Special Programming

Police departments nation-wide are increasing their commitment to community policing in hopes of reducing crime. It’s a strategy that involves developing relationships between neighborhoods and individual officers. 

Brandon Dillard is one of nine officers in the community services unit. He says unlike other patrol officers, his job is aimed at getting long-term results.

USS LST Ship Memorial / http://lstmemorial.org/

Fifteen years ago, a group of retired American military veterans bought a dream: a decommissioned Land Ship, Tank that delivered men and equipment to European shores during World War Two. The LST-325 eventually ended up in Greece's Navy. The vets worked hard to make the ship sea-worthy and sailed it back to the U.S. in early 2001. 

Katie Finlon/WNIJ

Twenty-one people died from train-related incidents in Illinois last year. That's the second most train-related deaths of any state. 

The effect on victims and their families is fairly obvious. But what happens to the railroad employees when that kind of trauma occurs, and how do they cope?

It Shouldn't Be An 'Either/Or' Issue

May 29, 2015

Although school financing may be a dry topic, recent coverage in the Rockford Register Star convincingly points out how we allocate funding to schools has immeasurable impact on students and teachers alike.

Corina Curry’s reporting skillfully addresses the often amplified discussion of politics, money, and education. As Curry reminds us, Title I was a key component of President Johnson’s Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the ESEA. The law has been reauthorized multiple times, most recently under the title “No Child Left Behind.”

A Woman Of A Certain Age ...

May 28, 2015

I am aging. I have fears about old age.

As I look around me, youth wins the day while older people obsess over wrinkle creams, anti-aging products and Viagra working to “keep up appearances” … and other things.

Aging in America is tough.

It’s not that I thought I would outrun aging (the alternative is…) I did think it would look better, kinder and have hidden virtues that I would grow to cherish and value as the things of youth were replaced with the wisdom of age.

A Real Danger Out In Nature

May 27, 2015

For the past six to eight months I've had times in which I got very sick, but my doctors could never find anything wrong.

Last fall I went through 21 straight days of vomiting. I went to the emergency room three times. I was always sent home, as the medical professionals could find nothing wrong.

Since then, I've had high temperatures, chills, sweats that soak my clothes and bed, and lately some very painful headaches and joint pain.

A Lesson From Icarus For All

May 26, 2015

Last week, my class read the myth of Icarus.

A boy, Icarus, strapped on wings made of feathers and wax. Exhilarated by flying, Icarus paid no attention to his father’s warning about flying too close to the sun. In his frenzied flight, the sun’s heat melted Icarus’s wings and he crashed into the sea.

Advice From A Wise Observer

May 25, 2015

“The dead men would not want us to gloat.”

Those words come from Ernie Pyle, the war correspondent who covered World War II from the inside out ... from the trenches, tents and ditches, shoulder to shoulder with the troops. He watched them fight — and saw many die — before he, too, was eventually cut down by machine-gun fire.

His words seem appropriate today as Memorial Day observances unfold with dignity and humility in our hometowns.

From the heat of battle, he wrote: 

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.

Good News, Bad News About Change

May 22, 2015

Public radio is in the news business, but sometimes we forget the first three letters of that word news. The news is about what’s new.

We are deluged with the new. There’s always a new conflict in the battles over terrorism or a new technology. How about a wearable device that watches your blood sugar and releases capsules of glucose when your blood sugar runs low?