Helping Businesses to Grow And Thrive

Innovation DuPage hopes to attract entrepreneurs and start-ups to come through the front of its new business incubator in downtown Glen Ellyn

Innovation DuPage hopes to attract entrepreneurs and start-ups to come through the front of its new business incubator in downtown Glen Ellyn

Start-up and tech incubators have become an important component of growing the economy in many cities. There are several in Chicago; but later this week a new center opens in Glen Ellyn. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited the center that hopes to become a hub of economic growth and talked with Innovation DuPage Manager Travis Linderman

Partnerships with colleges and universities, businesses, and local governments helped to make the Innovation DuPage facility and its programs possible

Partnerships with colleges and universities, businesses, and local governments helped to make the Innovation DuPage facility and its programs possible

The Surprise In A Funeral Home Basement

Behind a plain wooden door in the basement of Ahlgrim Funeral Home is a nine hole miniature golf course and game room

Behind a plain wooden door in the basement of Ahlgrim Funeral Home is a nine hole miniature golf course and game room

Periodically this spring and summer, First Light host Brian O’Keefe is taking listeners on an Illinois Adventure. He’s visiting some staples of classic road-trips. You may think roadside attractions are a thing of the past, but they’re still out there and there are plenty within a short drive of the Chicago area.

Hole #1 through the sand and past the skull

Hole #1 through the sand and past the skull

The miniature golf course in the basement of Ahlgrim Funeral Home has a haunted theme, owner Doug Ahlgrim says “What else would you expect from a funeral home.”

The miniature golf course in the basement of Ahlgrim Funeral Home has a haunted theme, owner Doug Ahlgrim says “What else would you expect from a funeral home.”

How School Districts Deal With Teacher Shortage

This week in our look at stories from around the state, we have a story about a challenge facing many Illinois school districts. Schools across the state are struggling with a teacher shortage, and a recent survey found it’s getting worse. Illinois Public Radio’s Peter Medlin took a look at what the shortage actually looks like

State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur), a former teacher, on a recent visit to a school ( Sue Scherer / Facebook)

State Rep. Sue Scherer (D-Decatur), a former teacher, on a recent visit to a school (Sue Scherer / Facebook)

Oak Park Auto Showroom Listed As Endangered

The Hill Motors Building in Oak Park features a series of automobile related embellishments and fine terracotta details

The Hill Motors Building in Oak Park features a series of automobile related embellishments and fine terracotta details

For 25 years, Landmarks Illinois has worked to save theaters, schools, single family homes, and other historic buildings with its annual list of the state’s most endangered buildings. On May First, the preservation group released the 2019 ‘most endangered’ list; and it includes a different sort of building. First Light host Brian O’Keefe went to find out what makes the old dealer showroom so special

Oak Park-River Forest Museum Executive Director Frank Lipo described the terracotta details of the facade of the former Hill Motors Showroom

Oak Park-River Forest Museum Executive Director Frank Lipo described the terracotta details of the facade of the former Hill Motors Showroom

The former Hill Motors showroom on Madison Street in Oak Park is one of the buildings listed on Landmarks Illinois ‘Most Endangered Buildings’ list. The building has been vacant for about 10 years; but it could become home to a new grocery store in the coming months.

The former Hill Motors showroom on Madison Street in Oak Park is one of the buildings listed on Landmarks Illinois ‘Most Endangered Buildings’ list. The building has been vacant for about 10 years; but it could become home to a new grocery store in the coming months.

Going To Prison...By Choice

The Joliet Historical Museum offers prison tours on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; starting in June the museum will add Tuesdays to the weekly tour schedule.

The Joliet Historical Museum offers prison tours on Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday; starting in June the museum will add Tuesdays to the weekly tour schedule.

Later today, the Joliet Area Historical Museum kicks off a second season of walking tours of the old Joliet prison. The museum started offering tours last summer and they quickly sold out. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited the prison late last summer and discovered that for some people the tour is an opportunity to answer a lifelong curiosity, for others want to see the location for Hollywood blockbusters, and for some, it’s about closure

Just Don't Call It 'Fake'

Illinois Public Radio’s Dan Libman didn’t just tell the story of north central Illinois professional wrestling, he got in the ring as ‘The Librarian’ (photo courtesy of WNIJ

Illinois Public Radio’s Dan Libman didn’t just tell the story of north central Illinois professional wrestling, he got in the ring as ‘The Librarian’ (photo courtesy of WNIJ

This week in our look at stories from around the state, have you ever thought about attending a high-spirited, live wrestling match? Maybe the ticket price deterred you, or you couldn’t take time to travel to Las Vegas or Atlantic City. It turns out there’s live local professional wrestling every month in northern Illinois. Illinois Public Radio’s Dan Libman has the story

The Zen of Wrestling Academy  is located in the rear of the Scoops sandwich shop in Oregon, Illinois (photo courtesy of WNIJ)

The Zen of Wrestling Academy is located in the rear of the Scoops sandwich shop in Oregon, Illinois (photo courtesy of WNIJ)

The Hip Hop Connection To Graffiti

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An artform born in the early 1970s had the attention of students and scholars alike this week. The first ever Hip-Hop Summit at College of DuPage looked at the intersection of music, design, art, and social justice. First Light host Brian O’Keefe talked with Chicago graffiti artist John Maeda about the artform and his connection to hip-hop culture

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The First Ever Picture of A Black Hole

On the first Sunday of each month here at First Light, College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto stops by for a discussion of space news and to give backyard astronomers an idea of what there is to see in the night sky in the coming weeks. This month, First Light host Brian O’Keefe wanted to talk with Joe about a single, slightly fuzzy picture astronomers released to the public last month

This image by the Event Horizon Telescope project shows the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy. (Photo credit: EHT Collaboration)

This image by the Event Horizon Telescope project shows the event horizon of the supermassive black hole at the heart of the M87 galaxy. (Photo credit: EHT Collaboration)

Plenty of Flowers Available For Your Mom

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Every few weeks at First Light, University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and Brian O’Keefe get together for our ‘Farm to Table’ segment. They discuss everything from agriculture and agribusiness to home landscaping and your backyard garden. This week, one week before Mother’s Day, Brian and Richard headed out to Schaffer’s Greenhouse in Montgomery and sat down with Brett Schaffer inside one of the company’s greenhouses

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Ford Invests In Electric Vehicle Company

Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe with the new R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show.  (photo courtesy of WGLT)

Rivian founder and CEO RJ Scaringe with the new R1S SUV at the LA Auto Show. (photo courtesy of WGLT)

This week in the First Light look at stories from around the state, we have an update on the alternate fuel vehicle industry in Illinois. For the longest time, central Illinois leaders speculated about what Rivian planned to do with its plant in Normal. Now, after another major investment from Ford there’s speculation about what Rivian means for the local economy. Illinois Public Radio’s Ryan Denham talked with Stephanie Brinley, she's the principal automotive analyst at IHS Markit and has been following the rise of Rivian

Celebrating Time And The Art of Stained Glass

Cameel Halim created his museum of time and glass in order to showcase his collection of stained glass and historic clocks

Cameel Halim created his museum of time and glass in order to showcase his collection of stained glass and historic clocks

Think for a moment about all the songs about time celebrating or lamenting the passing of time has been a universal theme throughout, well, throughout time. In Evanston, there is a museum that celebrates the effort to record time. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited the museum and got a tour from the man who amassed the amazing collection of clocks, watches, and remarkable time pieces

The Halim Museum of Time and Glass includes this window by Louis Comfort Tiffany, it’s Cameel Halim’s favorite window in the collection

The Halim Museum of Time and Glass includes this window by Louis Comfort Tiffany, it’s Cameel Halim’s favorite window in the collection

A French made clock that celebrates beauty over precision is one of the hundreds of clocks at the Halim Museum of Time and Glass in Evanston

A French made clock that celebrates beauty over precision is one of the hundreds of clocks at the Halim Museum of Time and Glass in Evanston

A British made clock that was a gift to a Chinese Emperor, it’s one of more than 6,500 clocks sent to China in the 18th century.

A British made clock that was a gift to a Chinese Emperor, it’s one of more than 6,500 clocks sent to China in the 18th century.

The Fabyan Villa: A House of Curiosities

The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fabyan Villa was home to Colonel George Fabyan and his wife Nell in the early 20th century. (photo courtesy of the Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley)

The Frank Lloyd Wright designed Fabyan Villa was home to Colonel George Fabyan and his wife Nell in the early 20th century. (photo courtesy of the Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley)

This spring and summer, First Light host Brian O’Keefe is going to hit the road and take you with him as he visits some of the area’s great ‘road side attractions.’ Some are a blast from the past, others are a little strange, and there are some you may have driven by many times and never noticed. For this first Illinois Adventure, Brian went out to Geneva

Colonel George Fabyan and Nell Fabyan kept a menagerie of animals and a collection of curiosities at their estate in Geneva. The Fabyan Villa is open for tours in early May through October (photo courtesy of the Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley)

Colonel George Fabyan and Nell Fabyan kept a menagerie of animals and a collection of curiosities at their estate in Geneva. The Fabyan Villa is open for tours in early May through October (photo courtesy of the Preservation Partners of the Fox Valley)

It's The Season For Coyote Sightings

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At this time of year, you may start to see the region’s largest predator on a more frequent basis. Litters of coyote pups were born earlier in the spring, those hungry mouths mean the adult animals are foraging for food and may be out more often. Last spring, First Light host Brian O’Keefe spoke with DuPage Forest Preserve naturalist Stephanie Touzalin about the frequently maligned mammal

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Evaluating Prison College Programs

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This week in the First Light look at stories from around the state, there are roughly 200 college in prison programs nationwide, and several here in Illinois. There’s a debate over the difference they make. The trouble is Illinois measures success by whether someone returns to prison. Illinois Public Radio’s Lee Gaines explains, one recent graduate says that’s a flawed evaluation

Glen Ellyn Library Installs State's First Short Story Machine

The Short Story Dispenser at the Glen Ellyn Public Library

The Short Story Dispenser at the Glen Ellyn Public Library

Just inside the front door of the Glen Ellyn Public Library there’s a cylindrical device that’s plugged into the wall. It’s the state’s first and only ‘Short Story Dispenser.’ First Light host Brian O’Keefe stopped by the library this week and met with Library Director Dawn Bussey

A young library patron waits as the Short Story Dispenser prints out literature at the push of a button

A young library patron waits as the Short Story Dispenser prints out literature at the push of a button

A pair of story samples from the Glen Ellyn Public Library Short Story Dispenser

A pair of story samples from the Glen Ellyn Public Library Short Story Dispenser

Museum Explores The History Of Local Newspapers

An old and yellowing copy of the Wheaton Illinoian is among those featured in the DuPage Historical Museum’s ‘Read All About It!” exhibit

An old and yellowing copy of the Wheaton Illinoian is among those featured in the DuPage Historical Museum’s ‘Read All About It!” exhibit

The ‘Newseum’ in Washington celebrates the First Amendment and the nation’s journalists and news media. The popular attraction will close in its current location at the end of this year. Meanwhile, a celebration of local news media opens later this week at the DuPage Historical Museum in downtown Wheaton. First Light host Brian O’Keefe got a preview of the exhibit

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Chicago Artist Reaches Out To A New Community

First Light host Brian O’Keefe met with Chicago artist Edra Soto during a recent visit to College of DuPage

First Light host Brian O’Keefe met with Chicago artist Edra Soto during a recent visit to College of DuPage

Over the past year, aspiring artists in DuPage County have had the opportunity to hear from and interact with prominent artists at College of DuPage. The latest of the ‘visiting artist’ series brought Edra Soto to the Glen Ellyn campus this week. First Light host Brian O’Keefe sat down with Soto to talk about her art and the story she’s trying to tell

Chicago artist Edra Soto talked with students and community members as part of the College of DuPage visiting artist series

Chicago artist Edra Soto talked with students and community members as part of the College of DuPage visiting artist series

Women Increasingly Are Behind The Wheel Of Big Rigs

Heartland Community College truck driving training student Holli Hays at the wheel.    (photo courtesy of WGLT/Jeff Smudde)

Heartland Community College truck driving training student Holli Hays at the wheel.
(photo courtesy of WGLT/Jeff Smudde)

This week in our look at stories from around the state. The American Trucking Association estimates the industry is short at least 50,000 drivers nationwide, and that number could triple by 2024. This presents an opportunity for people with only a high school diploma who are willing to invest a few months of training. About six percent of American truck drivers are female. A number of central Illinois women are taking advantage of the opportunity. Illinois Public Radio’s Jon Norton has the story

Heartland Community College truck driver training students Daun Greif, Sevin Headley and Holli Hays.    (photo courtesy of WGLT/Jeff Smudde)

Heartland Community College truck driver training students Daun Greif, Sevin Headley and Holli Hays.
(photo courtesy of WGLT/Jeff Smudde)

Helping Librarians To Better Interact With People Who Are Homeless

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Earlier this month theaters around the country started screening a new movie from actor, director, and writer Emilio Estevez. What you may not realize is the movie has a real world connection to one of this area’s largest homeless shelters

Hessed House Executive Director and author Ryan Dowd took part in a multi-city promotional tour for Emilio Estevez’ new movie ‘The Public’

Hessed House Executive Director and author Ryan Dowd took part in a multi-city promotional tour for Emilio Estevez’ new movie ‘The Public’