Jenna Dooley

News Director

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield.  She is a former "Newsfinder of the Year" from the Illinois Associated Press and recipient of NIU's Donald R. Grubb Journalism Alumni Award. She is an active member of the Illinois News Broadcasters Association and an adjunct instructor at NIU.

city of DeKalb

The DeKalb City Council will once again discuss adding a yearly registration fee for landlords. DeKalb City Manager Mark Biernacki proposed the "Housing Registration and Inspection Bureau"  because, he says, there are growing concerns of crime in some areas of the city. Not all landlords agree they should be lumped in with that characterization.

This week is the time for some candidates to file petitions for positions on boards including libraries, park districts, and schools.

NIU

The NIU Huskies won a pivotal football game in DeKalb last night. Quarterback Jordan Lynch threw for 407 yards and three touchdowns to help Northern Illinois beat Toledo 31-24.

With the win, the Huskies claim a spot in the Mid-American Conference championship game later this month in Detroit.

Jenna Dooley

Graffiti artists often lurk in the dark of night, and work under a cloak of anonymity. They hold their spray cans confidently as they wait to tag their next target, be it an unassuming wall or an abandoned building.   Graffiti also shows up in pop culture and prestigious art galleries. Is it art or anti-social behavior?

Nicholas Conservatory

Rockford Park District officials recently dedicated the Eclipse Lagoon at the  Nicholas Conservatory & Gardens. The Conservatory just celebrated its first year in Rockford.  Since its opening, more than 50,000 people have walked through the doors.

NIU

Northern Illinois University President John  Peters announced during his State of the University address that he will step aside next June.  The newly-formed, 28-person search committee met for the first time last week and will formally meet again next month.  NIU Faculty Senate President Alan Rosenbaum co-chairs the search committee. 

Jenna Dooley

Election season is also the time for county treasurers to try to recoup unpaid property taxes. When property taxes go unpaid, Illinois counties rely on outside buyers to pick up the tab.

NIU Today

The Northern Illinois University Board of Trustees has approved a 28-person Presidential Search Advisory Committee. President John G. Peters announced during his State of the University Address that he will step aside June 30, 2013.

District 304

The Geneva Education Association and the Geneva Board of Education reached a tentative agreement Monday, November 12 at 12:30 a.m. on a new contract. With this tentative Agreement, school will be in session on Monday, November 12.

Jenna Dooley

There was a lot of money put into this race, but ultimately Democrat Cheri Bustos claimed the seat.  She used the opportunity before supporters to acknowledge constituents she met on the campaign trail including a soon-to-be laid off Sensata worker in Freeport.

city of Dixon

A Dixon cab driver is offering free rides to the polls today.  Mary MacMillan of Sunshine Cab tells WNIJ she’ll offer free rides to and from the polls from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. She says this is the first time she's offered the free rides for an election.

Election officials want to remind voters to report any issues they run into at the polls.  173 teams of assistant attorneys general and investigators from the Illinois Attorney General’s office will be working throughout the state today to watch the general election to ensure that Illinoisans’ voting rights are protected and that polling places are accessible.

Illinois' election law may mean overtime for some municipal workers on Christmas Eve.  December 24th is the final day candidates may file nominating petitions for April's municipal elections.

Jenna Dooley

For several days in October, members of the Illinois National Guard’s Bilateral Embedded Staff (BEST) Team convened in Marseilles for pre-deployment training.  In the coming months, the soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. 

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The Rockford Public School Board has named Ehren Jarrett as its new Superintendent.  The board will begin contract negotiations with the possibility of Jarrett assuming his new role July 1, 2013. Interim Superintendent Robert Willis is expected to stay on until then.

NIU Radar

Northern Illinois has a good chance to avoid the threats of damaging winds and massive rains from Superstorm Sandy.  That's the conclusion of NIU meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste, who's been tracking the storm on the east coast. 

DeKalb County

More people in DeKalb County are taking advantage of early voting.  According to DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo, thousands of  people have already voted before the November 6th election. That's about a thousand more early votes than four years ago.

District 304

Members of the District 304 Board of Education met with members of the Geneva Education Association and a federal mediator last week.  Despite some progress, the Geneva Education Association delivered a Notice of Intent to Strike to Board negotiators.  Final offers have been posted on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations website. The earliest date that a strike can occur is Friday, November 9, 2012.

Democrat Leslie Coolidge is facing incumbent Republican Peter Roskam.  Coolidge, a Harvard educated CPA, says she has the fiscal wherewithal to help make the economy a priority in Washington.  Roskam campaigns in a Democrat-drawn district which largely keeps a Republican stronghold of voters. The district includes portions of McHenry and Kane counties.

Sycamore Pumpkin Festival

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival kicks off this week.  It will be a bittersweet start to the festival's 51st year.  This is the first year since the death of the Festival's founder, Wally Thurow, affectionately known as "Mr. Pumpkin."  Sycamore author Tom Oestreicher has written a biography of Thurow and the festival.  The book is called Mr. Pumpkin & The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: A 50 Year History.

ilga.gov

In November, Illinois voters will be asked if it should be more difficult to increase pension benefits for public employees. If approved, the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution would raise the number of votes needed to make increases to public employee pensions from a simple majority to a three-fifths vote. It applies to the General Assembly, city councils, school boards, and other public governing bodies.

Representative Bob Pritchard says the proposed amendment is the result of the current underfunding of public pensions:

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