Freeport, Illinois – Freeport residents are in shock and disbelief in light of yesterday’s news that one of their own — one of the truly good ones of their community, Adam Ross passed away suddenly and way too soon.
The community mourns the loss of Adam as a friend, as a brother and as their family. The loss is being felt everywhere within the county and beyond.
Some feel though, as can be the case in other tragic passings such as Adam’s, that Adam’s death could have been prevented.
If you’ve lived in the area for a time, odds are you are aware of Nora, Illinois. Nora is a very small village in Jo Daviess County, Illinois.
As of the census of 2000, there were 118 people, 53 households, and 31 families residing in the village.
Despite its size, for decades and decades Nora has had the reputation as being the final drinking destination after all other bars in the area close. It is something well known among the locals.
While all other area bars and liquor establishments close at 1:00 a.m., on Friday’s and Saturday nights the bar in Nora, quaintly called the Nora Bar is open until 4:00 a.m. Some believe these additional hours cause some to travel on the road at a time that perhaps they shouldn’t be. While personal responsibility weighs in, the argument is that alcohol impairs judgment.
Adam Ross lost his life on his way to the Nora Bar.
As a result a petition has been started that asks community members if they feel the Nora Bar should close like every other bar in the area which is 1:00 a.m.
The petition states; “We recently lost someone near and dear to Freeport. His name was Adam Ross and he recently lost his life going to Nora Bar“.
“He is one of few who did or almost did lose their lives coming to/from Nora. We would like to shut down Nora at a decent hour because how many more lives have to be lost before they get shut down? How many more lives will have to almost be lost before they wake up? The community wants to have them close like every other bar in the area which is 1:00 a.m..”
Similarly the area faced the same issue of opportunistic drinking prior to 1985 when Wisconsin’s drinking age was just 19.
With the border of Wisconsin so close to Freeport and Stephenson county, many 18-20 year olds made the half hour trip to Monroe, Wisconsin to purchase alcohol as they couldn’t purchase here it in Illinois. Meeting in special session at the call of the governor at the time, the legislature enacted the 1985 Wisconsin Act 337, which raised the drinking age to 21. The roads however to Monroe, Wisconsin had already claimed the lives of many young people specifically due to alcohol prior.
In a statement issued by the Nora Bar on November 25, 2016, they stated, “As long time owners of the Nora bar, we are saddened by the loss of Adam Ross. Over years of owning the bar we have became good/close friends with Adam. I am sure with everyone blaming us for this tragedy Adam would not be happy. And for the record Adam was not in Nora the night of his accident“.
We’d like to know what you think? Should Nora Bar close at the same time other bars in the area close?
If you would like to view the petition, it can be found at this link here.
A Go Fund me page has been setup to help with Adam’s funeral costs. Please donate.