Kankakee Podcast
Episode 45: Bill Dyche - Music Educator

Episode 45: Bill Dyche - Music Educator

May 23, 2022

After thirty-four years in music education, Bill Dyche, is setting down is conducting baton at the end of this school year. Bill has spent the majority of those years teaching band right here in Kankakee County. He arrived at Kankakee School District 111 in 1990. Eventually, Bill made his way to Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 2006, where he has spent the last sixteen years as Band Director. Before making his way into the Kankakee area, Bill started his music teaching career in 1988 in Sheldon, IL, a small town just 45 minutes southeast of us. You may also know him as the upbeat evening personality on The Valley 92.7 FM or as the drummer for The Silhouettes or Cosmic Rewind. In my seven years of knowing Bill, I've never met a single person that has said any unkind words about him. We have been truly blessed to have had Mr. Dyche teaching our kids music in the county for so long. He will be dearly missed. Thank you for all you've done for music education in our county, Bill!

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

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Episode 44: The Small Family - Kankakee County Museum

Episode 44: The Small Family - Kankakee County Museum

May 16, 2022

 

This Sunday, May 22nd, the Kankakee County Museum will be hosting their 32 Annual Rhubarb Festival from 10:00am until 4:00pm. One of the many things being celebrated that day includes the unveiling of the museum's latest exhibit about The Small Family. Jack Klasey and Jorie Walters join us on this episode of Kankakee Podcast to give us an overview of why the Small Family is such a prominent name in our county's history. 

 

More information on the 32nd Annual Rhubarb Festival: https://fb.me/e/2oH8I6SBv

Kankakee County Museum website: https://www.kankakeecountymuseum.com/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/kankakeecountymuseum

Instagram: www.instagram.com/kankakeecountymuseum

 

More on the Small Family:

Dr. A.L. Small purchased land in what is now West Kankakee in 1855, just two years after Kankakee County was established. Dr. Small began to operate a successful rhubarb growing operation among many other things including his practice of medicine. In 1903, Dr. Small's son, Len, along with a group of investors bought the Kankakee Daily Times and renamed it the Kankakee Daily Republican. By 1913, Len Small assigned his son Leslie to help the Kankakee Daily Republican to get out of it's financial crises. Leslie ended up liking his job at the newspaper so much that he stayed the rest of his life. That newspaper eventually became The Daily Journal and is still operated by the Small Family today. In 1921, Len Small was elected the 26th Governor of Illinois and served two terms. 

 

That is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Small Family. Plan a visit to the Kankakee County Museum today to see the new exhibit!

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

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Episode 43: Jessica Bessette a.k.a. Bess Jess

Episode 43: Jessica Bessette a.k.a. Bess Jess

May 11, 2022

Last week, we ran a "Nominate A Guest" contest. Listeners were invited to nominate a person, place, or topic in Kankakee County for our 1 Year Anniversary livestream on Tuesday, May 10th. We took all of your nominations, shuffled them up, and randomly selected one. The nomination who was chosen was Jessica Bessette, better known as Bess Jess on WFAV 95.1 FM and River Country 101.7 FM, 103.7 FM, and 96.1 FM! This ended up being kind of a reunion episode. Bess Jess & I hosted the Wake N' Jake Morning Show together on WFAV from 2017 to 2021.  

 

Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest and to Bess Jess for agreeing to be our mystery guest. 

 

Don't forget about our 1 year anniversary picnic coming up this Sunday, May 15th: https://fb.me/e/1gjEe8sno

 

Wake N' Jake Merch. Coupon code wakenjake for 50% off: https://kankakeepodcast.com/shop/

 

Also, a special thank you to our sponsors, patrons, and partners in this first year of Kankakee Podcast: 

 

Gorak's Pest Control, Martial Arts Academy, Noble Dairy Queen Stores, Digital World Design, Kankakee City News, KCC Foundation, All Automotive, True Heights Treatment, Allison Ascher of Coldwell Banker Realty, ECDA, Brenda Whittler My Thirty-One Consultant, Edward Jones Financial Advisor Adam Elroy, Kankakee County Museum, Brookmont Bowling Center, Hero City Adventure Park, Chicago Dough Company, Little Me Studio, Classic Cinemas, Lizzie Yolich, Denny Case, Seth & Mary Burkey, Franklin & Ann Weber, Dawn & Jim LaMore, Jeff & Rosa Carroll, Sandee & Steve Twait, Erik Olson, Jake Lee, Dan Debord, Jake Vaughn, Lake Iverson, Rose Luckey, Jesse Arseneau, Dave Baron, Darrell Damper, Samantha Rocknowski, Anthony Vieceli, Luke, JoAnne Barrie, Bill Yohnka, Travis Garcia, Jane Bostwick, Dawn Harrison, Simon Topliss, Scott Wright, Kerry O’Connell, Jamie Race, and Teage Drinnon. 

 

Here's to our second year being better than the first! 

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 42: Haylibug Lemonadez - Iva & Hayli Martenez

Episode 42: Haylibug Lemonadez - Iva & Hayli Martenez

May 2, 2022

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There aren't many people in Kankakee County that can say an Illinois State Law is named after them but Hayli Martenez can! Hayli's Law, which was signed into law on July 9th, 2021 by Governor J.B. Pritzker, states the Illinois Department of Public Health or any other local health department cannot regulate the sale of lemonade or nonalcoholic drinks by a person under age 16. Haylibug Lemonade Stand in Kankakee was started by Hayli and her Mom, Iva, in 2017. Local health department officials forced Hayli to close down her stand for lack of water and sewer services to their home, even though bottled water was being used to make the lemonade. As you may remember, Hayli & Iva fought back hard to reopen their stand. It became such a big story that it caught the eye of several Chicago TV stations and other major media outlets. 

 

Hayli & Iva even brought me a new flavor of Haylibug Lemonadez to try. We decided to call it, "Kankanade". 

 

You can get a taste of Haylibug Lemonadez at the Kankakee Podcast 1 Year Anniversary Picnic on Sunday, May 15th at the Kankakee County Museum!

RSVP HERE: https://fb.me/e/1gjEe8sno

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

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Podcast Merch:

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Record your own podcast at Rhubarb Fest Sun. May 22nd: https://kankakeepodcast.com/record-your-own-10-minute-podcast/

Start your own podcast for FREE today:

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Episode 41: Simon Topliss - United Kingdom to America

Episode 41: Simon Topliss - United Kingdom to America

April 25, 2022

This is the first of a series I'd like to start doing on Kankakee Podcast where we talk with residents who were born in other countries but now call Kankakee County home. Simon Topliss was born in Harrogate, which is a town in North Yorkshire, England. So how in the world did he wind up living in Bourbonnais, IL for the past several years? Listen to find out! 

 

Thank you for your time and support of Kankakee Podcast, Simon! 

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

Have you joined our patron program yet? Sign up: https://patron.podbean.com/kankakeepodcast

 

Our 1 Year Anniversary Picnic is Sun. May 15th! RSVP:

https://fb.me/e/1gjEe8sno

 

Record your own podcast at Rhubarb Fest Sun. May 22nd: https://kankakeepodcast.com/record-your-own-10-minute-podcast/

 

Start your own podcast for FREE today:

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Episode 40: Nell Clark - Kankakee County Museum

Episode 40: Nell Clark - Kankakee County Museum

April 18, 2022

This month's episode with The Kankakee County Museum takes back in time to when Nell Clark ruled Kankakee's underworld. For about 50 years, from the 1890s to the 1940s, Nell ran a brothel in what is now City Tavern on 367 South West Avenue in Kankakee. Local renowned storyteller, Jack Klasey, explains to us why Nell's story is so notorious. 

 

On another note, The Kankakee County Museum's 32nd Annual Rhubarb Festival is coming up on Sunday, May 22nd from 10:00am to 4:00pm! Kankakee Podcast will have a booth set up to record your own 10 minute podcast on whatever you'd like to talk about. We will also have podcast merchandise for sale as well. Reserve your time slow here! 

 

Click here to read Jack's latest Daily Journal article about Nell Clark

 

Museum's official website:

https://www.kankakeecountymuseum.com/

Social Media:

https://www.facebook.com/kankakeecountymuseum

https://www.instagram.com/kankakeecountymuseum/

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

P.S. Have you joined our patron program yet? Sign up: https://patron.podbean.com/kankakeepodcast

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Episode 39: Jasmyne Humble - Communications Director of Kankakee County

Episode 39: Jasmyne Humble - Communications Director of Kankakee County

April 11, 2022

Kankakee native, Jasmyne Humble, has played an intricate part in local government for a handful of years now. Humble worked for former City of Kankakee Mayor Chasity Wells-Armstrong as the Marketing and Communications Coordinator. When Mayor Wells-Armstrong did not win re-election in early 2021, Jasmyne was presented with the opportunity to apply for the Communications Director position for the Kankakee County Board. Humble landed the role and has been working hard since then on getting the word out about how the American Rescue Plan Funds are being distributed in Kankakee County. It also turns out that Jasmyne worked in television news before working for the City of Kankakee and the Kankakee County Board. I'm grateful that someone as positive and hard working as Jasmyne is diligently working behind the scenes to make Kankakee County a better place to live.

 

Thank you for all you do, Jasmyne! 

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

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Episode 38: Rob West - Radio News Director

Episode 38: Rob West - Radio News Director

April 4, 2022

Rob West is one of the most trusted voices in Kankakee County when it comes to getting the most accurate and up-to-date local news. Rob is currently the News Director at Milner Media Partners in Bourbonnais, which is home to The Valley 92.7 FM, River Country 101.7 FM, 103.7 FM, and 96.1 FM, and WFAV 95.1 FM. However, long before his days at Milner, Rob built a name for himself working at WKAN reporting local news for several years. It was there they he learned from legendary Kankakee newsman, Ed Munday. Rob has seen a thing or two in his many years of radio broadcasting. This episode of Kankakee Podcast only covers a fraction of those stories. It's an honor to be able to call Rob a co-worker and friend. 

 

You can hear Rob West weekday mornings on any of the Milner Media stations. I specifically suggest listening to Mike Tomano's Morning Show on The Valley 92.7 FM weekday mornings from 5:00am to 10am. The interactions between Mike and Rob on the show are always entertaining! 

 

If you're a paying Kankakee Podcast Patron of $20 or more per month, you can hear an extended version of this episode here:  

https://patron.podbean.com/kankakeepodcast

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

Episode 37: Aaron & Tocarra Robinson - Still I Rise

Episode 37: Aaron & Tocarra Robinson - Still I Rise

March 28, 2022

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Still I Rise is a dynamic and innovative leadership development non-profit that empowers youth and young adults to create a positive change in society. The Kankakee County Chamber of Commerce presented Still I Rise with Non-For Profit of The Year Award in 2021. I thought it would be a good time to get to know the couple behind the hardworking organization, Aaron & Tocarra Robinson. We had a great conversation about how Still I Rise started and how we should all be more open minded in the community. Outside of Still I Rise, Aaron & Tocarra publish Consciousness Magazine and write their own music under the name, Tocarra

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

 

P.S. Become a Kankakee Podcast Patron today to receive early access to new episodes, behind the scenes content, and more: https://patron.podbean.com/kankakeepodcast

Episode 36: Women’s History Month - Kankakee County Museum

Episode 36: Women’s History Month - Kankakee County Museum

March 21, 2022

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It's that time of the month where we are joined by staff members of the Kankakee County Museum to talk about a particular subject in our county's history. We are lucky enough to have both Jorie Walters and Jack Klasey join us on this episode to celebrate Women's History Month. Jorie and Jack introduce us to three very important women in our county's history: Fannie Still, Eva Minor, and Mary Gallagher. Still was the first curator at the Kankakee County Museum. Minor was the county's first female attorney and Gallagher owned the Gallagher School of Business. 

 

If you're a paying Kankakee Podcast Patron of $20 or more per month, you can hear an extended version of this episode here:  

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Learn more about the Kankakee County Museum on their official website, Facebook, or Instagram.

 

Much Love,

Jake LaMore

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