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."

Target Corporation

Target Corporation announced earlier this year it planned to add hundreds of jobs at its DeKalb distribution center.  As of the end of May, the company is well on its way to that goal.

The DeKalb facility is being converted into what Target calls an upstream distribution center. That means it serves other, regional distribution centers “downstream” in the supply chain.  It will be just one of three in the country.  Mike Milano is senior director of distribution at the DeKalb center. He says the expanded facility now serves a wide territory. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Valley College theater director Mike Webb is getting ready for the new summer season of Starlight Theatre. He also was thinking about another season of the college's Studio Theatre in the fall. But Rock Valley recently announced it was dropping Studio Theatre, along with staff layoffs that also affect Starlight. And that has Webb thinking it might be time for him to go as well.


Two health systems in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin that merged last year unveiled a new name and logo on Monday to emphasize the unification of their resources into one integrated regional provider.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Falls’ redevelopment of its riverfront just took an important step forward.  A Holiday Inn Express & Suites built on the former industrial site opened for business Thursday. The hotel’s completion was delayed repeatedly by a number of unrelated factors. But reports Rock Falls Mayor Bill Wescott thinks it was worth the wait.  Westcott says, after decades cleaning up the former brownfield site, having the hotel up and running is a huge psychological boost to the city, and a boost to its efforts to revitalize the local economy.   

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Belvidere is one of the top ten small cities in Illinois to start a business, according to a new study.

WalletHub places Belvidere 6th among Illinois small cities in its study.  The town was 241st out of 12 hundred cities ranked across the country.

Belvidere Mayor Mike Chamberlain says the ranking recognizes the lengthy effort by the city and its partners to bring businesses to the area  


Faculty members at Northern Illinois University are moving to form a union.  NIU faculty on Thursday filed an intent to unionize with the Illinois Education Labor Relations Board. 

NIU Associate Professor of History Rosemary Feurer says in a news release announcing the filing that a union will give faculty a greater voice to improve NIU, for the benefit of students and the community.

The United Faculty Alliance of Northern Illinois University would represent more than 600 tenured and tenure-track faculty members across NIU.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

April is National Poetry Month.  Rockford poet Christine Swanberg has achieved national recognition in a career spanning several decades.  So what did it take for her to become a poet?

First off, Swanberg says, she didn’t always know she would become a poet, or even that she could become one.

Proudly DeKalb, Inc.

 The City of DeKalb did not advance to the finals of the "America’s Best Communities" competition.  That means they won't have a chance at the 3 million dollar first prize.  But the chair of the team behind the effort says they will continue with their community revitalization efforts.

Frank Roberts says not making the finals was a disappointment. But he’s still proud of what the Proudly DeKalb team did, and of the town they represent.

City of Beloit

David Zibolski will be sworn in as the City of Beloit’s Chief of Police Monday night at City Hall. 

Zibolski has served as the City of Beloit’s Interim Police Chief since June 2015.  He was appointed after City Manager Lori Luther put then-Police Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Dunkin on leave.  That came after an external review accused the two of leadership problems and mismanagement of the department.  Jacobs and Dunkin eventually reached a settlement with the city that allowed them to retire in January.

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center


A group of local arts organizations and individuals will commemorate the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death this weekend in Rockford with a program called “Shakespearience.”

Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center is presenting the program Saturday night at Rockford’s Court Street United Methodist Church.  The Center’s Rulee Stallman led the effort to celebrate the Bard of Avon.  She says she realized the anniversary was also a perfect opportunity to celebrate the range of local artists.