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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 County This Week: NIU economist talks gas prices, local wrestling events abound

Maddie Vikse

President Biden announced that the U.S. will ban imports of oil and gas from Russia. As a result, you will likely pay more at the pump.

NIU economics professor Jeremy Groves says there could be relief on the way.

“If these prices keep going up and prices stay high, the benefit to that, from a consumer's perspective, is that it’s going to attract new wells and you're going to see a lot more drilling happening out west in the United States, where we know there is oil," Groves said. "Those wells become profitable, they start supplying the market again; prices will go back down.”

The recent gas price increase is something many students find inconvenient.

Jai-lynn Carter is a sophomore majoring in chemistry. They're frustrated with the recent gas price increase.

“To me it’s really upsetting because I do drive home every other week," Carter said. “The gas prices are really upsetting to me especially thinking back to when it was half the price that it is now.”

In Illinois, the current price of gas has risen to more than $4.50 per gallon.

COVID tracker

In other news, state data shows that more than half all DeKalb County is fully vaccinated.

107 new cases were reported in DeKalb County and two additional deaths.

There is a 2.4% positivity rate in DeKalb County.


NIU STEAM is hosting Skyscapes: Using Time-lapse Photography to Unlock the Mysteries of Storm. Attendees will learn about severe weather phenomena from NIU meteorology professor Walker Ashley as he shares images captured from storm chasing, satellites and more. NIU STEM Cafés allow adults to eat, drink and discuss topics with STEM professionals in a casual setting.

The event is free to attend and will take place Wednesday at Fatty’s Pub and Grille. 

For music lovers looking to sharpen their skills, the Sycamore Library is hosting a 3-part introductory ukulele class beginning Saturday. Music instructor and therapist Jen Conley will teach anyone aged 15 and up about how to be a successful ukulele player.

Prospective students are asked to register online and bring their own instruments.

Finally, the Trash Squirrels are a group of DeKalb-area residents who organize outings to pick up trash around local roads and parks. According to the organization’s Facebook page, opening day for the 2022 season is April 9.

The group is open to anyone and members interested in participating in trash collection must first sign a release of liability form.


DeKalb High School will be sending four freshman wrestlers to the 26th annual Illinois Wrestling Coaches And Officials Association state championships in Springfield. The event will be held from March 12 to the 13th. The I.W.O.C.A championships are reserved for those who did not qualify for the IHSA State tournament.

In other news, NIU will be hosting the Illinois Elementary School Association State Wrestling finals at the Convocation Center. Wrestlers in 5th to 8th grade from over 250 schools will compete in the tournament from March 11-12

This marks the 23rd year that the county has hosted the event, and the first time since 2019, due to the pandemic.


Thursday night will be cold and cloudy with a high of 29 degrees. Going into Friday night, there’s a 20% chance of snow. The weekend will be a bit of a rollercoaster, with the sun peeking out on Saturday and Sunday. Cold temperatures will persist through the weekend, and the high will be 43 degrees. Monday morning will finally feel like spring with a high of 50 degrees, but there is still a chance of rain and snow.

Contributions by: Allyson White, Nanette Nkolomoni, Kurt Bitting, Waleed Alamleh, Allison Formeller, and Gabe Fiorini