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."

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Business
6:32 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Rockford Fastpitch "'Shark Tank' Without The Bite"

Credit Eigerlab

Rockford’s EIGERlab hosts its 8th annual Fastpitch Competition Wednesday, June 18, at the University of Illinois-Chicago College of Medicine at Rockford.

EIGERlab Marketing Coodinator Sherry Pritz compares Fastpitch to the television show “Shark Tank,” where entrants pitch their ideas for a new product or process to a panel of investors.

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-Illinois
9:51 pm
Sat June 14, 2014

Area Museums Get State Grants For Capital Projects

Credit State of Illinois

Several Northern Illinois museums will be receiving capital investment grants from the Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants Program as part of the Illinois Jobs Now! construction program. 

In a release Saturday, June 14, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the grants will help the museums better fulfill their mission and help the state's economy.

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-Illinois
5:45 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Rockford Garden Tops in North America

Credit Anderson Japanese Gardens

Anderson Japanese Gardens has been chosen the highest quality Japanese Gardens in North America by Sukiya Living Magazine (The Journal of Japanese Gardening) in a recent ranking.  According to a press release from Anderson, a panel of 41 Japanese garden specialists considered over 300 public Japanese gardens and ranked the gardens based on defined characteristics including subtleness, natural beauty, moderation and human scale.

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Arts
6:23 am
Wed June 11, 2014

Half A Century For Kantorei, Half A Life For Director

A performance from 1966
Kantorei

Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford, mark their 50th anniversary Friday, June 13th, with a concert at the Coronado Performing Arts Center. The program also is the final one in Rockford  for the choir’s long-time director.

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-Illinois
5:13 am
Thu May 15, 2014

Judge Puts Hold On Pension Reform Law

Credit flickr user / Brian Turner (CC BY 2.0)

Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz has issued a temporary restraining order that prevents Illinois' pension reform law from being implemented until questions about the law's constitutionality and a suit challenging it can be resolved.  The law was scheduled to take effect June 1. 

Five lawsuits by groups representing state workers and retirees challenging the law have been consolidated in Sangamon County court.   

It's a temporary victory for government employees who say the law is unconstitutional.

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-Illinois
5:44 pm
Tue May 13, 2014

Deal Delays Pension Reform For Higher Ed Workers To 2015

Credit SUAA

The State Universities Annuitants Association, which lobbies to protect the pension benefits of higher education employees, and the Illinois Attorney General have reached a tentative agreement to push the start of pension reform for community college and university workers back until July 2015.  The agreement must still be approved by a Sangamon County judge.

In a release, SUAA Executive Director Linda Brookhart says the deal addresses a critical issue:

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Arts
5:21 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Singer/Songwriters Share More Than A Love Of Music

Susan Werner, left, and Bonnie Koloc
Credit Elgin Community College

Singer/songwriters Bonnie Koloc and Susan Werner come to Elgin Community College’s Arts Center for a concert on Saturday, May 10. The two have a number of things in common.

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-Illinois
1:28 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

Update: Kishwaukee College To Reopen; Closed Due To Power Outage

Kishwaukee College in Malta will reopen at 5 p.m..  It was closed Tuesday afternoon due to a power outage, and all daytime classes canceled.  A spokesman for the College says evening classes will be held as scheduled.

-Illinois
12:04 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Update: Aurora Rain Gardens

Workers excavate topsoil from a rain garden being constructed at Douglas and Simms in Aurora. The curbs have already been laid. When construction is done, plantings will sit on a bed of rock, gravel and sand.
Guy Stephens WNIJ

After a long, hard winter, construction has begun in earnest on the city of Aurora's rain garden project.  Rain gardens are being constructed at dozens of intersections in various parts of the city.  Eric Schoeny, Drainage and Underground Coordinator for the City of Aurora, says delays in the bidding process and the onslaught of snow and cold that never let up kept progress to a minimum for several months.  Now, Schoeny says, he expects work to proceed relatively quickly, and a number of rain gardens will be completed in a matter of weeks, with more to follow.

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Arts
6:20 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Retiring Director of NIU Jazz Ensemble Looks Back

Credit NIU

The NIU Jazz Ensemble's annual spring concert April 10 is the final concert at NIU for its director, Ron Carter.  After 20 years at the helm of the nationally-renowned ensemble, and numerous accolades for his work in the field of jazz and jazz education, Carter is retiring.  Surprisingly, Carter says growing up, he had no idea his career would be in jazz.

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