As you head off Interstate 39 and drive west toward Mendota, the sign inviting you to the city’s annual summer sweet corn festival reminds you that you’re in farm country. The big Del Monte processing plant further in confirms that. But manufacturing has long been a big part of Mendota’s economy, too. So R.R. Donnelley was hailed back in 1992 when it bought a closed local printing plant, adding high-skilled, high-wage jobs to the community.
WNIJ's Community Close-up of DeKalb examines how a community supports its most vulnerable members.
About 44,000 people live in DeKalb. Another 5,000 students live on campus at Northern Illinois University. The city is also host to a growing number of people who sleep in their cars, on their friends’ couches, or in the county’s only homeless shelter: Hope Haven.
We continue our occasional series “Community Close-Up” in Oregon, Illinois. For the past nine years: large sculptures have been popping up around town. They are part of a decade-long effort to expand the city’s tradition of art.