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.


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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2013 Community Close-Up
5:43 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Socializing Comes Easy For Polo Senior Citizens

We continue our series "Community Close-Up" in a town known for its sense of adventure. The founder of Polo named it after Venetian explorer Marco Polo.  Today, the rural city of 2500 holds onto a strong bank of memories, thanks to longtime residents.

On a recent Tuesday, a dozen women gather for an hour-long exercise class inside the Polo Senior Center. They start with sitting exercises and bounce foam balls off of their knees.

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NIU Police
10:32 am
Wed August 28, 2013

Phillips Named New NIU Police Chief

Tom Phillips
Credit NIU

There have been several new faces around campus this year, including a new president, athletic director, and now police chief. 

Tom Phillips will start the job Sept. 16th.  Phillips has been deputy chief with the University of Chicago Police Department.

NIU President Doug Baker made the announcement Wednesday morning.

Phillips served in the Military Police Corps between 1987 and 1995 before moving to Chicago, where he briefly served as a special investigator for the City of Chicago’s Office of the Inspector General.

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6:17 am
Wed August 21, 2013

DeKalb Library Expansion Considers Needs Of Many

Current side entrance to the DeKalb Library. Under the current expansion plan, the building would be built out from this side.
Jenna Dooley WNIJ

DeKalb library officials are in the midst of designing a $24 million dollar expansion project. 

In the library of the future, there are plenty of electrical outlets for students to use laptops. Library staff ditch vacuum cleaners in favor of floors made from used tires. Busy moms are able to pick-up books without unstrapping the kids from the car.

These are all features being considered for the DeKalb Library expansion. The finish line is still a few years down the road, but planners are now designing the layout and trying to please as many patrons as possible.

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5:03 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Corn Fest Returns To Downtown DeKalb


Corn Fest is heading back to downtown DeKalb next weekend. For the past five years, Corn Fest has been held at the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport.

Another major change this year is the timing of the festival, which traditionally has coincided with NIU's new student move-in week.

Festival organizer Lisa Angel says going forward Corn Fest will continue to be held in the downtown, but will be scheduled for the week following NIU's move-in activities.

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Winnebago County
8:12 am
Wed August 14, 2013

A Closer Look At Winnebago County's Parole Population

Credit IDOC

Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson is criticizing the state Department of Corrections for not notifying him sooner that parolees were living in the city. The Rockford Register-Star reports DOC officials say they follow state law and notify city and county law enforcement agencies at least two weeks before a person is let out of prison.

RRSTAR: Department Of Corrections Defends Parolee Notification System

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2013 Spring Flooding
5:00 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Flooded School To Open In Time For New School Year

file photo from 2013 flooding in LaSalle Co.
Credit Guy Stephens

In May, JoEllen Fuller told WNIJ her school was just a shell.  She's the Superintendent of the Marseilles School District. The school sustained major damage during spring flooding.

"Dry wall had to be removed. If there was any kind of mold, it had to be removed. Everything has been thoroughly cleaned and disinfected," Fuller said.

After the flood, more than 600 students were displaced and moved to a local church and an old high school. Fuller says most students will be back in the main building by the time school starts August 21st.

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