MBC Exhibit Explores Link Between Rock And TV

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Earlier this week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced this year’s nominees for induction into the Cleveland based museum. Meanwhile, in Chicago the Museum of Broadcast Communications workers were installing its latest exhibit. ‘Stay Tuned: Rock on TV’ is the second traveling exhibit to make its way from the Rock Hall to State Street. First Light host Brian O’Keefe got an early look at the exhibit

The matching suits worn by the Jackson 5 for their first TV appearance are part of the Museum of Broadcast Communications ‘Stay Tuned: Rock on TV’ exhibit (photo courtesy of the Museum of Broadcast Communications)

The matching suits worn by the Jackson 5 for their first TV appearance are part of the Museum of Broadcast Communications ‘Stay Tuned: Rock on TV’ exhibit (photo courtesy of the Museum of Broadcast Communications)

Celebrating Illinois Rock Along Rt. 66

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While Chicago’s Museum of Broadcast Communications celebrates Rock on TV with it’s ‘Stay Tuned’ exhibit, reporter Kevin Deiber visited another place that’s celebrating rock and roll. Every year, travelers from around the world head out on America’s ‘mother road.’ They flock to attractions along Route-66; and by this time next year there will be a rockin’ new stop along the road in Joliet

Artist Rendering of the planned Illinois Rock & Roll Museum in Joliet. Planners expect to open the first floor of the museum next year

Artist Rendering of the planned Illinois Rock & Roll Museum in Joliet. Planners expect to open the first floor of the museum next year

Fire Destroys Aurora Landmark

Aurora Masonic Temple (photo courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society)

Aurora Masonic Temple (photo courtesy of the Aurora Historical Society)

What had been a landmark in downtown Aurora for nearly 100 years is now little more than a vacant lot. A fire at the massive Masonic Temple burned for hours earlier this month; within days demolition crews razed the building. First Light host Brian O’Keefe stopped by the Aurora Historical Museum this week to talk with Executive Director John Jaros about the building and what its loss means for Aurora

Fire gutted the Aurora Masonic Temple earlier this month, crews demolished the remains of the building just days after the fire (photo courtesy of John Jaros)

Fire gutted the Aurora Masonic Temple earlier this month, crews demolished the remains of the building just days after the fire (photo courtesy of John Jaros)

Preparing For Fall Trout Season At Blackwell Forest Preserve

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Twice a year several Dupage Forest Preserve lakes experience a dramatic increase in their fish population, once in the spring and again in the early fall. The district adds thousands of rainbow trout to some of its more popular fishing lakes. First Light host Brian O’Keefe was there when a truck full of trout, from just outside Peoria showed up at Blackwell Forest Preserve

Growing The Great Pumpkin

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In front of stores, on wagons at local nurseries, and on tables at roadside stands pumpkins are everywhere at this time of year. Late last month a number of specialized pumpkin growers got together in Minooka for the annual Illinois Giant Pumpkin Growers Association weigh-off. With a 1,258 pound pumpkin Wheaton’s Joe Adkins retained the title for the state’s biggest pumpkin for the fourth year in a row. A couple years ago, First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited Joe at his home a few blocks west of downtown Wheaton

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Faith Communities Face Tough Choices

The Brooklyn United Methodist Church in Jacksonville in Sept. 2019. At right, a sign has been changed to reflect the youth group that now meets there. (Sam Dunklau/WUIS)

The Brooklyn United Methodist Church in Jacksonville in Sept. 2019. At right, a sign has been changed to reflect the youth group that now meets there. (Sam Dunklau/WUIS)

This week in our look at stories from around the state, a growing number of Illinois church congregations face a difficult choice. They have to decide between changing location and disbanding altogether. Moving to a new building doesn’t always mean the end of a faith community. In Springfield, Illinois Public Radio’s Sam Dunklau examined a few churches to find out what’s behind the decline.

Stained glass from the chapel in the old Springfield UMC building still stands today. The chapel has been re-purposed into a community center for the residents of the apartment building that was once the church's education center (Sam Dunklau/WUIS)

Stained glass from the chapel in the old Springfield UMC building still stands today. The chapel has been re-purposed into a community center for the residents of the apartment building that was once the church's education center (Sam Dunklau/WUIS)

Birding At The Russell Kirt Prairie

John Cebula (left) speaks with a couple participants in the guided bird walk at the Russell Kirt Prairie

John Cebula (left) speaks with a couple participants in the guided bird walk at the Russell Kirt Prairie

Many people drive by, some even walk through the Russell Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage on a regular basis without giving much thought to the natural area. The Glen Ellyn based community college is home to two prairie fragments. Earlier this week, First Light host Brian O’Keefe went out to the Kirt Prairie on the west side of campus and joined a bird walk

One of two ponds that attract waterfowl and other birds to the Russell Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage

One of two ponds that attract waterfowl and other birds to the Russell Kirt Prairie at College of DuPage

Examing Weather At The Extremes

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If there was any doubt about the nature of autumn, a quick look at the past week’s weather should clear up any confusion. While Northern Illinois is in a cycle of cool and wet days followed by hot and humid conditions, in Wyoming an early snow storm dumped more than two feet of snow on the northern plains. With those extremes in mind First Light host Brian O’Keefe stopped by the College of DuPage Weather lab and checked in with Meteorology professor Paul Sirvatka

Looking Into The Night Sky

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Each month on the first Sunday, College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe for the ‘Night Sky’ segment here at First Light. They spend about half of the segment talking about space and astronomy news, and then give backyard astronomers some tips on what they can expect to see throughout the month. Earlier this year, the astronomy world was abuzz when researchers released the first image of a black hole. Since then there has been an avalanche of new information about the astronomical anomalies, that’s where Joe and Brian started our conversation this month

Image of a black hole consuming nearby stars (courtesy of NASA)

Image of a black hole consuming nearby stars (courtesy of NASA)

Hoping To Solve The Illinois Teacher Shortage

This week in First Light’s look at stories from around the state, Illinois has a shortage of teachers, and policymakers are trying some very big ideas to address it. That includes raising minimum teacher pay and no longer requiring the Basic Skills Test for licensure. At two central Illinois high schools, the next generation of teachers is already walking the halls. Around 40 students are enrolled in a new dual credit course with Heartland Community College. Normal teacher Margherita DiVita spoke with Illinois Public Raido’s Ryan Denham. She says the class could help address the teacher shortage, but it doesn’t sugar-coating the profession either.

Unit 5 high schoolers on a recent field trip to the one-room schoolhouse on the west side of Illinois State University's campus. (Unit 5 School Dist/Facebook)

Unit 5 high schoolers on a recent field trip to the one-room schoolhouse on the west side of Illinois State University's campus. (Unit 5 School Dist/Facebook)

Touring The County's Largest Storm Water Storage Facility

Storm Water Management Deputy Director Sarah Hunn gave an overview of the quarry operation during the recent tour of the facility

Storm Water Management Deputy Director Sarah Hunn gave an overview of the quarry operation during the recent tour of the facility

30 years ago, the rain that moved through the region on Friday and Saturday would’ve made many homeowners in eastern DuPage county nervous. The county was able to allay the Salt Creek watershed flooding concerns when it created a massive flood water storage facility in the former Elmhurst quarry. Days before the recent rain, DuPage Storm Water Management welcomed visitors for a behind the scenes look at what was once just a big hole in the ground. First Light host Brian O’Keefe was there for the tour

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Remembering Leon Lederman

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Just about one year ago, the scientific community lost a unique and brilliant voice. Leon Lederman was much more than the voice for particle physics and the importance of science, he was a teacher, a champion for education, and by all accounts a charismatic character. This week the Chicago Council on Science and Technology and Fermilab remembered Lederman’s life. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited with a couple of the people who worked with Lederman at Fermi

Former Fermilab Director Leon Lederman (left) chatting with Senior Scientist Dr. Herman V. White at Wilson Hall

Former Fermilab Director Leon Lederman (left) chatting with Senior Scientist Dr. Herman V. White at Wilson Hall

Time For Clean-Up & Clean-Out

One of the gardens at the University of Illinois ‘Idea Garden’ already cleaned out except for a bunch of chard. The leafy vegetable thrives in cooler weather

One of the gardens at the University of Illinois ‘Idea Garden’ already cleaned out except for a bunch of chard. The leafy vegetable thrives in cooler weather

Earlier this week was the first day of autumn, with the change in season it’s time to develop a strategy for clean up and clean out. This week, University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe for the periodic ‘Farm to Table’ segment. Brian and Richard discuss everything from agriculture and agri-business to your garden and home landscape. Earlier this summer they toured the Extension’s ‘Idea Garden.’ Now with cooler temperatures and fewer daylight hours, they went back out to the garden for this ‘Farm to Table’

Except for some late season flowers and plants University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners have cleaned out the beds at the ‘Idea Garden’ just off Rt. 38 in Kane County

Except for some late season flowers and plants University of Illinois Extension Master Gardeners have cleaned out the beds at the ‘Idea Garden’ just off Rt. 38 in Kane County

Girl Scouts Remain A Relevant Option

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For this week’s look at stories from around the state, a story from central Illinois. Fall and the start of school is heavy recruitment time for a lot of activities for young people, the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts included. Kelly Day is the Chief Operating Officer for Girl Scouts of Central Illinois. There are a lot more youth programs and opportunities than there used to. Still, Day tells Illinois Public Radio’s Charlie Schlenker there is still a relevant role for Girl Scouts

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ALA Fights To Keep Books On The Shelf

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Once a year, libraries install displays and turn a spotlight on efforts to have certain books pulled from the shelf and removed from the collection. The Chicago based American Library Association coordinates ‘Banned Books Week’ across the country. ALA tracks book challenges and decisions to remove books across the country. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited with the association’s interim Director of Intellectual Freedom

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Bookmobile Goes Digital

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There was a giant, brightly colored truck in the parking lot of the Wheaton Public Library earlier this week. It wasn’t exactly a truck; the Digital Bookmobile is equal parts truck, recreational vehicle, and technology display. First Light host Brian O’Keefe stopped by the library and toured the vehicle

Overdrive digital book specialist Marissa Gillett demonstrates how library users can access e-books and electronic audiobooks through the ‘Libby’ ap

Overdrive digital book specialist Marissa Gillett demonstrates how library users can access e-books and electronic audiobooks through the ‘Libby’ ap

Exhibit Explores 19th Century Education

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For most young people, school has been in session for more than a month. With the start of this school year, The DuPage Historical Museum opened a new exhibit that looks at education in the 19th century. ‘Making The Grade’ tapped into the museum’s collection of artifacts from DuPage County’s earliest days. Curator Zachary Bishop gave First Light host Brian O’Keefe a tour of the exhibit that located in the basement of the downtown Wheaton based museum

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Reflections On Journalism At The Statehouse

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This week in our look at stories from around the state…we have a story from the state capital. Few people have been following Illinois state government as long as Charlie Wheeler. From more than 20 years at the Chicago Sun-Times and nearly 30 more heading the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois Springfield, Charlie has seen the heyday and gradual decline of Statehouse news coverage. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Mackey talked with Charlie as he prepared to step away from the Public Affairs Reporting Program