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.


5:53 pm
Thu December 18, 2014

Auditor General Finds Gaps In DCFS Reporting On Runaways

Credit DCFS

A state audit finds an Illinois agency could do more to track runaways. 

The Illinois Auditor General finds the Department of Children and Family Services did not report the number of wards missing in a given year.

According to the report, the agency used daily lists of missing wards which showed about 230 wards were missing each day.

Read more
8:42 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

School Districts Concerned About Funding, Mandates, and Pensions

Credit Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

A new report outlines how Illinois school districts feel about state education services.

The Lieutenant Governor's office is required by law to direct a committee which approves a survey at least every three years. School districts provide anonymous feedback on the quality and importance of services provided by the state.

More than 350 districts filled out the most recent survey.

Read the report here.

Read more
5:30 am
Fri December 12, 2014

Does Rita Crundwell Deserve A Pension?

(Archived photo)
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell could be eligible to receive a large sum of money when she leaves prison. WNIJ's Jenna Dooley spoke with Sauk Valley Media's Matt Mencarini who has been reporting on the case.

He says Crundwell's attorney recently filed a motion in federal court arguing that her client should not have $90,565.86 in pension funds taken by the government.

Read more
Games continue uninterrupted
5:58 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Illinois Drops Lottery Management Company

Credit Illinois Lottery /

The Illinois Lottery’s contract with a private management company is over. State officials announced Tuesday evening the contract with Northstar Lottery Group has been formally terminated.

Read more
7:01 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Hands-Free Phone Law Rings Up Revenue For State

Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The Illinois cell phone ban for drivers is nearly a year old, and it is proving quite profitable for the state's coffers.

From January 2014 through November 2014, the Illinois Secretary of State's office says there were more than 30,000 first offenses. At $75 a pop, that means drivers forked over more than $2.3 million so far this year.

Rep. John D'Amico (D-Chicago) insists the law wasn't put it place for the money.

Read more
6:45 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Verbal Arguments Held In McCullough Appeal

Defense attorneys say there was not enough evidence to send Jack McCullough to prison. McCullough was sentenced in 2012 to life behind bars for the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. It was believed to be the nation's oldest cold case.  

An Illinois appeals court panel heard oral arguments Wednesday.

State Appellate Defender Paul Glaser says many of the questions involved evidence surrounding the case. He admits it is an extremely rare situation.

Read more
6:16 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Exelon's Byron Station Faces "Economic Pressures"

Byron Generating Station is a nuclear power plant located near Byron in northern Illinois, about 110 miles west of Chicago.
Credit Exelon

A spokesman for Exelon's Byron station confirms there are economic pressures on the Byron, Clinton and Quad Cities facilities. The spokesman tells WNIJ that Exelon sent lawmakers information in the hopes they gain a better understanding of the value of these nuclear facilities to the state economy and the impact of closing at-risk facilities early.

Read more
2:40 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

Huskies Claim MAC West Title In Football

Credit NIU Media Services

Northern Illinois University's football team is heading to Detroit. The Huskies beat Western Michigan Friday 31-21. With the win, the team claims the MAC West title. NIU takes on Bowling Green next week at Ford Field for the MAC championship.

NIU quarterback Drew Hare rushed for two fourth quarter touchdowns.

Read more
7:13 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Police Keep Close Tabs On Holiday Shopping Schedule

Credit "shopping-cart-feral" by flick user r. nial bradshaw (CC BY 2.0)

The holiday shopping craze is now underway in cities across Illinois.

CherryVale Mall near Rockford is no exception.

Cherry Valley Police Chief Mike Neville says officers are keeping an eye out for shoplifters and parking lot skirmishes.

"Through our experience we have found, over the years, people will park in the fire lanes. What they are actually doing is they are sitting there waiting for their friends to come out of the mall with an armload of products they have taken from the store," Neville said.

Read more
McHenry County
1:14 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Fire Official: Barn Fire That Killed 32 Horses Not "Suspicious"

Clean-up continues at a horse stable in Woodstock.

The fire killed 32 horses Saturday night at Valley View Acres. Five horses made it out to the pasture to safety.

Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Chief Paul DeRaedt says the fire is not considered "suspicious."

"After further investigation, we feel comfortable through our interviews, as well as information gathered from the scene, that the fire started in the area where the hay was stored at on the second floor of the barn."

Read more