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.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

For some kids, summer means packing your shorts and bug spray and heading off to camp. For some local teachers, camp means early morning lectures and late night discussions about race, gender, and privilege. At least it did last week at Northern Illinois University. WNIJ’s Susan Stephens stopped by Social Justice Summer Camp for this week’s Friday Forum.

Illinois Department of Corrections / illinois.gov

The man convicted of killing his six children in their Rockford home in 1978 died Sunday. Simon Peter Nelson died while still imprisoned for the crimes, according to a news release from Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato. He was 85.

Bruscato had been fighting Nelson’s latest attempt at parole. He was up for parole for the 19th time. There was a public petition campaign against his possible release, and his request for parole was to be ruled on by the Illinois Prisoner Review Board in July.

datacenter.kidscount.org/il

Illinois ranks nineteenth in the nation when it comes to the overall well-being of children according to the latest Kids Count Data Book, which analyzes the health, education, family, and economic conditions of the nation’s children.

Illinois ranks high in the survey in education (13) and health (10), thanks to pre-school opportunities and the high number of kids with health insurance. But the newest numbers are from 2015 and don’t reflect the impact that the lack of a state budget has had on programs.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

There’s not much left of the prairies and oak savannas that used to cover Illinois. Now the state has found a way to help environmental organizations protect those precious natural areas.

 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The partisan divide in Springfield seems wider than ever as Illinoisans brace for the start of another fiscal year without a budget. Lawmakers adjourned Wednesday without a spending plan. In this week’s Friday Forum, WNIJ’s Susan Stephens asked Rockford University Economics and Political Science Professor Bob Evans how we ended up here again.

Pages