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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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Man Offers Chicagoans $100,000 for Their Dogs–Would You Sell Yours?

I don't remember exactly what my dog Lucy did, but at the time I was so completely exasperated by her behavior that I said something to the effect of "I swear if someone walked by right now and offered me five bucks for you, I'd sell in a heartbeat!!" Well, no one came by with a five spot...and I was just blustering anyway. There's no way I would have sold her for five bucks. Ten maybe...

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Why Are So Many Millennials Leaving or Planning on Leaving Illinois?

There has been plenty of discussion recently about how our state of Illinois is leading the Midwest in what's called outbound migration. Outbound migration is another way of saying "leaving where they are and heading to someplace else," as in getting out of Illinois for better opportunities elsewhere.

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Nutella Lovers Rejoice! World’s 1st Nutella Cafe to Open Soon in Chicago

I like Nutella okay, I guess. I mean, it's fine. Kind of seems like a melted candy bar in a jar, but to each their own, right? Just because I'm not over the moon about Nutella doesn't mean that I don't understand those of you who are. And, believe me, I know you're out there. I live with a couple of Nutella nuts. A couple of Nutella nuts who'll be heading for Chicago very soon.

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Rockford May Experience a Mosquito-Heavy Summer

What happens when you combine a relatively mild winter with a very wet Spring, and rapidly rising warmer-than-normal conditions? If you shouted "clouds and clouds of nasty mosquitos," you've probably already stock up on Deep Woods Off.

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Drone Video Gives a Really Cool Look at Downtown Rockford and More

Despite a truckload of hints dropped on my family, I'm still waiting for that Christmas/birthday/anniversary/Father's Day/pick an occasion gift of a drone. So, I'm forced to live vicariously through others here in Rockford who have theirs up in the sky and are taking awesome footage of the Forest City.

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SwedishAmerican Foundation Kicks Off Yard of the Month Contest with Neighbors

Years ago, my neighborhood had an ongoing "yard of the month" award, complete with a sign that declared your yard to be awesome, and, I think a gift card was thrown in as well. I wouldn't know for sure, because my yard never won. 

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Yelp IPO Puts Consumer-Review Site up for Review
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Let the Arguing Begin! These Are Rockford’s Best Restaurants, According to Yelp

Anytime someone puts together a list of the "best of _______," or the "worst of ________," you are guaranteed an argument. The biggest reason, or course, is that so many best/worst of lists are entirely subjective.

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It Turns Out That Illinois is a Lot More Fun Than You May Have Thought

We've said it before, and it will be said many more times: "Illinois is too hard on itself." To be fair, many times we're hard on ourselves for good reasons--high property taxes, ineffective state government, massive pension debts, crime, corruption, to name just a few. But even with those negatives, it seems that Illinois is still fun. And, a lot more fun than many other states.

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