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

The woman who blew the whistle on former Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell received a national award this weekend. Kathe Swanson was Dixon’s city clerk when she discovered accounting irregularities in 2011, which eventually revealed that Crundwell stole more than $53 million from the city.

Swanson was presented the Ethical Courage Award by the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy at a screening of the documentary All the Queen’s Horses, by filmmaker Kelly Richmond Pope, who featured Swanson in her film.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Check your medicine cabinet. Still have painkillers left from dental surgery years ago? Leftover prescription drugs can end up in the wrong hands or contaminating the environment, but there are ways to get rid of your unneeded pills safely.

The Rockford Police Department now has prescription-drug drop-off boxes in all three of its district stations.

A former candidate for Rockford mayor is running for lieutenant governor. Brian Leggero announced Wednesday that he was asked by Republican gubernatorial candidate William J. Kelly to be his running mate.



So what’s the difference between a podcast and a radio show, besides where you listen to them?

1) Podcasts have no time constraints. They can go long, they can go short. No one tunes in in the middle of a podcast. No need for self-identifying constantly.

2) Podcasts don’t need to please everyone. They can, and should, target a very specific audience.

The Illinois primary election isn’t until next March, but campaigns are going strong. Most Democrats running for governor will take part in a forum Tuesday night at Northern Illinois University.

Kim Gates, a member of DeKalb Stands, says her group -- which helped organize the event -- was formed in reaction to concerns about the presidential election. Now, she says, they see the importance of being engaged politically at every level of government.