Community Close-Up 2013

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.

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Community Close-Up
6:30 am
Fri March 22, 2013

After Big Losses, Mendota Working To Move Forward

A new water tower is one of the infrastructure improvements the city of Mendota is making to attract new businesses.
Credit Guy Stephens/pixlr

As you head off Interstate 39 and drive west toward Mendota, the sign inviting you to the city’s annual summer sweet corn festival reminds you that you’re in farm country. The big Del Monte processing plant further in confirms that. But manufacturing has long been a big part of Mendota’s economy, too. So R.R. Donnelley was hailed back in 1992 when it bought a closed local printing plant, adding high-skilled, high-wage jobs to the community.

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Community Close-Up
6:27 am
Fri March 8, 2013

Close-up: DeKalb And Its Homeless Citizens

Credit 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.

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Community Close-Up 2013
6:36 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Oregon Adds Sculptures To Build On Art Tradition

Jenna Dooley/pixlr WNIJ

We continue our occasional series “Community Close-Up” in Oregon, Illinois.  For the past nine years: large sculptures have been popping up around town.  They are part of a decade-long effort to expand the city’s tradition of art.

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Community Close-Up 2013
7:47 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Elgin Focuses on Future Water Needs

Credit Mike Moen/pixlr

In our latest Community Close-Up, we look at Elgin. Like most cities, this suburb is faced with a variety of infrastructure needs and challenges. City officials say even one of their points of pride, the public water system, will need attention in the years to come.

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Community Close-Up 2013
6:36 am
Thu January 24, 2013

Rochelle Finds Benefit In Its Nickname

WNIJ/pixlr

We continue our series "Community Close-Up" in a city trying to capitalize on its prime location.  Rochelle sits along Lincoln Highway near I-39 and I-88, earning it the nickname as the "Hub City."  City leaders hope recent upgrades and business opportunities will attract people to this city at the crossroads.

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Community Close-Up 2013
6:34 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Aurora Takes Pride In Murder-Free 2012

Credit Jenna Dooley/pixlr

We continue our series "Community Close-Up" with a look at a milestone in Aurora.  For the first time since 1946, the city ended the year without a single murder. Now some city leaders want to reward officers for the achievement.

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Community Close-Up 2013
6:25 am
Tue January 8, 2013

Belvidere Seeks Greater Vitality

Credit Susan Stephens/pixlr

In the first of WNIJ's occasional series "Community Close-Up," we turn our attention to Belvidere. Like many other communities, Belvidere is trying to revitalize its downtown.

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Rockford
7:00 am
Wed July 25, 2012

Living in Rockford: a spiritual perspective

Pablo Korona is a Rockford native and filmmaker.  He’s taken charge of a movement called “Our City, Our Story,” a grassroots effort to showcase the stories behind the city.  Every Tuesday, Korona releases a new mini-documentary on his website. 

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Rockford
7:00 am
Tue July 24, 2012

Living in Rockford: a practical perspective

This story originally aired during the summer of 2012.

In the first of a two-part series, WNIJ’s Jenna Dooley finds out what it means to live in Rockford.

Michelle and Lawrence Boyd hit a road block in raising seven children when Lawrence lost his job after 17 years.  They found a fixer-upper on Park Avenue near downtown Rockford a little more than two years ago.  Michelle said it had a new roof and a new furnace, enough to house her growing family:

But it had problems too.

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