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Kankakee Podcast

Author: Pathfinder

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A podcast about the people and places of Kankakee County, IL. Hosted by, Jake LaMore.

122 Episodes
Focusing on community and connections, that’s what the annual Converge Conference is all about! This interactive leadership conference will happen Friday, October 13th, 2023 inside the former Love's Bookstore building on South Schuyler Avenue in Kankakee. Dr. Jeff Williamson of Converge joins us on this bonus episode of Kankakee Podcast to give us all the details about what to expect at this year's conference. The Converge Conference will not only include local keynote speakers and panels, but also breakout sessions that will take the content discussed and provide ways to immediately put it into action.Building stronger community and connections will take place through:+ Creating ideas and products together+ Focusing on community and what helps it grow+ Discussing how we can be a part of building something new and better+ Identifying “next steps” for personal and organizational growthLearn more and buy tickets at: Support the show
Jake LaMore is out and Bill Yohnka is in as your guest host for this thunderous edition of Kankakee Podcast! For several years now, Yonka has been the announcer for the races that take place every Friday night during the summertime at the Kankakee County Speedway. If you follow Bill on social media, you know just how passionate he is about those races. With Yonka in the driver’s seat, he guides us through the history of the speedway with flagman Jim Whittington. Then, the speedway’s current promoter, Billy Knippenberg, hops in the passenger seat and tells us how races almost came to a complete stop at the Kankakee County Fairgrounds in 2021. Strap in because this ride goes fast and could get a little bumpy! About Kankakee County SpeedwayThe Kankakee County Speedway has endured multiple name changes over the decades, and believe it or not, its location has changed as well.  From its birth in 1940's, with no champions on record, racing was held at the old fairgrounds at Horse's Old Fair Park, on North Indiana Ave. by the Schuyler quarry next to Bradley. Prior to that, racing was contested throughout Kankakee County as early as the 1900's.Racing was held at the current Kankakee Fairgrounds Speedway from 1949-1959 on the half-mile.  However, at the conclusion of the 1959 season, the track closed due to a driver's strike for one year only to resume racing in the Kankakee area at Sugar Island Speedway in the early '60's.  Racing continued at the Sugar Island Speedway from 1961-1966, before moving back to the current fairgrounds site as Kankakee Speedway from 1967-1984 under Wayne Etzel and company.  Then from 1985-1987 it returned to Kankakee Fairgrounds Speedway under Glenn Moren, and from 1988-1999 it returned back to Kankakee Speedway under the Izzo Family.  From 2000-2004, the O'Connor Family promoted the Kankakee Motor Speedway, before the Osterhoff Family took over in 2005 when it was known as Kankakee Valley Motor Speedway.  Sherri Heckenast & Family took the reigns in 2006-2007 and returned it back to Kankakee Motor Speedway. Tom Smith promoted the facility from 2009 to 2021, Billy Knippenberg Jr. took over the reigns in 2022.Meet Your Guest HostBill Yohnka, who many have dubbed “Mr. Kankakee,” currently serves as the Executive Director of the Kankakee Riverfront Society. Previously, he has served as Economic Development Director for the City of Kankakee as well as The Community Engagement Specialist for Kankakee School District #111. Yohnka is also a morning radio host for X-Country 106.5 FM on top of also serving as the announcer at the Kankakee County Motor Speedway. A lifelong Kankakee resident, Yohnka hopes to leave his hometown better than how he found it. Support the show
One of the most famous urban legends in Kankakee’s history is that we had a choice between having the University of Illinois or the Illinois Eastern Hospital for the insane being built in our city. The legend claims the City of Kankakee chose the hospital over the university. However the question remains, is this urban legend actually true?On this monthly episode with the Kankakee County Museum, we get to the bottom of this urban legend and much more with Jack Klasey and Jorie Walters.About Illinois Eastern HospitalThe Illinois Eastern Hospital for the Insane, now the Shapiro Developmental Center in Kankakee, was built in 1878 with the first patient being admitted in 1879. Kankakee was one of 16 communities that were being eyed for the construction of the hospital. It was awarded to Kankakee in 1877.By 1903, the original campus that consisted of 12 buildings had now multiplied to about 50 with a patient population of 2,300. In 1910, the name was changed to Kankakee State Hospital. Its peak in patient population was in the mid 1950s, housing approximately 4,500 people.In 1971, the patient population had dropped to about 1,500 people as mental health treatment options became more community based. By 1974, the Kankakee State Hospital became the Shapiro Developmental Center, named after former Illinois Governor Samuel H. Shapiro, an advocate for mental health patients and a resident of Kankakee. Today, the center houses approximately 500 adults with intellectual disabilities.About Kankakee County MuseumThe Kankakee County Museum, established in 1906, is one of the oldest historical societies in Illinois. Initially displaying artifacts and documents in various locations, it found a permanent home in 1948 with the construction of the Historical and Arts Building on Governor Small Memorial Park. The park's land was donated by the Small family as a memorial to the 26th Governor of Illinois, Dr. Abram Small's son, Lennington. The museum's exhibits, ranging from historic documents to Native American artifacts, were expanded over the years. Today, the Kankakee County Museum has grown to more than four times its original size, housing the Taylor One-Room Schoolhouse, the Column Garden, and the Let Freedom Ring Garden. The museum continues its rich tradition of showcasing art through the annual Art League Art Show and other periodic exhibits.Learn more at Follow @kankakeecountymuseum on Facebook and Instagram. Support the show
A deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood sci-fi smash musical, Little Shop Of Horrors has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for over 30 years. Howard Ashman and Alan Menken (Disney's The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, and Aladdin) are the creative geniuses behind what has become one of the most popular shows in the world.The meek floral assistant Seymour Krelborn stumbles across a new breed of plant he names "Audrey II" - after his coworker crush. This foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore promises unending fame and fortune to the down and out Krelborn as long as he keeps feeding it, BLOOD. Over time, though, Seymour discovers Audrey II's out of this world origins and intent towards global domination!On this bonus episode of Kankakee Podcast, we dive into the Kankakee Valley Theatre Association’s production of Little Shop of Horrors with Director, Jordyn Ward! Performances will be at KVTA’s Black Box Theatre at 1 Stuart Drive in Kankakee this Saturday at 7pm, Sunday at 2pm, and September 23rd and 24th.Purchase your tickets at or by calling the box office at 815.935.8510.Cast and Crew:Director: Jordyn WardCo-Assistant Directors: Ivy Anderson & Pat WardVocal Director: Bruce HeyenChoreographer: Thomas McMahonSeymour - Kevin SotoAudrey - Anna Maria D’OrtenzioMushnik - Paul SnyderOrin - Kyle CassadyAudrey II - Miles Kolby MeadorAudrey II Puppeteer - Scott ChristensenDoo-Wops - Aisa M. Rogers, Katherine Carl, Trinity DunnEnsemble - Bryar Homan, Riley Lingo, Melissa Daniels Support the show
On today's episode of the Kankakee Podcast we delve into the rich history and evolution of A.N. Webber, the oldest logistics company in Kankakee. Our guest, Alan Webber, takes us on a captivating journey, starting with the company's humble beginnings in the 1930s, to today, where A.N. Webber has grown to operate a fleet of over 200 trucks.Alan offers an insider's perspective on the logistics world as he explains the difference between trucking and logistics, different terms within the industry, and how the path to becoming a truck driver has evolved. We also explore the future of trucking and Alan gives some tips on how drivers can best drive with trucks on the road.Tune in for an engaging conversation that uncovers the fascinating history and enduring values of A.N. Webber, a true Kankakee institution.Meet Your GuestA.N. Webber, Inc., born as a small-town trucking business in 1947, has grown into a multi-generation success story. From hauling stone to becoming a versatile logistics company, their journey embodies the spirit of family entrepreneurship. Founder Albert N. Webber Sr. laid the foundation, while his son Neal expanded operations, including work on the Interstate 57 project.Today, A.N. Webber, Inc. boasts a diverse fleet and offers comprehensive logistics services through A.N. Webber Logistics, Inc. CEO Alan Webber, also a writer, has written novels and opinion pieces for many years, and currently has a podcast. Explore their remarkable journey from humble beginnings to a thriving, multi-faceted enterprise.---- Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
On this episode of the Kankakee Podcast, Jake sits down with Josh Humphries, a member of the alternative rock band 'Hotter Than June.’ Josh takes us on a journey through the band's history, from its inception in 2005, their disbandment in 2008, and finally their eventual reunion just last year.Discover how 'Hotter Than June' found its way back together after a group chat message sparked conversations that led to the group’s revival. Josh shares insights into the band's evolving sound, their songwriting process, and offers a glimpse into their upcoming music release. The conversation touches on the band's transformation over the years and the creative processes that shape their distinct sound.As they wrap up, they dive into nostalgia, trading stories from the local music scene in the 2000s. The episode concludes with a special acoustic performance of the song Sweet Revenge by Josh. Tune in for an inside look at the band’s journey and their exciting future.Meet Your GuestFormed in 2005 in Bradley, Hotter Than June burst onto the music scene with fast success. However the band decided to take different paths in 2008, putting down roots and starting families. However, the music never truly left their hearts.Last summer, the band reconnected virtually, which eventually led to the band's reformation. Despite physical distances and busy lives, they have found new ways to create music, fueled by a shared passion for their craft.Hotter Than June is now back with a fresh sound that reflects their personal and musical growth. Their latest single, "Sweet Revenge," delves into life experiences, showcasing their evolved approach. This entirely DIY, virtual band showcases the joy of making and sharing music with the world. As they gear up for their first album release in 15 years, Hotter Than June invites you to join them on their musical journey. Be sure to listen to Sweet Revenge and Glass Water Pill Swallow available on all music streaming platforms! Support the show
#113: Micki Abels

#113: Micki Abels


On this episode of the Kankakee Podcast author and life coach Micki Abels joins the show. From exploring her roots to delving into her role as a "transformational life coach," Micki shares insights into her profound methods of guiding individuals towards life-changing transformations. Unveiling the story behind her book, Micki recounts her journey of conflict, healing, and growth after a profound family event. Tune in as they discuss the power of journaling, connecting with the spiritual realm, and the healing magic of mindful meditation. With anecdotes of paranormal experiences and profound revelations about breaking free from ingrained patterns, this episode takes you on a thought-provoking exploration of self-discovery.Don't miss out on Micki's captivating stories and actionable insights that can reshape your perspective. Find her book on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and reach out at to embark on your own transformative journey.Meet Your GuestMicki Abels is the author of "My Soul Contract: A Teaching Memoir of Trauma, Truth, and Transformation." From rural Kankakee County, Micki found her purpose after a profound family event, channeling her experiences into journals that became a guiding memoir. With a passion for life, music, and dancing, Micki is not just an author but also a certified transformational life coach and meditation instructor. She trusts her intuition and embraces signs from the universe, unlocking inner mysteries. Micki's world is one of music, nature, and meaningful connections. Explore her insights on her website or follow her journey on social media @mickiabels. Support the show
#112: Mayor Paul Schore

#112: Mayor Paul Schore


In this episode of the Kankakee Podcast, Mayor Paul Schore takes the spotlight. Sharing his background and upbringing, Mayor Schore recounts his family's settlement in the area and offers anecdotes that illuminate the evolving landscape of Bourbonnais over the years.Mayor Schore goes on to describe his role in preserving history, citing the log cabin schoolhouse he had a hand in preserving, as well as his journey through education and career, leading him into local politics. Schore goes on to provide insights about the mayoral role and his principled approach to policy-making.Explore impactful initiatives led by Mayor Schore, including community revitalization projects. Then, Jake and Mayor Schore discuss upcoming plans, offering a vision of community growth and engagement. Tune in for a blend of personal stories and political perspectives.Meet Your GuestMayor Paul Schore, Village President since 2008, brings lifelong dedication to Bourbonnais. With a strong community presence, he served on the Board of Trustees since 1997.Educated at local schools, Schore holds an Associate in Applied Science from Kankakee Community College. He recently retired after a notable 26-year career at CSL Behring.Apart from his village duties, he's an influential leader in various organizations, including KATS MPO and Kankakee River Valley Enterprise Zone Board. Committed to community growth, Schore actively participates in the Community Prayer Breakfast Committee for over 25 years.Married for 43 years, he's a parent to three and a proud grandparent of seven. Mayor Schore supports the Hundred Club of Kankakee County, Ducks Unlimited, and Boy Scouts, where his sons both achieved Eagle Scout status. He's an avid Chicago Cubs, Chicago Bears, and NASCAR fan. Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
On this episode of the Kankakee Podcast, Jake welcomes Mary Bass, Celia Carr, and Corin Rose to discuss the collaboration between the Kankakee Public Library and the Obama Foundation to create a TikTok. The trio, each of whom were instrumental to the creating the TikTok, unveil the creative process, logistical challenges, and the thematic focus of the TikTok project.The conversation covers the project's origins, which first began when The Obama Foundation reached out to the library, how the TikTok evolved throughout stages of development, and the origins of the library’s presence on TikTok in general. They delve into the creation of a camera-drop effect, which was used to reveal scenes that each depicted the themes of individual books that have faced bans across the country.They then go on to describe the involvement of President Obama, particularly the care that went into the dispatch of a KPL branded mug, used to illustrate that the footage of Obama was created specifically for the TikTok. The team underlines the collaborative effort behind the TikTok and its role in connecting with younger audiences and expanding outreach.Throughout the episode, the spotlight remains on libraries as cornerstones of communities. The Obama TikTok serves as a prime example, encapsulating the library's mission to enrich the community through engagement and promote its valuable resources.MEET YOUR GUESTFor over 100 years, the Kankakee Public Library has served the City of Kankakee. Opening in 1896 in the Arcade Building, three years later the library moved to the corner of Indiana Ave. and Station Street, where it served the community for over 100 years. In 2004, the library moved again, this time to the corner of Schuyler and Court Street, tripling its size. This collaboration enabled remarkable growth, offering expanded services, more computers, and ample parking. In this new home, the Library flourished, becoming a catalyst for downtown revitalization. The iconic iron Lions, guarding the entrance since 1930, moved to the new facility in 2004 after restoration, symbolizing the enduring spirit of learning. Support the show
On this episode of The Kankakee Podcast, Jack Klasey and Jorie Walters of the Kankakee County Museum return to the show. They discuss the fascinating history of Bird Park, located at the center of Kankakee. Originally a stone quarry, Klasey jokes that the park is commonly misidentified as "Bird's Park." Jack and Jorie go on to discuss Worth W. Bird, the man after whom the park is named. After his family bought the property in the 1850s, Worth went on to open the quarry in 1870 and operated it for many years.But that's just the beginning of the story. The park's history is rich with twists and turns, from unrealized plans for a scenic lake to a former zoo that once thrived there. Jack and Jorie take us on a journey through time, unveiling captivating tales of the park's evolution and the characters that shaped it.To hear more about the intriguing past of Bird Park and the hidden gems of Kankakee's history, tune in to this episode and let Jack and Jorie be your guides. You won't want to miss the rewarding insights they have to share about this cherished landmark.MEET YOUR GUESTThe Kankakee County Museum, established in 1906, is one of the oldest historical societies in Illinois. Initially displaying artifacts and documents in various locations, it found a permanent home in 1948 with the construction of the Historical and Arts Building on Governor Small Memorial Park. The park's land was donated by the Small family as a memorial to the 26th Governor of Illinois, Dr. Abram Small's son, Lennington. The museum's exhibits, ranging from historic documents to Native American artifacts, were expanded over the years. Today, the Kankakee County Museum has grown to more than four times its original size, housing the Taylor One-Room Schoolhouse, the Column Garden, and the Let Freedom Ring Garden. The museum continues its rich tradition of showcasing art through the annual Art League Art Show and other periodic exhibits.------ Support the show
In this episode of The Kankakee Podcast, Jake welcomes Hollywood Harwell and Broke Dusty, hosts of The All In Show. They kick off with humorous banter, discussing the backstory of their show and how it came into existence. Sharing nostalgic memories of growing up in Kankakee, they delve into personal experiences that shaped their perspectives. From life after high school to their passion for networking and showcasing talents, the conversation is filled with captivating stories.As the episode progresses, they touch on the unique aspects of The All In Show and the wide range of topics they cover. They recount memorable episodes, some filled with hilarious conversations, while others feature more serious discussion. Hollywood and Broke Dusty also talk about their individual roles in the podcast, emphasizing their dedication to making Kankakee a better place by highlighting its incredible people.With entertaining anecdotes and a genuine desire to promote the positivity of Kankakee County, this episode is a must-listen. Tune in to discover the dynamic duo behind The All In Show, which is available on various platforms, including Spotify, YouTube, and Facebook.MEET YOUR GUESTSMeet Hollywood Harwell and Broke Dusty, the dynamic duo behind The All In Show. Hollywood Harwell, a multi-talented native of Kankakee, is an artist and thought-provoking communicator. Through visual and audio art, he offers an engaging, respectful platform to explore controversial topics and personal stories. With a passion for safe and informed discussions, Hollywood Harwell fearlessly brings necessary perspectives to modern dialogue, pushing boundaries and challenging conventional notions.The other half of the show, Broke Dusty, wears many hats - from DJ and music producer to creative writer and tutor. As a co-creator and host of The All In Show, he adds a unique flair to the podcast's dynamic discussions. With a motivational spirit and entrepreneurial drive, Broke Dusty uplifts others, showcasing talents and making a positive impact on the community.Together, Hollywood Harwell and Broke Dusty create an electrifying podcast that celebrates Kankakee, fosters insightful conversations, and shines a spotlight on the extraordinary people within the community. Their dedication to showcasing talents and uplifting voices make The All In Show a must-listen. Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
#108: Erik Olson

#108: Erik Olson


In this episode of the Kankakee Podcast, Erik Olson joins Jake to share his remarkable life story leading up to his final wrestling match with Southland Championship Wrestling. Erik's passion for wrestling was ignited during his childhood as he avidly watched WCW and NWA matches on Saturday mornings. In 1999, he ventured into the wrestling world through the WWA, a local promotion. Following the WWA's closure in the early 2000s, Olson took it upon himself to mentor aspiring wrestlers in his community, some of whom went on to successful careers in the field. But Erik's journey extends far beyond the realm of wrestling. Influenced by his parents, he developed a strong work ethic that has been the cornerstone of his fulfilling life. He met his wife, Dawn, around the time he was stepping away from wrestling and started a family.Erik goes on to tell the story of how, after years away from the business, he helped found Southland Championship Wrestling, where he primarily played a manager character, The Keeper Erik Edwards. However, life threw challenges his way, and Erik faced years of neck pain, eventually leading to surgery. Remarkably, the surgery provided relief and rekindled his desire to wrestle. Inspired in part by a Make-a-Wish news segment featuring WWE wrestlers, Erik returned to the ring with a new persona: BaneX, a fervent advocate for children battling illnesses. Later on, he introduced another character, Odinson The Berserker. While his last match was a few days ago, Erik remains dedicated to supporting Southland Championship Wrestling behind the scenes, contributing to marketing and social media efforts.Southland Championship Wrestling has always been committed to giving back to the community, partnering with charitable organizations like Adopt a Soldier and Project Headspace and Timing. They can be found on Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram, reflecting Erik's passion for brightening people's days and making a positive impact on people’s lives.MEET YOUR GUESTErik Olson's wrestling journey began in September 1999 with the World Wrestling Association (WWA) until the fall of 2003. He formed various tag teams and later co-founded Southland Championship Wrestling in April 2013, managing wrestlers as The Keeper Erik Edwards. Later he wrestled as BaneX, a character that advocated for childhood cancer awareness while managing other wrestlers. Erik evolved further, forming The Patriots of Hope and later the Alliance of Hope tag teams. Recently, he retired the BaneX gimmick and embraced his Norwegian heritage, wrestling as Odinson The Berserker. Throughout his remarkable 11-year journey, Erik's dedication to wrestling and his family has remained a testament to his enduring spirit. Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
Theodis Pace sits down with Jake in this episode of the Kankakee Podcast to discuss a wide range of topics. Theodis takes us on a journey through his life, beginning in Georgia, moving to Indiana, before heading back to Georgia for college. Pace says this experience across the country forms the bedrock of his perspective as he delves into his multifaceted involvement within the Kankakee Community.Drawing upon current events, Theodis relates them to the context of Kankakee. He shares his approach to effectively navigate the community, positioning himself as a valuable resource for individuals. An essential element of Theodis's success lies in his remarkable ability to connect and communicate with a vast number of people, fostering a network that he skillfully employs to drive meaningful change. Throughout the episode, Theodis sheds light on his pivotal roles as Chairman of the Kankakee Chapter of the NAACP, his devoted 47 years with the Eastside Bulldogs, his active engagement with the Kankakee School District, and more.MEET YOUR GUESTTheodis Pace began his life in Georgia before moving to Indiana and graduating from Roosevelt High School. After high school, he headed back to Georgia to earn a degree from Lane College, before eventually moving back to Indiana to pursue a masters degree from Purdue.A long time resident of Kankakee, Theodis serves as the chairman of the Kankakee chapter of the NAACP, where he works tirelessly as a resource for the community. With a passion for empowering the younger generation, he has dedicated an impressive 47 years to the Eastside Bulldogs, serving as a mentor and coach.Through his various endeavors, Theodis has become a respected figure in his community. His leadership, passion, and commitment to creating positive change have made him an influential role model, inspiring others to follow in his footsteps and work towards a better society. Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
On this episode of Kankakee Podcast, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Dr. Jeff Williamson of Converge, one of the subsidiary companies of Pathfinder.Converge provides professional & leadership development, executive coaching, and consulting services.Jeff walks us through his life story, which starts in the artistic town of Nashville, IN, how he became at Tiger at Olivet Nazarene University, and discovered his love for coaching people.I highly encourage you to listen to this episode. Especially if you are in any type of leadership position. Jeff has a very unique approach when it comes to being a leader and I think you'll find it very refreshing. If after listening to this episode you find yourself craving more conversations on being a leader, check out Jeff's podcast that he co-hosts with Pathfinder's Brian Prairie called, Leadership Level Up. It's available wherever podcasts are found or at you want to contact Dr. Jeff Williamson, you can send him an email or find him on LinkedIn:jeff@convergegroup.io ----Incase you missed the news last month, Kankakee Podcast has been acquired by Pathfinder. So this is the second in a series of episodes where I will be sitting down with different members of Pathfinder to learn their story. I really hope you enjoyed this one with Jeff! He's one of my favorite people to work with. On another note, this is the very last episode I recorded at the original Kankakee Podcast studio in the basement of my house before moving everything over to Pathfinder. It's a bittersweet moment for sure! While I'm going to miss the previous space because of all the memories it contains, I'm excited to be finishing up the new podcast space and making new memories.  Thank you for listening and supporting Kankakee Podcast! Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
 Abraham Lincoln paid a visit to Kalamazoo, MI only one time in his life. This once in a lifetime visit actually has a connection to Kankakee, IL.  On this episode with the Kankakee County Museum, Tom George, Vice President of the Kalamazoo Abraham Lincoln Institute, shares his passion for local history and his research on Lincoln's visit to Kalamazoo in 1856. He explains that Lincoln's visit was a result of internal Illinois politics and his desire to secure the vote of Alonzo Mack, a state representative from Kankakee County. This episode also sheds light on the political intrigue and corruption that existed during Lincoln's time in politics and his role as a watchdog for the people of Illinois. Listen in to learn more about Lincoln's connection to Kalamazoo and Kankakee County and how you can help fill in the gaps in local history. References and links: "'Mechem' or 'Mack': How a One-Word Correction in the Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln Reveals the Truth about an 1856 Political Event"JALA Summer, 2012;view=fulltext "Lincoln and the First Corruption of Illinois"JALA Fall, 2021 "Overlooked Letter to Lincoln Reveals Misstep in 1855 Senate Race"For The People, The Newsletter of the Abraham Lincoln Association, Winter, 2015. Page 6-8. Kankakee County Museum: Abraham Lincoln Institute: Support the show
I am pleased to welcome, Steve Case, a science professor at Olivet Nazarene University, back to Kankakee Podcast! If you remember, Steve was on the podcast about a year ago to talk about the Strickler Planetarium at ONU. If you don't recall, you can listen to that episode here: However, on this particular episode, we talk about Steve's career as a writer of science fiction and nonfiction. He's had much success with it too, I might add. This summer alone, Steve has landed three of his short stories in the following publications:  “Daughters of the Lattice”, in the July/August issue of Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. “John Herschel’s Reform of Science”, feature article in the June issue of Physics Today. “Every Seed is a Prayer (And Your World is a Seed)”, forthcoming in Clarkesworld Magazine. All three of these magazines are dream publications for Steve. So a big congratulations is in order!  To learn more about Steve Case and view all of his writings, visit  Thanks for coming back to the podcast, Steve!  Much Love,Jake LaMore  Support the show
#103: Meet Pathfinder

#103: Meet Pathfinder


Kankakee Podcast is now a part of Pathfinder! In this episode, Jake sits down with Katherine Henson, Brian Prairie, Logan Miller, and Jesse Erickson to discuss Kankakee Podcast’s acquisition by Pathfinder. Each member of the Pathfinder team outlines their respective role and explains how they apply to the growth of The Kankakee Podcast. With this new partnership, The Kankakee Podcast hopes to expand its reach and invite even more people to come on the podcast and share their stories. Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss new content from The Kankakee Podcast! Learn more about Pathfinder at HOST BIOJake LaMore has been the host of multiple podcasts, including Bangarang Radio, Pop-Punk & Pizza, and, most recently, The Kankakee Podcast. Born and raised in Kankakee County, LaMore was interested in media since childhood, and attended the Illinois Center for Broadcasting, now called the Illinois Media School.  He started his first podcast, Bangarang Radio, and found the medium to be rewarding. However, after a few years, Jake decided to narrow his focus. Calling upon his experience as a musician, he started Pop-Punk & Pizza, a music podcast. Later, remembering his grandmother’s stories about Kankakee County, Jake launched The Kankakee Podcast. Beginning in 2021, the podcast has steadily grown and serves to document Kankakee County’s history past, present and future.  Jake lives in Kankakee County and now works as a Podcast Developer for Pathfinder.  Support the show
 In this episode of the Kankakee Podcast, I had the pleasure of speaking with Matt Hedding-Hess, who is the head of the Kankakee Area LGBTQ Network. We talked about Pride Month and the history of LGBTQ+ organizations in the Kankakee area. During our conversation, we discussed the lack of formal services and resources for LGBTQ+ people in the area and the need for a network to connect people. Matt shared his personal history with me, including growing up in Clifton and moving to Kankakee County after college. We also delved into topics such as children and gender identity, hormone therapy and gender affirming care, common misconceptions about the LGBTQ+ community, and the importance of the Kankakee Area LGBTQ Network as a community resource. Join the Kankakee Area LGBTQ Network Facebook Page here: You're also invited to attend the network's yearly Pride Picnic this Sunday, June 11th, from 11am to 3pm, at the main shelter at the Kankakee River State Park in Bourbonnais. It's free to attend! Just make sure you bring a dish to share.  Thanks for being on the podcast, Matt!  Much Love,Jake @jakelamoremedia  Rent your kids band and orchestra instruments from King Music online at! Support the show
 Kankakee Podcast is presented by, Puter Pros, Digital World Design, and Stitch Prints in Bradley. Learn more at,, and Episode #101: Hey there! I'm excited to tell you about the latest episode of Kankakee Podcast. It's a special bonus episode with our guest Bonnie Brewer, who's a member of the Kankakee County Community Arts Council. She's talking all about the upcoming Strawberry Jazz Festival on Sunday, June 4th at Northfield Square Mall. Bonnie gives us the inside scoop on the festival's history and how it's grown over the years. They've added jazz music and expanded to four stages of entertainment! Plus, there will be over 100 vendors selling handmade items, a kids' zone, and local school groups and dance performances. Best of all, admission is free, but donations are appreciated, and all profits go towards supporting local student groups. The episode is packed with all the details you need to know about the festival, including logistics and unique vendors. It's clear that the community is passionate about supporting the arts, and this festival is a great way to do just that. So mark your calendars and get ready to have some fun at the Strawberry Jazz Festival, Sunday, June 4th, 10am to 4pm, at Northfield Square Mall.  Follow and like their Facebook page for more details: Much Love,Jake LaMore Support the show
Kankakee Podcast is presented by, Puter Pros, Digital World Design, and Stitch Prints in Bradley. Learn more at,, and Episode 100:In this episode of Kankakee Podcast's "Meet the Mayor" series, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jamie Hawkins, the first woman mayor of Grant Park. We discussed her background, including her experience as the first woman police officer at KCC and her journey to becoming mayor. We also talked about her experience working in law enforcement and her thoughts on police reform and mental health-related calls. Hawkins shared her plans to address complaints from residents in her town, including fixing poor road conditions and building a new walk path.  Thank you for giving me time out of your busy schedule to chat, Mayor Hawkins!  On another note, WE DID IT! We made it to 100 episodes of Kankakee Podcast! This would not have been possible without the support of our listeners, friends, family, patrons, and sponsors. Thank you all so much for helping us continue to grow and share the stories of Kankakee County!  Much Love,Jake LaMore Support the show
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