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.

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Tourists, Wife Were Big Factors
5:47 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

George Lucas Chooses Chicago For Museum Of Narrative Art

Jim Henson and George Lucas on the set of "Labyrinth" in 1986.
Credit public domain

"Star Wars" creator George Lucas has picked Chicago over San Francisco as the future site of his museum of art and movie memorabilia.

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Transform Rockford
5:59 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Lessons For Rockford In Federal Reserve's 'Industrial Cities Initiative'

Credit Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Ten industrial cities in the Midwest share lessons in economic recovery in a new report from the Chicago Federal Reserve. 

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"Lifetime of service"
8:17 am
Sat June 21, 2014

South Beloit's Mayor Dies At 68

South Beloit Mayor Mike Duffy
Credit South Beloit School District / southbeloitschooldistrict.org

South Beloit Mayor Mike Duffy has died at the age of 68. 

He was elected in 2011, following a four-decade career in education. He is being praised for a lifetime of public service, and a commitment to creating a comprehensive land use plan for the city.  

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NIU ethics investigation
8:15 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Report Sheds Light On NIU Ethics Probe

Credit NIU

A newly released report by the Illinois Inspector General’s office sheds some light on an ethics investigation at Northern Illinois University. 

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Tim Emmons Memorial Visitors Center
2:11 am
Fri June 20, 2014

New WNIJ/WNIU Visitor Center Honors Former General Manager

The Emmons family -- Jordan, Daniel, and Charlene Emmons and Amy Bradford -- attended the visitor center's dedication Thursday.
John Hill WNIJ

Family, friends, and community members joined Northern Public Radio Thursday evening to dedicate a portion of the station's DeKalb location to Tim Emmons, station manager from 1995 to 2012. 

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Laurent House
12:10 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Frank Lloyd Wright's "Little Gem" Opens This Weekend In Rockford

Kenneth Laurent's hat and gloves in the spot he always placed them in his Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

A small home is expected to attract big crowds in Rockford this weekend.  The Laurent House is the world’s newest Frank Lloyd Wright museum. 

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Free Range Radio
4:57 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Maya And Studs: The 1970 Interview

President Obama presents The Presidential Medal of Freedom to Maya Angelou in 2010.
Credit public domain

Her’s is a death that stopped us all in our tracks this week. Maya Angelou…she of 50 honorary degrees, the National Medal of Arts, the Presidential Medal of Freedom… had clearly led a full life. Who else could write SEVEN autobiographies? And die working on an eighth? 86 years… and our collective reaction when we heard the news this week said “too soon, too soon, Ms. Angelou.” 

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Legislature adjourns
4:46 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Senate Joins House in Passing Illinois' 2015 Budget

Credit Brian Mackey / WUIS

UPDATE: Lawmakers adjourned shortly after midnight, shortly after approving a billion dollar road construction program. The Illinois Senate joined the House in approving a 35.7-million dollar budget for 2015. Democrats acknowledge the budget is incomplete, and no Republicans supported it in Friday afternoon's Senate vote.

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Attorney General at NIU
5:15 am
Fri May 30, 2014

Stepping Up To Fight Consumer Fraud And ID Theft

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan speaks with reporters at Northern Illinois University.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Mountains of personal information have been stolen from some of the world’s largest corporations this year. That’s one of the reasons behind Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s push to educate local leaders on consumer fraud and ID theft

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NIU/DeKalb
5:33 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Neighborhood Group Questions Redevelopment Documents

Memorandum of Understanding - College Town Partners
Credit WNIJ

A DeKalb neighborhood group held a news conference this morning related to a proposed partnership between NIU, the city, and several local banks. A spokesperson for Preserve Our Neighborhoods says the confidential agreement was sent to the group anonymously. The document outlines the process of buying homes around John and Harrison streets for redevelopment.

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