Chase Cavanaugh

Reporter

Chase started in radio while earning his Master's in diplomacy and international commerce at the University of Kentucky.  He was bitten by the radio bug while volunteering at Radio Eye (a local equivalent to NIRIS) and soon became a reporter at WUKY. After four years of reporting in Kentucky's Bluegrass, Chase traveled north to join WNIJ as Morning Edition producer.  Chase reports on a variety of developments in our broadcast area but is particularly drawn to anything with a political or international connection.  He is also an avid board gamer.

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

Governor Bruce Rauner visited Rockford Thursday to highlight a new adoption tax credit.  The measure was added to the 2019 state budget and covers each child a family adopts. The amount would be $2,000 for out-of-state kids of any age, but more for a child born in Illinois who is at least one year old.

"We’re starting at $5,000 for each family and that’s one of the highest in the country, and I want to take us up in the future so we are the greatest tax credit state supporting families with making adoption more affordable, more financially sustainable," he said.

Alexis Williams

The Animal House Shelter’s air conditioning unit broke last week, sending interior temperatures into the 90s.  The shelter set up an emergency GoFundMe page Friday to raise money for a new unit, since a technician said it needed to be completely replaced.

The shelter raised $28,000 by Saturday night. Business and development manager Alexis Williams says it’s now a matter of picking out a unit.

brucerauner.com

Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti praised DeKalb County Tuesday for its cooperative efforts in handling the opioid crisis. 

Sanguinetti made the comments as part of a roundtable discussion with health, law enforcement, and government officials from around DeKalb County.  They highlighted local efforts such as drug court, health counseling, and expanded access to Narcan, an anti-overdose medication.

Sanguinetti says it can be difficult for some areas to get past the stigma of treating opioid addiction.  

Chase Cavanaugh/WNIJ

More than 50 activists gathered in downtown DeKalb to call for immigration reform. 

The crowd condemned last week’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid in Cortland as well as the continued detention of undocumented children away from their families.  The event featured speakers from groups like Action for a Better Tomorrow Sauk Valley and DeKalb Stands.

Another participant was Laura Vivaldo-Cholula, a member of DREAM Action at Northern Illinois University. She said change wouldn’t happen without new leaders in office.

Guy Stephens / Black Hawk, Blackhawk, Lorado Taft

An Oregon group supporting restoration of the statue known as Black Hawk wants to establish a dedicated fund to keep it maintained. 

The statue was uncovered recently after being wrapped up for the past few years. Observers noticed some further damage to the statue, and the restoration work isn’t complete.  

The recently passed state budget allocates another $350,000 to the project, but members of Oregon Together, a nonprofit supporting the statue’s restoration, want to go further. 

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