Community Close-Up

The WNIJ audience includes a wide geographic area in diverse communities with a wide range of challenges and opportunities. This occasional series will inform our audience -- both on air and online -- of activities, opportunities and events in individual communities to build common understanding among listeners of the government, business and social climate in northern Illinois.

Chelsey Fulbright/pixlr

The fire destroyed the city's historical society. The second floor held vintage clothing, which could not be salvaged. Firefighters were able to rescue some items: papers, pictures and paintings. They arrived in various levels of disrepair at a nearby factory for "historical triage." Two boys are charged with starting the July 15 blaze. Charlene Hanson now spends her days organizing black-and-white photos from Prophetstown's past at the nearby Penberthy factory. Box fans are set on full blast...

Jenna Dooley/pixlr / WNIJ

This is an important year for the farming community of Earlville, Illinois. Residents are preparing for the town’s Sesquicentennial. Think there's nothing to do in Earlville on a Friday night? Think again. Route 34 Drive-in owner Ron Magnoni Jr. runs his projector for a showing of the latest "Die Hard" flick.

He’s been the guy running the show for decades -- which always begins with "The Star-Spangled Banner" and cartoons. He worked here for several years before buying the theater in...

Dan Klefstad / pixlr

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 . On any given night, 88 people stay at Hope Haven as part of emergency shelter and transitional programs...