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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.
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Are You Ready For Self-Driving Cars Here in Illinois?

I was just out in the Phoenix/Mesa, Arizona area a few weeks back, and besides 85 degree weather and Chicago Cubs spring training baseball, the thing (or things) that got my attention the most was the prevalence of self-driving cars undergoing testing on the streets.

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Rich Legg, Getty Images
Rich Legg, Getty Images
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What’s the Most Distinctive Last Name in Illinois?

Before you guess, some explanation of the question is in order. By "distinctive" last name, I mean those that occur most often compared to the nation as a whole. Got it? Okay, make your guess--but think "Swedish" while you're doing it.

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Chicago Tourism Sets New Record, And Many Make the Trip to Rockford, Too

In spite of it's global reputation as a violent city, Chicago ended up setting a new record for tourist visits last year with 31 major conventions, the NFL Draft, and of course, the World Champion Chicago Cubs drawing folks from all over. And, although they came for the Windy City, many tourists are opting to take a ride out to Rockford, too.

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If You’re Sick of Political Yard Signs Around Rockford, You’re Not Alone

I once worked for a local political campaign, and while my candidate didn't win the election, he won my enduring respect for insisting that the campaign staff quickly remove all of his many yard signs from wherever they'd been placed. I can think of many other candidates over the years who didn't make that a priority.

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500 Acre Dairy Farm Milks 110 Cows
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Wisconsin Makes Long Overdue Move, Cows Celebrate

Wisconsin-produced food has been in the news lately. First, we get the flap about Wisconsinites not being able to buy Ireland-produced KerryGold Butter at their local stores. Now, in an effort to placate their large bovine population, Wisconsin lawmakers are doing something you'd have thought they would have done years ago.

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Illinois Policy’s Kristina Rasmussen Breaks Down Springfield’s Grand Bargain on WROK

As an Illinois taxpayer, maybe you're aware of something being worked on in Springfield called "The Grand Bargain." As Illinois Policy's Kristina Rasmussen explained to us today on the WROK Morning Show, given the host of financial problems our state has--it's not grand, and it certainly not a bargain for taxpayers.

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New Poll Says That Illinois Voters Want Pot to be Legalized

First, it was medical marijuana, then decriminalization, now lawmakers in Springfield have moved the discussion on to the legalization of pot. Does it surprise you that voters in Illinois say that they support this measure?

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