
SIU senior Anthony Beane drives to the basket against Indiana State's Khristian Smith on Jan. 20, 2016 at SIU Arena. The Salukis took down the Sycamores 79-66 despite a season-low eight points from Beane, who was ranked the second-highest scorer in the Missouri Valley Conference for the 2015-16 season.