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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Administrative Leave Ends In Firing
10:54 am
Wed February 20, 2013

Grady Out As NIU Police Chief

Former NIU Police Chief Donald Grady
Credit NIU

Northern Illinois University Police Chief Donald Grady has been fired.

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Bustos and Kinzinger in Rockford
5:21 am
Wed February 20, 2013

House Members: Sequestration Hits Home

U.S. House members Cheri Bustos and Adam Kinzinger talk about sequestration after a tour of SupplyCore in Rockford.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Members of Congress are back home instead of trying to work out a plan to avoid massive across-the-board cuts scheduled to take effect March 1st. Many are using the opportunity to show how sequestration will hurt the people who live and work in their districts. 

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Rita Crundwell Case
4:32 am
Fri February 15, 2013

Ex-Dixon Comptroller Gets 19.5 Years

Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Pedersen was lead prosecutor in the Rita Crundwell case.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell was sentenced today to serve 235 months -- 19 years and 7 months -- in prison on one federal count of wire fraud resulting from her embezzlement of more than $53 million in public funds from the City of Dixon.

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Dr. John Peters' thoughts on moving on
7:28 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Exclusive: NIU President Reflects on 2/14

Credit NIU Media Services

Northern Illinois University President John Peters stayed in his position at the school longer than he had planned so he could reach this day: the fifth anniversary of the shooting in Cole Hall, where five students were killed and 21 others were injured. 

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The Cole Hall Shootings
4:00 am
Thu February 14, 2013

NIU Remembers, Five Years Later

Cole Hall, five years later.
Credit Northern Illinois University

It was five years ago today that five Northern Illinois University students were murdered in a crowded classroom. 


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U of I College of Medicine at Rockford
5:22 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Dean Of Rockford's Medical School Resigning

Regional Dean Martin Lipsky to leave the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford March 7th.
Credit U of I College of Medicine at Rockford

The head of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford is moving on. Regional Dean Dr. Martin Lipsky announced his resignation today, after serving in the position for nearly a decade.

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Freeport Mayor's Race
3:10 am
Tue February 12, 2013

Four In Freeport Face Off In Citizen's, People's Primaries

George Gaulrapp, Jim Gitz, Bettye Corbin, and Jon Staben work to impress the voters at a mayoral candidates' forum at Highland Community College in Freeport.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Freeport residents packed a Highland Community College auditorium last night: they were there to hear from the four mayoral candidates they’ll choose from in the February 26th primary election. 

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Highlights and Reaction
5:35 am
Thu February 7, 2013

State Of The State 2013

Illinois lawmakers listen to Gov. Pat Quinn during his State of the State address on February 6, 2013
Credit Chris Slaby / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn gave his State of the State address this week. He repeatedly hammered a theme of political courage during his speech to the General Assembly.

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DeKalb Landfill Expansion
3:35 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Cortland Township Suit Against Landfill Stalls

Cortland Township electors vote on DeKalb landfill issues Thursday night.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

It was a long and contentious gathering in the Cortland Township maintenance garage last night: about 75 registered voters showed up to decide whether to take legal action to stop Waste Management’s planned landfill expansion there. 

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Poems recorded for WNIJ
6:44 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

Remembering Zen Poet And NIU Professor Lucien Stryk

Lucien Stryk
Credit Northern Illinois University

Internationally renowned poet, Lucien Stryk, died January 24th in London at the age of 88.  Stryk wrote and edited more than two dozen books, including collections of his poetry, and translations of Chinese and Japanese Zen poetry.  He also taught creative writing and Asian literature at Northern Illinois University from 1958 until he retired in 1991. 

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