Garden Maintenance During The Heat of Summer

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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

Escape The Heat At A Central IL Snowmobile Museum

A model T conversion created one of the first snow mobiles

A model T conversion created one of the first snow mobiles

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

Russel "Huck" Willis will be hosting the annual summer meeting of the Snowmobile Club of America at his museum in Hopedale, Illinois. (photos courtesy of Charlie Schlenker/WGLT)

Russel "Huck" Willis will be hosting the annual summer meeting of the Snowmobile Club of America at his museum in Hopedale, Illinois. (photos courtesy of Charlie Schlenker/WGLT)

Summer's Colorful Garden Visitors

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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

the orange and black Viceroy is Frequently confused with Monarch butterfly, both are common to Dupage county

the orange and black Viceroy is Frequently confused with Monarch butterfly, both are common to Dupage county

Amusement Parks of The Chicago Area's Past

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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.

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Exploring The Trend In Illinois Inmate Numbers

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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

The Illinois prison population from 1975 to the present. The population number is based on the final day of each year listed. (Brian Mackey/WUIS)

The Illinois prison population from 1975 to the present. The population number is based on the final day of each year listed. (Brian Mackey/WUIS)

Illinois Adventures: The Eternal Indian

While Lorado Taft’s "Eternal Indian” is currently wrapped in plastic awaiting repair a team of leaders in Oregon, IL hope to restore it to the splendor in this photo (photo courtesy of Blackhawk Restoration Team)

While Lorado Taft’s "Eternal Indian” is currently wrapped in plastic awaiting repair a team of leaders in Oregon, IL hope to restore it to the splendor in this photo (photo courtesy of Blackhawk Restoration Team)

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

A kiosk at the Eternal Indian statue site tells the story of the concrete statue, its designer, and the people that made it possible

A kiosk at the Eternal Indian statue site tells the story of the concrete statue, its designer, and the people that made it possible

The Eternal Indian statue is wrapped in plastic awaiting a complete restoration project

The Eternal Indian statue is wrapped in plastic awaiting a complete restoration project

The Eternal Indian has enjoyed this incredible view of the Rock River Valley for nearly 110 years

The Eternal Indian has enjoyed this incredible view of the Rock River Valley for nearly 110 years

Celebrating Apollo 11's 50th Anniversary

COD Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto

COD Astronomy professor Joe DalSanto

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.

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Adler Turns Its Attention To The Moon

Adler Planetarium astronomer Mark Hammergren

Adler Planetarium astronomer Mark Hammergren

Earlier this year the Adler Planetarium installed the ‘Imagine the Moon’ show and exhibit. I visited the lakefront museum and got a sense of the new show and to talked with Astronomer Mark Hammergren

A massive moon globe gives visitors to the Adler Planetarium unique views of the lunar surface

A massive moon globe gives visitors to the Adler Planetarium unique views of the lunar surface

A Plan For Prosperity For Cairo

Larry Klein, who is one the local port authority board and works with the utility, stands next to the Mississippi River on land where they're hoping to build a port. The city owns this land, but the utility manages it. (photo courtesy of  Madelyn Beck Illinois Newsroom)

Larry Klein, who is one the local port authority board and works with the utility, stands next to the Mississippi River on land where they're hoping to build a port. The city owns this land, but the utility manages it. (photo courtesy of Madelyn Beck Illinois Newsroom)

This week in our look at stories from around the state, let’s head down to far southern Illinois. Midwest agriculture depends on the Mississippi River to cheaply move grain and products, but high water has barges stranded. Illinois Public Radio’s Madelyn Beck reports that may actually be an opportunity for the state’s southernmost city

Driving into Cairo from the north, you pass a funeral home and a bridge underneath a rail line. There are structures behind this bridge that shut it off in case of massive flooding from the nearby Ohio and Mississippi rivers. (Photo courtesy  Madelyn Beck / Illinois Newsroom)

Driving into Cairo from the north, you pass a funeral home and a bridge underneath a rail line. There are structures behind this bridge that shut it off in case of massive flooding from the nearby Ohio and Mississippi rivers. (Photo courtesy Madelyn Beck / Illinois Newsroom)

Airshow Spotlights Giant Remote Control Model Planes

Warbirds from across the history of flight were on display at the Windy City Warbirds and Classics remote control airshow

Warbirds from across the history of flight were on display at the Windy City Warbirds and Classics remote control airshow

Pilots for a half dozen states and Canada put on a stunning airshow last weekend without ever leaving the ground. Remote control airplanes from the early days of aviation to modern day jets entertained crowds over the course of three days. First Light host Brian O’Keefe takes listeners to the sixth annual Windy City Warbirds and Classics Airshow

A collection of controllers allow pilots to fly their planes without ever leaving the ground

A collection of controllers allow pilots to fly their planes without ever leaving the ground

Several hundred people turned out to enjoy a wide variety of flying models from bi-planes to World War II bombers and fighters

Several hundred people turned out to enjoy a wide variety of flying models from bi-planes to World War II bombers and fighters

Carl Bachhuber’s gleaming Lockheed Constellation is modeled after a plane that was once owned by actor and pilot John Travolta

Carl Bachhuber’s gleaming Lockheed Constellation is modeled after a plane that was once owned by actor and pilot John Travolta

Farm to Table: Regional Idea Garden

U of I Extension educator Richard Hentschel joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe for the ‘Farm to Table’ segment

U of I Extension educator Richard Hentschel joins First Light host Brian O’Keefe for the ‘Farm to Table’ segment

About once a month University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel and First Light host Brian O’Keefe get together for the ‘Farm to Table’ segment. They talk about everything from agriculture and agribusiness, to your backyard garden and home landscape. For this ‘Farm to Table’…Brian met Richard at the University of Illinois Extension ‘idea garden’ in Kane County

A well dressed scare crow greets visitors to the U of I Extension’s regional Idea Garden

A well dressed scare crow greets visitors to the U of I Extension’s regional Idea Garden

One section of the Idea Garden uses bowling balls for a border

One section of the Idea Garden uses bowling balls for a border

The regional Idea Garden is a garden of gardens designed to give people ideas to use in their own backyard gardens

The regional Idea Garden is a garden of gardens designed to give people ideas to use in their own backyard gardens

Hessed House Connection To Hollywood

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Earlier this year theaters around the country screened a new movie from actor, director, and writer Emilio Estevez. This week ‘The Public’ made its way to home video. What you may not realize is the movie has a real world connection to one of this area’s largest homeless shelters. First Light host Brian O’Keefe spoke with Hessed House Executive Director Ryan Dowd

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One of A Kind Addiction Database

This week in our look at stories from around the state, Bloomington-Normal is home to one of the largest and most diverse addiction archives in the country. The record covers everything from alcohol to opioids and marijuana. Illinois Public Radio’s Mary Cullen spoke with former CEO of Chestnut Health Systems Russ Hagen about how the history of addiction parallels the present.

Chestnut Health Systems former CEO Russ Hagen helped develop the database of addiction and treatment resources in central Illinois (photo courtesy of Mary Cullen/WGLT)

Chestnut Health Systems former CEO Russ Hagen helped develop the database of addiction and treatment resources in central Illinois (photo courtesy of Mary Cullen/WGLT)

Shining A Spotlight On The Upstairs Lounge First

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Chicago’s Pride parade steps off next Sunday. Aurora and Bollingbrook have already hosted their celebrations of the LGBTQ community. The spread of Pride Parades to suburban communities and smaller cities points to a greater acceptance across the country; but a new book looks at a time when that definitely wasn’t the case. First Light host Brian O’Keefe talked with author Robert Fieseler

Author Robert Fieseler spoke with readers at Andersons Bookshops in his hometown of Naperville as part of a multi-city tour to launch the paperback version of Tinderbox

Author Robert Fieseler spoke with readers at Andersons Bookshops in his hometown of Naperville as part of a multi-city tour to launch the paperback version of Tinderbox

Jazz Institute Celebrates 50 Years

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This year marks the 50th anniversary of an organization that’s dedicated to the preservation of a truly American art form. The Jazz Institute of Chicago celebrates the musical genre every day with concerts in Chicago parks…educational program and by programming the Chicago Jazz Festival. JIC Executive Director Heather Ireland Robinson stopped by WDCB recently, she and First Light host Brian O’Keefe had a chance to reflect on the organization’s past and look to the next 50 years

Jazz Institute of Chicago Executive Director Heather Ireland Robinson (photo courtesy of JIC)

Jazz Institute of Chicago Executive Director Heather Ireland Robinson
(photo courtesy of JIC)

When Rock and Roll & Politics Collide

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For more than 15 years the Museum of Broadcast Communications has attracted visitors to its State Street location with a collection that celebrates media and special exhibits. A very successful Saturday Night Live exhibit wrapped up an extended stay at the museum earlier this year, now a new exhibit hopes to make the most the summer tourism season. First Light host Brian O’Keefe visited the ‘Louder Than Words’ exhibit.

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The jacket Dee Snider wore while testifying before Congress in opposition to the PMRC

The jacket Dee Snider wore while testifying before Congress in opposition to the PMRC

100 Years After Illinois Was First To Approve 19th Amendment

This week in our look at stories from around the state…we take a look at a moment in Illinois history. This month marks one hundred years since Illinois became the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment…the vote gave women the right to vote. In Springfield…Tara McClellan McAndrew looked into why Illinois led the way. Illinois Public Radio’s Sean Crawford spoke with Tara about what she found

(Credit Library of Congress)

(Credit Library of Congress)

Illinois Adventures: The Illinois Railway Museum

Illinois Railway Museum Executive Director Nick Kallas works out of an office packed with railroad memorabilia and artifacts

Illinois Railway Museum Executive Director Nick Kallas works out of an office packed with railroad memorabilia and artifacts

Periodically this spring and summer First Light host Brian O’Keefe has been taking listeners to visit roadside attractions across the region. The vacation temptations were originally a staple of roadtrips on two lane highways. Some are still out there and waiting for you and your family to pull in the parking lot and enjoy. For this Illinois Adventure, Brian traveled up to Union, Illinois

Illinois Railway Museum volunteer Nick Espevik operates an antique Chicago L car taking visitors on a mile long stretch of track at the museum

Illinois Railway Museum volunteer Nick Espevik operates an antique Chicago L car taking visitors on a mile long stretch of track at the museum

Beside trains, trolleys, and buses the Illinois Railway Museum has a collection of railroad signal devices and countless other artifacts spread across the property

Beside trains, trolleys, and buses the Illinois Railway Museum has a collection of railroad signal devices and countless other artifacts spread across the property

Grilling With Dad For Father's Day

College of DuPage Culinary Arts professor Chris Thielman discussed grilling with First Light

College of DuPage Culinary Arts professor Chris Thielman discussed grilling with First Light

Dads get their day today, and when it comes to honoring them, the grill is to Father’s Day as a brunch is to Mother’s Day. With that in mind First Light host Brian O’Keefe sat down with College of DuPage Culinary Arts professor Chris Thielman to talk about grilling tips, tools, and techniques

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Unique Program For Central Illinois High School Students

Martha Sweeney works with Ayushi Shah, right, a Normal Community High School senior, and other students at the lab in LeRoy.  (Photo courtesy of Kristy McLemore/WGLT)

Martha Sweeney works with Ayushi Shah, right, a Normal Community High School senior, and other students at the lab in LeRoy. (Photo courtesy of Kristy McLemore/WGLT)

This week in our look at stories from around the state we have a story from central Illinois. Most schools are out for summer, but let's hear about one last educational experience students had before summer break. It involved doctors and dead bodies. Illinois Public Radio’s Breanna Grow reports on a unique high school curriculum...the cadaver lab in the small town of LeRoy...in McLean County

Jim Zeleznik taught biology and coached football at LeRoy High School before he retired, and now teaches a zero-hour anatomy course at the high school in addition to proctoring at the lab. (Photo courtesy of Kristy McLemore/WGLT)

Jim Zeleznik taught biology and coached football at LeRoy High School before he retired, and now teaches a zero-hour anatomy course at the high school in addition to proctoring at the lab. (Photo courtesy of Kristy McLemore/WGLT)