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.

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NIU Center for Governmental Studies

The mining industry’s economic impact on LaSalle County is in the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Jenna Dooley

In its first award announcement of 2015, the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission named 20 recipients of the Carnegie Medal.  The medal is given throughout the United States and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.

In January 2014, then 20-year-old Michael D. Bates helped save his grandfather, then 78-year-old Roger Bates, from suffocating when he was trapped in a grain bin.


A recently released audit from the Illinois Office of the Auditor General found in a testing of travel expenditures, $31,945 of the $46,501 tested were reimbursements to an employee for travel between the employee’s home and the official headquarters listed on filed forms. The audit says "travel expenses between an employee’s official headquarters and home are not reimbursable."

As of last month, there were more than 19,000 video gaming terminals across Illinois. But it appears things are leveling off after three years of growth. Still, the machines are a major revenue generator for the state and local governments. In fact, the state’s share from video gaming recently passed $276 million.


Nippon Sharyo’s production milestone comes as several labor groups question safety standards at the Rochelle facility.

Doctors, lawyers, and teachers are required to take continuing education courses. Rockford-area Senator Dave Syverson wants to know why the same rules don’t apply for elected officials. Syverson’s proposal would require public officials to take an eight hour course on economics every two years.


Clean-up of an oil train derailment continues in Illinois' far northwestern corner.  A BNSF train passing through Galena derailed March 5.

Brad Benning, an on-scene coordinator for the federal Environmental Protection Agency, says that crews are still in the process of removing damaged tank cars from the accident scene.

Vacuum trucks are sucking up crude oil from inside the tanks. The tanks are being moved to a nearby staging area to either clean or scrap. 

City of Dixon

Dixon’s mayor says he received good news earlier this week regarding an idle cement plant.

St. Mary’s Cement halted operations in 2008, leaving dozens of people without work. That year, the U.S. EPA and the Department of Justice also announced a settlement with the company to resolve Clean Air Act violations at the facility.

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 the middle of a guitar circle.

Deep within Northern Illinois University's music building sits a group of musicians. Some have studied jazz, others classical, but it doesn't matter, because their maestro is the epitome of fusion.

Calls for appointments are pouring in at DeKalb’s Elder Care Services. Mary Rongey came in for the second year in a row. She says she knew she needed the extra help because her husband used to keep track of the couple’s finances.

“This is where he came before he passed away, and then I just came back here. It’s all kind of new to me.”

Rongey says she’s been satisfied with the help she gets.

“I think you need someone who knows what they are doing, somebody that can answer your questions if you have any questions. They know what they are talking about.”