Susan Stephens

Reporter, All Things Considered Host

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

Saturday, March 31st was a pretty magical day for Chuck Jefferson -- dozens of his friends and colleagues gathered to honor the former state representative from Rockford, a library was named after him,  and it was his birthday.

Jefferson, a Democrat, represented the 67th district from 2001 until his retirement in 2014. Before that, he was a long-time member of the Winnebago County Board.  

He's also been a strong supporter of the  Booker Washington Center, a historic African-American community center on Rockford's southwest side. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

An immigration lawyer from Rockford will take on incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger in the race for the 16th Congressional district this fall.

Sara Dady beat three other candidates to win the Democratic nomination. She says her first priority, now that the primary is over, is to get Kinzinger to commit to at least four debates.

As for issues, Dady says, “I know, as a businesswoman, we need universal health care in this country. Not only did I lose my mother because she didn’t have access to health care, I know the burden that it is on small businesses.”

wchd.org

Leaders in education, social services, and government in Winnebago County are trying to work together on a common thread they see running through their community’s biggest challenges – trauma. 

League of Women Voters

A bill in the Illinois legislature would help friends and family members take action when they see warning signs that could lead to gun violence.

The House could take up the Lethal Violence Order of Protection Act this week. It has already passed the Senate. It would allow courts to temporarily take away guns from people found to be a danger to themselves or others.

The League of Women Voters of Illinois supports the measure. League president Bonnie Cox says—as a therapist—she sees it as a tool that could save lives.

Olson Funeral & Cremation Services

Memorial services will be held Friday for Christopher and John Ruckman. The young brothers were shot to death in their Rockford-area home last week.

Their father, Rock Valley College Prof. P.S. Ruckman, also was found dead in the home they shared in unincorporated Winnebago County. Winnebago County Coroner Bill Hintz says they each died from a single gunshot to the head, and the father’s wound appeared to be self-inflicted.  

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