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."

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Kishwaukee College is talking with its faculty and staff unions about possible layoffs. The Daily Chronicle reports the college’s board will discuss possible job cuts next week, and could vote on them at its March 8 meeting. 

Both the college and the unions blame the state budget impasse for the situation. The school has yet to receive $5 million it is owed by the state for this fiscal year. That amounts to nearly a quarter of the college’s budget.

Hats As Heritage

Feb 4, 2016
Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Rock Valley College Studio Theatre presents the gospel musical “Crowns” this week and next. 

Regina Taylor's "Crowns" follows Yolonda, a tough city girl from Brooklyn who is taken to South Carolina after the shooting death of her brother.  There she is mentored by her grandmother, Mother Shaw, and a group of women who, through their stories, help her heal from her loss and more.

Dorothy Paige-Turner plays Mother Shaw.  She says Yolanda undergoes another, deeper kind of journey over the course of the play.  The women are with her every step of the way

Chicago Rockford International Airport

The Chicago Rockford International Airport announced Monday it is cancelling the 2016 Rockford Airfest due to scheduling conflicts with the U.S. Department of Defense’s F-22 jet teams. 

Mike Dunn, Executive Director of the Chicago Rockford International Airport, says the airport had scheduled the jet teams to perform at Airfest the first weekend in June, but the Department rescheduled the teams to instead participate in graduation ceremonies at the military academies.

soarboards.com

Illinois State University is banning hoverboards from campus housing and dining facilities.  The school says they're instituting the ban due to worries about them overheating and catching fire, and concerns the scooters could be dangerous if students are riding them in hallways and other public areas.  

ISU joins other schools in Illinois and across the country that have banned the devices in campus buildings

Students must remove hoverboards from prohibited areas by Feb. 10.  They will still be allowed on public sidewalks on ISU's campus.

VietNow

The Illinois attorney general is suing a Chicago-area professional fundraiser and for-profit telemarketer, alleging it misled the public in its work for Rockford-based veterans’ charity VietNow National Headquarters.

IDES

The unemployment rate in the Rockford area jumped last month compared to the same time the year before.  The Illinois Department of Employment Security says December unemployment in Winnebago and Boone counties stood at 7.2 %, up from 6.9 % in December 2014.  Across Illinois, only the Decatur area had a higher jobless rate.  Rockford also suffered a net loss of 300 jobs from the previous year.

IDCEO

   Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner this week announced a new initiative to help support minority and women-owned businesses in the state.  To start, the program will focus on Rockford, Peoria and Chicago.  Jimmy Odom  is one of the people leading the “Advancing the Development of Minority Entrepreneurship” program.

Odom is a Senior Advisor at the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.  He says the new program aims to increase the diversity of the business community.

Freeport Boil Order Lifted

Jan 19, 2016
Photo courtesy photos-public-domain.com

Goodwill

    

Goodwill Industries of Northern Illinois has approved plans for a new model in adult education.  The Excel Center will provide help in academic, job and life skills for people who didn’t graduate high school.

Target Corporation

 Target says it plans to add about 450 jobs at its DeKalb distribution center over the next several months. That will more than double employment at the site.

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