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.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Supporters of President Donald Trump held a rally and expo in Rockford Tuesday to celebrate the first year of his presidency.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford's mayor and police chief met Tuesday with people who are calling for a federal investigation into the deaths of Officer Jaimie Cox and Eddie Patterson. Both were killed in the aftermath of a traffic stop Nov. 5.

The meeting was a result of a march on City Hall Monday by Patterson’s family and supporters, who fear the investigation is biased. Rev. Melvin Brown said he’s planning more protests because he doesn’t trust the Winnebago-Boone County Integrity Task Force to investigate fully.

Vicki Snyder-Chura / Rochelle Twp High School

One Rochelle-area teenager used the occasion of Veterans Day to honor his great-grandfather by sharing an important part of their family's history.

Rochelle Township High School Senior John Combs spent only a few Veterans Days with his great-grandfather, who died 11 years ago. But it could have been much worse for his family. Combs turned a class assignment into an opportunity to write an essay about his great-grandfather James Combs and how he was mistaken for a ghost during World War II.

Susan Stephens/WNIJ

The story of the nation’s largest case of municipal embezzlement finally hit the big screen in Illinois, with the debut of All the Queen’s Horses in Dixon.

The subject seemed irresistible for a filmmaker: a bottomless well of money, corruption at city hall, gold-plated extravagance -- and horses. But filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope had another reason for being drawn to the story of Rita Crundwell, Dixon’s former comptroller who stole nearly $54 million from her hometown.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The woman who blew the whistle on former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell received a national award this weekend. Kathe Swanson was Dixon’s city clerk when she discovered accounting irregularities in 2011, which eventually revealed that Crundwell stole more than $53 million from the city.

Swanson was presented the Ethical Courage Award by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy at a screening of the documentary All the Queen’s Horses, by filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope, who featured Swanson in her film.

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