Jenna Dooley

WNIJ Morning Edition Producer/Reporter

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 Recording Secretary for the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.


5:47 am
Tue November 5, 2013

Municipal League Continues Push For Pension Overhaul

Credit IML

Loves Park Mayor Darryl Lindberg has a new title with the Illinois Municipal League. As President, he says the organization is looking to lawmakers to make changes to the state's pension systems. Lindberg says the group has not put its support behind any one plan, but still wants lawmakers to act. That includes the work being done by a bipartisan pension panel:

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Arts in Rockford
6:37 am
Mon November 4, 2013

Rockford Dance Groups Rely On Innovation And Collaboration

Performers from "Bold Moves"
Credit Rockford Dance Company

We continue our series on the arts in Rockford on a slightly different beat-- dance. 

A group of women gather Tuesday mornings in a Rockford Dance Company studio for a class on the basics of tap dancing. Instructor Theresa Sinks says the class is open to all ages and abilities and is part of a focus on improving wellness in Rockford.

“It’s not just the five-year-old in tutus. It can be people well into their adult lives.” - Theresa Sinks, instructor, Rockford Dance Company

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1:13 pm
Fri October 25, 2013

Rockford Conference Aimed At Women Veterans


Women veterans make up the fasting growing demographic of veterans in Illinois. There are currently 67,000 women veterans in Illinois, accounting for 8.8 percent of the state's veteran population. That is expected to grow to 15 percent by 2035. This weekend, they are invited to attend the Northern Illinois Conference for Women Veterans.

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4:12 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Freeport Mayor Reacts To Unsolved Murders

Credit city of Freeport

Freeport police are investigating three unsolved murders from this year. Mayor Jim Gitz calls the unsolved crimes "anomalies." But he says there are ways the police force is trying to build trust within neighborhoods to prevent future crimes.

"It is a very big deal when Freeport has a homicide," Gitz said. "People know what happened...but they are reluctant to come forward."

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4:03 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Boone Co. Health Director Defends Raises

The Boone County health board recently approved thousands of dollars in raises for department staff. The financial manager received a 55 percent pay increase.

Individual administrators determined who received specific pay bumps.

Boone County health administrator Cynthia Frank came to the department in 2011. She says a market study of comparable salaries was long overdue.

"It was tough, but I am glad that we could reward them by saying 'You know what? We figured out that you're being underpaid and we can rectify that situation," Frank said.

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Federal Shutdown
6:13 am
Thu October 10, 2013

NIU Prof: Shutdown Impacts Antarctic Research

NIU geologist Ross Powell is in a holding pattern. Powell and NIU geology professor Reed Scherer were scheduled to leave for Antarctica in December. Powell is leading the second field season of a study of the continent's ice shelf. Those plans are on hold as the federal government shutdown continues. The project is supported by the National Science Foundation. 

The number of project members had already been scaled back earlier this year due to the federal sequester.

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Part Two
6:24 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Flowing Fuels: Monitoring Illinois Pipelines

Construction of Flanagan South Pipeline in Livingston County, Illinois
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

We wrap-up our series on "Flowing Fuels" with a look at who is responsible for inspecting pipelines in Illinois. 

In August, a fuel pipeline in Erie, Ill., exploded under a cornfield, sending flames hundreds of feet into the air. Dozens of people were evacuated. The pipeline was carrying a mix of ethane and propane. The blast is still under investigation and raises questions about who monitors pipelines that flow just beneath the surface.

The short answer: it depends.

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Part One
6:30 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Flowing Fuels: New Pipeline Carries Oil, Brings Lawsuits

Jenna Dooley WNIJ

Construction is underway on a new oil pipeline that will carry Canadian oil across several states. The line will begin in Illinois. 

In this report, you'll hear about the potential benefits and concerns with the project.

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Government Shutdown
4:24 am
Wed October 2, 2013

Shutdown Means Delay For Illinois Job Reports

The Illinois Department of Employment Security temporarily laid off about 20 employees  funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to a spokesman for IDES, these individuals essentially make up the department's economic forecasting unit. Employment reports, such as job creation numbers and unemployment rates at the state, regional and local levels, will not occur until federal funding is restored.

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4:32 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Emergency Crews Respond To Man Found Unconscious In Manhole

Lifeline Helicopter - file photo
Credit OSF St. Anthony

DeKalb-area emergency crews responded Monday night to a 47-year-old man who was found unconscious in a manhole. The incident happened around 6:00 p.m. at Illini Farms in Kingston. 

According to a release from the the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office, the unidentified man was extricated from the manhole which was about 15-18 feet deep. Two other employees at the swine farm who tried to help the victim were assisted out and treated.

The victim was airlifted from the scene and taken to St. Anthony's Medical Center in Rockford.

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