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.


Election 2014
10:38 am
Mon October 6, 2014

Election Preview: Winnebago County Sheriff

(Left) Gary Caruana-R (Right) Bob Springer-D

A new person will soon lead the Winnebago County Sheriff's Office.

Longtime Sheriff Dick Meyers did not seek re-election.

Republican Gary Caruana is a retired security manager for UPS. He says he wants employees in the sheriff's office to be "constructively dissatisfied" with the status quo.

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6:29 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Painless Childbirth Once A Selling Point In Sublette, Illinois

Sublette archives

A small northern Illinois town is celebrating its history as a once-popular destination for pregnant women.

Eloise Barrett's mother-in-law was looking for a painless delivery back in 1925.

"She was so afraid to have the baby because she had heard from old-time stories about so much pain," Barrett said.

The method was called "Twilight Sleep" because of the soporific state it induced in the mothers.

"She said it was so beautiful to have a baby and not remember any pain," Barrett said.

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6:07 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Illinois Candidates Among Top Spenders For TV Ads

TV ads in 2014 state races
Credit Center for Public Intergrity

Illinois ranks fourth in the nation for total TV ad spending this election. The state trails only Pennsylvania, Texas and Florida. The findings come from the Center for Public Integrity.  The largest spending comes for the governor's race between Republican Bruce Rauner and incumbent Pat Quinn. 

The analysis found candidates for Illinois offices spent $26.4 million to air 34,600 ads between early last year and this month.

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6:18 am
Tue September 23, 2014

A Peek Inside Rochelle's Commuter Culture

Passenger Seat: Tim Swanberg. Driver: Nancy Dobbel. Back left: Cindy Blanchard. Back right: Kay Tonaki.
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Rochelle's location near several major interstates makes it easy for commuters to get to and from work. In the second of two reports, we hear from commuters who have decided not to make the move to the city where they work.


Each workday, Tim Swanberg pulls into a paved spot near Nancy Dobbel's Sycamore home at just before 7 a.m. Nancy greets him, and they both don crisp Nippon Sharyo shirts. The third member of their regular carpool is Cindy Blanchard of Cortland.

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7:09 am
Tue September 16, 2014

Pipeline Plans To Move More Oil In Northern Illinois

Credit Enbridge

The Enbridge company is not building a new pipeline, but they plan to move more oil through one built several years ago.  The pipeline runs through Wisconsin, and in Illinois, through Belvidere, DeKalb, and Ottawa. That's where new pump stations are under construction. 

Enbridge spokesperson Jennifer Smith says the company is currently using only a third of the capacity of the line.

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6:05 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Northern Illinois Health Officials Continue To Track West Nile Virus

2012 Bird Cases Of West Nile Virus
Credit U.S. Geological Survey

West Nile virus continues to be a threat in northern Illinois.

The temperature may be cooling off, but you'll still want to keep an eye on those mosquitoes. Winnebago County officials confirmed this week that a bird tested positive for West Nile virus. It's the 13th year in a row the virus has been confirmed in the county. The infected bird was found much later than last year.

Map: Bird Cases Of West Nile Virus

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5:58 am
Thu September 11, 2014

NIU Enrollment Down Again, Number Of International Students Up

Department of Institutional Research

University officials announced a gain of nearly 30 percent among international students. There was also improvement in retaining last year's freshmen. Those numbers limited the university’s enrollment decline to its smallest in five years.   

Still, NIU administrators are looking for better numbers. There's a search for an admissions director and assistant vice president for enrollment management.

According to a news release, President Doug Baker says recruitment and retention will continue to be priorities.

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Consumer Protection
7:32 am
Tue September 9, 2014

BBB Warns Of School Supply Scam In Northern Illinois

Credit flickr user / Chris / "Books" (CC BY 2.0)

The Better Business Bureau is alerting school districts across northern Illinois about a billing scam. Nevada-based “Scholastic School Supply” allegedly sent false invoices that billed districts hundreds of dollars for text books that were never requested or received.

According to a news release, information from the BBB serving Southern Nevada finds they received 51 complaints from throughout the country, as well as nearly 2,400 inquiries regarding this scam operation. The Nevada BBB says that complaints continue to rise in increments of as many as 15 per day. 

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5:17 am
Tue September 9, 2014

NIU Prepares For Role In Digital Manufacturing Lab

Northern Illinois officials are getting more details about a digital manufacturing hub scheduled to open in a couple of months.

The Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute (DMDI) is better known as Illinois' Digital Lab. There have been a number of buzz words used to explain the goals of this project including  "intelligent machining," and "operations agility."

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5:24 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Recycling Facilty Faces Penalty After Worker Death


Federal regulators have fined Behr Iron and Metal nearly half a million dollars after a worker's death earlier this year at a South Beloit recycling facility.  According to a news release from the U.S. Department of Labor, OSHA officials cited the company for one serious and seven willful violations. 

The victim was a 37-year old immigrant. The worker suffered multiple injuries after his arm was caught in a conveyor belt on March 10. 

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