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."

Chris Slaby / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his State of the State address this week. He repeatedly hammered a theme of political courage during his speech to the General Assembly.

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We continue our series "Community Close-Up" in a city trying to capitalize on its prime location.  Rochelle sits along Lincoln Highway near I-39 and I-88, earning it the nickname as the "Hub City."  City leaders hope recent upgrades and business opportunities will attract people to this city at the crossroads.

U.S. House

Illinois Congressman Don Manzullo says the House should not take the blame for the looming fiscal cliff.  He says the House passed a tax bill last summer. He faults the Senate for not acting on that bill, or any House proposal, since.  He says a deal could come together very quickly, if both sides agree to work on it.

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The NIU Huskies football team has headed down to Miami to play in the Discover Orange Bowl.  They’ll be joined by a host of school officials, alumni and students.  Getting everyone down there has taken an unprecedented effort across the NIU community.

To say there was interest in the NIU community about the game would be an understatement. Brad Hoey is Director of Communications & Marketing at NIU. He’s been involved with bowl trips since he was a student broadcaster for Huskies in the 1980s. He says this one is a huge leap from previous bowl trips.

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A DeKalb organization that provides meals to those in need is looking to expand in 2013. To pay for that, the Feed’em Soup community project has started a late night food service.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

It’s official. A railcar maker in Rochelle will build 130 high speed rail cars for the Midwest and California.  Governor Pat Quinn and U-S Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced the $352-million contract Monday at Nippon Sharyo’s factory in Rochelle.  

Guy Stephens

Amtrak is set to resume passenger service across northern Illinois from Chicago to Dubuque in 2014.  Cities along the route are building new stations to handle the new Blackhawk Line. Some in Freeport see a chance to create much more than just a stop on the route.

Rockford Public Schools

A measure to allow Rockford Public Schools to issue $139 million in bonds to finance a massive rebuilding plan passed by a wide margin on Tuesday.  However, the District’s work has only just begun.

Dr Ehren Jarrett has been chosen as the Rockford School District’s next superintendent. The soon-to-be-former assistant superintendent says the District is thrilled that the issue passed. But, he says, a lot more planning is necessary, because the District wants to be careful with the authority it has been given.

The race for Illinois' new 11th Congressional District pits Democrat Bill Foster against Republican Judy Biggert. While on paper the district looks heavily Democratic, polls show the candidates running neck-and-neck.

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Rochelle-based Nippon Sharyo has been named the intended recipient of a $352 million contract to build 130 bi-level passenger railcars to accommodate high-speed rail expansion in Illinois and two other Midwest states as well as California.

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