Jenna Dooley

WNIJ Morning Edition Producer/Reporter

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 Recording Secretary for the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.


Election 2012
4:15 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Voters Asked to Report Election Day Problems

Election officials want to remind voters to report any issues they run into at the polls.  173 teams of assistant attorneys general and investigators from the Illinois Attorney General’s office will be working throughout the state today to watch the general election to ensure that Illinoisans’ voting rights are protected and that polling places are accessible.

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Election 2012
5:58 am
Mon November 5, 2012

Overtime Costs for Holiday Election Deadline

Illinois' election law may mean overtime for some municipal workers on Christmas Eve.  December 24th is the final day candidates may file nominating petitions for April's municipal elections.

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6:18 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Hunters and Soldiers Share the Land

Religious building used in training at National Guard training site in Marseilles, IL
Jenna Dooley

For several days in October, members of the Illinois National Guard’s Bilateral Embedded Staff (BEST) Team convened in Marseilles for pre-deployment training.  In the coming months, the soldiers will be sent to Afghanistan. 

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8:37 am
Wed October 31, 2012

Jarrett Named Superintendent of Rockford Schools

Dr. Ehren Jarrett
Credit facebook

The Rockford Public School Board has named Ehren Jarrett as its new Superintendent.  The board will begin contract negotiations with the possibility of Jarrett assuming his new role July 1, 2013. Interim Superintendent Robert Willis is expected to stay on until then.

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5:12 am
Tue October 30, 2012

NIU Meteorologist: Sandy Threat Low in Illinois

NIU Radar

Northern Illinois has a good chance to avoid the threats of damaging winds and massive rains from Superstorm Sandy.  That's the conclusion of NIU meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste, who's been tracking the storm on the east coast. 

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Illinois Election 2012
4:59 am
Tue October 30, 2012

Early Voting Becoming More Popular

DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo
Credit DeKalb County

More people in DeKalb County are taking advantage of early voting.  According to DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo, thousands of  people have already voted before the November 6th election. That's about a thousand more early votes than four years ago.

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4:37 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Geneva Teachers File Intent to Strike

Credit District 304

Members of the District 304 Board of Education met with members of the Geneva Education Association and a federal mediator last week.  Despite some progress, the Geneva Education Association delivered a Notice of Intent to Strike to Board negotiators.  Final offers have been posted on the Illinois Educational Labor Relations website. The earliest date that a strike can occur is Friday, November 9, 2012.

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Election 2012
6:00 am
Wed October 24, 2012

Congressional Race: 6th District

Peter Roskam - Leslie Coolidge
  • WNIJ's Jenna Dooley talks with Leslie Coolidge about the 6th congressional district
  • WNIJ's Dan Klefstad talks with NIU political scientist Matt Streb about the 6th District
  • WNIJ's Jenna Dooley previews the 6th congressional district

Democrat Leslie Coolidge is facing incumbent Republican Peter Roskam.  Coolidge, a Harvard educated CPA, says she has the fiscal wherewithal to help make the economy a priority in Washington.  Roskam campaigns in a Democrat-drawn district which largely keeps a Republican stronghold of voters. The district includes portions of McHenry and Kane counties.

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Sycamore Pumpkin Festival
5:00 am
Tue October 23, 2012

Remembering Mr. Pumpkin

Wally Thurow aka Mr. Pumpkin
Sycamore Pumpkin Festival
  • WNIJ's Jenna Dooley speaks with Sycamore author Tom Oestreicher about his book on the life of Wally Thurow aka "Mr. Pumpkin"

The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival kicks off this week.  It will be a bittersweet start to the festival's 51st year.  This is the first year since the death of the Festival's founder, Wally Thurow, affectionately known as "Mr. Pumpkin."  Sycamore author Tom Oestreicher has written a biography of Thurow and the festival.  The book is called Mr. Pumpkin & The Sycamore Pumpkin Festival: A 50 Year History.

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Election 2012
4:33 am
Wed October 17, 2012

Amendment Would Change Voting Rules for Pensions

Rep. Bob Pritchard, Sycamore (R)

In November, Illinois voters will be asked if it should be more difficult to increase pension benefits for public employees. If approved, the proposed amendment to the Illinois Constitution would raise the number of votes needed to make increases to public employee pensions from a simple majority to a three-fifths vote. It applies to the General Assembly, city councils, school boards, and other public governing bodies.

Representative Bob Pritchard says the proposed amendment is the result of the current underfunding of public pensions:

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