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.


5:21 am
Tue June 25, 2013

More Sites Added To Summer Food Program

A Rockford volunteer distributes free meals in 2012
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The Illinois State Board of Education says children and teens will be able to get free meals at more locations this summer. An extra 200 sites have been added to the list of places where children can get free meals during the hottest months of the year. There are now more than 2,000 locations in Illinois.

Summer Meals Illinois: FIND A SITE


Text "FOODIL" to 877877 for sites near you.

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Illinois Veterans
6:09 am
Thu June 13, 2013

Making It Count: Earning Credit For Military Experience

Credit Rich Bennett

Veterans Work Through A Sometimes Cumbersome Process To Claim College Credit

Rich Bennett spent a year in Afghanistan as an infantryman with the U.S. Army. As part of his training, he was taught the county’s main language, Pashto.

“When I took the class, they said this will fill your Bachelor of Arts requirement for your language," said Bennett.

The course involved 420 hours of instruction. He received a certificate of completion from the Defense Language Institute for the training at Ft. Campbell, Kentucky.

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8:49 am
Wed June 12, 2013

Hundreds Of Layoffs Possible in Northern Illinois

Credit DCEO

The Illinois Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification (WARN) Act requires business enterprise employers to provide 60 days advance notice of pending plant closures or mass layoffs.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE: More Than 1,700 Illinois Workers Warned In May Of Layoffs

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12:38 pm
Thu June 6, 2013

Rockford Diocese Addresses Boy Scout Policy Change

Diocese of Rockford Bishop David J. Malloy
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The Catholic Diocese of Rockford is asking churches to continue to keep charters with the Boy Scouts of America. Currently, 42 scouting units are sponsored by Catholic parishes or organizations within the Rockford Diocese.

CHICAGO TRIBUNE:Statement Comes After Crystal Lake Church Severed Ties Because Of Policy Change

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6:30 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Federal Lawmakers Urge Rockford Leaders To Work Together On Crime

(Left) Rep. Cheri Bustos (Center) U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (Right) Winnebago State's Attorney Joe Bruscato
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin and Congresswoman Cheri Bustos visit Rockford to assess surge in criminal activity

Rockford-area officials are trying to get on the same page to fight crime. They met with lawmakers this week to discuss the scope of the problem.

"We can't continually keep arresting people because if arresting alone would solve the problem, we wouldn't have a crime problem. We have to look at evidence-based programs around the country." -Rockford Police Chief Chet Epperson

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Rita Crundwell
4:50 am
Thu May 16, 2013

Government Finishes Sale of Crundwell Assets

Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

U.S. Marshals Service Says Selling Crundwell's Assets Was Not All "Smooth Sailing"

Federal marshals have now liquidated all of the known assets of Rita Crundwell, the former Dixon comptroller who admitted to embezzling nearly $53 million from the city.

Last week, marshals sold Crundwell’s final three assets, including two vehicles and a trailer. That sale brought in about $36,000.

Crundwell was sentenced in February to 19.5 years in federal prison.

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Community Close-Up 2013
6:12 am
Tue May 14, 2013

Earlville: 150 Years And Counting

Jenna Dooley/pixlr WNIJ

This is an important year for the farming community of Earlville, Illinois.  Residents are preparing for the town’s Sesquicentennial. 

Think there's nothing to do in Earlville on a Friday night? Think again.

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4:06 am
Mon May 13, 2013

After Soggy Spring, Planting Underway In Illinois Fields

Credit DeKalb County Farm Bureau

DeKalb County farmers are finally getting a chance to plant corn. April was too wet and cold to start the process, but things are looking up for May.

Interactive Corn Planting Map

DeKalb County Farm Bureau spokeswoman Mariam Wassmann says mid-April is the ideal time to get corn in the ground followed by soybeans in May. Farmers are just getting a good start now.

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3:55 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Marseilles Dealing With Aftermath Of Flooding

The Illinois River Flows Through A Marseilles Neighborhood (Taken April 2013)
Credit Guy Stephens / WNIJ

JoEllen Fuller laughs nervously when asked how last month's floods damaged her school.

"Oh Boy. It was horrible. It was just devastating. The clean-up process is in full swing, everything has been removed. We just have a shell." - Marseilles Supt. JoEllen Fuller

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6:05 am
Thu May 2, 2013

Area Lawmakers React To Sequester

In 2011, Congress passed a law saying that,  if they couldn’t agree on a deficit reduction plan, then automatic across-the-board budget cuts would take effect. That deadline came and went.

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