As if it could get any worse, right? But just when you thought all was lost, Dear Reader, leave it to yours truly to swoop in like a grimly determined superhero intent of saving the day! Because for those of you who just don’t get enough Jeff Ward – and who does? – your fondest Christmas wishes are about to come true!
That’s right! Nexxus Publishing and Jeff Ward are joining forces to bring you a three-day-a-week free and premium content podcast covering all the timely First Ward topics you’ve come to know and love. So, instead of being regularly regaled with my magnificent prose, much like it was back in the radio shows days, you’ll be blessed with the dulcet tones of your favorite investigative journalist/opinion columnist on a regular basis.
Fear not my adoring throng! For those who prefer the written word, the initial premium content will include at least one weekly column, and given my prolific propensities, likely more! It almost makes the plague era entirely worthwhile, doesn’t it?
But wait, there’s more!
Since not even I want to hear myself talk for 30 to 45 minutes at a time, we’ve lined up the kind of regular guests that will make you keep coming back for more. Those A-listers will include, in no particular order:
- Chris Lauzen will provide an astute county government and Springfield folly analysis.
- Kane County Sheriff Ron Hain will discuss reasonable criminal justice reform and what’s going on in his office.
- Elgin Police Chief Ana Lalley will tackle law enforcement issues from the municipal perspective.
- Elgin activist Marcus Banner will talk about issues of importance to our minority communities.
- Kane County Republican Deputy Chairman and the attorney that keeps me out of jail, Jeff Meyer, will occasionally play cohost to provide the conservative counterpoints to the driving political issues of the day.
- State Rep Keith Wheeler Legislative Aide, Ben Marcum, knows what’s going on in Springfield and he’ll be happy to share those insights with us. We hope to get Keith on the show, too!
- Daily Herald reporter Sue Sarkauskus will appear to discuss the Collar County stories of the day!
- Charles Park District Pam Otto, the naturalist who’s always willing to answer my “where have all the red wing blackbirds gone” questions, will appear to discuss the amazing Kane County fauna and flora that abound around us.
- Vargo’s Dance owner and stellar dance teacher, Jamie Vargo, will regularly appear to talk about the studio and those Tri-City and Kane County small businesses she’s come to know and love.
- 16th Circuit Felony Court Judge D. J. Tegeler (with the Chief Judge’s assent) will discuss how and why the court system works the way it does.
- Attorney extraordinaire Kim DiGiovanni will regularly show up to provide her piercing perspective on that perilous proposition known as family court!
- As soon as she’s completed the transition from private citizen to elected official, we hope to get Kane County’s newest State’s Attorney, Jamie Mosser, on the podcast to let us in on what’s happening with that all-important office.
All I can say is, I can’t wait and I’m the host! Given the more than encouraging number of eager participants, the aforementioned premium content will also likely include exclusive interviews with these fine folks!
Of course, the pasty resistance is the incisive, ironic, and always humorous Jeff Ward commentary that makes life worth living will always be at the heart of the podcast matter. My new partner’s only stipulations were that I be myself and that I don’t go overboard with the F-bombs. And while I’m quite convinced I can handle the first, I’m thinkin’ there’s just might be a rather expensive swear jar in my immediate future.
There’s just one loose end that need to be tied up before our December 14 debut, and that’s the name of podcast!
As the lovely Ms. Vargo likes to tell me during private lessons, “It isn’t always all about you, Jeff,” and though it really should be, she does have a point. So, applying my name or directly referencing The First Ward are out.
We don’t want the show’s title to be to limiting, either, because while Kane County will be the initial focus, as those evil geniuses like to say, “today Aurora and Elgin, and tomorrow the world!”
My initial appellation thoughts have been as follows:
- What’s Going On
- The State of Things
- The Dissonant Dissidents
- Stuck in the Middle With You
But none of them have floated my or Nexxus’ boats.
So, here’s where you come in favorite future listeners! The individual who comes up with the title we eventually use will win one year’s worth of podcast premium content. Talk about something better than winning the lottery!
Nexxus and I love a good play on words, so please be creative, but keep it reasonably clean. Possibilities can be submitted in the comments, Facebook PM, or email! We can’t wait to see what you can come up with.
So, cast off those COVID blues, gird your loins, and get ready for our December 14 debut. As I’m frequently prone to saying let’s continue the conversation!