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.

 

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

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. 

 

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. 

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

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. 

photo courtesy of the Rockford Fire Department

Rockford's historic Midway Theater, one of the most recognizable buildings in the city's downtown, had a portion of its roof collapse today. Built in 1918 as a movie house, it's the former home of the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and was a popular rock venue. Recent plans to rehabilitate the neglected theater have fallen through, and it has stood vacant for several years. 

The large section of roof that fell was in front of the stage. The building's owner is being told by the city to reinforce the structure and begin work on a permanent plan for the theater's future. 

 

 

Nearly a quarter of Illinois counties are finding an unexpected problem at their polling places today: some primary ballots are too big and don’t fit into the scanning machines.

Susan Stephens

Maple sugaring season may stir up romantic images of snowy New England woods: buckets dangle from the trees and folks gather around huge steaming kettles, slowly cooking tree sap down into sweet syrup. But did you know you can make your own maple syrup right here in Illinois? In your own yard? 

photo: wikipedia

Former governor Rod Blagojevich made his last public speech Wednesday before heading off to federal prison. He may want to change his tune if he’s looking to get out of prison before his 14 year sentence is completed. That’s according to P.S.  Ruckman, a Rock Valley College political science professor and expert on presidential pardons.

There’s a three-way race among Democrats in the 34th State Senate District.

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