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."

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra is premiering the work of an internationally acclaimed young composer November 9.  Jake Runestad also happens to be a Rockford native.  WNIJ’s Guy Stephens spoke to the composer, who now lives in Minnesota, about his work, “Dreams of the Fallen.”  RSO Director Steven Larsen leads the orchestra, the Mendelssohn Chorale and pianist Jeffrey Biegel in the local premiere of "Dreams of the Fallen," a work

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Democrat Bill Foster got a solid win in yesterday’s election to keep his seat in Illinois’ 11th Congressional District.

Illinois Tollway

Nearly two years of work to rebuild and widen Interstate 90 between Rockford and Elgin is complete.  The Illinois Tollway held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday morning to formally begin removing construction barrels and turning the new lanes on the stretch of I-90 between the two cities over to drivers.  There are now 3 lanes in each direction.
The focus of the $2.5 billion I-90 Rebuilding and Widening project now shifts to the segment between Elgin and Chicago, where work is already underway.


The NIU School of Theatre & Dance calls its latest production “a bit of musical theatre insanity.”  

“The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade,” or, as it’s usually known, ‘Marat/Sade,’ is directed by NIU professor Stanton Davis.  Davis says he wanted emphasize the timeless nature of the play’s message.

The application process for medical marijuana growing facilities and dispensaries has officially begun. But many applicants have been busy for months lining up sites and getting permits from local governments. Those county boards and municipal councils have been receptive.

Most people’s interaction with the new law will be through the dispensaries which will dole out the medical marijuana. But there’s no doubt that the growing centers, which will also process the plant material for its prescribed use, have drawn the most attention from local officials.

Facebook / RVC Starlight Theater

Friday, August 8, the world premiere of a new musical will be presented at Rock Valley College’s Starlight Theatre as a benefit for a Rockford organization that seeks to break down barriers for disabled adults.  It turns out that there is a strong connection between the theme of the musical “Angel” and the mission of the Barbara Olson Center of Hope.

Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra

The Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) has chosen Linc Smelser to be the next conductor of the Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra (RSYO). The RSO announced the selection Friday.

In the announcement, RSO Music Director Steven Larsen said he was delighted to have Smelser as the RSYO's new conductor.

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.