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.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner kicked off a statewide tour Friday in Byron. He told reporters he was disappointed with the legislature's decision this week to approve a special election in 2016 to replace late Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Rauner says he would have preferred a constitutional amendment.

"I think they made a bad decision. I don't support it, but that's not one I want to really spend time fighting about. I want to focus on the priorities that really impact families," Rauner said.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Educators at Kishwaukee College could go on strike next week.

The Kishwaukee College Education Association recently filed an intent to strike. The action allows faculty to walk off the job as early as Jan. 16th if they do not reach a contract agreement with school administrators.  The filing with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board does not guarantee the faculty will strike, but it gives them the option.

Classes are still expected to start next Monday.

Education Association President Matt Read says both sides will also meet with a mediator on that day.

ilga.gov

Illinois lawmakers are due back in Springfield later this week. Outgoing Governor Pat Quinn called a special session on Jan. 8 to discuss an election to replace late comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

A legal analysis from Illinois’ Attorney General urged a special election in 2016. The special session is intended to get the ball rolling. Representative Bob Pritchard is a Republican from Hinckley. He says the goal of the extra meeting is costly, and in his opinion, unconstitutional:

IDNR

The archery season for deer and turkey continues into mid-January for some counties.  

Since 1999, Illinois state parks where hunting is available have opened their gates to people with disabilities.

KNIB

Imagine 30,000 Christmas trees all piled up next to each other. The group Keep Northern Illinois Beautiful says that's how many trees are recycled through their program each year. They are hosting their 27th annual tree recycling program with the help of local government sponsors. There are more than a dozen drop-off locations in Winnebago County.

Illinois DNR

Fracking.

You know it's controversial, but why that's the case may not be something that you can explain easily at a dinner party.

Besides, this is the Midwest. Isn't it a bigger deal out West?

Not exactly.  Illinois regulators and activists have been agonizing over state fracking rules because there's money to made underneath the ground in southern parts of the state ... and there are environmental concerns.

NIUHUSKIES.COM

The Northern Illinois University football team faces Marshall in Tuesday's inaugural Boca Raton Bowl. 

The Huskies claimed the Mid-American Conference championship earlier this month in Detroit. They head south for tonight's match-up. They will meet the Conference USA Champion Marshall Thundering Herd at FAU Stadium in Boca Raton Florida.

The Huskies enter the game with an 11-2 record. Marshall was 12-1 this season.

DCFS

A state audit finds an Illinois agency could do more to track runaways. 

The Illinois Auditor General finds the Department of Children and Family Services did not report the number of wards missing in a given year.

According to the report, the agency used daily lists of missing wards which showed about 230 wards were missing each day.

Flickr user Brent Hoard "ECU School of Education Class Room" (CC BY 2.0)

A new report outlines how Illinois school districts feel about state education services.

The Lieutenant Governor's office is required by law to direct a committee which approves a survey at least every three years. School districts provide anonymous feedback on the quality and importance of services provided by the state.

More than 350 districts filled out the most recent survey.

Read the report here.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell could be eligible to receive a large sum of money when she leaves prison. WNIJ's Jenna Dooley spoke with Sauk Valley Media's Matt Mencarini who has been reporting on the case.

He says Crundwell's attorney recently filed a motion in federal court arguing that her client should not have $90,565.86 in pension funds taken by the government.

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