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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Unknown cause of death
6:47 pm
Mon April 21, 2014

Body Pulled from Kishwaukee River IDed As Rockford Woman

Kishwaukee Gorge is a forest preserve south of Rockford and visible from the I-39 bridge that spans the Kishwaukee River.
Credit Google Maps

The identity of a woman whose body was pulled from the Kishwaukee River in Rockford yesterday has been released. 

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$35-million for Dam Rebuild
5:39 am
Fri April 18, 2014

One Year After The Floods: Marseilles Still Recovering

No need for sandbags at the moment. But last year at this time, much of central Illinois couldn't get enough of these things.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It was a year ago today torrential rains triggered a disaster along the Illinois River in LaSalle County. Seven barges crashed into a dam in Marseilles, causing millions of dollars in damage.  

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Senate Bill 16
6:23 am
Tue April 15, 2014

Who Benefits When The School Funding Formula Is Re-Crunched?

Freshman State Senators Andy Manar and Steve Stadelman meet with superintendents from public schools in Winnebago and Boone counties at The Regional Superintendent's office in Loves Park.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

School superintendents in Illinois are getting a chance to weigh in on what could be a huge change in the state’s public school funding formula. 

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New Route and funding announced
4:51 am
Fri April 11, 2014

All Aboard? Rockford To Chicago Train On Track For Next Year

Governor Pat Quinn and Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey congratulate each other over progress toward passenger rail service for Rockford. 4/10/14
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Rockford residents can look forward to taking a train into Chicago next year, after three decades without passenger rail service. 

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Rockford Mayor's Annual Address
5:34 am
Thu April 10, 2014

The State Of The City Is...Better

The new Morgan Street Bridge over the Rock River, one of the projects Rockford Mayor Larry Morrissey touted during his 2014 State of the City address.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

It’s a big week for development in Rockford, and Mayor Larry Morrissey was happy to highlight that during his State of the City address. 

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Governor Quinn to update this afternoon
4:33 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Progress Toward Passenger Rail For Rockford? Stay Tuned.

Credit Amtrak P42 by JPMueller99 / Creative Commons

Governor Pat Quinn is expected to “make a major announcement” in Rockford this afternoon about rail service. He’s scheduled to speak at an intersection along South Main Street, an area often talked about as a site for passenger rail. 

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Transform Rockford
6:45 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Better Education, Better Jobs: Developing Rockford's Vision

Transform Rockford's final "visioning" session at Rock Valley College.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Members of the group Transform Rockford warned it wasn’t going to be a quick and easy process. After months of community meetings, volunteers will start assembling a draft vision for the city tonight. 

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Election 2014
10:30 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

Caruana, Springer Win Winnebago Sheriff Bids

Gary Caruana (R) and Bob Springer (D) will face off this fall in the race for Winnebago County Sheriff.
Credit candidate photos

A field of seven Winnebago County Sheriff candidates was narrowed to two last night.  

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Proposed Constitutional Amendment
12:55 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Can New Maps Clean Up Illinois Politics?

Credit Yes For Independent Maps / independentmaps.org

A non-partisan group looking to overhaul the future of politics in Illinois is picking up the pace of its campaign.  “Yes for Independent Maps” is coordinating an effort to amend the Illinois constitution: it would take the power of drawing state legislative boundaries away from lawmakers and put it in the hands of an independent panel.  

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Judge rules no more wait
4:47 pm
Thu March 13, 2014

Same-Sex Marriage Now Available In DeKalb County

Civil Union supporters gather on the DeKalb County Courthouse steps during a 2011 rally.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Same-sex couples in DeKalb County don't have to wait until June 1st to get a marriage license. That was the decision approved by a judge today, and means couples can begin applying for licenses immediately.

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