Benjamin Payne

"Morning Edition" Host and Reporter

Benjamin Payne hosts Morning Edition on WVIK, and also reports spot news and feature stories for the WVIK newsroom. As a graduate of Augustana College, he majored in Multimedia Journalism & Mass Communication. Before coming to WVIK, he served a reporting internship at WBEZ in Chicago, volunteered with the Augustana Public Radio Information Service (APRIS), and participated in NPR's Next Generation Radio project.

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In September 2018, a jury in Waterloo, Iowa, could not come to a consensus over whether Stanley Liggins murdered nine-year-old Jennifer Lewis in 1990. A relatively short time later, in April 2019, a different jury in the same courtroom managed to reach a verdict: guilty.

In a nearly 30-year-old case drawn out by lengthy appeals that would vacate two of Liggins's convictions from the 1990s, the most recent proceedings were a marked departure from the protracted legal battle that has long defined the search for justice.

So, how did Liggins' fate change so quickly?


Sister Roberta "Bobbi" Bussan is the director of Benet House, a spiritual retreat center in southwest Rock Island which hosts groups of all faiths and denominations. She is also involved with St. Joseph the Worker House, a transitional shelter in Rock Island for homeless women and their children.

Benjamin Payne / WVIK

The NFL is returning to its unlikely roots later this month in Rock Island — a city whose entire population of roughly 38,000 could fit inside the average NFL stadium…and still have thousands of seats to spare.


Dr. Kit Evans-Ford is a professor of theology at St. Ambrose University, and also the founder of Argrow's House of Healing and Hope — a resource center in Davenport for women escaping domestic violence.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline says President Donald Trump's 2020 budget as proposed would effectively undermine "the health and wellbeing of seniors and families."

Benjamin Payne / WVIK

Augustana men's basketball head coach Grey Giovanine and senior point guard Nolan Ebel stopped by the WVIK studios to talk with our Morning Edition host Benjamin Payne, ahead of Friday's NCAA Division III tournament opener at the Carver Center in Rock Island:

Courtesy of Augustana College

Students at Augustana College in Rock Island will soon have a new place to hit the gym and hit the books. The college announced Tuesday plans to open a hybrid fitness and academic center by the end of next year.

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Millions of Americans watch the State of the Union address on television, but only a select few ever get to see it in person.

Benjamin Payne / WVIK

Augustana College now has the top-ranked team in NCAA Division III men's basketball.


Rock Island County Circuit Chief Judge Walter Braud has ordered the Rock Island County Courthouse be demolished.