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.

State of Illinois

Illinois’ budget impasse has forced a Rockford-area domestic violence shelter to turn away some victims and their families. Remedies Renewing Lives CEO Gary Halbach says the shelter serves more than 1,600 people each year dealing with domestic violence and another 1,800 for substance abuse. 

He says the organization is looking at dipping into reserves to cover costs.


The Winnebago County Health Department is investigating a pertussis outbreak. It’s associated with cases in Rockford Public Schools. The cases are in seven schools including Auburn and Jefferson high schools; West Middle School; and Carlson, Haskell, Riverdahl and West View elementary schools. The outbreak has affected at least two dozen people aged 2 to 42 years of age.

Todd Kisner, with the health department, says those affected are being treated with antibiotics.

Fall means harvest time in the Midwest.

Russel Higgins is a commercial agriculture educator with the University of Illinois Extension at the Northern Illinois Agronomy Research Center in Shabbona. As we walk through drying corn stalks, he points to several leaves with bumpy, brown spots.

It’s called tar spot, a disease found in Mexico and Central America. This is the first time he’s seen it in DeKalb County. Luckily, Higgins says it shouldn’t be a detrimental factor this late in the growing season.

U.S. Marshals Service

U.S. Marshals continue to search for assets of Dixon’s ex-comptroller Rita Crundwell. Those include winnings from horses she once owned and bred.

In 2012, Crundwell pleaded guilty to wire fraud, embezzling $53,740,394 from the city of Dixon.

“The Embezzler” and “She’s A Fancy Felon” are just a few of the horses named in an appendix of documents filed this week in the Northern District of Illinois court.  According to Jason Wojdylo, with the U.S. Marshals Service, the motion is specific to royalties that are due and payable to Crundwell for horses she once bred.

Jenna Dooley

September is Suicide Prevention Awareness Month.

Illinois health officials say suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in the state for young adults 15 to 34 years of age.

Northern Illinois University political science major Lisa Holland says those numbers are the reason members of the school’s chapter of Alpha Phi Omega have been advertising free hugs in the MLK Commons, an area with high student foot traffic.  

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: