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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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Moment Open, Getty Images
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Even if You’re Not Swedish, You’ll Love Midsommar 2017 This Weekend

It's that time of year again, when Rockford's Swedish Historical Society presents Midsommar, the traditional Swedish festival which is celebrated worldwide and welcomes the arrival of the summer solstice. This event is such a good time that even people with zero Swedish ancestry (assuming that's even possible in Rockford) flock to it every year.

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Taking a Look at Illinois’ Economic Health Compared to Other States

We haven't had a working budget in the Land of Lincoln for years. We've got pension problems galore, the highest property taxes in the nation, and a pile of overdue bills that would make the strongest desk sag under the weight. So really, could any state be in worse economic shape that we are? In a word: yes. 

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Winnebago County Health Department Reminds You to Watch Out for These Guys

And by these guys, I mean ticks. Warmer weather is here and Winnebago County is already seeing an increased number in Lyme Disease cases over last year's numbers.

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C Flanigan, Getty Images
C Flanigan, Getty Images
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Old Settlers Days is Happening Next Week, and We Got a Preview this Morning

One of the biggest and coolest festivals that we're treated to in this area kicks off once again next Thursday, June 15th, in Rockton. It's called Old Settlers Days, or just "OSD," and this year promises to be their biggest year yet.

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Washington Post RNC Convention Headquarters. 7-20-16
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Congressman Adam Kinzinger Visited with the WROK Morning Show Today

Congressman Adam Kinzinger checked in with us this morning for his monthly visit, and we got his take on the Comey testimony, North Korean missles, British elections, and the recent spate of terrorism in Europe.

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It Turns Out That Illinois Doesn’t Have Budget Problems–We Have Catfish Problems

Put the budget and the other financial problems Illinois is having on the back burner! As Illinois taxpayers wait to see if lawmakers can craft a budget before session ends May 31, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill prohibiting restaurants from labeling a menu item as catfish unless it actually contains catfish. Seriously.

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Where Does Illinois Place on the List of America’s Safest States?

It might get to you sometimes. You know, reading over and over again in various spots about how dangerous Rockford is. About how dangerous Chicago is. How dangerous Bloomington, Peoria, and East St. Louis are. How could you not think that Illinois is danger-central? Well, maybe because there are lots of other states that could take that title before us.

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We’ve Got Some Strange Names for Places in Illinois

I was just watching something on YouTube that had people from anywhere other than the Midwest trying to pronounce Midwestern place names. As you might imagine, it was pretty humorous to watch folks take on names that we're fairly familiar with, but they had never heard of.

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Here’s Some Good News–Illinois Gas Prices Are Dropping As We Head Into Summer

Here in Illinois, we'll take good news wherever and whenever we can get it. So, with that in mind, those of us who are planning on hitting the road this summer can look forward to lower gas prices.

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