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815 < 5 is a pair of podcasts bringing you the latest news and events in and around the 8-1-5 area code in less than five minutes! It was produced by students at Northern Illinois University's Journalism 302 News Reporting course during the Spring semester. In May 2022, 815<5 received 1st Place in the Outstanding Radio Newscast category from the Illinois News Broadcasters Association's statewide student awards.

DeKalb/Sycamore This Week: Sycamore contract talks intensify, community booster shot clinic scheduled

Maddie Vikse

UPDATE: The Sycamore teachers’ union has reached a tentative agreement with the district as of late Thursday night.

The Sycamore teachers’ union had filed their intent to strike after stalled contract negotiations with the school district.

Meanwhile, a decision was made during the latest Sycamore school board meeting to move the proceedings online after some individuals refused to wear masks. Union members say they are disappointed they weren’t able to address the board in person.

Waleed Alamleh

In other news, Northern Illinois University has announced it will host a community vaccine booster clinicFeb. 16 at the Convocation Center. The clinic is the result of a partnership with the DeKalb County Health Department so community members can schedule a booster appointment on the health department’s website.

The clinic comes as the DeKalb County Health Department reporteda spike in COVID-19 cases in mid-to-late January. The health department now reports over 22,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 4 recent deaths. The county positivity rate stands at just above 10%.

According to the DeKalb County COVID-19 dashboard, only around 54% of the population is now fully vaccinated.

Melissa Edwards is a spokesperson for the DeKalb County Health Department. She says the booster clinic is a way to increase that number.

“We do want to make sure that scheduling an appointment is not a barrier to receive the vaccine,” Edwards said. “The clinic also will accept walk-ins and so we hope to see people there even if you don’t have an appointment you just have to bring in your vaccine card if you’ve already received the first or second dose or booster.”

Community Calendar

DeKalb/Sycamore residents interested in learning more about making smart purchases as consumers can attend a lecture hosted at the DeKalb Library from 3-4 p.m. on Thursday.

Families who are looking to make a trip to Rockford this weekend can start it off Friday evening at the Rockford Park District with Frosty Fridays Public Ice Skating Sessions.


The DeKalb boys varsity basketball team fell in a close match-up against Dixon last Saturday, losing by a final score of 53-50. The Barbs return to the court Friday against Naperville Central.

The Dekalb girls varsity basketball team also lost in a close game, losing to Neuqua Valley 46-44. The Barbs play their final game of the regular season against Indian Creek on Thursday night.

In Sycamore, the girls varsity basketball team looks to continue its five game winning streak Thursday night against Geneva. The Spartans can finish the season 29-1 with a win.

Meanwhile, the Sycamore boys team pushed its losing streak after losing 42-29 against Morris. The Spartans will look to snap that on Friday against Kaneland.

Contributions by Kurt Bitting, Maddie Vikse, Jay Ceja, Waleed Alamleh, and Nanette Nkolomoni