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."

Ways To Connect

Cook County Judge Mary Mikva ruled today that three signature-driven ballot measures don't meet constitutional requirements and cannot be on this fall's general election ballot. 

Two of the measures call for legislative term limits, and another asks for the formation of an independent commission to oversee the state's political map-drawing process. 

Attorneys for advocates of the term limits measures say they will appeal to the Illinois Supreme Court next week.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

    

The Rockford Dance Company has a new Artistic Director.  Wayland Anderson has been a lead dancer and choreographer for ballet companies in Texas, Maryland and South Carolina, and co-founded the modern ballet company Dancewordz.  It's been a busy career, but to hear him tell it, it's all perfectly natural.

Guy Stephens

American sculptor Lorado Taft called it “The Eternal Indian”, but it’s universally known as “Black Hawk.”

Taft constructed the statue out of concrete and colored cement on a bluff overlooking the Rock River near Oregon in 1911. Since then, the years, weather and repairs and restorations of varying quality have taken their toll. 

4-C

Community Coordinated Child Care began more than 40 years ago with a referral service for parents searching for child care in and around DeKalb. Since then, both the list of services offered by 4-C and the area it serves has grown tremendously.

On a day last spring at the Children's Learning Center in DeKalb, Curriculum Director Shannon Alamia offers a visitor a quick survey of the the facility.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Judge Puts Hold On Pension Reform Law

May 15, 2014
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.

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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