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.

Illinois DNR

Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is a fatal neurological disease threatening white-tailed deer. It was first documented in Illinois in 2002 near Roscoe. There have been more than 500 cases since then.

CWD has become established in areas near the Fox and Illinois rivers, and more recently in Stephenson and Ogle counties in northern Illinois. Doug Dufford is the state’s Wildlife Disease Program Manager, and says the infection rate in Illinois is about 1 percent.


Money is on the way to prevent drug deaths in Illinois.

According to a state news release, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded the State of Illinois a $3.6 million dollar grant to prevent overdose deaths related to prescription opioids.

This funding will support Illinois over the next four years to improve safe prescribing practices.

It is also intended to help track heroin-related deaths.

Wisconsin also received grant money from the program.

In light of recent violence toward random victims and police officers, the DeKalb police department wants the community to know about the "I've Got Your Back" campaign. It didn't take long for the Facebook universe to respond. As as 9/3/15, the Facebook post on the campaign had nearly 1,000 shares and 1,400 "likes."

Activists in the Black Lives Matter movement recently published a 10-point plan to reduce police violence. Rockford leaders are responding to the proposal.

It’s called "Campaign Zero." National activists want stronger guidelines limiting the use of force. They also want to ban police quotas for tickets and arrests, and end the sale of military weapons to police forces.

Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey:


Rockford students will be able to earn an NIU engineering degree without leaving the city.

The partnership announced Monday allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in electrical or mechanical engineering, as well as applied manufacturing from Northern Illinois University at the Rock Valley College campus.

Promod Vohra, Dean, College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, says the arrangement opens up new opportunities for Rockford’s young people:

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Thousands of Northern Illinois University students return to DeKalb this week.

A fleet of golf carts and 1,300 volunteers will greet nearly 3,000 residence hall students on Friday. Peak traffic usually takes place over the lunch hour.

For those trying to navigate the city that day, NIU Police Commander Donald Rodman has some advice:

Brian Mackey

Illinois Democrats and Governor Bruce Rauner remain at a standstill over a new state budget.

Governor Rauner has been pushing for several overhauls including term limits, restrictions on civil lawsuits, and a hold on local property taxes. On Monday, he tweaked a property tax freeze proposal to include increased state funding for struggling schools.

A pair of Rockford Register Star reporters recently investigated local graduation rates and GED completion numbers. The news is mixed.

Reporter Corina Curry recently found the Rockford School District experienced an increase of nearly 10 percentage points in graduation rates among minority students. That’s over the past three years. Last year, Hispanic students in Rockford matched the graduation rate of white students. 

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A fishing tournament this weekend is intended to remove thousands of pounds of Asian Carp from Illinois waterways.

The invasive fish threaten state ecosystems. Ed DeVries is president of the Bowfishing Association of Illinois. He says the fish grow quickly, and are difficult to catch.


According to the NOAA Storm Prediction Center, Illinois ranks fourth in the nation in the number of tornado reports in 2015.

Is this surprising news?

State climatologist Jim Angel says Illinois is usually in the top ten, but this ranking is a bit high compared to previous years at this time.

Northern Illinois experienced and EF-4 in April. That’s out of 64 reports.