WBEZ | NIU http://www.wbez.org/tags/niu Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en The true story of Chicago's shapeshifting "welfare queen" http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-27/morning-shift-true-story-chicagos-shapeshifting <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//main-images/Cover Flickr Phillip Pessar.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>Murder, identity fraud and voodoo, Slate&#39;s Josh Levin joins us with a tale that reads like a real-life X-File: the story of &quot;Linda Taylor.&quot; We learn about a Chicago synagogue&#39;s attempt to recast the modern bat/bar mitzvah. And, we time travel back to Uptown in the &#39;70s.</p><div class="storify"><iframe allowtransparency="true" frameborder="no" height="750" src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-true-story-of-chicago-s-shapeshiftin/embed?header=false" width="100%"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-true-story-of-chicago-s-shapeshiftin.js?header=false"></script><noscript>[<a href="//storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-true-story-of-chicago-s-shapeshiftin" target="_blank">View the story "Morning Shift: The true story of Chicago's shapeshifting \"welfare queen\"" on Storify</a>]</noscript></div></p> Fri, 27 Dec 2013 08:28:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia/2013-12-27/morning-shift-true-story-chicagos-shapeshifting NIU football going to Miami for bowl game http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/niu-football-going-miami-bowl-game-104572 <p><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><div class="image-insert-image "><br /><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/RS6869_AP429074414990-scr.jpg" style="height: 402px; width: 620px;" title="NIU Coach Rod Carey (AP Photo/J Pat Carter)" /></div></div><p>Northern Illinois University (NIU) will make history next week when its football team plays the Orange Bowl in Florida.</p><p>The&nbsp;Huskies are no strangers to bowl games - this will be their seventh in 10 years.&nbsp;But they will be the first team from the Mid-American Conference to compete in a Bowl Championship Series game.</p><p>Some 1,300 of their fellow students plan to head south to cheer them on.</p><p>Paul Palian is head of Media and Public Relations at Northern Illinois. He says NIU worked around the clock to arrange accommodations and transportation for the students, including finding 26 buses on short notice. But&nbsp;Palian says their efforts were worth it.</p><p>&quot;The students are excited, the campus has various landmarks lit up in orange &ndash;&nbsp;just a great atmosphere in DeKalb right now,&quot; Palian said.</p><p>Meanwhile, Donna Turner of NIU&rsquo;s Athletics Department <a href="http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/12/26/3157431/niu-arrives-in-miami-for-orange.html">is with the team in Miami. </a></p><p>She says over the next few days, players will attend charitable events and team dinners. As they approach game time, the big challenge will be the &quot;mental preparation&quot; required to face the Florida State Seminoles.</p><p>The Huskies are the underdogs of this match-up, so Turner hopes the traveling&nbsp;NIU students bring their high spirits all the way to the Sunshine State.</p><p>&quot;You know obviously we&rsquo;re playing against Florida State,&quot; Turner said. &quot;So our fans will be pretty severely outnumbered we feel.&quot;&nbsp;</p><p>The <a href="http://www.orangebowl.org/">Orange Bowl</a> takes place next Tuesday.&nbsp;</p></p> Wed, 26 Dec 2012 14:49:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/sports/niu-football-going-miami-bowl-game-104572 Why all the fuss about NIU squeezing into the Orange Bowl? http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/why-all-fuss-about-niu-squeezing-orange-bowl-104174 <p><div class="image-insert-image "><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rsz_jordan_lynch_running.jpg" title="NIU QB Jordan Lynch set the NCAA rushing yards in a season by a quarterback.(NIU Media Services)" /></div><p>What did Northern Illinois University do to deserve such negativity about gaining a berth to a bowl championship game?&nbsp;</p><p><a href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/gameon/2012/12/02/herbstreit-espn-northern-illinois-bcs/1741751/">Talking heads have lambasted the Huskies for getting the nod to play Florida State in the Orange Bowl </a>in Miami on New Year&rsquo;s Day, and stats nerds and big time football schools have scoffed at this BCS selection.</p><p>It&#39;s not the National Championship game &mdash; that will really see the big revenues. But money is the reason for such displeasure &mdash; and the fact that a smaller school in a smaller conference (the Mid-American Conference) gets to share in the wealth. The MAC gets $8 million&nbsp;for having a team in a BCS bowl game, and this is the first time this conference has had&nbsp;a&nbsp;representative.</p><p>But NIU earned their spot fair and square: They have an exciting quarterback in Jordan Lynch, and the school has gone to five straight bowl games. NIU sent six players to NFL rosters and two more to the league&#39;s practice squads, and the program has succeeded&nbsp;despite a coaching carousel:&nbsp;Head coach Dave Doeren barely got the confetti out of his hair after Friday&rsquo;s win before leaving to become the head coach at North Carolina State; his predecessor, Jerry Kill, made a leap to Minnesota. Rod Carey now leads the team, in Miami and beyond. Carey had been the team&rsquo;s offensive line coach, but illness forced offensive coordinator Mike Dunbar to resign. Now Carey will diagram the Xs and Os in perhaps the biggest game of NIU&rsquo;s history.&nbsp;Plus, a town like DeKalb deserves to enjoy a great experience this this.&nbsp;The school&#39;s players, students, staff and surrounding community are aving the time of their lives. It&#39;s a shame outsiders want to diminish what the 12-1 football program has accomplished.&nbsp;</p><p>There are several players on the&nbsp;NIU&nbsp;team roster from Florida. Imagine: They get to go home and play in their home state with Huskies across their uniform. Maybe they wanted to play for Florida State, Florida or Miami --&nbsp;NIU&nbsp;chose them and they chose Northern Illinois University. There&#39;s excitement from&nbsp;NIU staff, too, like assistant athletic director Donna Turner. She&#39;s a Florida State alum, but make no mistake about where Turner&rsquo;s allegations are right now. Despite where she came from, the Gainesville, Fla., native is walking around with an ear-to-ear grin, loving that her team&nbsp;has a unique opportunity on a big stage.</p><p>Frankly, isn&rsquo;t that is what it is all about?&nbsp;A school little-known outside of Illinois now takes center stage. They can and should enjoy every bit of it. They deserve it.</p><p>* * *</p><p>The game may be weeks away but there&#39;s plenty happening in the meantime:</p><ul><li>NIU is offering free tickets to all its students &mdash; that&rsquo;s right &mdash; free! The school had this policy in past bowl games and even though it&rsquo;s a BCS game, the school decided to continue the tradition. Joe Summins,&nbsp;NIU&#39;s associate director of media services, explained the decision this way: &ldquo;We just want our students to be part of the excitement.&rdquo; Eager students have waited in line to get their hands on a coveted ticket.<br />&nbsp;</li><li>Wednesday at 7 p.m. NIU will stage a rally for the football team at the Huskie-SIU-Edwardsville basketball game halftime. The MAC championship trophy will be on display.&nbsp;<br />&nbsp;</li><li>This week the team will do some unwinding &mdash; next week is finals. That could be more intimidating then facing the Seminoles. . . .&nbsp;</li></ul><p><em>Follow Cheryl on Twitter </em><a href="http://%3chttps//twitter.com/Crayestout%3E"><font color="#006896"><em>@CRayeStout</em></font></a><em> and Facebook </em><a href="http://www.facebook.com/CherylAtTheGame"><font color="#006896"><em>Cheryl Raye-Stout #AtTheGame</em></font></a><em>.</em></p></p> Wed, 05 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/cheryl-raye-stout/2012-12/why-all-fuss-about-niu-squeezing-orange-bowl-104174 Sex-assault case dropped against ex-NIU officer http://www.wbez.org/news/sex-assault-case-dropped-against-ex-niu-officer-104068 <p><p>SYCAMORE, Ill. &mdash; Charges have been dropped against a former Northern Illinois University police officer accused of sexually assaulting a student in October 2011.</p><p>The case had been plagued by questions over whether the NIU police department intentionally withheld information that might have aided the former officer&#39;s defense.</p><p>Prosecutors decided to drop the charges after hearing testimony Tuesday that raised further questions over the police department&#39;s handling of the case.</p><p>The <a href="http://bit.ly/X01BGm" target="_blank">(DeKalb) Daily Chronicle reports</a> that a computer forensics expert testified that the police department&#39;s chief had him remove files from his laptop.</p><p>A lawyer for former officer Andrew Rifkin praised the decision to drop the case and insisted his client was innocent.</p><p>A student accused him of sexually assaulting her at his apartment.</p></p> Wed, 28 Nov 2012 12:07:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/sex-assault-case-dropped-against-ex-niu-officer-104068 NIU breaks ground on athletic training center http://www.wbez.org/news/education/niu-breaks-ground-athletic-training-center-98463 <p><p>Officials at Northern Illinois University have broken ground on a new indoor athletic training center on the DeKalb campus.</p><p><a href="http://bit.ly/JxZRf2">The DeKalb <em>Daily Chronicle</em> reports</a> that the official ground-breaking ceremony for the 80,000-plus square foot building was Saturday.</p><p>It's called the Kenneth and Ellen Chessick Practice Facility. The building will have an artificial turf football field, a four-lane sprint track, batting cages, field goal nets and long jump pits.</p><p>The newspaper reports that donors have pledged $8.7 of the 9.5 million needed for the center.</p><p>University officials say they hope to complete the center by the time classes start in the fall of 2013.</p><p>John Peters is university president. He says he thinks the building is key in the university reaching the next level in college athletics.</p></p> Mon, 23 Apr 2012 09:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/education/niu-breaks-ground-athletic-training-center-98463 Publisher celebrates Midwestern storytelling http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-25/publisher-celebrates-midwestern-storytelling-89585 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2011-July/2011-07-25/Bookstore.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The Midwest is defined by much more than its economy. Culture, for example--its customs and idiosyncrasie---make the region rich, especially for storytelling.<a href="http://www.niupress.niu.edu/" target="_blank"> Northern University Illinois Press</a> found a way to celebrate Midwestern culture. The press launched the imprint <a href="http://www.switchgrass.niu.edu/switchgrass/" target="_blank">Switchgrass Books</a>, signaling a fresh commitment to publishing Midwestern authors. A couple of years ago, <em>Eight Forty-Eight's</em> Alison Cuddy spoke with J. Alex Schwartz of NIU Press, who explained why the forum is so important.</p><p><em>Music Button: Rick Rizzo &amp; Tara Key, "Hungry", from&nbsp; the CD Double Star, (Thrill Jockey)</em></p></p> Mon, 25 Jul 2011 14:15:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/2011-07-25/publisher-celebrates-midwestern-storytelling-89585 Campus Crime: What students really fear http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/campus-crime-what-students-really-fear <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org//segment/photo/2010-October/2010-10-27/keller pic_1.jpg" alt="" /><p><p>The recent disappearance of freshman Toni Keller in the rural college campus of Northern Illinois University has created considerable anxiety for her parents, fellow students and school officials. Despite some high profile crimes, university campuses are thought to be relatively safe havens. And studies reveal that students themselves aren&rsquo;t concerned about personal crimes so much as theft of property &ndash; their iPhones or stereos. But shootings at NIU and Virginia Tech have prompted new approaches to crime on campus. A few years ago the <a target="_blank" href="http://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/">Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority</a> initiated a series of reports looking at campus safety. <a target="_blank" href="http://www.ccj.siuc.edu/documents/VitaGiblin.pdf">Dr. Matt Giblin</a> is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Southern Illinois University. He co-authored <a target="_blank" href="http://www.icjia.state.il.us/public/pdf/ResearchReports/Campus_Study_Final_Report_June2010.pdf">one of the studies</a> which surveyed six Illinois college campuses.</p></p> Wed, 27 Oct 2010 15:12:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/episode-segments/campus-crime-what-students-really-fear