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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Laurent House Update
4:47 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Rockford Frank Lloyd Wright Home Now On National Register

Detail of lamp inside the Laurent House, the only house Frank Lloyd Wright designed for wheelchair access.
Susan Stephens

Laurent House Opening Date Set

Good news came in twos today for Rockford's Laurent House, the only home Frank Lloyd Wright designed specifically for wheelchair accessibility. The house has been named to the National Register of Historic Places. And the Laurent House Foundation, the not-for-profit group that purchased the home earlier this year, has announced the date it will open as a museum -- June 8th, 2013, Wright's 146th birthday.

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State of the University
10:10 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Reaction To NIU President's Planned Exit

Northern Illinois University’s long-time president is stepping down at the end of the academic year. John Peters made the announcement at his annual State of the University address Thursday. 

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Rockford Airport
5:08 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Bad News, Sun-Seekers: No RFD To RSW This Season

flyrfd.com

Plans to offer flights from Rockford to southwest Florida have fallen through. Chicago-Rockford International Airport director Mike Dunn announced Wednesday that after long and intense negotiations, the airport will NOT be able to provide service to Fort Myers this travel season. 

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Prison Closings
3:38 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Judge Extends Order To Keep Two Illinois Prisons Open

Susan Stephens WNIJ

An Illinois judge is citing "safety concerns" in his order keeping Governor Pat Quinn from moving forward with plans to close two Illinois prisons.

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Arts
4:03 am
Fri September 28, 2012

Fifty Years Of Old-School Country At WLUV

WLUV AM, Loves Park.
Susan Stephens WNIJ
  • WLUV feature, including an interview with station founder Joe Salvi. Music by Tiger Johnson and Bunny Berigan.

Travel down the long dirt driveway leading to WLUV just north of Rockford and you’ll find yourself in a different time and maybe even a different place. Not much has changed at the tiny AM country radio station since it signed on the air 50 years ago this weekend. 

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Dixon Comptroller
8:29 am
Tue September 25, 2012

Crundwell Horse Auction Nets Nearly $5-Million

Gabe Deckard of Marshall, IL makes friends at Rita Crundwell's horse auction.
Susan Stephens WNIJ
  • Rita Crundwell horse auction, extended feature.

A  two-day horse auction in Dixon has netted nearly five million dollars, according to a U.S. Marshals Service representative. More than 300 of Rita Crundwell’s horses were sold Sunday and Monday. The former Dixon comptroller is accused of stealing more than 53-million dollars from the city. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens has more from Monday’s auction at Crundwell’s horse farm.

Rita Crundwell Case
2:36 pm
Thu September 20, 2012

Grand Jury Indicts Ex-Comptroller On 60 Counts

Lee County State's Attorney Henry Dixon announces state charges against former Dixon comptroller Rita Crundwell.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

Former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell now faces more charges related to missing city funds.

Lee County State's Atty. Henry Dixon announced this afternoon that a grand jury has indicted Crundwell on 60 felony theft counts, said to have taken place between January 19, 2010, and April 16, 2012. Each count accuses her of stealing more than $100,000 from the city while serving as comptroller.

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Sports
3:49 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Cougars Become Cubs In Minor League Baseball Shake-Up

kccougars.com

It’s official. The Kane County Cougars are now affiliated with the Chicago Cubs.

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Arts
1:00 am
Thu September 13, 2012

Artists and Mentors Shine in DeKalb's 'Penguin Project'

Susan Stephens WNIJ

Tonight, the curtain rises on an elaborate production of the Disney musical “Beauty and the Beast Junior” at DeKalb High School. The sets are in place, the costumes are ready, and the 70 actors have been practicing their lines and moves all summer. But this isn’t your typical high school production. This is The Penguin Project

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Search For Rockford Murder Suspect
5:31 pm
Tue September 11, 2012

Rockford Manhunt Called Off: Murder Suspect Still At-Large

Illinois State Police


Two Rockford parks were closed and three schools were on “soft” lockdown today as police searched for a murder suspect. 


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