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Riley O'Neil

I consider myself lucky to have been born and raised right here in the Rock River Valley, a place that my family and my wife Amy's family have called home for generations. I was first hired at WROK in 1983, and except for a short departure, I've spent my entire career right here in Rockford. Halloween of this year will mark my 15th anniversary of hosting the WROK Morning Show, making me the longest-serving morning show host in the station's nearly 100-year history. Amy and I have been happily married for 25 years, with two (now grown) children, Spencer (who works for a major cruise company), and Molly (a student at Rock Valley College). When I'm not here at the station, I can usually be found at one of Rockford's many great, local events, either as host/master of ceremonies, or as an attendee. If we should meet, feel free to buy me 1 to 7 drinks.
Second Inauguration Of Abraham Lincoln
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Some Things You May Not Know About Presidential Inaugurations

As I sit at my keyboard, Donald Trump is being inaugurated as the 45th President of the United States. I've heard the words "history making" several times this morning, but then again, aren't each and every one of these presidential inaugurations history making? To answer my own question, yes.

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Here’s the Latest on Rockford’s Snow Sculpting Competition

Every Friday morning at around 7:25, we spend a few minutes with our good friend Laura Gibbs-Green of the Rockford Park District, as she fills us in on all the cool events and activities lined up for you and your family. This morning, we discussed the recently postponed Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition. In particular, what happens next.

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Rockford’s Top 10 Restaurants According to Trip Advisor

I read once that the surest way to provoke an argument is to open a discussion of politics or religion. There's no doubt that those topics can produce some serious disagreements, but I think an even quicker way to get an argument going is to produce a "best _____" list.

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New Study Shows That Illinois is a Pretty Good Place to Raise Kids

We've often lamented that Illinois too often shows up poorly in lists of good things about states, and ranks very highly on the lists of bad things. When it comes to raising kids, it seems that we're not great, but we're doing pretty well.

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It’s a New Year, But Strange, Old Laws Are Still on Illinois’ Books

When we get into late December and early January of any given year, many news outlets publish lists of new laws and regulations that go into effect at the beginning of the new year. What you don't often see are lists of the odd, archaic, or just plain weird old laws that are still around on the books throughout the state. Let's fix that.

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The Rock River Valley Blood Center Really Needs Your Help, Right Now

I got an email yesterday from my longtime friend, Jen Bowman, P.R. and Marketing Director for the Rock River Valley Blood Center. Jen got right to the point in that email by saying: "We need blood badly!! Do you have any time for me tomorrow morning?"

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2016 Was a Record-Setting Year for Rockford Crime Stoppers

Here at News/Talk 1440 WROK, we're proud to be long-time supporters of Rockford Crime Stoppers. Every Tuesday morning after the 8:30 news, our good friend, Crime Stoppers Coordinator Ken Decoster joins us to discuss crime in the Rockford area, along with all the things that Crime Stoppers does to encourage citizens to help in the fight against crime in Rockford and in the surrounding areas. In 2016, Rockford Crime Stoppers did a lot.

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Maybe Rockford Could Learn Something From a Guy in Raleigh, NC

For everyone out there today slipping and sliding around Rockford area roads, take a page out of a Raleigh, North Carolina man's book--grab your water skis, get a friend to pull you around, and experience the city in a whole new way (although the Rockford Police will most certainly frown on it, or worse).

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Make 2017 a Great Year by Adopting a Pet From Winnebago County Animal Services

I just read a rather sobering statistic from the ASPCA's website about animals and shelters. It seems that over seven and a half million companion animals enter animal shelters every year. Of those, 3.9 million are cats, and 3.4 million are dogs. Of those 7.6 million animals, 2.7 million (1.2 million dogs, and 1.4 million cats) are euthanized. If those numbers are disturbing to you, know that you can make a difference.

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