Rich Egger

Rich is the News Director at Tri States Public Radio. Rich grew up in the northwest suburbs of Chicago but now calls Macomb home. Rich has a B.A in Communication Studies with an Emphasis on Radio, TV, and Film from Northern Illinois University. Rich came to love radio in high school where he developed his “news nerdiness” as he calls it. Rich’s high school had a radio station called WFVH, which he worked at for a couple years. In college, Rich worked at campus station WKDI for three years, spinning tunes and serving at various times as General Manager, Music Director and Operations Manager. Before being hired as Tri States Public Radio’s news director in 1998, Rich worked professionally in news at WRMN-AM/WJKL-FM in Elgin and WJBC-AM in Bloomington. In Rich’s leisure time he loves music, books, cross-country skiing, rooting for the Cubs and Blackhawks, and baking sugar frosted chocolate bombs. His future plans include “getting some tacos.”

Bruce Morton said he was born and raised in the Hancock County community of Bowen (2010 census: 494).  He couldn’t wait to leave and lived for 30 years near Phoenix, Arizona.  But he moved back to Bowen in 2007 and is glad he did.

After his State of the University speech, Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas told reporters, "We have made cuts and we will have to continue to make those cuts and we will do the necessary things that we have to do."

Western Illinois University has seen a sharp drop in student enrollment in recent years, which means less money coming in through tuition and fees.  That, combined with decreases in state financial support – especially during the two-year state budget impasse – hurt the university's finances, leading to layoffs, furloughs, and an early retirement program.

Members of the University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) Local 4100 will hold a strike authorization vote on the Macomb and Quad Cities campuses as contract talks with the administration drag on. The union represents faculty, advisors, admissions counselors, and other counselors, according to Chapter President Bill Thompson.

The Board of Trustees at Western Illinois University said it will stand by the administration despite last month's "no confidence" vote by faculty.  65% of faculty members who returned their ballot stated they do not have confidence in the administration.  

IL Senate GOP / YouTube

Republican State Senator Jil Tracy of Quincy believes that gun bans won’t prevent school shootings and other acts of violence.

Tracy says knives, pipe bombs, and cars are also used to cause harm, so she questions the effectiveness of what she calls gun infringement bills. Tracy believes it makes more sense to focus on improving mental health care services in schools and throughout society. Tracy also says Hollywood and video game makers must accept some responsibility for de-sensitizing people to violence.

Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) said he is trying to educate his urban counterparts about rural issues ahead of a vote on the next Farm Bill.

regan76 / (CC BY 2.0) / Flickr

Many so-called Dreamers have spent most of their lives in the U.S.. They’ve grown up, attended school, held jobs, and some have started families of their own. They’ve also lived in constant fear of deportation until former President Barack Obama implemented the DACA program in 2012.

 

Now, those fears have returned with President Donald Trump threatening to end DACA unless Congress comes up with a bill to replace it and address immigration reform.

 

Congressman Darin LaHood says he’s “thrilled” with his new committee assignment.

Speaker Paul Ryan appointed LaHood to the House Ways and Means Committee. 

LaHood considers it a significant committee because it deals with taxation, trade, healthcare, and many entitlement programs.             

“..Those are important issues to the American people. They’re important to our seniors. They’re important to every facet of our economic system.”

Canada-based Capital Power believes it can start operating the Cardinal Point Wind Farm in the next couple years.  Two-thirds of the farm will be located in McDonough County, with the rest in Warren County.

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas gave a State of the University address at the start of the new school year.  At the time, he said the state of the university was "okay." Now, with the fall semester in the books, Dr. Thomas said the school's situation is improving.

Mayor Mike Inman said businesswoman Kay Ruggles brought the idea for Flags of Love to Macomb after seeing a similar display in southeast Iowa.  Inman said the original goal was to fly 100 American flags in Chandler Park.

Ed Brambley / Flickr

Millions of people have fled Syria since the start of the nation’s civil war.  An Illinois-based author fears the West has turned its attention to other concerns…so she’s trying to keep the crisis in the spotlight. Protesters took to the nation’s streets in 2011 to demonstrate against what they called the repressive regime of President Bashar Al-Assad. 

Western Illinois University’s short-term goal is to stabilize enrollment at 10,000 students, but it came up a bit short this fall.

Amtrak and the Illinois Department of Transportation said new locomotives will be put into use on a number of routes, including the Illinois Zephyr/Carl Sandburg service between Quincy and Chicago.

The upcoming phenomenon in the tri states region won’t quite be a total solar eclipse but it will come close. It will begin late in the morning on Monday, August 21.  At 1:15 p.m. in Macomb, the eclipse will reach its peak when 95.2% of the sun’s surface will appear to be covered by the moon.

The budget approved by Illinois lawmakers provides Western Illinois University with funding for last fiscal year and the current fiscal year. Now university leaders will decide how to proceed.

Members of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees said President Jack Thomas has done "an admirable job" of steering the university through difficult times brought on by the unprecedented state budget impasse. 

Researchers are trying to gain greater insights into why people experience different health outcomes.  A healthcare expert from Illinois believes those differences could be reduced through community coalitions.

The coats of around 20 animal species go from brown in the summer to white in the winter.  Researchers are studying whether climate change is causing those animals to adapt.

A Western Illinois University administrator said the school has enough money to make it through the Spring semester. But he's not saying much about the contingency plan WIU is developing in case the ongoing shortfall of state funding continues.

Presidents' Day is celebrated in the U.S. to honor the people who've held the nation's highest public office.  Tri States Public Radio talked to a couple historians about the 35th president, Democrat John F. Kennedy, because this year marks the centennial of Kennedy's birth (May 29, 1917).

Hundreds of people marched through the streets of downtown Galesburg Saturday morning in conjunction with the Women's March in Washington D.C. and similar demonstrations around the globe.

Despite uncertain state funding, Western Illinois University will keep tuition rates the same next year for incoming students.  University President Jack Thomas says holding the line on tuition is the right thing to do.

Western Illinois University will receive an extra boost of financial support from the state.  But it still falls far short of what the school would normally expect during a budget year.  Western was already receiving $36.5 million from the state’s stop-gap funding measure.  

Lackluster volunteer support for the Flags of Love display had Macomb city leaders wondering whether it was time to end the tradition.  But it appears the community would like it to continue.  More than 200 volunteers showed up in Chandler Park first thing Friday morning to help with the display. 

Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois says he’s disappointed with the head of the FBI. The bureau will look at newly discovered emails involving Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. It’s trying to determine whether they have anything to do with Clinton’s use of a private server while she was Secretary of State.

Many state lawmakers in Illinois are in campaign mode right now.  And that means nothing is being done about the state budget.  Lawmakers and the Governor agreed to a stop-gap spending measure at the end of June.  It will keep state government services running until early January.

When the night has come, And the land is dark, And the moon is the only light we'll see, No I won't be afraid, Oh I won't be afraid, Just as long as you stand, stand by me – Ben E. King’s “Stand by Me.”

A group of Western Illinois University alumni – many of them African-American – stood by one another and helped one another get through college more than five decades ago, a time when the campus was just beginning to diversify.

Flickr

The debate over Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMOs, can get pretty heated.  But a long-time seller of non-GMO grain says he won’t get worked up over the issue. Illinois Public Radio's Rich Egger reports.

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