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.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell is still earning money from behind bars.

Crundwell is serving a nearly 20-year prison sentence for stealing $53 million dollars from the city she served for two decades.

Most of her belongings have been sold with the money already going to her victim—the city of Dixon.

U.S. Marshals are trying to get the government a direct line to breeder royalties she still earns from her former horses.  So far it’s been about $13,000 to $15,000 each year.

Public radio listeners may recognize comedian Paula Poundstone as a frequent panelist on Wait Wait... Don’t Tell Me!

Poundstone will be stopping in northern Illinois this weekend. She performs at the Raue Center for the Arts June 14th.

She spoke with WNIJ’s Jenna Dooley about her preferred performance format and keeping up with technology. To get things rolling, they chatted about her lunchtime ritual:

flickr user / F_A "chocolate orange cupcakes" (CC BY 2.0) /

Sycamore’s City Council recently adopted the state’s so-called “Cupcake Law.” The decision comes after several bakers faced shutdowns.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The DeKalb City Council is scheduled to discuss several funding options for the Egyptian Theatre this month.

Executive Director Alex Nerad says the 1,400-seat Egyptian Theatre is closed during the summer months due to the heat.

“Here we are 85 years after the theatre first opened, and we are still trying to get air conditioning in here."

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Dixon city leaders are working on specifics of how to allocate millions of dollars recovered from the Rita Crundwell scandal. The former city treasurer is behind bars for embezzling $53 million over more than two decades.

Sauk Valley Media: Dixon Council Shuffles More Crundwell Dollars

flickr user / Bradley Gordon / "wedding ring" / (CC BY 2.0) /

It's been one year since Illinois' same-sex marriage law went into effect.

Some counties began issuing same-sex licenses before the June 1, 2014 start date, including DeKalb and Cook counties.

More than 7,200 same-sex couples have been married in Cook County since Feb. 21, 2014, including 1,600 conversions of civil unions to marriages.

But DeKalb County officials do not designate whether the couple taking out the license is gay or not.

They're not alone.

Suzanne Pupino is stepping down from her position as DeKalb City Clerk.

The move comes less than two weeks after being sworn-in.

According to a news release issued Friday night, Mayor John Rey said Pupino resigned to "spend more time enjoying her retirement."

Pupino was sworn-in on May 11, 2015 for a two-year term.

Guy Stephens / WNIJ

Recovery efforts continue in Fairdale after last month's deadly tornado. Of the 66 homes destroyed, it's estimated more than 50 residents want to rebuild. The DeKalb County Community Foundation has a pass through fund called the DeKalb County Disaster Recovery Fund – to receive donations/contributions from donors to support the recovery efforts.

Jenna Dooley

There’s activity at a long-dormant prison in northwest Illinois. Residents in Thomson have lived more than a decade in limbo waiting for it to open. Now, it’s time.

Ready for Change

At a recent prayer service in Thomson, longtime resident Arlene Eslinger says she has a lot on her heart these days. She says residents are getting older. People want change, but Eslinger fears Thomson isn’t prepared for an influx of prison workers and their families.

Mike Phillips / IVCC

Megan Fitzgerald lives near the large-scale hog farm under construction near Wenona.

“I’m actually one of the closest residents to the Sandy Creek and this proposed hog facility, less than a mile away,” Fitzgerald said.