It’s hard to not smile when First Light host Brian O’Keefe thinks of The Ukulele Station, and it was a story that had to be part of the special 100th First Light. In the late summer of 2017 Brian got an e-mail that said a shop in north central Illinois had been recognized as one of the best ukulele stores in the country. That got his attention, and he had to know more
Up next, as First Light host Brian O’Keefe remembers the first 100 episodes of the show. When you think of bourbon you might think of Kentucky, but Brian discovered a pretty unique distillery that takes the process from seed to spirit in Dekalb
There’s a little know story about one of Chicago’s favorite parks. It’s a story that is still part of, more specifically just below the surface of Lincoln Park. With a full moon illuminating the sky The Chicago History Museum hosted a walking tour of the park last fall and First Light host Brian O’Keefe tagged along
One of the things First Light host Brian O’Keefe has tried to include in the first 100 episodes of the show is science stories, and the researchers at Fermi Lab have been a great resource. Like the time he sat down with Brenna Flaugher to talk about her amazing camera
The Union Pacific Railroad says more than 45,000 people visited the rail yard in West Chicago last weekend to see the Big Boy. Thousands more lined the tracks as the gigantic locomotive made its way from the far north suburbs to western DuPage County.
Each month on the first Sunday of the month, College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe for a discussion of space news, discovery, and he offers some advice for backyard astronomers. In July, Joe coordinated a special 50th anniversary celebration of Apollo 11’s mission to the moon. He says the event exceeded expectations
This week in the First Light look at stories from around the state, we have a story from central Illinois. Every month, a handful of people gather in Bloomington to make music together. As Illinois Public Radio’s Willis Kern reports, the tunes they produce aren’t headed to the top of the charts, but they are improving lives
Every month, thousands of people gather at the Kane County Fairgrounds to buy, sell, and barter. They show off personal collections, share unique knowledge, and tell stories. The vendors deal in antique furniture, animal fossils, wartime memorabilia and more. They are the Kane County Flea Market. Kevin Deiber has more
Saturday marked the 100th anniversary of a deadly race riot in Chicago that left nearly 40 people dead. The riot in late July 1919 is documented in a book that came out in the spring of last year. First Light host Brian O’Keefe spoke with author Claire Hartfield about her hope that the book will give a new awareness to an event that has been forgotten by many
In each of the past three years…Morton Arboretum has brought an art exhibit onto the outdoor museum. Giant trolls started to attract big crowds last summer and the wooden sculptures still stand…sit and hide at locations across the Lisle based property. This summer the arboretum brought in another group of sculptures…and these are brightly colored nods to the real world
This week…in our look at stories from around the state, we have a story from the state capital, the current state capital. Historians David MacDonald and Raine Waters took a fresh look at the story of the state’s first capital city in a new book called “Kaskaskia: The Lost Capital of Illinois.” They put together what they say is a comprehensive account of the town including tales of a centuries-old curse. Illinois Public Radio’s Sam Dunklau talked with the authors about a town that went from being a bustling territorial hub to a virtual ghost town.
Travel to any community in the region and you’ll find any number of yoga studios. The practice has become more and more common, with a variety of styles available. One style of yoga has seen a surge in popularity in the past couple of years; and it’s that style that took First Light host Brian O’Keefe to Elgin earlier this week
A summer tradition continues this week in Wheaton. The DuPage County Fair opens the gates at the Fairgrounds on Manchester Road on Wednesday. Over its five day run, the fair will include many of the events people have come to expect, and some new additions. A Wheaton resident is putting a new twist on what has been a staple of the Fair’s more than 60 year run. First Light host Brian O’Keefe talked with Justin Burau about his rodeo debut
Every few weeks at First Light University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and First Light host Brian O’Keefe get together for ‘Farm to Table’. They discuss everything from agriculture and agri-business to your back yard garden and home landscape. For this month’s segment Brian met Richard inside one of the greenhouses at Shady Hill Garden, and they talked about maintaining and even enhancing ornamental plantings during the warmest months of the year
This week in our look at stories from around the state, let’s take a break from the heat. Russel "Huck" Willis has been riding snowmobiles for 40 years...and he’s been collecting them for nearly that long. Illinois Public Radio’s Charlie Schlenker visited Willis’ antique snowmobile museum in the Tazewell County. Willis says the pursuit of old machines accelerated when he became aware of the Antique Snowmobile Club of America
Periodically at First Light, First Light host Brian O’Keefe likes to get out of the office and go ‘Into the Woods’ with show friends at the DuPage Forest Preserve District. With this week’s blistering heat and humidity, instead of actually going into the woods, Brian met up with Dupage Forest Preserve District naturalist Stephanie Touzalin at the Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn
For many families, summer isn’t complete until there’s a trip to an amusement park. This summer the Elmhurst History Museum is celebrating that tradition, with a local focus. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited the museum’s Worlds of Wonder exhibit earlier this year.
This week in our look at stories from around the state we have a story from the Illinois Public Radio capital bureau. For decades, the number of men and women in the state’s prisons appeared destined for permanent growth. Then, several years ago, the population began getting smaller. Today, it’s more than 20% below the high-water mark. Illinois Public Radio’s Brian Mackey looks at what’s behind the trend
Periodically over the spring and summer, First Light host Brian O’Keefe has hit the road to visit some of the region’s great road side attractions. The road trip vacation distractions came into their heyday before the arrival of the interstate highways, and they’re still out there ready to break up a long drive. For this Illinois Adventure, Brian went to learn more about what may be the state’s original roadside attraction
It’s the first Sunday of the month, and that means it’s time for College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto’s regular visit to First Light. He and First Light host Brian O’Keefe get together to talk about space news and backyard astronomy. This month marks a significant bench mark for the U-S Space program, July 20th is the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11’s arrival at Tranquility base and man’s first steps on the moon.