Friday Forum

WNIJ's Friday Forum features  in-depth interviews with state officials, community leaders, and others whose decisions influence your life. You can hear it every Friday during Morning Edition on 89.5 FM and

Rockford voters will get a chance this spring to decide whether or not to return the city to “home rule” status. In this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ's Jenna Dooley explores the potential implications on the city and its residents.

What is "home rule" anyway, and why does it matter in 2018?

Bobbie Holzwarth is a co-chair for the effort to bring back home rule to Rockford. She gives this example:

A plan is underway in Rockford to enable people who didn't graduate from high school to earn their diploma, and more. It addresses a nationwide problem: how to bridge the gap between the needs of business and the skill set of the available pool of workers. In this Friday Forum, WNIJ's Guy Stephens has more about Goodwill's Excel Center. 

This past January, WNIJ started a weekly feature called “The Friday Forum.” The idea was rooted in a survey of our listeners, who indicated they wanted more in-depth state and regional news.


So the Friday Forum was born, featuring the WNIJ area's most important issues, decision-makers, and the people are affected by them.


Today we review the Friday Forums of 2017, with highlights from each month.


Rockford Public Schools

Illinois public schools face a teacher shortage, and officials increasingly are turning to substitutes when full-time educators are unavailable. But what effects does this have on education, particularly when substitutes themselves are becoming harder to find? In this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Chase Cavanaugh looks for some of the answers.

Susan Stephens/WNIJ

It was 1972.

The Vietnam War dragged on. A break-in at the Watergate Hotel in Washington, D.C., was the beginning of the end for President Richard Nixon. The Godfather and The Price Is Right debuted, as well as the video game Pong.

1972 was the last time a man walked on the moon. And Congress passed the Equal Rights Amendment, sending it to the states for ratification.