Heading into the woods with a saw to find the family Christmas tree is as traditional of an American Christmas image as a Norman Rockwell painting. There aren’t many places in the Chicago area where you can cut your own Christmas tree. For this ‘Farm to Table’ segment University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited the Abbey Farm at Marmion Academy. It’s one of the places where you can still ‘cut your own’ Christmas tree
Across the country, there are hundreds of locally administered organizations working to maximize philanthropic efforts. This month those groups celebrated Community Foundation week. The DuPage Foundation capped its recognition of the week with its annual gala, The Imagination Ball raised nearly $400-thousand to support educational, arts, and human services programs in the county. First Light host Brian O’Keefe sat down recently with DuPage Foundation CEO Dave McGowan; he says the concept of community foundations has its roots right here in the Midwest
Throughout the holiday season, family, friends, and neighbors will get together. Figuring out how to keep everyone entertained can sometimes be a challenge. A Glen Ellyn couple has a solution…play a game; hopefully one of the games their company Gray Matters Games created. Earlier this year, Joe and Lauren Barron invited First Light host Brian O’Keefe into their home to talk about their games and the resurgence in board games
This week in our look at stories from around the state, we have this story from Illinois Public Radio’s Laura Kennedy. A new grant to the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal lets curators open the doors to let the kids go out and about to find new artistic experiences. The new program is called ‘Art Around You.’ The explorations take children to the University Galleries at Illinois State University where they discover the art on display. Laura Kennedy went along on a recent exploration
This week, First Light host Brian O’Keefe went into the woods with DuPage Forest Preserve ranger David Sima. It has become increasingly common over the past 10 to 15 years for people to encounter wild turkeys in a number of forest preserves. With Thanksgiving just a few days away, David and Brian met at the St. James Farm Forest Preserve in west Wheaton in hopes of finding one of the county’s flocks of wild turkeys
For all but the most dedicated riders, the arrival of the first snow flurries of the season signal the end of the cycling season. Despite that, a group of Chicago cyclists and philanthropists didn’t let a blast of cold air deter them earlier this week. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited with them at ‘Bike-citement’
A lot that needs to be done this week to prepare for Thursday’s family feast. Of course there’s the food, preparing the table, and for goodness sake don’t forget to pick up a bag of ice…that was usually First Light host Brian O’Keefe’s Thanksgiving job. If you want to add a personal touch to your table, College of DuPage floral design instructor Denise Walden has a few tips
This week in our look at stories from around the state…we check in with Illinois Public Radio’s Connie Kuntz in Rockford. 2018 is the Year of the Bird…a year of education and outreach by bird enthusiasts. Bird banding is one way researchers track a bird's migration pattern. It's done by placing a small identification tag on a bird’s leg. Connie followed a Rockford University professor and took part in this seasonal ritual
On the surface, it may seem a little strange for a high level research center to turn to the veteran community as a resource for new workers. For the Batavia based Fermi Lab, it’s been a perfect match. First Light host Brian O’Keefe talked with a couple of the veterans involved in the Vet-Tech Internship program
At nearly 55 years old, an Aurora resident is being pressed into service on this veteran’s day. Andy Aurora traded his signature look for camouflaged fatigues. First Light host Brian O’Keefe talked to the people who drafted him into service
The nation pauses today to remember and honor those who have served in the military. Locally, there’s an organization that works to serve veterans and active duty soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines every day of the year. Operation Support Our Troops has an office and warehouse space deep inside a Lisle industrial park. From there, it sends care packages to military members serving overseas. The organization is committed to helping veterans after they leave service. Leon Mangum coordinates an OSOT program to assist veterans who face financial troubles, Sue Liston is the organization’s Administrative Director. First Light host Brian O’Keefe met with Leon and Sue while a group of volunteers packed care-packages and Christmas stockings in the OSOT warehouse
Even though you got an extra hour of sleep last night, and the sun’s been up for about a half hour, a fresh cup of coffee or tea still sounds like a good idea. While you enjoy it, First Light host Brian O’Keefe takes listeners out to a recent gathering of self-described coffee-nerds
Each month, on the first Sunday, College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe for a discussion of what backyard astronomers can expect to see in the night sky. Joe and Brian also take some time to talk about the latest space news.
Next Sunday, the nation will remember and honor those who have served; and a week from tomorrow College of DuPage will host what has become a Veteran’s Day tradition. The Veterans Day Read-In invites students, faculty, staff, and community members to read from letters, poems and books that celebrate service. First Light host Brian O’Keefe talked with COD English Professor Bob Hazard. Hazard is one of the coordinators of the Veteran’s Day Read-In.
Each week at First Light, host Brian O’Keefe takes some time to check in with our Public Radio sister stations around the state. This week, the Bloomington Normal and Illinois State University communities gathered to mourn and rededicate themselves to good in the wake of last week’s synagogue shootings in Pittsburgh. A Jewish scholar told the crowd of more than 200 they should constantly imagine the world stands equally balanced between good and evil. Any action could be the one to tip the scale towards good. Illinois Public Radio’s Charlie Schlenker put together this audio montage from the vigil.
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. Earlier this week with a full moon illuminating the sky The Chicago History Museum hosted a walking tour of the park and pulled back the curtain on the story of its past. First Light host Brian O’Keefe took the tour.
First Light host Brian O’Keefe doesn’t know if they can take a rainbow, wrap it in a sigh, soak it in the sun and make a ruby lemon pie; but for more than 30 years, Naper Nuts and Sweets has worked to make the world taste good.
Of course University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and First Light host Brian O’Keefe had to head out to the pumpkin patch for this Halloween edition of the show. Illinois produces more of the orange gourds than any other state in the country. The seasonal crop has also become the centerpiece of the relatively new sector of the agriculture industry, something Richard calls “agri-tainment.” Richard and Brian stopped by Johannsen Farm in Bolingbrook and sat down with Carol Cremeens before the day’s crowd of pumpkin hunters arrived.
Each week, First Light brings you stories from around the state, this week a story from Illinois Public Radio’s Laura Kennedy. For one central Illinois man, there’s no need to wait for Halloween, any day can be spooky. He hears dead people; and says you can too. While some people collect stamps, or photograph people, places, and things, Laura says that isn’t the case for Bloomington-Normal’s Eric Vogle
Do you remember climbing trees? A Kane County group wants to bring an international tree climbing program to the area. John Gathright developed ‘Tree-Hab’ after a successful career in Japanese media. First Light host Brian O’Keefe spoke with Gathright and Geneva Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jay Womack