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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: Health expert weighs in on second booster dose, learning more about aphasia

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DeKalb is likely to have a cannabis dispensary by the end of the year. The Northern Star reports Illinois-based NuEra has six locations. It has been leasing a location in the Junction Center and is waiting on a license to sell cannabis. The Star reports the license hasn’t been awarded due to an ongoing lawsuit which is expected to be resolved this summer.

Second Booster Dose

In other news, DeKalb County is now offering second COVID boosters to everyone who qualifies.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a second booster dose of either the Pfizer or the Moderna vaccines for people over 50 and certain people with health conditions.

Courtney Hughes is an associate professor in NIU’s College of Health and Human Sciences. She says people who are deciding might not want to wait.

"If you’re in those recommended groups, the time is now," she said. "Trying to time a booster shot right before a COVID wave is like trying to time the stock market. It’s just potentially risky to wait and there’s not a lot to be gained by holding out.”

Those eligible must wait four months after their prior dose to get the additional booster.

Celebrity sheds light on communication condition

Former actor Bruce Willis has stepped down from his career in acting. Willis has been diagnosed with a speech condition called aphasia. This condition has limited his ability to produce and understand language. Emily Palmer is a speech pathologist who teaches communication disorders at Northern Illinois University. She says the condition often results after a stroke or brain injury or tumor.

“It can affect a number of things like somebody's ability to talk, their ability to understand what people say," Palmer said.

Palmer says there is no cure for aphasia, but it can be treated.

Community Calendar

With the sun slowly coming out the shadows, DeKalb County is offering an abundance of events to keep people busy.

Fans of the Beatles can celebrate 55 years of one of their most iconic albums, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The event will take place in the Yusunas Meeting Room at the DeKalb Public Library April 16th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

The DeKalb Public Library is offering an event for first time home buyers on April 14th from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. in the Zimmerman meeting room. Tiffany Dallas of American Realty in Sycamore is hosting the event and will cover the process of buying a home, negotiating a mortgage, and closing on a home.

The City of DeKalb was incorporated into the union over 160 years ago. Anyone interested in learning the history of DeKalb can attend the Local History Happy Hour in the Adult Services Department at the DeKalb Library April 18th from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Sports

The DeKalb High School softball team came out short in their last outing with the final score ending in 10-1. The Barbs face Naperville North on Monday at 4:30pm. The DeKalb High School baseball teams face Oswego East on Saturday at 4:30 p.m.

Weather

It looks like we may see some more rain and snow on Monday, but temperatures are expected to stay in the 30s and 40s. Tuesday will be sunny with a high around 50 during the day, with a possibility of rain in the evening.

Expect partly-cloudy skies, gusts of wind up to 35 miles per hour and a low of around 35 degrees this evening.

On Friday, there is a possibility of rain and snow before 9 a.m. and a 20% to 30% chance of rain throughout the day. On the bright side, it will be partly sunny with a high of around 50.

Expect clear, sunny skies on Saturday with a high around 45 and low around 28. Sunday will be partly sunny with a chance of rain.

Severe weather barreled through much of the country earlier this week, leaving major cities damaged after tornadoes, hail and even blizzards struck regions of the U.S.

Tornado watches were issued for much of the U.S. Wednesday, including parts of Illinois. The storm system produced severe weather all across the lower Mississippi Valley, the Midwest and lower Ohio Valley leaving 23 injured in Texas, tens-of-thousands without power in Kentucky and one dead in Arkansas.

Additionally, states in the northern plains saw record snow totals with some areas accumulating over 40 inches of snowfall, leading to road closures and harsh conditions.

Contributions By: Kyra Johnson, Jamariah Crider, Jaylen Conwell, Jay Ceja, Maddie Vikse, Brandon Montemayor, John Jurgens, and Allyson White.