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First Light

Sunday, 7 to 8 a.m.


Program Host(s): Brian O'Keefe

First Light tells stories from across the Chicago area…Illinois and occasionally neighboring states. The goal is to spotlight the countless interesting people, places, events and more as a way to help listeners start their Sunday morning. ‘First Light’ continues WDCB’s goal of telling stories that might otherwise go untold, and it will also reimagine some of the community-focused elements of our news magazine programs that listeners have enjoyed over the years. The show continues a more than 25 year partnership with the University of Illinois Extension, DuPage Forest Preserve District and will expand those relationships to include a number of other groups and organizations across the Chicago metro area. ‘First Light’ airs Sunday morning from 7:00-8:00 (the full program will also be posted to the station’s website each week), and leads into our popular arts and culture magazine ‘The Arts Section.’ WDCB’s Brian O’Keefe will host the show and serves as Executive Producer and he welcomes your suggestions for stories, email ideas to okeefe@cod.edu.


First Light is proudly sponsored by:

January 26th, 2020

This week at First Light, Brian O'Keefe renews a tradition of talking with COD's Brian Kleeman about the nominees for this year's Best Picture Academy Award. There's drag racing and super speedway racing in Naperville, Brian takes listeners to the Mid-America Raceway for slot car racing. DuPage PADS Executive Director Carol Simler is preparing to retire after 23 years in the job. Brian visited with the advocate to end homelessness to reflect and find out what's next. Illinois Public Radio's Peter Medlin has a story on a recent conference in Dekalb that helped teachers to say on the leading edge of classroom technology. Finally, in this week's 'One More Thing' segment, Brian and Brookfield Zoo Vice President of Animal Programs Bill Zeigler visit Pinniped Point.

January 19th, 2020

This week at First Light, Fermilab introduced its 2020 'artists in residence' this week, Brian O'Keefe will introduce you to Chris Klapper and Patrick Gallagher. In 1996, Aurora's Greg Zanis created his 'Crosses for Losses' project to memorialize the victims of violence and natural disaster. Zanis is walking away from the project, he told Brian he just can't do it anymore. Brian also traveled to downtown Elgin for this week's show, the city's building its business district by embracing the offbeat. Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey had the chance to sit down with Governor J.B. Pritzker recently. This week marked the completion of Pritzker's first year in office. In this week's 'One More Thing' segment, WDCB's Wayne Messmer points to the value of planting good seeds to grow more than flowers and tasty vegetables.

January 12th, 2020

This week at First Light, in the monthly 'Doing Good' segment host Brian O'Keefe sits down with Giving DuPage Executive Director Shefali Trivedi to discuss some basic tips and tricks for people that want to volunteer more in the new year. Brian also takes listeners to the Elmhurst History Museum; curator of Exhibits Dan Bartlett walks listeners through the museum's latest exhibit 'On The Right Track'. In the periodic 'Farm to Table' segment Brian and University of Illinois Extension educator Richard Hentschel give listeners some options for getting rid of their Christmas tree. Illinois Public Radio's Maureen McKinney has a story on a program designed to reduce the impact on children when a parent is incarcerated. In this week's 'One More Thing' Brookfield Zoo Vice President of Animal Programs Bill Zeigler takes Brian to visit the llamas at the zoo.

January 5th, 2020

This week at First Light, reporter Kevin Deiber takes listeners to a mobile coffee shop that's become a fixture for commuters at the train station in Naperville. First Light host Brian O'Keefe gets an update from McAninch Arts Center Director and Cleve Carney Art Museum Curator Justin Witte as preparations continue for this year's Frida Kahlo exhibit continue. Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey has a collage of 2019's voices of state government and politics; and IPR's Herb Trix lets us know what words made it on the 'banished' list for misuse, abuse and general overuse. Finally, in the 'One More Thing' segment community volunteer Tim Gioe has a review of Casey Cep's 2019 book Furious Hours.

December 29th, 2019

This week at First Light, it's the 2019 Year End special. First Light host Brian O'Keefe revisits some of the most memorable and favorite stories of the past year. Thousands of people turned out to see the biggest steam locomotive ever built this summer, Brian remembers the 'Big Boy' visit to the region. There's a tiny airport in Kane County that hosted a three day airshow over the summer, while airplanes entertained crowds the pilots never left the ground. First Light reporter Kevin Dieber visited with the planners of a new museum in Joliet this year. When it opens the museum will celebrate Illinois' connection to rock and roll. Brian takes listeners back out to Blackwell Forest Preserve where workers dumped thousands of trout into Silver Lake for the fall fishing season. Finally in the 'One More Thing' segment, Brian remembers a fun afternoon on a farm in Elgin where people gather to do yoga...with goats.

For a complete archive, please click here.