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."

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A DeKalb County Circuit Court judge has ordered Waste Management of Illinois, Inc. to take extra precautions to prevent the release of noxious gases in the wake of a Jan. 14 incident that was blamed for sickening dozens of students and staff at Cortland Elementary School. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

In some Illinois farm fields this winter, hidden beneath the ice and snow, there are crops farmers have planted that won’t ever go to market, but could ultimately affect the farmers’ bottom line.  Cover crops could have an impact far beyond that.

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Northern Illinois University’s President Doug Baker has called for increasing the school’s ties with Chinese institutions. That would include having more students from China on the DeKalb campus.  In one school within the university, a number are already here -- and have been for a long time.

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A Rockford lawyer and onetime Winnebago County State's Attorney  has been chosen an Associate Judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court that serves Winnebago and Boone Counties. Philip J. Nicolosi's selection by a vote of 17th Circuit judges was announced on Monday, December 23.  He fills a vacancy left by the retirement of Associate Judge Gary V. Pumilia.

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Alumni of the NIU Community School of the Arts Sinfonia join current members for a concert Sunday, December 22 at NIU's Boutell Memorial Concert Hall  to mark the School’s 25th anniversary. Deborah Booth has been the School’s director for much of that time. Booth says it started small, and with a particular focus. 

Rockford Dance Company

The Rockford Dance Company has picked a new executive director with local ties.

In its announcement, the Rockford Dance Company's Board of Directors said Carm Cavallaro Rongere's "experience in management leadership, the performing arts, and nonprofit organizations will support the advancement of the mission of the dance company, the school, and the outreach efforts in the greater Rockford Community." 

This fall, the city councils of Sterling and Rock Falls met in a rare joint session to give final approval to a merger of their two fire departments.

Gary Cook is the Chief of the new Twin City Joint Fire Command. He says the merger was the logical end result of an organic process, one that’s been going on for some time.

“Our automatic aid agreement was signed 15 years ago. So we had since worked forward from that point. We’re polishing what we’d already been doing.  We’re just taking to another level and making it better.”      

Rockford Choral Union

The Rockford Choral Union presents its 68th annual performances of Handel’s oratorio “The Messiah” Saturday and Sunday, November 30 and December 1, at Rockford’s Trinity Lutheran Church.  Nat Bauer has led the performances for the last 12 years. Bauer says the Choral Union was begun back in 1945, as members of the armed forces were returning home from fighting in World War 2.

“The Lutheran churches got together and said we need to do something to welcome everybody back, so they got together and said let’s do Messiah.”

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Some of the city’s older arts organizations are trying to adapt to a cultural and economic climate that is much different than when they were formed.

Joel Ross has been the artistic director for the choir Kantorei, the Singing Boys of Rockford, for 25 of its nearly 50 years of existence. He says an arts organization that wants to stick around needs to answer   several important questions:

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