Guy Stephens

WNIJ Here and Now Host

Guy Stephens is the local host for NPR's Here and Now on WNIJ.  He also produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements.  In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level.  Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU.  In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The LaSalle County city of Mendota is working to keep a local manufacturer looking to expand.  It could mean a tenant for a long-vacant building and 100 new jobs.

Mendota Mayor Dave Boelk says commercial woodworking company Starved Rock Wood Products has been doing very well the last few years, expanding from 18 to 65 employees.  Now it wants to move into the old R.R. Donnelley building, left vacant when that company closed the facility in 2012, taking nearly 200 high-wage jobs with it.

The company behind the proposed Rock Island Clean Line says pending legal proceedings in Illinois prompted it to withdraw its request to approve the Iowa leg of its project. 

State of Illinois

A program designed to help spur economic development in Rockford and other river cities in Illinois got a new lease on life this week. Tuesday, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation extending the River Edge Redevelopment Zone Program until the beginning of 2018.

Amazon.com

Online retailer Amazon.com said Tuesday it plans to open two new fulfillment centers, employing more than 1,000 people full-time between them, in Aurora, Ill. 

Officials say one of the new facilities will focus on smaller items, such as books and small electronics, and the other will handle large items like big-screen TVs. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

 

The argument for the Great Lakes Basin Railroad is that it will be an economic driver for the region.  But while some are enthusiastic about its potential, some are skeptical – including the railroads that are supposed to be its major clients.    

Great Lakes Basin Railroad lawyer Mike Blaszak says the line will be a boon for the railroads using it -- and for their customers. He cites the example of fracking sand that is mined in Wisconsin.  

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