DeKalb

WNIJ

DeKalb and Rochelle may be in the running for a massive new auto manufacturing plant. Toyota and Mazda announced they are teaming up to build a $1.5 billion factory in the U.S. but didn’t specify the site.

State Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon, says he knows state and local economic-development officials are working on a code-named project that meets the same specifications of the Toyota/Mazda plan. 

Demmer says he’s not surprised that DeKalb and Rochelle are contenders. He said both of the cities within his legislative district have what a manufacturer of that size needs.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

DeKalb Mayor Jerry Smith has a very positive attitude about his first 100 days in office.

At a Chamber of Commerce event Thursday morning, Smith highlighted a long list of projects begun or continued in the first few months of his administration. 

He also emphasized the beneficial ways DeKalb and Northern Illinois University have worked together and said he would seek more opportunities for collaboration. That includes bringing together NIU and community transit to work as one system. He also cited partnerships with other private, public and educational organizations.  

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

The DeKalb “flying corn” logo’s history was the subject for this month’s Local Lore adult lecture series. It’s the second year the Ellwood House Museum hosted the series with the help of other area history groups.

Patrons applauded as Donna Langford, with the DeKalb Area Agricultural Heritage Association – or DAAHA, walked to the podium to begin her lecture about the DeKalb Winged Ear logo. It's the familiar ear of corn with wings and the word “DeKalb” written across the ear.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

One man’s prairie is another man’s patch of weeds. That’s the debate that is unfolding in DeKalb over a proposed rewrite of the city’s “weeds ordinance.”

About 20 people spoke out about native plants, property rights, and good neighbors at Thursday’s hearing of DeKalb’s Citizens Environmental Commission.

Paul Soderholm of Mt. Morris spoke about his own nature preserve in neighboring Ogle County and the benefits of native plants. He said they “support native insects, support native birds.”

Katie Finlon/WNIJ

Developer John Pappas is proposing a second mixed-use building for downtown DeKalb. 

He's currently involved with the four-story Cornerstone project, a $7.5 million development with three floors of apartments above ground-level retail at the site of the old Otto's building.

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