Pretzel City Kitchens will be open for free tours as part of an event at Wagner House.

The project to create a certified, commercial grade kitchen that would be open for community use began in earnest several years ago. Now, after much grant-seeking and traversing several hurdles, it’s almost ready to open for business.

Freeport City Manager Lowell Crow says Pretzel City Kitchens is an important part of the city’s hope for the future.



Jenna Dooley

The Illinois General Assembly’s new ethics watchdog can now begin investigating a backlog of 27 cases.
They’ve been piling up for nearly three years while the office has been vacant.

Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law yesterday that removes an expiration date on some of the complaints. Rauner wasn't satisfied with all of the bill's content.

“House Bill 137 is very flawed," he said.

The opening of a new police academy this fall in Decatur was expected to mean that the University of Illinois Police Training Institute, just 50 miles away in Urbana, would close.

But director Michael Schlosser announced Thursday that the Police Training Institute will continue to offer classes in 2018. He said the university signed an agreement Wednesday with the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board to continue the PTI.

Schlosser says demand is up for police training in Illinois.

Sessions from Studio A - The Giving Tree Band

Nov 16, 2017
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The Giving Tree Band performs "Live Love" in WNIJ's Studio A.

Find The Giving Tree Band online at /

The chief negotiator for Northern Illinois University says the union representing more than 600 NIU employees turned down the campus-wide three-percent wage approved by the NIU Board of Trustees in October and scheduled to take effect this month.

The chief negotiator for AFSCME Local 1890 says that’s not the whole story.

NIU has been negotiating an initial contract between and a new unit of the largest union representing clerical, paraprofessional and administrative employees at NIU for nearly two years.