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

Sveas Söner (The Sons of Sweden) chorus presents its 125th annual spring concert this Sunday at Bethesda Covenant Church in Rockford.  The director of the male chorus, as it happens, is neither male nor Swedish.

Sherry Dreyfuss says she was a bit surprised when she was approached by Sveas Söner.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

DeKalb County officials say some minor rebuilding has begun in the northern Illinois community of Fairdale in the wake of the April 9 tornado.

Paul Miller is DeKalb County’s Planning and Zoning Director.  He says the county has received applications from Fairdale residents for permits to repair roofs or siding and to replace outbuildings, like sheds.  But, Miller says, the county has not yet received any applications from Fairdale to rebuild homes that were destroyed by the tornado.  Miller says they can't because of the community's zoning.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford Christian Fellowship Band observes its 30th anniversary with a concert at 4 P.M. this Sunday, May 17, at First Evangelical Covenant Church in Rockford.  The group calls itself a “Community Concert Band with a Christian Ministry.

It’s a Tuesday night rehearsal at First Evangelical Covenant Church in Rockford, and the members of the Rockford Christian Fellowship Band are warming up.

Megabus

A man is being held by police after dropping a gun that went off on a Megabus traveling on I-90 Tuesday night.  No one was injured.  The bus pulled over at the Des Plaines oasis and other passengers held the person until police arrived.  Police aren’t releasing any further details while they investigate but say charges are pending. 

Aurora and Rockford are altering the way they handle traffic through their downtowns.  They’re part of a trend that got rolling in American cities a couple of decades ago.

If you’ve driven through the downtowns of either Rockford or Aurora, Illinois the last few years, you’ve seen a change.  Streets that had been one-way traffic for decades are being converted to two-way traffic, with proposals to convert more.  So why is this happening?

Rockford’s Director of Public Works, Timothy Hanson, says he knows why, and why they were one-way in the first place

Galvan & Associates

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has appointed an Elgin man as chairman of the Illinois Housing Development Authority.  Joseph P. Galvan, a former candidate for mayor of the city, is a veteran in the field.

Provided

A group of monumental sculptures will soon be calling downtown Rockford home. 

Five sculptures, created by internationally renowned artists Hans Van de Bovenkamp and Boaz Vaadia, will be on loan to the city for one year.  The pieces will be installed in late May along East State Street and North and South Main Street in downtown Rockford.

Josh Albrecht is director of marketing and public affairs for the Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.  He says the project fits in with efforts to revitalize the city’s downtown.

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Next Thursday evening, April 24, the NIU School of Music hosts a program featuring the berimbau.  An original cycle of music for the Afro-Brazilian instrument ranging from solos to sextets will be performed.

Greg Beyer is the director of the NIU Percussion program. Beyer is also director the ensemble Projeto Arcomusical.  The group's six members all play the berimbau, which resembles a long bow with a round gourd in the middle.  

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

Public Safety officials say they are confident that they have accounted for all residents of the devastated DeKalb County community of Fairdale and are preparing the next steps in the process.

Kirkland Fire Chief Chad Connell said Friday afternoon that search operations were winding down at the unincorporated town on Highway 72 west of Kirkland.  He said teams were going through the rubble one last time with dogs to make doubly sure nothing had been missed. 

Rockford Area Arts Council

The Rockford Area Arts Council’s 13th annual Spring ArtScene takes place 5-9 p.m Friday, April 10, and 3-9 p.m. Saturday, April 11, at 39 venues across the Rockford metro area.

Lenae Weichel is rehabbing 304 North Main Street in downtown Rockford with an eye to development.  The former home to a succession of insurance companies has been stripped, and there are holes and patches where workers have had to gain access to burst pipes and old wiring. 

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