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’

Tracking The Arrival of Spring Flowers

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his time of year can see wild temperature swings, Monday saw a sunny 75 degress across the region by Friday it was cloudy, windy, and 25 degrees cooler. Despite that, spring flowers have started to make their appearance. For several years the Morton Arboretum’s Ed Hedborn has tracked the arrival of spring flowers. I visited with him last spring and wondered if the fluctuations in daytime temperature affects the early flowers

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Persevering Through Difficult Times

Cancer survivor Courtney Clark (courtesy of Courtney Clark)

Cancer survivor Courtney Clark (courtesy of Courtney Clark)

This week in our look at stories from around the state…Illinois Public Radio’s Sean Crawford spoke recently with author Courtney Clark. Battling cancer three times and a brain aneurysm might be enough to wear down most people. Courtney’s been there…now she teaches other people how to persevere when life doesn’t always go their way

Young Entrepreneurs Find Customers At The Makers Market

College of DuPage Business professor Peter James speaks with a student entrepreneur at last year’s Makers Market

College of DuPage Business professor Peter James speaks with a student entrepreneur at last year’s Makers Market

In the past few years, College of DuPage has worked to create an encouraging environment for young entrepreneurs. One of the ways the community college has accomplished that is with an annual event, the ‘Maker Market.’ It takes place this coming Wednesday on the Glen Ellyn campus. Business professor Peter James is one of the organizers for the event. First Light host Brian O’Keefe and Peter sat down to talk about the ‘Maker Market’ and how it helps young entrepreneurs find some initial success

Young Entrepreneurs find customers and test their business ideas at the College of DuPage Makers Market. This year’s market is set for Wednesday (April 10) at the Glen Ellyn Community College

Young Entrepreneurs find customers and test their business ideas at the College of DuPage Makers Market. This year’s market is set for Wednesday (April 10) at the Glen Ellyn Community College

Gardeners Ready To Get Growing

Plenty of pansies greet gardeners at Schaefer’s Greenhouses in Montgomery

Plenty of pansies greet gardeners at Schaefer’s Greenhouses in Montgomery

Every few weeks at First Light, University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel joins Brian O’Keefe for the ‘Farm to Table’ segment. They discuss everything from agriculture and
agri-businesses, to backyard gardens and home landscaping. For this week, Schaefer Greenhouse’s Brett Schaefer joined Richard and Brian in one of the massive garden center’s greenhouses

Rows and rows of tables with a wide variety of flowers await gardeners and weather that’s just a little bit warmer

Rows and rows of tables with a wide variety of flowers await gardeners and weather that’s just a little bit warmer

Water on Mars and Wildflowers in California

New research suggests subsurface water could be responsible for seasonal errosion on Mars (photo courtesy of NASA.gov)

New research suggests subsurface water could be responsible for seasonal errosion on Mars (photo courtesy of NASA.gov)

College of DuPage Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe on the first Sunday of each month. They discuss the latest discoveries and other space news, and give backyard astronomers an idea of what they can expect to see in the night sky in the coming weeks. This month, they started their conversation with a reminder of the amazing things astronauts can see from space

Massive wildflower bloom this spring in California was visible from the International Space Station (photo courtesy of NASA.gov)

Massive wildflower bloom this spring in California was visible from the International Space Station (photo courtesy of NASA.gov)

Springfield Native Clayton Whitmore-Penrose Celebrates Black Composer

Classical violinist and Springfield native Clayton Penrose-Whitmore performed recently in central Illinois

Classical violinist and Springfield native Clayton Penrose-Whitmore performed recently in central Illinois

This week in our look at stories from around the state, this segment from Illinois Public Radio’s Charlie Schlenker. Growing up in Springfield, African American violinist Clayton Penrose-Whitmore was one of few people of color around him playing classical music. He’s gone on to have a successful career in music, performing around the world. In central Illinois recently, Penrose-Whitmore played music of the man known as the Black Mozart. IPR’s Charlie Schlenker talked with Penrose-Whitmore about Chevalier de Saint Georges, and his own musical career

People Tree Brings Live Storytelling To Naperville

People Tree host Matt Jones warms up the crowd and welcomes storytellers to the stage each month

People Tree host Matt Jones warms up the crowd and welcomes storytellers to the stage each month

Story time is a perennial favorite in the children’s department of your local library. Increasingly adults are finding the joy in telling and hearing a story, and story time for grown-ups is more often than not taking place in a bar, brewery, pub, or restaurant. If you want to attend one of the Naperville based story telling events…you’ll need to get a ticket early, they usually sell out. First Light host Brian O’Keefe attended this month’s People Tree event

First time storyteller Robyn Whitlock took the stage at this month’s People Tree Storytelling event to tell her story of coming face to face with the devil

First time storyteller Robyn Whitlock took the stage at this month’s People Tree Storytelling event to tell her story of coming face to face with the devil

More than 250 people crowded into Empire in downtown Naperville for a sold out storytelling even

More than 250 people crowded into Empire in downtown Naperville for a sold out storytelling even

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Argonne Plans For A New Super Computer

Michael Papka , the Division Director for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, standing in front of one of the Mira super-computer cabinets. The 48 computer cabinets each weigh two tons

Michael Papka , the Division Director for the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility, standing in front of one of the Mira super-computer cabinets. The 48 computer cabinets each weigh two tons

Argonne National Lab is poised to be home to the country’s fastest computer, again. The Department of Energy facility announced the development a machine that can perform a quintrillion calculations per second…that’s a one with 18 zeros behind it. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited Argonne this week to try to better understand the computer named Aurora

The Aurora super computer at Argonne National Lab will be the fastest in the country when complete in 2021. It will be able to calculate one-quintrillion calculations per second

The Aurora super computer at Argonne National Lab will be the fastest in the country when complete in 2021. It will be able to calculate one-quintrillion calculations per second

Improv Celebrates Four Years in Wheaton

westside improv founder jeff ash teaching an eight week intro to improv class

westside improv founder jeff ash teaching an eight week intro to improv class

Some businesses stand out more than others and some you might walk by repeatedly without really noticing them. Westside Improv in downtown Wheaton is a little of both, and next weekend the little theater on Front Street is hosting a 12-hour improv marathon