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."

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.

City of Freeport, IL

Freeport’s mayor and council are at odds over the city’s legal department. Mayor Jim Gitz on Monday vetoed a council measure to end the department and outsource its services.

Mayor Gitz says the Council did not give a good explanation of why the measure was a good idea, or even why it was needed.   According to the Freeport Journal-Standard, Gitz also says the ordinance was being used to interfere with the work of the mayor.  


  The Illinois Department of Public Health announced Tuesday a northern Illinois resident who died had the same strain of a bacteria responsible for a deadly outbreak in Wisconsin.

The IDPH’s Melaney Arnold says the department has been working with the federal Centers for Disease Control, along with health officials in Wisconsin and Michigan, on the outbreak associated with Elizabethkingia anophelis.

Freeport Art Museum

 A local family foundation has given the Freeport Art Museum a $15,000 matching grant.  The Museum says the grant will save programs that help it fulfill its mission.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

  Last fall, Accuride Corporation’s Gunite plant in Rockford won an industry award for excellence in manufacturing and business.  It reflects an extraordinary transformation for a facility that just a few years ago was, in the company’s own words, “left for dead” by the previous owners.  

Rockford Symphony Orchestra

The Illinois Council of Orchestras has named Rockford Symphony Orchestra Music Director Steven Larsen its 2016 Conductor of the Year in the professional orchestra category, and the Elgin Symphony Orchestra Professional Orchestra of the Year for 2016.

Larsen also received the award in 1999 and 2006.  The ESO had previously won in its category in 1988, 1999 and 2005.  

City of Beloit

The Beloit Police and Fire Commission reversed itself Tuesday night and picked Beloit’s interim chief David Zibolski to be the city’s next chief of police.  

The commission had approved Rockford interim chief Patrick Hoey in a narrow vote last week, but the Beloit City Council refused to extend a contract offer to Hoey, saying they preferred Zibolski.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

  An Illinois Congressman says some of the state’s budget woes can be traced to unfair funding formulas at the federal level.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

 A dozen college and high school choral groups from 7 states descend upon Rochelle - Flagg Township High School this weekend for the 3rd annual Vertical Voices Vocal Jazz Festival.  So what’s bringing those students and an acclaimed jazz quartet together in the Hub City?


The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development awarded more than $1.4 million Tuesday to homeless housing and service programs in the Rockford area. 

The Tier 1 Continuum of Care grants support efforts to provide housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.  

The grants are part of nearly $89 million HUD awarded to more than 360 local programs serving the homeless in Illinois.