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."


A manufacturing industry association is moving its headquarters from Rockford to Elgin.

The Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, International (FMA) has had its headquarters in Rockford since its founding in 1970.  Ed Youdell is its President and CEO.   Youdell says the Association has been happy in its Rockford home.  But, he says, it was time to think about the next forty years, and that led to a very important question:

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The opening of a hotel on Rock Falls’ riverfront is being pushed back to late spring. Sauk Valley Media reports that the city learned last week that the company building the hotel -- Fitchburg, Wisconsin-based Landgraf Construction -- is ceasing operations and will be unable to finish the Holiday Inn Express & Suites on East Second Street.

The developers, Rock Falls Hotel Group, said the announcement was unexpected, but hotel construction will proceed. Switching construction firms, however, means the opening won’t happen till May.  

Pretzel City Kitchens


University of Illinois Extension gives an update on the Pretzel City Kitchens project tonight at its Openfields Local Foods Harvest Dinner in Freeport.  The Extension and its partners are excited by the project’s potential.

Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

Thinking about attending Rockford’s Stroll on State this Saturday, Nov. 28? Well, now there’s an app to help you plan out your evening.

The Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau says the new interactive "Plan Your Stroll" application, available at, will allow people to pick what events and attractions they want to attend.  They can then create a personalized map to help them navigate Stroll on State the night of the event.


The Illinois Department of Employment Security says unemployment rates compared to a year ago dropped in most of the state's metro areas in October.  The only increase was in the Peoria area, home to Caterpillar Inc. -- which is in the midst of layoffs.  The Carbondale-Marion area's rate stayed the same as last year.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The DeKalb Festival Chorus launches its 44th season this weekend with an all American program.   The choir is about music – and community.

This is the 44th year for the chorus, but Paul Marchese’s first as its leader.  A native of Sycamore, Marchese returned to the area several years ago after graduate school and settled in DeKalb.  He’s directed several church choirs and teaches in the Chicago suburbs.  But he was really interested in the DeKalb Festival Chorus, and what it represented.

Hands Across The Rock

Nov 19, 2015
Guy Stephens / WNIJ


Many cities compete with their neighbors to attract business and development.  Some become fierce rivals in what is often perceived to be a zero-sum game.  The leaders of two northern Illinois cities across the Rock River from each other, however, say that’s changing -- at least between their towns.  The mayors of Sterling and Rock Falls feel cooperation and encouragement is the key to both their futures


A Northern Illinois University business and technology accelerator based in Rockford is linking up with a federally-funded research and development organization in Chicago.

Taxes are a major sticking point in the Illinois budget impasse. Legislative leaders say a tax hike is needed to balance the budget and provide needed services.  The governor says he’s open to a tax hike, but only if the Legislature passes business and political reforms.  A northern Illinois legislator says there’s a way to balance the budget without raising taxes.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

A nationally-recognized ensemble comes to Rockford for a performance this weekend.  It’s also one of the most unique.

It’s Friday night at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Park Ridge, Illinois, and the St. Luke’s Bottle Band is rehearsing for its upcoming show at Rockford’s First Lutheran Church. 

It’s just one of many the band will give this year, adding to the hundreds the band has given over the past 35 years across the country, on TV and radio.