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."

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rock Valley College / rockvalleycollege.edu

After a national search, Rock Valley College has gone in-house for its new president.  The College's Board of Trustees today announced it has selected Michael Mastroianni as RVC's sixth president.  

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The NIU School of Theatre and Dance’s current production is Ketty Fring’s 1958 stage adaptation of Thomas Wolfe’s coming-of-age novel “Look Homeward, Angel.”  WNIJ’s Guy Stephens spoke with the show’s director, Patricia Skarbinski.  The School is mounting its productions away from its home in NIU’s Stevens Building this year while the facility undergoes renovation. Skarbinski says that was just one of the challenges of the show.

The northern Illinois town of Plano stood in for Smallville in the Superman movie released in 2013.  While residents have embraced the recognition that came with the film, they want everyone to know the town is more than a Hollywood backdrop.

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