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

Two Wisconsin lawmakers say they are looking into changing state law to prevent a proposed railroad project from forcing people to sell their land. The Great Lakes Basin Railroad would swing 261 miles through Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin in an attempt to relieve train congestion in the Chicago area. The proposal has infuriated many landowners in the region who don’t want to be forced to sell portions of their property to the private company under eminent domain. Wisconsin State Rep. Mark...

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Northern Illinois University campus community got a look Monday at the next phase of a plan that will shape the campus for years to come. It’s called Program Prioritization, and it’s a review of all academic and administrative programs at NIU. President Doug Baker and Provost Lisa Freeman released their responses to task force reports that came out in May. Note: these documents in the links are only available to NIU staff at this time. The in-depth evaluation of all university functions...

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Imagine an object that could help some students improve their attendance. Other students will learn leadership skills. Still others will discover how to become valuable employees some day. And everyone smells better. That object? A basket of laundry. A humble chore is changing lives in one high school. Beloit Memorial High School looks a lot like the old factories that sprawl across this city just north of the Illinois/Wisconsin border. It’s huge. Nearly three-quarters of its students are...

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

About 100 people packed a meeting room this weekend at Midway Village Museum in Rockford to talk about the realities of racism in their community. It’s part of a year-long collaboration between the Rockford Register Star and WNIJ. The Register Star’s executive editor Mark Baldwin says the idea behind the discussion is to bring people together for a thoughtful, productive conversation. People can look each other in the eye, not just type at each other on social media. A number of people in the...

Rockford Register Star

Assembling a police force that “looks like the community” is an important goal for many American cities. But it can be a slow process. 11% of Rockford’s police force is black, compared to 21% of the overall population. Today, we continue our series “Race in the Rock River Valley” by looking at how diversity affects police operations. It’s part of a year-long collaboration with the Rockford Register Star. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens spoke with reporter Chris Green about his story “Being Black and...

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