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.

Ways To Connect

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. 


A longtime faculty member in Northern Illinois University's Department of Accountancy has died. Debra Hopkins, 62, directed the university's CPA Review Program for over two decades. She retired in 2012. A spokesman for NIU confirms Hopkins was the victim of a vehicle crash Monday in Winnebago County.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Video gaming continues to grow in popularity across Illinois. Over the past year, the number of video gaming terminals statewide more than doubled. 

                                                              July 2013                                  July 2014

# Video Gaming Terminals                8,808                                             17,954

Amount Played (statewide)                $328,506,879.49                        $690,954,389.52

Stephenson County Historical Society

The 1933 film "Man's Castle" stars Spencer Tracy and Loretta Young. It's a lesser-known Tracy flick about a homeless woman who falls for his gruff character.

The movie will be shown during this weekend's third annual Spencer Tracy Film Festival at Freeport's Lindo Theatre.  

Why Freeport? Festival organizer Ed Finch says there's a link.

Office of the State of Illinois Comptroller

Vendors who are waiting on money from the state of Illinois have a new way to check on their payments.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka took to social media to unveil her office’s new mobile app.

The loan repayment between Dixon's fire chief and Rita Crundwell has been satisfied, with interest compounded, to the satisfaction of the U.S. government. According to Lynzey Donahue, a spokesperson with the U.S. Marshals Service, the money from Timothy and Diane Shipman will be applied "in partial satisfaction to the restitution order issued by the U.S. District Court in United States v. Crundwell." 

The repayment, along with other money recently recovered, will be transferred to the city of Dixon.

Middle school students from around northern Illinois are learning how to express themselves through video games. You can find them tucked away in Northern Illinois University's Founders Memorial Library.

This week, these kids are learning about creating virtual worlds. It's one of several programming camps held at NIU's Digital Convergence Lab each summer. They vary from basic to advanced.

One camper described the character in the world he created as "a giant squid with a Death Star monocle."

Summer construction is in full swing on the campus of Northern Illinois University. Workers lay bricks around residential buildings, and construction fences bar pedestrians from many walkways. More noticeable are several big ticket projects that are intended to make the campus more student-friendly. 

There's always some sprucing up before the new school year, so what is different this year? Money.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Saturday's groundbreaking for a $24 million dollar library expansion can't come soon enough for Dee Coover. The library director walked into her office this week to sweltering temperatures. She called to get the problem fixed and heard a familiar refrain from workers.

"It's been remodeled several times so everything is in the way of what I am trying to work on. It's just that everything is old...antiquated," said service technician Chad Phund.

He's been called to the to 80-year-old building several times to "put band-aids on band-aids."

N'Jema McIntyre

DeKalb Mayor John Rey delivered his second "State of the City" address Tuesday. His focus was the future of the city and the role of Northern Illinois University. He says he continues to work with NIU President Doug Baker's leadership team to find ways to make DeKalb more attractive to prospective students and residents.