Victor Yehling

Managing Editor

Victor Yehling is Managing Editor for WNIJ News.  He coordinates the WNIJ news team, assigns stories, offers suggestions, develops project ideas, and generally harasses our outstanding news employees.  He's a relative newcomer, joining WNIJ in July 2010, but he has 15 years experience as a newspaper editor and reporter plus a couple of years in TV news.  He also spent time on the dark side, working in public relations and advertising; he claims he's recovering.  Away from the station, he enjoys theater, grandchildren, board games, Kansas City Chiefs football, and preparing for retirement in rural suburban Hagarstown.

Fishing in northern Illinois waterways can provide a great deal of sport, but it may also provide reason for concern.

While there are nutritional benefits of eating fish from Illinois lakes and rivers, contaminants can make fish less than ideal to eat.

The Illinois Department of Public Health issues a fish advisory for more than 90 waterways in the state. The “eatability” of fish from those waters is rated based on the size and species of fish commonly caught there.

The food safety of fish also varies according to where you fish in what body of water.

Beloit College

It's that time again: A new crop of young people is entering colleges and universities around the world.

And, just as it has every summer since 1998, Beloit College is issuing its "Mindset List" to help define the factors that shaped those new freshmen -- or "first-years" or "freshies" or whatever new term may be applied by a given institution.

Illinois ranks tenth among all 50 states and Washington, D.C., for the quality of its public school systems, according to a new study.

The state ranked first in the percentage of high school graduates who completed the ACT and second in the average SAT score, personal-finance website WalletHub reported. It also ranked above average – in 23rd place – in the dropout rate.

Illinois was just below average in bullying incidents, placing 26th, and in school safety, ranked at 27th. The statewide pupil-teacher ratio earned a ranking of 30th.

Gov. Bruce Rauner celebrated the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act over the weekend by signing five new laws relating to persons with disabilities.

Effective immediately

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Although the Illinois state budget for Fiscal Year 2016 still has not been decided, Gov. Bruce Rauner did take action on 24 pieces of legislation last Friday.

The news release from his office, however, provided absolutely no real information about what he had approved. Here is one example of how the “information” provided by the Gov. Rauner’s press office was sent out:

Bill No.: SB 38
An Act Concerning Employment
Action: Signed     
Effective: January 1, 2016

Beloit officials are seeking a new consultant to conduct its internal review of the Beloit Police Department in the wake of its two top officers being placed on administrative leave.

Chicago-based security management firm Hillard  Heintze, whose report to Beloit City Manager Lori Luther resulted in Chief Norm Jacobs and Deputy Chief Tom Durkin stepping aside, said it was withdrawing to ensure impartiality and maintain the integrity of the Beloit Police Department.

Victor Yehling/WNIJ

With a brand new pavilion providing shelter for about half of the vendors, the Rockford City Market opened for its sixth season Friday night along Water Street on the east bank of the Rock River.

The pavilion, which replaces a crumbling parking deck that was closed for safety reasons, was finished just days ago to be ready for the opening.

Cathy McDermott, administrator of market operator  Rock River Development Partnership, said 65 vendors -- eight more than last year -- were participating in the opening day.

WNIJ/Victor Yehling

“In so many ways, what is old is now new again. That really reflects the case of this unique space.”

That’s how Rockford University President Robert Head addressed the group gathered Friday in the restored snack bar area of the remodeled Blanche Walker Burpee Center on the Rockford Campus.

Built in 1963 as then-Rockford College moved from its location just south of downtown, the building was intended to be a center of student activity.

The Illinois Tobacco Quitline reopened for business at noon today, thanks to funding restored on April 30 due to higher-than-expected Illinois tax receipts.

All 27 employees laid off as a result of the cuts have returned to work. They shut down when Gov. Bruce Rauner announced on Good Friday that he was slashing $26 million in social service and public health grants.

The Quitline helps smokers end the habit, reducing the burden caused by smoking and saving the state millions of dollars in healthcare costs. 

Victor Yehling/WNIJ News

The report of the death of passenger rail service to Rockford, to paraphrase Mark Twain, was an exaggeration.

That’s the position Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey took at a news conference today to clarify a comment Wednesday by Amtrak Representative Ray Lang to an Illinois House committee.

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