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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Rockford
9:48 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Rockford's New Library Director Has Full Plate

Credit Rockford Public Library

The new executive director of the Rockford Public Library is just a week into the job, but she's already got a major project ahead of her.

Lynn Stainbrook previously led the Brown County Library in Green Bay, Wisconsin. There will be plenty of decisions to make in Rockford.  The main library sits on the site of a former gas plant. Coal tar was stored underground. Over time, it seeped into the soil. ComEd is in charge of contamination removal.

But you can't just move a library without some planning.

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Rochelle
12:06 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Complaints Claim Unsafe Conditions At Nippon Sharyo

Credit WNIJ

A Chicago labor group held a news conference Monday afternoon to speak out about unsafe working conditions at Rochelle's Nippon Sharyo plant.  The Chicago Federation of Labor and the group Jobs to Move America point to two recent complaints filed with OSHA.

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Election 2014
10:50 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Bustos Claims 17th Congressional District

The 17th Congressional District will stay in Democratic hands.

The district covers urban and rural areas of the Quad-Cities, Peoria, and portions of Rockford.

Bustos told supporters she and Schilling had a different vision and values, but credited him with running a campaign with passion and spirit.

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Election 2014
5:00 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Early Voting Strong In Northern Illinois

Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Close races, ballot questions, and even football may be the reasons behind strong early voting numbers in Illinois this year.

Jo Ann Carretto is the LaSalle County Clerk. She says early voting is up by a few hundred votes compared to four years ago, but not quite as high as it was for the 2012 presidential election.

Part of the reason, she says, could be a few close races in the county. Voters will also get to weigh in on the minimum wage. Carretto says there was a line of people waiting to vote Sunday afternoon.

"We processed 134 voters in three hours."

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Election 2014
5:25 am
Fri October 24, 2014

Illinois Statehouse Races: Much At Stake

Chris Mooney directs the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. He says the main issue that should face the next General Assembly is the budget.

Chicago Tribune: General Assembly Candidate Questionnaires

Mike Jacobs is a Democrat who was appointed to the Senate in 2005. Challenger Neil Anderson is a Quad-Cities area firefighter who supports term limits.

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Election 2014
4:52 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Early Voting Resumes in Rockford After Error

Early voting resumed after a delay because of a second ballot error in less than a week.

According to the Rockford Board of Election Commissioners,  a ballot certification error by Winnebago County led the City of Rockford Board of Elections to temporarily suspend early voting from noon to 1:40 p.m. while a ballot solution was determined. Voters were provided a special instruction sheet regarding the Winnebago County Forest Preserve race.

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Education/Race
5:00 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Scholar: Discussion Of Race Remains Critical Issue In America

Credit NIU College of Education

Susan Glisson is the Executive Director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation based at the University of Mississippi. The group focuses on community building and youth engagement to support racial equity. She is among the speakers Tuesday night for an academic symposium. The topic is "Freedom '64: Education, Activism, and Civil Rights in America."

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Environment
5:00 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Air Monitoring Continues At Cortland Elementary

Credit Google Maps

Some Cortland Elementary parents are still concerned about the air quality of the school. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit after dozens were sickened by a landfill odor in January. In September, Waste Management agreed to pay costs associated with the incident.

"In my eyes, nothing has changed, except maybe greater risk that there is more garbage coming in and that there is more construction going on over at the dump," mother Katie Bryant said.

She is now homeschooling her two children who previously attended Cortland Elementary.

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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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Illinois
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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