News from the local region for a station

WNIJ continues to review important races in the upcoming Illinois Primary Election on March 20.  In this Friday Forum, we take a look at both the 14th Illinois Congressional District, where there is a primary competition, and the 17th District, where there isn’t.

When You Can't Get It Out Of Your Head ...

1 hour ago

Years ago, a friend of mine was teaching college English when she noted that one student wrote every essay on birds.

She suggested he write about something else. He said he couldn’t. “What,” he asked, “are you going to do with an idea that won’t let you go?”

The French have a name for this condition. It’s called an idee fixe. I knew a man who loved to talk about Cokes so much that during every visit he would get 15 minutes to declaim about Cokes: cherry Cokes, diet Cokes, new and old Cokes; cokes versus Pepsi.

Sessions from Studio A - The Vince Chiarelli Band

10 hours ago
Carl Nelson / WNIJ

WNIJ’s Sessions from Studio A recently asked The Vince Chiarelli Band to stop by and give us a taste of some traditional Italian-American styled music. This Rockford-based group is connected through their Sicilian ancestry and influences, while also finding themselves exploring and incorporating increasing amounts of Latin elements. The band includes Vince Chiarelli's vocal and guitar stylings, Frank Calvagna filling out melodies on lead guitar, Tony Chiarelli playing bass guitar and occasionally Tim Austin on the drums.


A judge has denied bond for a man with a long criminal history who is charged in the fatal shooting of a Chicago police commander.


A Cook County courtroom was filled with police officers at 44-year-old Shomari Legghette's hearing Thursday, including Superintendent Eddie Johnson. Legghette wore sweatpants and a Chicago Bears shirt along with shackles around his wrist and ankles. Legghette is charged with first-degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm and possession of narcotics in the death of Cmdr. Paul Bauer.

Renovations Are In The Final Stages At Rockford's Cliffbreakers

15 hours ago

The banquet and meeting facilities at the Cliffbreakers Riverside Hotel and Conference Center are open for business again.

The 30,000 square feet of events space was renovated as part of a $2.5 million overhaul of the complex along the Rock River in the north end of Rockford. The facility’s management group said it was already accepting reservations for 2018.