Susan Stephens

WNIJ News Reporter/Producer

Susan’s parents should have known she’d end up in radio: her favorite toys were tape recorders, cameras, notepads, and books. Many years later, she’s an award-winning reporter at her favorite radio station. Formerly WNIJ’s News Director, she asked to return to the role of full-time reporter/anchor/utility player in 2010 (less paperwork, more reporting!). Her #1 goal is to tell the most compelling stories in the fewest words possible…all the better if a little humor can be thrown into the mix.  It should come as no surprise, then, that she can whip up a haiku for any occasion. She also enjoys the Detroit Tigers, learning pioneer skills (Gardening, canning, and the like. Just in case.), traveling with friends, and pretending she’s going to get around to playing her theremin.

U.S. Congress

We kick off a new series on WNIJ this morning: the Friday Forum. Today, we catch up with two members of the U.S. House from northern Illinois, just as the 115th Congress is getting underway. 

Republican Adam Kinzinger represents the 16th district, which stretches from the Wisconsin state line to the Indiana state line. It includes portions of Rockford, DeKalb, and Dixon. Democrat Cheri Bustos represents the 17th district. She just started her third term representing the western Illinois area that runs along the Mississippi River and reaches into portions of Rockford and Peoria.

Services for a long-time Rockford radio personality are being held Saturday. Mark Mayhew died Tuesday, one week before his 61st birthday. He had suffered a heart attack last week. 

Mayhew was a reporter and a talk show host with WNTA for 20 years, where he earned the nickname “Mr. Know-It-All.” Most recently, he was an assignment editor at WREX television.

U.S. Congress

 

U.S. Representative Cheri Bustos is one of a handful of Democrats considering a run for Illinois governor. She says although she was just sworn in for her third term in Congress, she'd give it up to run for governor – if she's the person most likely to beat incumbent Republican Bruce Rauner.  

 

Flickr user Edward Simpson / cc by 2.0

It’s the one night of the year Winnebago County residents are happy to find themselves in the back of a squad car – it’s the Sheriff’s department’s annual New Year’s Eve Ride Home program.

If you’re out at the bar, had a few too many drinks, and your designated driver has ditched you, calling the Sheriff’s department for a ride is not usually your first instinct.

Winnebago County Sheriff's Department

Winnebago County Sheriff’s deputies are guarding a man in a Rockford hospital. He’s suspected of killing a 16-year-old Machesney Park's Rebecca Finkenhofer and shooting her grandmother Tuesday night.

Michael Mernack, 36, was shot by Winnebago County sheriff’s deputies after they were called to a Machesney Park home. They say he was armed.

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