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.


3:32 pm
Fri April 26, 2013

Freeport Resident Raises Funds For Historic Monument

Civil War Monument in Freeport
Jenna Dooley WNIJ

Ron Werntz is a man on a mission.  Werntz has taken it upon himself to raise donations to restore the Civil War monument outside of the Stephenson County Courthouse in Freeport.  Werntz says when county officials  made it clear there was no public funds in the budget for restoration, he started urging local residents and private companies to pitch in.

The monument was finished in 1869. Nature has taken its toll on the 70-foot structure. The facade is crumbling, but Werntz says it's even worse:

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Orange Bowl
10:09 am
Thu April 25, 2013

NIU Made Profit From Orange Bowl

NIU's Convocation Center turns orange during a pep rally before the Orange Bowl on Jan. 1
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University athletic officials have reported a $253,780 profit from the Jan. 1 Orange Bowl in Florida. The MAC conference distributed $1.3 million. Expenses for NIU totaled around $1 million.

Donna Turner, NIU Associate Athletic Director for Communications, says there was a net gain due to the agreements made with the Mid-American Conference and the effective management of expenses.

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Flood 2013
5:25 am
Thu April 25, 2013

DNR: Watch Out For Displaced Wildlife

Eastern Wild Turkey
Credit University of Illinois Extension

Flooding displaces residents, but it can also have an impact on wildlife.  It's nesting time for many Illinois water fowl and wild turkey populations. Tim Schweizer with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources says wildlife officials don't intervene during times of flood:

"Fortunately they can re-nest once the floods go down. We shouldn't see any long-term impacts."

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Election 2013
4:43 am
Tue April 23, 2013

Officials Still Trying To Fill Vacancy After Deceased Candidate Defeats Incumbent

Joe Boyer
Credit Journal Standard obituary photo

When voters went to the polls last month, a majority chose Joe Boyer for Rock Run Township highway commissioner.  He passed away March 1. Stephenson County Clerk Vici Otte says by the time her office was made aware of the death, absentee voting had already started:

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6:11 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Farmers Turn To Crop Insurance After Drought

Credit USDA

Last year's drought continues to weigh on farmers. That's according to Doug Yoder with the Illinois Farm Bureau. He oversees risk management. March 15th was the deadline to buy crop insurance for corn and soybeans. He expects more than 80 percent of Illinois corn will be covered by some type of crop insurance and 79 percent of soybeans. Yoder doesn't expect the extreme conditions like last year:

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Toni Keller Case
6:34 am
Thu April 4, 2013

Opinions Differ On Curl Plea Deal

William Curl

In a plea deal reached with DeKalb County prosecutors, William Curl will serve 37 years for the murder of Toni Keller. The NIU freshman art major was found murdered near campus in 2010.

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Toni Keller case
11:43 am
Wed April 3, 2013

Curl Agrees To 37 Years In Prison

Jenna Dooley

William Curl has agreed to spend the next 37 years in prison under a special plea agreement where he acknowledged that he could be convicted of murdering Northern Illinois University freshman Antinette "Toni" Keller, even though he maintains he is innocent.

Curl, DeKalb County State’s Attorney’s Richard Schmack and DeKalb County Public Defender Tom McCulloch conferred with Judge Robbin Stuckert on Tuesday to make the arrangements, which were finalized this morning.

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6:28 am
Wed March 27, 2013

DeKalb Library Launches Expansion Campaign

Haish Memorial Library on Oak St., DeKalb
Credit DeKalb Public Library

UPDATE: The state of Illinois increased the grant from $8.5 million to $11.6 million

The new campaign is called From Barbed Wire to Fully Wired. Library Director Dee Coover envisions a facility of the future with open rooms, up-to-date technology, and plenty of meeting spaces. Taxpayers will help pay for the expansion.

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Community Close-Up 2013
6:23 am
Tue March 26, 2013

Freeport Leader Promotes Ambitious Learning Model

Jenna Dooley/pixlr

We continue our “Community Close-Up” series with a proposed change to the educational structure in Freeport. 

At Center Elementary School, some third grade students each have what are called “choice boards.” They get to choose when they will do each activity during the week, and then highlight each box when they complete a task.

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6:24 am
Wed March 13, 2013

Sociologist's View: Same-Sex Marriage

Sociologist Robert Hironimus-Wendt
Credit WIU

The Illinois House may vote on a measure to make same-sex marriage legal in the state.  The state's consideration comes amid a national conversation about gay marriage.  The U.S. Supreme Court will hear two key cases regarding same-sex marriage on March 26 and 27. At both government levels, the debate involves the effect of same-sex marriage on families, and how they are viewed in society.

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