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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 2016 marked 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 who also dazzles with service at a popular local restaurant). I'm luckier than I ever thought possible. 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.
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Wisconsin: You’ll Come for the Cheese and Beer, You’ll Stay for the Kangaroos

Before writing this, just for fun I googled "What's so great about Wisconsin?" After going though literally hundreds of things that people online said made Wisconsin a wonderful place, I was stunned to see that the word "kangaroos" didn't make a single list.

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Minnesota Has Been Named ‘The Happiest State,’ But What About Illinois?

So, it's cold a lot and it snows plenty and there are mosquitos that can lift a grown man off the ground. But, at least they have ice fishing. Those things, plus (I'm guessing) a few others have combined to make Minnesota the happiest state in the nation, according to a new study. Illinois has all those things, too. Why aren't we the happiest?

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San Francisco Board Of Supervisors Proposes Putting Soda Tax On Nov. Ballot
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Thousands Demand That Cook County Repeal the Hated ‘Pop Tax’

The Cook County Board of Commissioners plans to consider today whether to repeal the county’s widely unpopular new sweetened beverages tax. The board’s decision, coupled with the multi-million dollar battle being waged by powerful out-of-state proponents of the tax, means that there's a lot of money on the line here.

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Rockford Fire Department Tweets Photos of 1928 Tornado Damage

Sometimes, when you're scrolling through social media, you'll come across the letters TIL. Those letters, if you weren't aware, stand for "Today I Learned." Well, thanks to a really interesting tweet by the Rockford Fire Department, today I learned (or, TIL) that Rockford experienced one hell of a tornado on September 14, 1928.

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If You Got a Call Promising You a Free Cruise, A Class-Action Lawsuit May Get You Some Cash

I don't know about you, but for my family, signing up for the National Do Not Call Registry did not give us the relief from telemarketers that we'd hoped for. As a matter of fact, we've barely noticed a drop-off in call volume at all. And we've been on the Do Not Call list for over 10 years.

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Rockford Area Gas Prices Are Up, But Beginning to Stabilize After Hurricanes

In the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey's smackdown of the Houston area, we were warned that gas prices would certainly be on the rise because of the extensive damage and flooding to the gasoline refineries in that area. It was also suggested by some that higher prices and shortages could last for months. Only part of that came true.

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Dogs at Coindre Hall
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Illinois Dog Has a Strange Hobby–Rescuing Earthworms

When you think of a "rescue dog," you probably have an image in your head of a family adopting a new family pet from a local shelter or care organization. Holliday, a female German Shepherd-Border Collie mix from East St. Louis, is a rescuer, not a rescuee.

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U.S. Civil War Comes To An End
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USA Today Reader’s Poll Says These Are Illinois’ Top Attractions

Pop quiz, hotshot. Our state of Illinois, while nowhere near the tourism capital of the United States, still managed to draw how many visitors in 2016? If you just shouted "110 million!" at your monitor--congrats. You nailed it.

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