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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Government
7:40 am
Sat April 21, 2012

Dixon reacts to comptroller arrest, media attention

The city of Dixon garnered the world’s attention this week with the arrest of the city’s comptroller. Rita Crundwell was charged in federal court with wire fraud, related to more than 3 million dollars missing from the city’s coffers since last Fall. Federal investigators also accuse her of embezzling more than 30-million dollars from the city over the past six years. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens has been following the story all week. She spoke with Jenna Dooley about the case and what she learned about the 58-year-old Dixon native while talking to people who know her.

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Update: Comptroller fraud
3:00 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Dixon city comptroller out of jail after arrest on federal fraud charges

Entrance to Rita Crundwell's horse farm near Dixon
Susan Stephens WNIJ

Read an interesting twist on this case at www.theatlanticcities.com

DIXON — Rita A. Crundwell, the Dixon city comptroller who was arrested Tuesday on a federal charge of defrauding the City of Dixon of more than $3.2 million in public funds since last fall, was released from federal custody Wednesday. Her freedom while she awaits trial, however, rests on a number of conditions agreed upon by her attorneys, federal prosecutors, and federal magistrate P. Michael Mahoney.

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Politics
3:04 am
Tue April 17, 2012

Illinois could take a 94-billion dollar hit under one plan to reform health care

Congressman Aaron Schock speaks out against the Affordable Care Act during a stop in Rockford Friday, April 13th.
Susan Stephens WNIJ

The debate over health care is picking up steam as we move closer to the fall election. A report by a health care advocacy group says over the next decade, Illinois could lose 94-billion dollars in federal funding for Medicaid, Medicare, and premium tax credits under the most recent Republican budget proposal.

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Business
10:05 pm
Thu April 12, 2012

Rockford hospital merger is off

Plans by OSF St. Anthony Medical Center to acquire Rockford Health System have been called off, just days before officials from both sides were to testify at a Federal Trade Commission hearing in Washington, D.C.  

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Arts
1:09 am
Thu April 12, 2012

Ira Glass talks ethics, Mad Men, and his St. Charles visit

 

“This American Life” creator and host Ira Glass pulls back the curtain on his popular public radio show this Saturday at the Arcada Theater in St. Charles. 

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Local
11:35 pm
Thu April 5, 2012

Rochelle ethanol plant making its own electricity

 

An ethanol plant in Rochelle could serve as a model for other manufacturers looking to save big on their electricity bills. 

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Local
5:19 am
Wed April 4, 2012

The Dodge Dart: Chrysler pushes for perfection from Day One.

Checking the gaps in the body of Chrysler's new Dodge Dart.
Susan Stephens

 

It’s considered conventional wisdom that you should never buy a car in its first year of production: that gives the automaker time to “work the kinks out.” And that’s the kind of thinking Chrysler officials are working to dispel as they prepare to launch the new Dodge Dart in Belvidere. 

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Government
2:49 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

Nine of Illinois' regional superintendent offices could be eliminated

 

It looks like Illinois will keep most of its regional offices of education. A commission charged with reviewing the need for the offices and the position of Regional Superintendent released its recommendation today: it proposed cutting the number of offices from 44 to 35. 

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Local
11:02 pm
Wed March 28, 2012

Rockford teachers strike: no school Thursday in the Rockford School District

Nine hours of contract negotiations between the Rockford School district and its teachers have ended: teachers will hit the picket lines Thursday morning.

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Local
7:36 pm
Mon March 26, 2012

Trial of man accused of murdering NIU student Antinette Keller delayed

DeKalb County Courthouse, Sycamore, Illinois.
Susan Stephens

The start of the trial of the DeKalb  man accused of killing Northern Illinois University student Antinette "Toni" Keller  in 2010 has been postponed for a month. 

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