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Memorial marks rise in Rockford homeless deaths

Published: Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 9:30 a.m. CDT

ROCKFORD (AP) — An annual memorial planned in Rockford will mark the "incredible increase" in deaths among the homeless in the northern Illinois city.

The Rockford Register Star reports (http://bit.ly/ZU2AsU ) that 47 people with a history of homelessness died within the past year. Other years, the number of deaths has been in the 20s.

Officials say more accurate record-keeping could explain part of the increase. But there also have been increases in street violence and accidental overdoses.

At the memorial service, the names of the dead will be read aloud. They include men and women ranging in age from 20 to 78.

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