Rich Egger

News Director

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.”

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The Illinois Supreme Court said it will allow cameras into trial courtrooms.

Illinois was in the minority of states in not allowing broadcast media to cover trials.

Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride said Illinois media outlets will have to follow several pages of rules. Even then, there is no guarantee the technology will be allowed for all trials. The state's 23 circuit courts can decide if they want to allow cameras and microphones.

The competition is expected to be stiff for a manufacturing plant that Caterpillar reportedly plans to move from Japan to somewhere in the US. Galesburg Mayor Sal Garza said that is why the city is asking mayors, village presidents, and other leaders from five counties to write letters in support of the region.

“It's become highly competitive and these kind of projects are very scarce,” Garza said. “So we understand that we really do have to collaborate.”

He thinks it strengthens the bid for this project and perhaps others down the road if the region bands together.

Shop Talk - January 24

Jan 24, 2012

The panelists discuss Gatehouse Media's decision to have all of its newspapers laid out in one of two central locations.

Copy editors across Illinois are losing their jobs as a result of the change. The company's stock increased a full penny after the decision was announced.

It took a while but Macomb will finally receive money for a much-needed project on the city's northeast side.

Mayor Mike Inman said the city applied about a year ago for a Community Development Assistance Program (CDAP) grant to finish a water main project along East Carroll Street. He said the state has notified the city that the more than $300,000 grant has been awarded.

Inman said people generally don't give much thought to water main projects until there is an issue with their service.

Illini West High School in Carthage will switch to an eight-block class schedule for the 2013-2014 school year.

Classes will meet five times every two weeks. Students will take four classes each day.

Teachers might have the most to learn during the transition.

Superintendent Kim Schilson said they will have to adapt to teaching 90-minute periods.

The district will offer teachers a great deal of professional development to ease the transition.

US Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) has  suffered a stroke and remains sedated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago.

His neurosurgeon believes the 52-year old senator has a very  good shot at making a full mental recovery.

Northwestern  neurosurgeon Dr. Richard Fessler said Kirk suffered a  "dry stroke,"  in which sections of the right side of his brain were  deprived  of blood.

An Illinois legislator has introduced a proposal that would ban drivers from using their cell phones. 

It's already illegal to text when you're behind the wheel, and some local ordinances only allow drivers to use hands-free devices for their phones.

Representative John D'Amico (D-Chicago) wants to go beyond those limitations.  He introduced a measure that would ban motorists from using mobile devices at all.

D'Amico acknowledged the idea might be unpopular with drivers who have become accustomed to making calls from the road, but he is standing by the proposal.

The McDonough County Historical Society now has some backing for its plans to clean up a cemetery that has been neglected for years.

Macomb aldermen approved a resolution of support for the rehab of the Old Macomb Cemetery on Wigwam Hollow Rd. The property is owned by the city.

The Historical Society is working to receive a grant from the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The city's support could help with that endeavor.

Fifth Ward Alderman Dave Dorsett said the city might be willing to do more if the grant comes through.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn confirmed he plans to close the  Jacksonville  Developmental Center and Tinley Park Mental Health  Center. 

Quinn's  office is calling the closures a "rebalancing."

The  Governor plans to move institutionalized patients with developmental  disabilities and mental illness to community-based settings.

In  a statement, Quinn said it will improve their quality of life.

Wikipedia

The  Illinois Supreme Court heard arguments this week in a case challenging  Cook County's ban on assault weapons.

Three gun owners say  they're law-abiding citizens and only use their firearms for recreation  and self-defense.

Edward  Ronkowski represents the men.  He told the justices the law was too  broad, and gave an example  of someone buying a rifle. The owner could  make sure he was in  compliance with the ordinance by verifying the gun  would accept  only a four-round clip.

WVIK Augustana Public Radio

Moline, IL – Western Illinois University pulled out all the stops to celebrate the opening of the first building for its riverfront campus in the Quad Cities. The ribbon cutting ceremony featured Governor Pat Quinn, a balloon drop with confetti, more money for the QC campus, an honor for a past president, and a new ice cream flavor.

The Ceremony

Governor Quinn said 1,400 students currently attend Western in the Quad Cities. But now with more space the university plans to increase enrollment to 3,000. The governor said that will boost the local economy.

Macomb, IL – When Western Illinois University engineering professor Rafael Obregon talks about his current project, he's reminded of the Wright brothers: "Before they were able to fly for the first time, there were a lot of trials that never [worked]."

Obregon's current project pairs him with a long-time collaborator, Dan Meyer of Innovative Design and Research Corporation in Rushville.

Illinois Republicans are amping up their push to repeal Illinois' income tax hike, which increased from 3% to 5% one year ago.

Republican legislative leaders marked the one-year anniversary of the increase by stacking $1,000 worth of groceries. They said that's the average amount Illinois families are paying in additional taxes since the increase.

"It's real money out of people's pockets, and we can't forget that," said Senate Minority leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont).

Emphasis - January 13

Jan 13, 2012

Rich Egger's guest is State Representative Norine Hammond (R-Macomb). They preview the Illinois legislature's 2012 session.

Lawmakers do not return to Springfield until January 30, which is later than normal. Hammond believes the legal battle over redistricting is part of the reason for the delay.

Hammond said the legislature must work to stabilize its finances. She pointed out Moody's lowered the state's credit rating late last week and Standard & Poor's has the state on a watch list.

Illinois regulators have  given Ameren Illinois permission to raise natural gas rates by about $32 million.

The Illinois Commerce  Commission said it will allow rates to rise by 1.2%  to 5.4%, depending where customers live. The rates would go up starting this month.

The Citizens Utility Board said it will appeal the decision.  Board executive director David Kolata pointed out the decision comes just  as Illinois faces the first real cold weather of winter.

CUB complained the rate increase is $2 million more than an administrative  law judge recommended last fall.

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