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

The Evergreen Village flood mitigation project is now in the demolition phase. According to DeKalb County Planning Director Paul Miller, there are several parts to this, including the removal of asbestos on more than a dozen homes.

Miller says demolition of mobile homes has been underway since October. Approximately 40 units have been removed.  The county is working toward having the site cleared and cleaned by the end of May 2015.

submitted by Rick Bellairs

This is the first year Groundhog Day will go on without Harold Ramis.

More than two decades ago, the famed movie director chose Woodstock, Illinois to shoot his 1993 comedy "Groundhog Day" starring Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell.

Ramis died Feb 24. 2014, at the age of 69.

Rick Bellairs is with the Woodstock Groundhog Days Committee. He was also an extra in the movie. Bellairs says, because of Ramis, the Woodstock town square is recognizable around the world.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Members of the Kishwaukee College Education Association (KCEA) voted Wednesday to ratify their tentative agreement with Kishwaukee College. The college's Board of Trustees followed suit less than two hours later, unanimously approving the contract.

Bargaining teams from both sides agreed to this tentative agreement during an all-day bargaining session called on Jan. 19th. 

This week's inauguration of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner marks a change in leadership for lawmakers and employees at state agencies. But it's also a big transition for people who will deal with the new governor in a very different capacity over the next four years: political cartoonists.

Scott Stantis draws political cartoons for the Chicago Tribune. He says Bruce Rauner has very identifiable features.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Training a new generation of effective leaders often involves mentoring through a shared passion. It involves someone with a strong skill set who is willing to help someone else feel the spark. We begin our occasional series "Pass the Torch" on the basketball court.

"If she wasn't competing, she was real interested in what the others were doing."

Assistant Athletic Director Steve Erwin coached Nichols-Hogle in track at Woodstock High School, but she is still known in the halls today for her achievements in basketball.

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.

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:


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.


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.