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.


Illinois political obituary
12:32 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Former Congressman Phil Crane Dies

Congressman Phil Crane with President Bush and Congressman Bill Thomas.

Long-time Illinois Congressman Phil Crane has died. The Republican represented the far northwest suburbs for 35 years. 

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The Moth
11:04 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Free Range Radio: Veterans Day Storytelling Special

WASP pilot Dawn Seymour

We observe Veterans Day with stories. Stories straight from the mouths of military veterans. 

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Election 2014
1:39 am
Sat November 8, 2014

Rauner Thanks Rockford During Statewide Tour

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner, being interviewed by reporters at Giovanni's in Rockford.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner stopped in Rockford Friday during his statewide "thank you" tour. 

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Several northern Illinois appointments
6:05 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Republicans And Democrats Make Up Rauner's Diverse Transition Team

Lt. Governor-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti and Governor-elect Bruce Rauner

Update: Quotes, new information added.

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner has appointed his transition team: the group of advisers includes former Governor Jim Edgar, Congressman Aaron Schock, and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley. 

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Election 2014
2:04 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Rauner Wins, Governor Quinn Won't Concede

Republicans are in control of the governor's mansion in Illinois for the first time since 2003. But Democrat Pat Quinn isn't prepared to throw in the towel just yet. 

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Free Range Radio
7:41 pm
Sun November 2, 2014

Celebrating Wells, Welles, And 'War Of The Worlds'

Credit Michael Uhlenkott / via Southern California Public Radio

It was Halloween night, 1938. People were mesmerized, even terrified, by what they heard coming from their radios. The world was being attacked by invaders from space. 

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Election 2014
2:13 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Illinois Voters To Choose Constitutional Officers

Retired University of Illinois at Springfield Political Science professor Kent Redfield.
Credit UIS

There's more on your ballot than the races for Illinois Governor and U.S. Senate. Voters will choose their constitutional officers -- Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer. 

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Updated with identity of recorder
10:56 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Late Release Of Recording Makes Waves In IL-17

Heidi Schultz

UPDATE, 10/30/14

The man behind the recording that sparked the resignation of Congresswoman Cheri Bustos' top staffer has been identified. He's Austin Quick, a seminary student who worked for Bustos' opponent Bobby Schilling during his 2010 campaign. Quick is also a Northern Illinois University graduate who served as a Student Association Senator. He had a hand in several Republican candidates' campaigns, including State Representative Tom Demmer and U.S. Senator Mark Kirk. 

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Election 2014
5:09 am
Tue October 28, 2014

VP Biden Headlines Rockford Vote Rally For Democrats

Cheri Bustos, Dick Durbin, Pat Quinn, and VP Biden are the focus of cheers and a lot of cell phone pics at Monday's voters' rally.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Illinois Democrats got some high-powered help during a campaign rally Monday in Rockford. 


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Anti-Police Brutality march
6:02 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Protestors Carry Peace Message In Rockford

Rev. Dr. Matthew Johnson speaks to the crowd gathered Wednesday in front of the police station in Rockford.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

About 75 people sang, marched, and chalked messages on sidewalksWednesday night in downtown Rockford. Their protest was part of a national demonstration against police brutality.

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