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.

"shopping-cart-feral" by flick user r. nial bradshaw (CC BY 2.0)

The holiday shopping craze is now underway in cities across Illinois.

CherryVale Mall near Rockford is no exception.

Cherry Valley Police Chief Mike Neville says officers are keeping an eye out for shoplifters and parking lot skirmishes.

"Through our experience we have found, over the years, people will park in the fire lanes. What they are actually doing is they are sitting there waiting for their friends to come out of the mall with an armload of products they have taken from the store," Neville said.

Clean-up continues at a horse stable in Woodstock.

The fire killed 32 horses Saturday night at Valley View Acres. Five horses made it out to the pasture to safety.

Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Chief Paul DeRaedt says the fire is not considered "suspicious."

"After further investigation, we feel comfortable through our interviews, as well as information gathered from the scene, that the fire started in the area where the hay was stored at on the second floor of the barn."

NIU Today

A group of Northern Illinois University researchers are bound for Antarctica to study the effect of climate change on rising seawaters.

The trip was halted earlier this year due to the partial government shutdown.

It's a green light now.

Rockford Public Library

The new executive director of the Rockford Public Library is just a week into the job, but she's already got a major project ahead of her.

Lynn Stainbrook previously led the Brown County Library in Green Bay, Wisconsin. There will be plenty of decisions to make in Rockford.  The main library sits on the site of a former gas plant. Coal tar was stored underground. Over time, it seeped into the soil. ComEd is in charge of contamination removal.

But you can't just move a library without some planning.


A Chicago labor group held a news conference Monday afternoon to speak out about unsafe working conditions at Rochelle's Nippon Sharyo plant.  The Chicago Federation of Labor and the group Jobs to Move America point to two recent complaints filed with OSHA.

The 17th Congressional District will stay in Democratic hands.

The district covers urban and rural areas of the Quad-Cities, Peoria, and portions of Rockford.

Bustos told supporters she and Schilling had a different vision and values, but credited him with running a campaign with passion and spirit.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Close races, ballot questions, and even football may be the reasons behind strong early voting numbers in Illinois this year.

Jo Ann Carretto is the LaSalle County Clerk. She says early voting is up by a few hundred votes compared to four years ago, but not quite as high as it was for the 2012 presidential election.

Part of the reason, she says, could be a few close races in the county. Voters will also get to weigh in on the minimum wage. Carretto says there was a line of people waiting to vote Sunday afternoon.

"We processed 134 voters in three hours."

Chris Mooney directs the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois. He says the main issue that should face the next General Assembly is the budget.

Chicago Tribune: General Assembly Candidate Questionnaires

Mike Jacobs is a Democrat who was appointed to the Senate in 2005. Challenger Neil Anderson is a Quad-Cities area firefighter who supports term limits.

Early voting resumed after a delay because of a second ballot error in less than a week.

According to the Rockford Board of Election Commissioners,  a ballot certification error by Winnebago County led the City of Rockford Board of Elections to temporarily suspend early voting from noon to 1:40 p.m. while a ballot solution was determined. Voters were provided a special instruction sheet regarding the Winnebago County Forest Preserve race.

NIU College of Education

Susan Glisson is the Executive Director of the William Winter Institute for Racial Reconciliation based at the University of Mississippi. The group focuses on community building and youth engagement to support racial equity. She is among the speakers Tuesday night for an academic symposium. The topic is "Freedom '64: Education, Activism, and Civil Rights in America."