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.

Pages

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.” 

Read more
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.

Read more
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

Read more
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.

Read more
Income tax hike kicked down the road?
5:50 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

House Approves 2015 Illinois Budget

Rep. Luis Arroyo, D-Chicago, presents budget legislation Tuesday in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Credit Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois House members went from “doomsday” to “middle-of-the-road” when they approved a scaled-back budget for 2015. 

Read more
National Train Day
4:26 pm
Sun May 11, 2014

Free Range Radio: All Aboard!

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It's time to ride the rails with Free Range Radio as we celebrate National Train Day.  

Read more
DeKalb County Community Gardens Project
6:00 am
Fri May 9, 2014

Connecting Communities With Plants: NIU's 'Communiversity' Gardens

DCCG's Heath Johnson and DeKalb Mayor John Rey on the verge of a handshake as NIU President Doug Baker looks on.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

It has been a big week for DeKalb County Community Gardens: the three year old not-for-profit won a 20-thousand dollar grant from the organics company Seeds for Change. And Thursday, they broke ground on the “Communiversity Garden,” a collaboration with Northern Illinois University.

Read more
Pension reform
2:59 am
Thu May 8, 2014

A Different Take On A State Pension Law Could Stop Flood Of Retirements

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

State university employees are rushing to retire because of last year’s state pension reform law. Now a new interpretation of that law indicates it may not drastically reduce pension amounts for some retirees  after all.

Read more
7 to 9 Schools on Chopping block
6:08 am
Tue May 6, 2014

Rockford Hearings On School Closings Are Underway

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford needs fewer, larger elementary schools. More modern classrooms. One early education center for each quadrant of the city. It’s all part of a $250 million plan to improve  every elementary school, except for the 7 to 9 targeted for closing. 

Read more
Public Input Wanted On Long-Term Plans
5:17 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Rockford School District Considers Closing At Least Seven Elementaries

White Swan Elementary School, one of at least seven schools that could close under plans by the Rockford School District.
Credit Rockford Public Schools / RPS205.com

The Rockford School District is looking at closing seven to nine elementary schools. The district currently has 35. 

Read more

Pages