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.”

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas is completing his seventh year at the helm, yet he has never signed a contract with the school.  Instead the Board of Trustees has always signed a Letter of Employment with him.

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

NPR Illinois and Tri States Public Radio host the seventh Illinois Issues Forum on the state's financial health and the lasting impacts of the two-year-long 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.

 

Fantasy farming gives high school students from western Illinois a chance to learn firsthand about the guesswork and gambles that farmers make every year.

 

“It’s almost like picking a fantasy football team,” said Troy Coziahr, Manager of the Monsanto Learning Center, a 480 acre research farm just south of Monmouth.

“They’re drafting their team and the hybrid is like the quarterback, right? That’s the first choice you‘re going to make. Nitrogen is kind of like the running back. That’s carrying the load.”

State Senator John Sullivan (D-Rushville) smiled broadly as he strode into the Tri States Public Radio studios for an interview on Friday, January 6. He's clearly at ease with his decision to step down from the Legislature after 14 years.

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.

Western Illinois University President Jack Thomas said the state's stop-gap spending measure helped the university for the fall semester, but he cautioned it's not designed to get any of the state's public universities through the entire fiscal year. 

John Miller, President of the University Professionals of Illinois, Local 4100, said the six month spending plan passed by lawmakers and signed by the governor was poorly done and is not even a true budget. And he said it amounts to another cut for higher education.

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.

The administration announced the cuts mid-afternoon Friday.  The cuts will take place over the next two fiscal years, beginning July 1, 2016.  In addition, the university will make additional cuts for the remainder of the current fiscal year.

Representatives from across the higher education spectrum gathered at Western Illinois University in Macomb to urge the state to provide funding for colleges and universities. But just hours afterward, Governor Bruce Rauner vetoed a measure (SB 2043) that would have funded MAP grants and provided at least a bit of income for the schools.

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.

WIU students demonstrating.
Rich Egger / Tri States Public Radio

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees voted 5-to1 during a special meeting Monday to authorize staff reductions for the fiscal year that begins July 1, 2016.  Staff cuts are just one part of Western’s plan for cutting spending by roughly $10 million due to declines in enrollment and state financial support.

Macomb-based musician Chris Vallillo does shows featuring the music of the American civil rights movement.  He came up with the concept around the time of the movement's 50th anniversary.

The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees will wait until next month to vote on a massive budget cutting plan.  In a letter issued Tuesday to the campus community, WIU President Jack Thomas said he wants more time to come up with a proposal that threatens the livelihood of fewer people.

The state of Illinois has cut funding to higher education each year for more than a decade.  Those cuts combined with declining enrollment will cause some people to lose their jobs at Western Illinois University.