News

Aurora, IL – On Wednesday (March 16th) representatives of national, state and local advocacy groups gathered outside the Aurora offices of the Social Security Administration to announce their participation in a campaign to defeat President Bush's plans to privatize Social Security. WNIJ's Guy Stephens was there:

DeKalb, IL – Iraq's newly-elected officials will soon begin writing laws. Enforcing those laws will be the job of Iraq's police. But Iraq's cops face the challenge of protecting the community during an insurgency that's been made worse by ethnic and religious differences.
So what kind of police force is the best for the job? Northern Illinois University's police chief helped rebuild Bosnia's police force. In a conversation with WNIJ's Dan Klefstad, Don Grady offers advice on building a multi-ethnic and multi-religious police force.

DeKalb, IL – Nearly two-thirds of Illinoians support some form of legal recognition of gay and lesbian relationships. That's according to a survey soon to be released by NIU's Center for Governmental Studies. WNIJ's Chris Lehman reports...

Environmental Law and Policy Center

DeKalb, IL – Illinois is poised to become the leader in wind power production in the midwest. That's according to a report from the Environmental Law and Policy Center of Chicago. WNIJ's Chris Lehman reports...

Rockford – Hooters Air is now offering non-stop flights to Denver, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. But the name "Hooters Air" evokes a different image than more traditional airlines such as United or American. WNIJ's Chris Lehman rode along on the first Hooters Air flight to Denver to see what it's like to fly on an airline that takes pride in being tacky.

DeKalb, IL – A new survey by NIU's Center for Governmental Studies shows the increase in tolls on the Illinois Tollway isn't very popular. What's surprising is that drivers using I-PASS aren't too fond of the two-tiered toll system either, even though their tolls aren't going up under the plan.

Rockford, IL – In observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, former Rockford YWCA executive director Jane McAfee takes us back to 1963: that's when she and colleagues from the National YWCA took part in the March on Washington. They were near the stage when Dr. King delivered his most famous speech.

Chicago, IL – In July, a long-distance cyclist from Chicago set out on a nine-month, 25-thousand mile adventure across three continents. Stephan Wanger wanted to pedal for charity and expected to raise two-and-a-half million dollars. Then in early November, with little money raised, few corporate sponsorships and very low finances, the one-time marketing specialist had to cut the trip short.

DeKalb, IL – Northern Illinois University's fleet of eight hybrid cars will get bigger beginning in January. When the transportation department placed its first order two years ago, one of those cars went to N-I-U police. That car passed its test period this summer. And now the police department is looking forward to getting a second hybrid car next month. WNIJ's Simone Orendain reports.

Batavia, IL – Northern Illinois University and Fermilab are set to re-open a cancer treatment center in January. The procedure is called "neutron therapy" and has been used to treat thousands of people in the past 30 years.

DeKalb, IL – The Education Department wants to track every student moving through the U.S. higher education system. WNIJ's Dan Klefstad talks with NIU Registrar Don Larson about how the change would affect students, and Northern Illinois University.

DeKalb – Northern Illinois' Latino population continues to grow at a fast pace, mirroring the nation's growth figures. The increase has brought a demand for Spanish language and bilingual services. A new publication in DeKalb seeks to fill the need.

WNIJ's Simone Orendain has this profile of El Periodico Lo Nuestro or "The Newspaper That's Ours."

DeKalb, IL – WNIJ reporter Chris Lehman talks with Morning Edition host Dan Klefstad about the new systems and procedures at Byron, and what they'll cost.

Paw Paw, IL – The Mendota Hills wind farm turned one year old in November. Its operators say the project has been a success. WNIJ's Dan Klefstad spoke with reporter Chris Lehman, who toured the wind farm recently.

Rockford, Il. – Commuter rail service to Rockford is not only feasible, it has extraordinary potential. That's according to a Federally-funded study that was recently unveiled. WNIJ's Chris Lehman reports...

Rockford, IL – National Public Radio talk show host Diane Rehm was the guest of honor at a listener luncheon at Cliffbreakers in Rockford on November 16th, 2004. Rehm helped WNIJ celebrate Northern Public Radio's 50th anniversary. She spoke about her 25 years in radio and answered questions from WNIJ supporters. You can hear her remarks which run approximately 40 minutes, introduced by Northern Public Radio General Manager Tim Emmons, by clicking on the audio link.

DeKalb, IL – Both conservatives and liberals express moral values in their political speeches. In the 2004 Presidential election, conservatives won. Was their message the right one, or was it delivered better?

Rockford, IL – The 16th Congressional District stretches from Crystal Lake to Galena and down in DeKalb County. This years race for Congress is a rematch of the 2002 contest. Congressman Don Manzullo is being challenged by Democrat John Kutsch.

Both candidates participated in a studio debate moderated by WNIJs Susan Stephens. A coin toss determined that Kutsch
would go first: the candidates are given one minute for opening statements, and two minutes to answer each question, with alternating 30-second rebuttals.

Woodstock, IL – The 63rd Illinois House District includes western and northern McHenry County. Incumbent Democrat Jack Franks is facing a challenge from Republican Perry Moy. WNIJs Chris Lehman reports.

DeKalb, IL – The long-time incumbent in Illinois 35th Senate District has a challenger for a change. WNIJs Simone Orendain reports.

McHenry County, IL – Voters in the 32nd senate district will choose between a career politician and a political novice. WNIJs Chris Lehman reports:

DeKalb, IL – 14th District Congressman Dennis Hastert usually has an opponent every election. This time around, his challenger, Ruben Zamora, appears to toe the Democratic Party line more closely and clearly than Hasterts previous opponents. WNIJs Simone Orendain reports.

DeKalb County, IL – Its been less than a year since Republican Bob Pritchard was appointed to take over for state Representative Dave Wirsing, who died in office last Fall. Now Pritchard faces his first general election race for the 70th district House seat: he's being challenged by Democrat Bob Brown.

DeKalb, IL – DeKalb County States Attorney Ron Matekaitis is the only democrat elected to a county-wide office in DeKalb County. He faces Republican challenger Clay Campbell in a contentious race to retain his seat.

Rockford, IL – The two candidates running for State Representative in Illinois 68th District went head to head on the issues in WNIJs Rockford studio.

WNIJs Simone Orendain moderated the debate between State Representative Dave Winters and Rockton engineer Carroll Brumfield.

Peru, IL – The state political parties are pouring money into the State Senate race in the 38th District. Democrat Pat Welch of Peru is seeking his eighth term. He's being challenged by Republican Gary Dahl of Granville.


The 38th District includes LaSalle, Kankakee, and Grundy counties. Its one of a handful of Democrat-held Senate seats being targeted by the state G.O.P. WNIJs Susan Stephens spoke with the two candidates and has this report.

Chicago, IL – This election season has been peppered with religious references from the question of Jesus' voting habits in Illinois' U-S senatorial race to Catholic bishops denying a presidential candidate the Eucharist.

WNIJ's Simone Orendain spoke with a playwright who just directed a one-act play that tackles a hot-button religion issue.

DeKalb, IL – WNIJ's Dan Klefstad interviews Pam Weisman, the Executive Director of Safe Passage. Safe Passage assists victims of domestic violence in DeKalb County.

Weisman says the new federal rule could threaten her clients' lives because a central database makes it easier for batterers to locate their victims. Weisman says Safe Passage may forgo federal funding in order to protect its clients.

Rockford, IL – It's less than a month until the election. This is usually the time we see a bump in campaign yard signs. But in this presidential election Kerry-Edwards signs are in short supply in Illinois.

Rockford, IL – The Rockford Symphony Orchestra presents "An Evening With Sir James Galway and Lady Jeanne Galway" for its 70th Anniversary Gala Concert this week in the Coronado Theatre. WNIJ's Guy Stephens talked with James Galway, and has this report.

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