You're the Boss

Peter Medlin

Over the summer, the school year was still in limbo and racial tensions were running high in Rockford as well as communities across the country. A former student reached out to Amanda Becker with a simple question: “Mrs. Becker, how are you going to teach about this?”

Becker is a history teacher at Auburn High School and a Rockford historian. Her answer was a philosophy she learned from her own teaching mentors.

“The best thing to do is to let the kids talk. That's it. Don't teach them anything. Let the kids talk,” she said.

Midway Village Museum

Some Illinois counties have lower pandemic death tolls than others. Part of the differences come from demographics. And just like on the national scene, Illinois results depend a lot on prevention efforts.

Winnebago County and Champaign County both have a mix of urban and rural populations. Winnebago County has nearly a third more COVID-19 cases than Champaign County, and six times the number of deaths.

WNIJ's 2020 Voting Guide

Oct 6, 2020
Susan Stephens

WNIJ has curated this guide to help you navigate casting your vote during this election.

 The How:

One of our favorite listens on this topic comes from NPR's Life Kit podcast. Clocking in at just 23 minutes, Life Kit explores all your voting options, from mail-in, early and election day voting.

Now that you are ready to vote, are you registered to vote?

Scott P. Yates / Rockford Register Star

Members of the public say the police relationship with the Black community is a top-of-mind issue this election season. This story tackles the issue through the lens of Solutions Journalism, a way of looking at social problems with an eye to identifying ways of solving them.

On average, police nationwide pull over more than 50,000 drivers a day.

Reforms to systemic bias in policing and the courts is a prominent campaign issue in the race for DeKalb County State’s Attorney. 

Republican incumbent Rick Amato faces a challenge from Democratic candidate Anna Wilhelmi in this contest. The two spoke at a recent forum sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Amato’s opening statement touched on the importance of how cases are prioritized. 

Scott P. Yates/ Rockford Register Star

Officials are working to produce programs that could change how we respond to mental health crises, suicide attempts and addiction across Winnebago County.

Logan Lundberg tried to kill himself days after leading a peaceful march through downtown, demanding an end to police brutality.

Lundberg, 22, said he struggles with bipolar disorder and depression despite his emergence as a prominent activist in the local civil rights movement.

Spencer Tritt

We’re covering elections a little differently this year. Because in 2020, WNIJ believes “You’re the Boss” at the ballot box. And we’ve been hearing from you about what’s important, and what you want the candidates to be talking about.

Take the survey!

The goal of citizen-led journalism is that voters tell us what they want the candidates to be talking about, and what solutions they think could make their communities better.