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.

John Pingo

There’s a summer-camp feel at a northern Illinois center serving adults with developmental disabilities.

On a recent hot day, chickens pecked at a bucket of food mixed with dried worms.

A young woman made excited gestures and echoed the sound of the clucks.

She was led into the coop by Davontay Lewis, a staff member at the Goldie B. Floberg Center in Rockton. The center serves dozens of young adults with developmental disabilities.

A group of northern Illinois home care providers is calling for increased state funding.

Lisa Fambro owns Open Arms Day Care in Rockford. Some of her families receive state subsidies to help pay for childcare. She criticized a change in qualifications last fall for the Child Care Assistance Program which reduced the number of eligible families.

The Streator Elementary District board is considering applying with the state for a waiver to pursue the shortened week.

Officials say it could result in more than $300,000 in savings.

The district faces declining enrollment and financial difficulties.

In fact, the district faces state intervention if it doesn’t resolve its budget issues.

Mike Phillips

Concerned neighbors are waiting for an appellate court decision over a proposed hog farm south of Oglesby. 

 

The group, “Save Our Sandy” is named after a nearby creek to the would-be facility in Wenona. 

 

Jenna Dooley

It was cloudy this weekend, but that didn’t keep pilots from DeKalb's airport on Sunday.

The gathering of aviation enthusiasts was part of the local chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association's annual pancake fly-in at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport.

Tom Burgan is Treasurer with the EAA Chapter 241. He says there are many reasons why he looks forward to the event each year:

Nicole Shenberger

Cornball. Solar Reef. SoyPod. These are just a few of the names of the sculptures around Oregon, Illinois.

An arts group in the city has been behind an effort to produce ten sculptures in ten years. The final piece is ready.

The next jewel in the crown of the Community Art Legacy sculpture trail features John Phelps, the founder of Oregon. 

Jenna Dooley

There have been some alarming statistics about deaths involving drugs in Winnebago County. Those statistics could have been higher were it not for drugs that can save a person who overdoses on opioids. But that is just the beginning of the road to recovery.

Seeking recovery through faith

Jenna Dooley/WNIJ

The Illinois comptroller met with leaders of Rockford-area nonprofit organizations on Wednesday to talk about the state budget impasse and its effect on human services. Leslie Munger says the situation in Springfield is an inherited problem that can't be solved by taxes alone.

“The longer this gridlock continues and the longer this pile of bills becomes, the longer it takes for us to pay all of you the money we owe you,” Munger said. "Those of you who are not covered under any of these court orders, you have been probably waiting since July for payments.”

Jenna Dooley

A northern Illinois food assistance program has been drawing heavily on community donations due to the state’s budget impasse.

Colleen Bredeson is the community outreach coordinator for the Voluntary Action Center in Sycamore, which administers the area Meals on Wheels program.

The status hearing scheduled this week involving NIU Controller Keith Jackson and university officials has been reset to Aug. 30.

In 2015, Jackson filed suit for wrongful termination against NIU, the university’s Board of Trustees, President Doug Baker, and former interim CFO Nancy Suttenfield.

The decision to move the status hearing in Rockford follows a motion by the defendants to dismiss the case. Keith Jackson must respond to that motion by May 19. NIU and Baker then must reply by early June. 

Pages