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.”

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees deadlocked on appointing Dr. Martin Abraham as the university's 12th president. The vote came after the board held a five hour executive session Thursday night and met behind closed doors for more than an hour Friday morning. 

High school students through the decades have sweated over the college admissions tests, the ACT and the SAT.  Now, more and more schools are not requiring applicants to take the standardized tests.

Knox College President Teresa Amott said the current enrollment at the private liberal arts school in Galesburg is 1,229 students. Dr. Amott said "it would be terrific" if enrollment increased to 1,400-1,600 students. She said that would allow the school to hire more faculty members and offer more academic choices to students.

Tammy Yates was excited to come to Macomb seven years ago.

"I'm excited to announce that Western Illinois University has been awarded $10 million," WIU Agriculture Professor Win Phippen said before being interrupted by applause from administrators, politicians, and others who gathered for Tuesday morning's announcement in the University Union's Brattain Lounge on the Macomb campus.

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs visited Macomb this week. He was the featured speaker at a dinner hosted by the McDonough County Democratic Central Committee.

At the beginning of their June 14 meeting, Western Illinois University trustees agreed to a plan that calls for WIU President Jack Thomas to step down on June 30.  After the 7.5 hour meeting, Tri States Public Radio talked to Board of Trustees Chairperson Greg Aguilar about the deal.

Unions strive to use the power of collective bargaining to improve pay and working conditions for employees.  Peter Cole, a Professor of History at Western Illinois University, has studied dockworker unions and found they have used their influence to also advance social justice causes and work for the good of others.

New Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has said he will prioritize funding for the state's colleges and universities.  Nonetheless, the Western Illinois University administration has said more deep budget cuts might be necessary.

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas has delayed an announcement on budget cuts.  But he is warning that deep cuts are still necessary.

Two more members of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees say they will be leaving the board.

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees (BoT) has lost another member, and it appears as though his resignation is nearly two years late.

The University Professionals of Illinois (UPI) has asked the McDonough County State's Attorney's office to conduct a criminal investigation of the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees, University President Jack Thomas, and other officers of the institution.

The recording of a closed door meeting held by the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees reveals board members repeatedly violated the Illinois Open Meetings Act (OMA).

Dr. B.S. Kesavan became a much-beloved pediatrician during his four decades in Galesburg.  A stroke sidelined him a couple years ago. It left him wondering what he should do and how he might recover.

Almost everything the Western Illinois University Board of Trustees discussed during a closed door meeting on June 28, 2018 must be made public, according to the Illinois Attorney General's office, which found [.pdf] the Board violated the state's Open Meetings Act (OMA).

More members of the public are asking the decision-makers at Western Illinois University to restore funding to its public radio station. Half-a-dozen people used the public comment period during the September 28 Board of Trustees meeting to address the administration's plan to end appropriated funding for Tri States Public Radio on March 1, 2019.

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. 

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