Chase Cavanaugh

Morning Edition Producer/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.  He organizes our morning broadcast, making sure the host is well-supplied with interesting, fresh content.  In addition to his pre-dawn duties, 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.


UPS is hiring 250 new workers in its air sorting hub at Chicago-Rockford International Airport.

Positions include package handlers, supervisory roles, and tractor-trailer drivers who will support a new day shift. This comes as the shipping company moves air operations from Des Moines, Iowa, to Rockford.  A UPS spokeswoman says the jobs range in pay from $10.20 to $18.75 per hour. 

The Rockford UPS facility is the company's second-largest air hub in terms of sorting capacity. The largest is Worldport, in Louisville, Ky.

The LaSalle County State’s Attorney’s Office declined to say whether it’s investigating a drug-forfeiture task force.  

Current State’s Attorney Karen Donnelly filed a lawsuit alleging that her predecessor “criminally misused public money” under the SAFE task force.  This group was run by predecessor Brian Towne’s office but later disbanded after Donnelly was elected earlier this year.  

Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee

Asian Carp are an invasive group of fish that can compete with native wildlife for food and habitat. The Army Corps of Engineers maintains an electrical barrier to prevent the fish from entering Lake Michigan, but the problem spans all across Illinois. 

Asian Carp were first brought to the United States through aquaculture facilities, or fish farms, as a way to deal with algae in the tanks and make the resulting product tastier. The fish farms often are placed next to rivers for water sources.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

The average Illinois price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline is $2.33.  This is six cents lower than last week. 

AAA reports the most expensive gas can be found in the City of Chicago, at $2.75 per gallon. By contrast, Champaign Urbana has the cheapest gas, at $2.09 per gallon. 

Rockford's average per-gallon gasoline price is $2.29. This is five cents cheaper than last week.

City of Dixon

In 2012, Dixon officials discovered that city comptroller Rita Crundwell had embezzled more than $53 million over the course of two decades. The insularity afforded by her position played a large part in spurring residents to vote to shift Dixon toward a council-manager form of government.  This involves converting commissioners to council members and appointing a city manager to oversee day-to-day work. The City of Freeport adopted this model earlier this year, hired a city manager, and eliminated its water and sewer departments.