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.”

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.

A former Swedish colony in western Illinois will be the setting for a music festival that aims to demonstrate the depth of the folk music genre.  The Bishop Hill Folk Festival, which is free and open to the public, will be held July 30 and 31 in the Bishop Hill Village Park.

The president of Western Illinois University will keep his job for at least one more year.   The board of trustees unanimously agreed to extend Dr. Jack Thomas' contract through the 2016-17 fiscal year.  Reading from a prepared statement during the board's quarterly meeting... chairperson Roger Clawson said trustees enthusiastically commend Thomas for the leadership he's shown during difficult times, and trustees support his strategic vision for Western.  After the meeting, Clawson said Thomas is steering the University through uncharted waters.

Quest Language Studies / Flickr

The budget crisis in Illinois that's crippling public universities is not being felt by K-through-12 school districts. That's because state lawmakers made sure to fund elementary and secondary education this year. History might not repeat itself. So school districts in western Illinois are drumming up support for full funding next fiscal year by painting a bleak picture of the future. Illinois Public Radio's T.J. Carson has the story.

      

About three dozen Western Illinois University students and staff members marched across campus Tuesday to advocate for state funding of higher education.  The demonstration was put on by students and was done in support of faculty and staff who face furloughs and layoffs.

In a letter to the campus community, WIU President Jack Thomas said around 110 university workers will receive layoff notices within the next week.

Around 150 people took to the streets late Thursday afternoon to demonstrate their support for Western Illinois University and the city of Macomb.

Western Illinois University Budget Director Matt Bierman said the school will achieve savings beginning next fiscal year thanks to the early retirement incentive package offered late last fall.

Patty and Carl Sloan managed to escape injury Tuesday evening by reaching the basement of their home outside Avon just as a powerful storm hit.

The senior U.S. Senator from Illinois says the nation is locking up too many people for far too long. He hopes to change that soon.

Democrat Dick Durbin has worked with Republican Chuck Grassley of Iowa on the sentencing reform and corrections act.

Durbin says the act would ease mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses that don't involve guns, gangs, or violence. He says he believes the U.S. overreacted with the war on drugs and other "get tough on crime" measures.

Rich Egger

 

  

Roughly 200 people marched through the Western Illinois University campus Tuesday afternoon.  They wanted to make a public statement about their dissatisfaction with decision-makers in Springfield.

 

"It’s time to stop using us as some kind of political football," said Dr. Brian Powell, Associate Professor of Philosophy, who helped organize the demonstration.

"We need funding for MAP (Monetary Award Program). This is need-based money for motivated students."

A newly edited volume of letters provides more insight into the nation's 16th president. Herndon on Lincoln: Letters was edited by Douglas Wilson and Rodney Davis, co-directors of the Lincoln Studies Center at Knox College.

Pages