Susan Stephens

Reporter, All Things Considered Host

Susan’s parents should have known she’d end up in radio: her favorite toys were tape recorders, cameras, notepads, and books. Many years later, she’s an award-winning reporter at her favorite radio station. Formerly WNIJ’s News Director, she asked to return to the role of full-time reporter/anchor/utility player in 2010 (less paperwork, more reporting!). Her #1 goal is to tell the most compelling stories in the fewest words possible…all the better if a little humor can be thrown into the mix.  It should come as no surprise, then, that she can whip up a haiku for any occasion. She also enjoys the Detroit Tigers, learning pioneer skills (Gardening, canning, and the like. Just in case.), traveling with friends, and pretending she’s going to get around to playing her theremin.

Kindred Hospital

Sycamore police say it appears one or both  of the two people found dead in a Sycamore hospital Tuesday died of self-inflicted gun shot wounds. The bodies of a man and a woman were discovered in a patient's room after shots were heard in Kindred Hospital, an acute care facility. 

Carly Cort Schutte / Improving Birth Rally For Change, Rockford

Labor Day takes on another meaning Monday in dozens of American cities. Mothers, babies, and the people who love them will lead “Improving Birth: National Rallies for Change.”

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Two Illinois prisons targeted for closure will stay open for at least another month. An arbitrator ruled today that Governor Pat Quinn and his administration violated the rights of union workers by rushing the process.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A major road reconstruction project bordering the Chicago-Rockford International Airport is expected to boost business in the region. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The annual ritual of Move-In Day took control of Northern Illinois University's campus today. An estimated 2,500 students will spend the evening unpacking and getting to know their new neighbors. It took 1,000 student volunteers, 100 staff and faculty members, and of course, hundreds of moms, dads, and friends to get their stuff from the curb to the dorm room. Eventually, 5,000 students will make their way into the residence halls.

The man accused of kidnapping and murdering a Sycamore girl more than half a century ago has an alibi, which was officially filed in court Tuesday. 

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

Students across Illinois are making their way back to school in the coming weeks. Yesterday, Northern Illinois University’s incoming law students got a special welcome.

jackson.house.gov

Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. is being treated for bipolar depression II, according to a news release from the Mayo Clinic.

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

A new exhibit opened at the Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford this weekend. And this time, it isn’t dinosaur bones attracting huge crowds: it’s an eccentric musician and the things he has collected during his half-century in rock.

Members of the Rockford Tea Party hope they are a step closer to persuading lawmakers that Illinoisans have the right to carry concealed firearms.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford Public Library’s governing board is weighing whether to accept a very large gift…a 30-thousand square foot gift. The board hosted a public open house Tuesday at the Sullivan Center in downtown Rockford.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It has been more than a year since civil unions became legal in Illinois. And in that time, more than 5,000 couples have tied the only knot available to same-sex partners. Several DeKalb couples have just celebrated their first legally-recognized anniversary. 

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

Workers at a Freeport company that’s slated to move jobs overseas got support from Governor Pat Quinn Thursday. Their also inspiring talk of a hosting a debate on outsourcing.

Rockford Magazine

Rockford artist and craftsman Jim Julin died Sunday night after a short illness. 

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

A major part of Rockford’s new river-walk opened Friday. Local officials cut the ribbon on the $7.5-million project while trumpets blared. 

Rockford could get a new driver services facility to ease the impending closure of one on the city’s west side. 

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

The Illinois State Treasurer says lawmakers need to make some progress toward fixing the state’s budget woes, or he says the crisis will get worse. Republican Dan Rutherford was in DeKalb Tuesday to host a roundtable discussion about the state’s finances. He says he doesn’t expect much progress before the November election, although the state’s bond rating is suffering:

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

Every Friday this month, we’re visiting some of the area’s favorite summer food destinations. Today, we stop at a place where you can eat like it’s 1954: Bing’s Drive-In in Rockford.

Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

$1.6 billion worth of transportation projects got the go-ahead today when Governor Pat Quinn signed a major capital improvements bill.

Tazewell County website / tazewell.com

Two county clerks want to defend Illinois’ ban on gay marriage. A judge may decide whether they can Tuesday.

WNIJ

A Cook County Circuit Court judge has decided to send a dispute between Governor Pat Quinn and major union back to arbitration.

WNIJ

 

Governor Pat Quinn hailed the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling upholding the federal health care law, calling it “a great day for Illinois and a great day for our country.”

Jacqui Stephens / WNIJ

The leader of a not-for-profit think tank says now is the time for Illinois citizens to push their legislators toward a more fair tax system.

Jacqui Stephens / WNIJ

Demolition began Wednesday on the Tapco Building, one of the crumbling old industrial buildings along Rockford’s downtown riverfront.

Predicted temperatures in the 90s have prompted some local communities to open cooling sites for local residents.

The National Weather Service is predicting a high near 90 degrees today, 92 on Saturday and 86 on Sunday.

Cooling sites offer air-conditioned relief during periods of excessive heat or when an excessive heat advisory or warning is issued by the National Weather Service.

Residents are encouraged to check on elderly neighbors and family members to ensure they are safe and as comfortable as possible

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford’s bus system may have some big changes in store … but not before its riders get a chance to weigh in.

Car Talk / NPR

Fans of the popular NPR show “Car Talk” are burning up the social media-sphere today with the announcement by Tom and Ray Magliozzi that they are retiring this fall. But don't fret: they still have a place here on WNIJ, according to Program Director Bill Drake.

Media Services / Northern Illinois University

A large portion of northern Illinois was under a “red flag warning” Tuesday.  But what does that mean? On Tuesday afternoon, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens called Northern Illinois University meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste to get an explanation.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A group of Rockford-area educators and business-people think they have an answer to one of the region’s employment problems: they’ve developed a path to take talented students all the way from high school to careers in the aerospace industry.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Dust storms and fire danger alerts are not what you expect to hear in May in Illinois. But these are signs of a very dry spring. 

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