Planning For The 10th Annual Record Store Day

If there’s a record store in your community, you can expect there will be big crowds at it next Saturday. In fact, there may be people lined up in the early morning hours waiting for the doors to open for the start of the 10th annual Record Store Day. In 2007, a group of independent record store owners and employees hatched the idea of a special day to celebrate the special culture associated with record stores and to role they play in so many lives. First Light host Brian O'Keefe has this story

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 Val's Halla Records owner Val Camilletti says Record Store Day has become bigger than Christmas for independent record store owners

Val's Halla Records owner Val Camilletti says Record Store Day has become bigger than Christmas for independent record store owners

 Naperville's Purple Dog Records

Naperville's Purple Dog Records

 Mile Long Records owner Michael Paeth talks to a customer at his store in downtown Wheaton

Mile Long Records owner Michael Paeth talks to a customer at his store in downtown Wheaton

Weekly Report Tracks What's In Bloom

Despite our cool, almost non-existent spring, the region’s blooming plants won’t be deterred. First Light host Brian O'Keefe took a trip to Morton Arboretum this week to talk with Manager of Plant Records Ed Hedborn. During the spring Ed compiles a weekly report on what’s in bloom at the Lisle based Arboretum

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Learn The Tools To Protect Your Data

Whether it was the data breach at Target, Home Depot, or any number of other big retailers, or the scrubbing of personal information from your Facebook account internet security is increasingly in the headlines and the public consciousness. The College of DuPage Homeland Security Training Institute is hosting a workshop to empower police, corporations, and individuals to fight back. First Light host Brian O'Keefe visited with HSTI Director Tom Brady in a mock 911 center to discuss the workshop and how you can participate

 College of DuPage Homeland Security Training Institute Director Tom Brady joined First Light host Brian O'Keefe at the mock 911 call center 

College of DuPage Homeland Security Training Institute Director Tom Brady joined First Light host Brian O'Keefe at the mock 911 call center 

Once A Librarian...

This week in First Light's look around the state…we have this story from Illinois Public Radio’s Laura Kennedy. Once a librarian, always a librarian.  That's how it is for Dorothy Kennett, a media librarian who, after retiring from Illinois State University, found a second calling, helping children thousands of miles from her central Illinois home

 Global Librarian Dorothy Kennett Photo courtesy of Laura Kennedy/WGLT

Global Librarian Dorothy Kennett
Photo courtesy of Laura Kennedy/WGLT

What Happened to Spring?

The calendar page clearly says April, but the National Weather Service forecast reads more like mid to late February. The past week saw cold and windy conditions with more than a few flakes of snow, by the end of the week ahead the afternoon high could be close to 60. In recent weeks, powerful nor’easters slammed the northeast United States, the southern states have seen mild weather, while dry conditions dominate across large sections of the central United States. First Light host Brian O'Keefe stopped by the Meteorology Lab at College of DuPage this week and talked with Meteorology professor Paul Sirvatka to try to get a better understands of what’s going on with the “spring” weather.

 College of DuPage Meteorology Professor Paul Sirvatka in a classroom adjacent to the Meteorology Lab

College of DuPage Meteorology Professor Paul Sirvatka in a classroom adjacent to the Meteorology Lab

U of I Extension's Role in Cook County

University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and First Light host Brian O'Keefe traveled to Navy Pier for the Chicago Flower and Garden Show last month. They met with one of Richard's colleagues. Val Kehoe is an extension program coordinator in Cook County. 

 University of Illinois Extension Program Coordinator Val Kehoe (left) speaks with First Light host Brian O'Keefe

University of Illinois Extension Program Coordinator Val Kehoe (left) speaks with First Light host Brian O'Keefe

Exhibit Tracks The Route From Illinois to The White House

In our look around this state this week, First Light has this story from Illinois Public Radio’s Sean Crawford. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in downtown Springfield is on board to celebrate the Illinois bicentennial with an exhibit focused on the four prairie state residents who went on to lead the nation

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 Photos courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Photos courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum

Snoopy Flies Into Elmhurst

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Crowds have been streaming into the Elmhurst History Museum for a new exhibit. The museum located in the limestone block Glos Mansion in downtown Elmhurst is the first stop of a national touring exhibit that highlights one of the most recognizable characters from Charles Schultz’ Peanuts comic strip

 The "Snoopy and The Red Baron" exhibit at the Elmhurst History Museum is attracting record crowds

The "Snoopy and The Red Baron" exhibit at the Elmhurst History Museum is attracting record crowds

 The popularity of Snoopy as a World War I flying ace prompted stuffed animals, collectibles, and even a lunchbox  

The popularity of Snoopy as a World War I flying ace prompted stuffed animals, collectibles, and even a lunchbox  

They're Wily...And They're Everywhere

 photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

Periodically at First Light, host Brian O'Keefe goes ‘Into The Woods’ to bring you a story about the local floral and fauna, you know the flowers, plants, insects, and critters that call this region home. This week, Brian stopped by the DuPage Forest Preserve District’s Willowbrook Wildlife Center in Glen Ellyn.

 photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

photo courtesy of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage

Remembering Stephen Hawking

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Every month here at First Light…College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto joins me for our ‘Because the Night’ segment. With the change of seasons some planets and constellations are coming into view…while others become less visible. This month we started our conversation by remembering one of the great minds of astronomy and astro-physics

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Bloomington Man's Focus on Pedal Power

 Image courtesy of the McClean County Museum of History

Image courtesy of the McClean County Museum of History

People strolling through the new "Pedal Power" exhibit at the McLean County Museum of History typically have wide eyes and mouths wide open in delight. The rainbow of brightly colored, pint-size vehicles, polished to perfection represent one of the large collections of miniature, vintage vehicles in the country. Bloomington resident Bruce Callis amassed and restored the pedal cars starting in 1988 until he died a decade later.

 One of the exhibit favorites...The Strato Jet  photo courtesy of Colleen Reynolds/WGLT

One of the exhibit favorites...The Strato Jet
photo courtesy of Colleen Reynolds/WGLT

Remembering Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., a Friend, Mentor, and Leader

Early next month marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. With the passing of time, the number of people who knew and worked with the civil rights leader are dwindling. Former College of DuPage administrator Dr. Ernie Gibson is one of those who not only worked with King, the two men were friends. First Light host Brian O'Keefe sat down with Gibson to talk about his mentor and friend.

 Retired COD adminstrator Dr. Ernie Gibson remembered his friend and mentor Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. just days before the 50th anniversary of King's assassination.  Photo courtesy of the College of DuPage Newsroom

Retired COD adminstrator Dr. Ernie Gibson remembered his friend and mentor Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. just days before the 50th anniversary of King's assassination. 
Photo courtesy of the College of DuPage Newsroom

Horror Meets History In Radium Girls

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Typically when horror and non-fiction meet on the bookshelf…the subject is a notorious serial killer, or the biography of a cinematic legend like Boris Karloff. The Chicago Public Library called Kate Moore’s ‘Radium Girls’ the 2017 Book of the Year. While it tells the story of early 20th century workers, make no mistake, it is a horror story. First Light host Brian O'Keefe talked with the author during a recent visit to Naperville's Anderson's Bookshop

 Author Kate Moore reads from Radium Girls 

Author Kate Moore reads from Radium Girls 

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Farm to Table Visits Flower and Garden Show

Periodically on First Light, University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and Brian O'Keefe discuss everything for Agri-business to backyard gardening. Over the next several weeks, Brian and Richard will take you to Chicago’s Navy Pier. The annual Chicago Flower and Garden show was at the pier this month, their first stop was the Extension’s insect petting zoo.

 U of I Extension educator Nancy Zook explains the goal of the Extension's insect petting zoo while First Light host Brian O'Keefe keeps a safe distance from the giant hissing cockroaches.

U of I Extension educator Nancy Zook explains the goal of the Extension's insect petting zoo while First Light host Brian O'Keefe keeps a safe distance from the giant hissing cockroaches.

Wendy Loves Hook

"Hook & Jill" is the first of three books to reimagine Peter Pan and the Neverland characters created by J.M. Barrie. Before we get into Illinois Public Radio's Dan Klefstad's discussion with the author Andrea Jones reads from the beginning where Peter's friend Wendy Darling wakes up with a new name

 Author Andrea Jones courtesy of Reginetta Press

Author Andrea Jones
courtesy of Reginetta Press

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Women's History Month: Reflecting On Leadership

This month the nation celebrates women’s history, for this First Light College of DuPage President Dr. Ann Rondeau visited with host Brian O'Keefe. She earned the rank of Vice Admiral in the United States Navy, and became the first woman to serve as President at COD. Dr. Rondeau’s professional life offers a unique perspective for young women and that’s where she and Brian started their conversation

 College of DuPage President Dr. Ann Rondeau discussed her role as a woman and a leader (Photo courtesy of the College of DuPage Newsroom) 

College of DuPage President Dr. Ann Rondeau discussed her role as a woman and a leader (Photo courtesy of the College of DuPage Newsroom) 

Encouraging Communities To Sing

Nick Page has lifted a line from a classic Coca-Cola commercial, he wants to teach the world to sing. Page performed last month at the College of DuPage McAninch Arts Center and worked with the COD Concert Choir and Chamber Singers. First Light host Brian O'Keefe talked with Nick in one of the rehearsal spaces at the MAC

 Singer, Composer, and Song Leader Nick Page 

Singer, Composer, and Song Leader Nick Page 

Treasure Trove of Letters Offer Insight Into Civil War

a Civil War soldier from west central Illinois and his wife regularly communicated during the war. They exchanged letters throughout the conflict…and their correspondence does not paint a pretty picture. This morning on First Light…Illinois Public Radio's Rich Egger brings us a conversation with the author of ‘This Infernal War’:

 William and Jane Standard from the book "This Infernal War"

William and Jane Standard from the book "This Infernal War"

 Timothy Mason Roberts compiled and edited the book based on the civil war era letters between William and Jane Standard (photo courtesy of Tri-States Public Radio)

Timothy Mason Roberts compiled and edited the book based on the civil war era letters between William and Jane Standard (photo courtesy of Tri-States Public Radio)