© 2023 WNIJ and WNIU
Northern Public Radio
801 N 1st St.
DeKalb, IL 60115
Northern Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
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: COVID-19 cases are back up; the future of Hopkins Pool

Jenna Dooley

COVID-19 cases are on the rise again with 80 new cases in DeKalb County from April 3 to April 9. Cases haven’t been this high since mid-to-late February earlier this year. A little over 56% of the population is now vaccinated.

Governor signs budget

This week, Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed a new state budget. The governor says it includes rebate checks for families, a back-to-school sales tax holiday, and suspends the tax on groceries for a year. Pritzker says the plan will bring improvements to the lives of working families.

“…And sets us up for a stronger fiscal future. Putting people first is what this budget is all about.”

The budget boosts funding for college assistance and mental health abuse services. It will put money into workforce training programs and additional hires at the department of children and family services.

Input sought on aging community pool

Next week, the DeKalb Park District board will meet in order to decide the fate of the almost century-old Hopkins Pool. According to a survey published this month, a majority of respondents said the pool adds value to the community. While the pool is 90 years old, it has not had an update in nearly 50 years.

Katie Drum is Marketing coordinator for the park district.

“If we don’t do something soon we risk Hopkins Pool completely shut down and not used at all,” Drum said. “I think that would be something very terrible for the community.”

With pool season starting in a little over a month any decision would not affect this swimming season.

Community Calendar

The Queer-Oriented Rural Resource Network and Safe Passage are hosting a blood drive this Saturday at the Federated Church of Sycamore on West State Street. The drive will feature appearances by DeKalb drag entertainers and chances to win gift cards to area restaurants. The drive runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Visit the group’s website to register.

And, the DeKalb Public Library is joining with libraries across the state to host a virtual event with musician Jeff Tweedy and comedian and actor Nick Offerman, best known for his role as Ron Swanson in Parks and Recreation. The two Illinois natives will be talking about Offerman’s new book. You can register for the event through the library.


We all know the saying "April showers bring May flowers." Maybe you are hoping that will be the case again this year. The weather so far this spring has been cold to say the least as we’ve been dealing with rain and even snow on multiple days.

NIU professor atmospheric scientist and disaster geographer Walker Ashley says the colder weather is caused by La Nina, a cooling phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean.

Professor Ashley says people won’t notice a change in the weather until next month. So keep your jackets ready until then.

He also cautions about running out to buy flowers and plants this weekend because he says there is still a chance for frost ahead.

Contributions by: Madelaine Vikse, Jaylen Conwell, John Jurgens, and Waleed Alamleh