Jenna Dooley

WNIJ All Things Considered Host

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.  For 2012, she was named "Newsfinder of the Year" by the Illinois Associated Press. She is also recipient of the 2014 Donald R. Grubb NIU Journalism Alumni Award. She is not afraid to brag at parties that she has met Carl Kasell, Ira Glass, and Garrison Keillor (and has pictures to prove it!) She is the former Recording Secretary for the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.

Danielle Guerra / Shaw Media

The Daily Chronicle recently published a two-part series called “Road to Dismissal” examining letters and emails that take a closer look at how DeKalb County State’s Attorney Richard Schmack became convinced that the wrong man was behind bars for the death of Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. Jack McCullough has since been released from prison, but some in the community still question his innocence. Eric Olson is editor of the Daily Chronicle and talks about writing the story.

staterepwallace.com

Illinois Republican Comptroller Leslie Munger recently announced her office will make legislators wait in the growing line of those trying to be paid by the state, which is entering a tenth month without a budget.

Litesa Wallace represents the Rockford-area in the Illinois House. The Democrat took to social media to vent her frustrations with the news.  The single mother says her state pay is her only source of income.

IDOR

It’s nearly Tax Day!

Actually, make that Emancipation Day. Haven’t heard of it? The District of Columbia Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington D.C. It’s celebrated there April 16 -- which, this year, falls on a Saturday, so the District of Columbia will observe the holiday on Friday, April 15.

Jenna Dooley

It’s been one year since a deadly tornado struck Fairdale, in northern DeKalb County, killing two women and wreaking havoc in the small unincorporated community.

The last year has been filled with many decisions for the residents, who were left with very little after the storm passed. Now there are new beginnings and new challenges.

The new Fairdale tornado siren fired off earlier this week -- as it will at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month.

You've probably heard this routine test in your own community, but Fairdale’s siren wasn’t here before the tornado.

Numbers from Winnebago County Coroner's Office / Data visualization done in collaboration with the ddiLab in the Department of Computer Science at Northern Illinois University

The rate of heroin-related overdose deaths in Winnebago County is among the highest in Illinois.

Deaths involving drugs in the county nearly tripled in the last decade. Longtime County Coroner Sue Fiduccia says that means it's time to think outside the box when it comes to breaking down the stigma surrounding addiction and treatment.

State auditors recently released the latest compliance examination for Northern Illinois University.  Among the findings: The University failed to comply with requirements for tracking its property and equipment.

What exactly does that mean?

NIU could not locate 244 items -- valued at a total of $322,539 -- purchased during the current as well as past fiscal years. They include about 57 computers, servers, CPUs, and other electronic storage devices.

Jenna Dooley

Early voting is underway in northern Illinois for the state’s primary contests.

Find an Early Voting location in your area

Illinois’ primary is March 15, but many people aren’t waiting until then to cast their ballots.

At Northern Illinois University’s Holmes Student Center, senior journalism major Jazmin Kelley had a very simple reason to vote before next week.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ archives

An all-white jury heard opening statements Tuesday at the civil trial for a 2009 officer-involved shooting at a Rockford daycare center. Mark Anthony Barmore, an unarmed black man, was killed during a confrontation with police who chased him into the House of Grace day care. 

Ten children and a worker present at the shooting, in addition to the family which owns the church and daycare center, are suing for compensation for emotional trauma, psychological damage and financial losses.

Flickr user Michael Chen "Pills" (CC BY 2.0) bit.ly/1RgH2Na

In the past, citations were issued if a pharmacy didn’t post its license where it could be easily seen or if food or drinks were left out in undesignated areas. Now, those will come with a fine, but not the full disciplinary process.

Terry Horstman is a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Jenna Dooley

Training a new generation of effective leaders often involves mentoring through a shared passion. It involves someone with a strong skill set who is willing to help someone else feel the spark.

We continue our occasional series “Pass The Torch” in a workshop at DeKalb High School where the robotics team is getting ready to bring their creation to competition. 

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