Guy Stephens

Reporter

Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements.  In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level.  Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU.  In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."

HCC

Highland Community College Trustees approved a permanent budget for the current fiscal year Tuesday night.  Officials at the Freeport school say the budget reflects efforts to move forward despite a steep drop in state support.

League of Women Voters

Tuesday, Sept. 27, is National Voter Registration Day.  It's a reminder that you can't vote if you aren't registered.

The deadline for Illinois residents to register outside of their local election office is Oct. 11, and the League of Women Voters of Greater Rockford has scheduled registration events before then at several locations throughout the Rockford area. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The city of Marseilles, Ill., will get more than a million dollars in a settlement reached with Ingram Barge Company over damage caused by extensive flooding in April 2013.  The Ottawa Times reports the city’s mayor announced the settlement Wednesday night at a city council meeting.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The idea for Little Free Libraries started in 2009 in Hudson, Wis. That’s when Todd Bol built a small model of a one-room schoolhouse, set it on a post, and filled with it free books as a tribute to his mother’s love of reading.  

The appeal of the take-a-book, leave-a-book exchanges spread throughout the world.  This year, they came to Princeton, Illinois, in a big way.  

Illinois State Police

The Illinois State Police said Wednesday that they've arrested Deborah Dewey's brother-in-law in connection with her disappearance and death.  

 

Standard, Ill., resident Clifford Andersen, 66, is charged with concealment of a death, a class-four felony, and is being held in the Bureau County Jail on $750,000 bond.  

 

Dewey's body was found Monday in a shallow grave on a vacant property in Standard. The 62-year-old Ladd woman had been missing since Aug. 22, when she failed to report to work. Her unlocked car was found at a truck stop in Morris on Aug. 29.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ News

Beloit College alumna and accomplished cellist Helen Gillet ’00, Victor E. Farrell Endowed Artist-in-Residence this fall, will perform at the college's Eaton Chapel at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24.

Gillet is a jazz-based cellist, singer, composer, and improviser. She is known for performing an eclectic mix of French, contemporary jazz, North Indian, blues and classical styles. 

Guy Stephens / WNIJ News

Career, or vocational, training has traditionally aimed toward getting students blue collar or service industry jobs. That’s still true. But in Beloit, school officials want to add tech jobs to the list. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Fiat Chrysler Assembly Plant in Belvidere is idled this week because of a supplier problem.

DeKalb County State's Attorney

DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack is requesting the Circuit Court appoint a special state's attorney to investigate possible perjury by a Seattle, Washington police officer in the 2012 trial of Jack D. McCullough for the 1957 murder of Maria Ridulph.  

McCullough was found guilty. His conviction was dismissed this year after Schmack said a court-ordered review including evidence not admitted in that trial showed McCullough could not have committed the crime. McCullough was freed after spending several years in prison. 

A chemical spill Monday morning at a Sugar Grove chemical distributor sent 14 people to area hospitals with respiratory problems.

The Sugar Grove Fire Protection District says all the problems were minor.  Fire district officials say chlorine gas was released in the incident at Producers Chemical.  The District says it took about two and a half hours to contain the release and clear the facility.

 

ADP

Illinois added 8,200 private sector jobs in July. That’s according to a report by human resources management firm ADP.  

The report says Illinois added 8,800 service sector jobs in July.  The total number was pulled down by a loss of 600 jobs in areas such as manufacturing, mining and construction.  

Rockford Area Arts Council

The Rockford Area Arts Council’s ArtsPlace wraps up this weekend at Riverfront Museum Park.  Dance pieces, interdisciplinary performances and short films, all created by the students at ArtsPlace, will be presented in several shows. Students’ artwork has also been put on display and for sale.  

Sharon Nesbit-Davis is Education & Community Engagement Director for the Rockford Area Arts Council. She says the summer arts apprenticeship program offers a unique opportunity for area teens.  

Rockford Products LLC

 The CEO of Rockford Products’ parent company on Monday sent a letter to the State of Illinois and the City of Rockford saying that, unless a buyer was found, the facility would close September 30, and its 171 employees would be permanently laid off.

The maker of automotive and industrial fasteners for heavy-duty off-road equipment makers like Deere and Caterpillar blamed a drop in sales as that industry contracts.

cyberdriveillinois.com

Illinois motorists soon will get vehicle registration reminders in the mail again. They also might get something extra with those reminders in the future. 

Illinois Secretary of State Jesse White announced Monday that he is reinstating the reminders. He also is asking the legislature to allow his office to offer advertising space on them to defray the cost of the mailings.

IDES

Eight of Illinois’ 14 metropolitan areas experienced decreases in their over-the-year unemployment rate in June and eight of the metro areas had increases in nonfarm jobs, according to preliminary data released Thursday by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security.

Guy Stephens/ WNIJ

Rockford University students present a preview Friday night in the school’s Maddox Theatre of the musical revue they’ll perform in early August at Edinburgh, Scotland’s Fringe Festival.

ADP

Illinois is gaining private sector jobs at a slowly increasing pace after a big swing earlier in the year.

Human resources management firm ADP, in collaboration with Moody’s Analytics, Inc., measures changes in nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally adjusted basis.  The June ADP Regional Employment Report® says the state added 7,400 private sector jobs last month. That’s up from 6,300 jobs added in May, and 5,200 added in April.  

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The Illinois Legislature today passed pieces of a stopgap budget deal between the governor and top legislative leaders to keep the state running and fund schools in the fiscal year that begins Friday.  The bills now head to the desk of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.

The deal includes money to fund state services, colleges, prisons and road construction for the next six months. It also provides a full year of funding for elementary and secondary education, including money for financially struggling Chicago Public Schools. 

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

The average price for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in Illinois is $2.48.  That’s ten cents lower than last week’s average, and 44 cents lower than the average a year ago, according to AAA.  AAA says regular unleaded gas in Illinois averaged $2.58 per gallon a week ago, and $2.92 per gallon a year ago.

The highest price is in Chicago, at $2.93 per gallon. The lowest is in Decatur, at $2.20 per gallon. 

National Weather Service

The National Weather Service says its survey crews have now confirmed 18 tornados struck north central and northeast Illinois Wednesday night (June 22) during storms that traversed the state.  The NWS says the number could still be revised upward.

The NWS says damage surveys indicate two confirmed tornados qualified to be rated EF-2: at Pontiac, with top wind speeds estimated at 115-125 mph, and Marseilles-Seneca, with top wind speeds estimated at 116 mph. 

DeKalb County Nonprofit Partnership, DeKalb County Community Foundation

The Give Local DeKalb County campaign raised more money for local nonprofits this year than ever before, despite some technical problems.  

A total of $428,297 was raised for 68 local nonprofit organizations that participated in this year's event. That’s double what was raised last year.  

Lynette Spencer is executive director of the nonprofit Adventure Works of DeKalb and chair of the Give Local DeKalb County committee. She says the response to the campaign is gratifying. And with the state budget impasse, the money is especially needed.  

HHS

A dozen health centers in Illinois, including two in Kane County, and eight health centers in Wisconsin, including one in Beloit, have been awarded federal funding to broaden access to dental care. 

Nearly $4.4 million in support was announced Thursday by U. S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to fund new dentists, dental hygienists, assistants, aides and technicians at 12 Illinois health centers.  The eight Wisconsin centers received nearly $2.8 million from the program.

Timber Lake Playhouse

 A professional theater company in northern Illinois’ Carroll County is seeking high schoolers interested in a career in the theater for a paid apprenticeship program this summer. 

Timber Lake Playhouse, near Mt. Carroll, received a grant through the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts that will fund four paid positions.

Dan Danielowski is the company’s executive director. He says the apprenticeships provide valuable experience.

Lake County Sheriff's Office

A judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss felony charges against the widow of a Lake County police officer who authorities say staged his suicide. 

Melodie Gliniewicz was charged after her husband, Fox Lake Police Lt. Charles Joseph Gliniewicz, died Sept. 1. Authorities say he staged his suicide because he feared discovery of his embezzlement from a youth program.

Lake County Judge Victoria Rossetti said in her ruling that Gliniewicz's widow was legally accountable for funds misappropriated from Fox Lake Explorer Post 300.

IFT

 The Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board on Tuesday officially certified a union for support staff at Rock Valley College. Workers filed paperwork in April with the board indicating the staff’s desire to form a union. Around 140 RVC support staff join the new Rock Valley College Support Staff Association, a local chapter of the Illinois Federation of Teachers and the American Federation of Teachers.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

The protective covering around a towering statue near Oregon has been removed.  But it’s not because the work is finished.  The restoration of the 105-year-old work by sculptor Lorado Taft is on hold. Backers of the repairs worry what will happen to it in the meantime.

Antonio Martinez / Freeport Art Museum

The Freeport Art Museum’s current exhibit is called “The Nature of Masculinity.” 

USDA

Free meals are available this summer for kids who receive free or reduced-price meals during the school year.

The Northern Illinois Food Bank will offer daily meals during the week at more than 120 sites in 13 counties across northern Illinois as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Summer Food Service Program.  That includes DeKalb, Kane, McHenry and Ogle Counties.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Communities across the country hold parades and ceremonies for Memorial Day.  An incomplete list of observances in northern Illinois and southern Wisconsin follows. Cities are listed in alphabetical order. Unless otherwise noted (*), the events take place on Monday, May 30.

Algonquin holds a Memorial Day Ceremony at 10:30 a.m.at Riverfront Park, 201 N. Harrison St. The ceremony will include guest speakers and singers, 21-gun salute and the playing of Taps

Target Corporation

Target Corporation announced earlier this year it planned to add hundreds of jobs at its DeKalb distribution center.  As of the end of May, the company is well on its way to that goal.

The DeKalb facility is being converted into what Target calls an upstream distribution center. That means it serves other, regional distribution centers “downstream” in the supply chain.  It will be just one of three in the country.  Mike Milano is senior director of distribution at the DeKalb center. He says the expanded facility now serves a wide territory. 

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