High Traffic Expected As NIU Students Move In

Aug 19, 2016
Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Around 3,000 students will move into Northern Illinois University today. 

NIU officials say this will result in nearly 5,000 vehicles on local roads. 

Traffic from I-88’s Annie Glidden Road exit will be routed down Fairview Drive and Nelson Road before going down Lincoln Highway. 

Routes on West Campus will be one-way, and increased traffic is expected along Sycamore’s retail corridor, especially around Target and Wal-Mart.  

Katie Finlon / WNIJ

Former Northern Illinois University police officer Andrew Rifkin was charged with sexually assaulting a female freshman student at NIU in 2011.

Following his arrest, Rifkin was interviewed by two university police officers for about two and a half hours. That interview was recorded.

Rifkin's attorney, Bruce Brandwein, says a large portion of the recorded interview was not recovered. He also says there are missing text messages between Rifkin and the victim from days following the incident.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

We’re learning a lot more about the workhorse of the world’s flower beds and planter boxes: the Petunia Genome Project is complete, with the help of researchers from Northern Illinois University.

NIU professors Tom Sims and Rick Johns were among the primary researchers in the four year project. Johns says mapping the petunia’s DNA involved 50 researchers from 10 countries.

Science used to be one scientist working in a lab with a few students but now international collaboration is the rule, not the exception.

Stopgap Funding Shores Up NIU

Jul 4, 2016

  Last week’s stopgap budget measure provided additional funding to higher education, including Northern Illinois University.  The measure provides 48 million dollars for NIU’s  institutional operations. 

With this funding, NIU now has about 80% of the money that it requested for the previous fiscal year.  Although it’s categorized as operational expenses, and doesn’t have the limits of a line-item budget, Finance and Administration Vice President Al Phillips says most of this cash will go toward university payroll.  He also says the stopgap bill is only a short term solution.  

An Illinois appeals court has reinstated a wrongful death lawsuit against a Northern Illinois University fraternity by the family of a pledge who died in 2012.

The Daily Herald reports the family of David Bogenberger sued the NIU chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, arguing the fraternity and its members were responsible for Bogenberger's death because pledges were required to participate in excessive drinking to gain membership. 

The 19-year-old died in 2012 with a blood alcohol level of .43 percent after a fraternity party.