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.


Anthony vs. Severson
5:36 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Two 75th District Republicans Tout Experience In Primary Race

Republicans Ron Severson and John Anthony are seeking their party's nomination in next week's primary election.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Next week, Republican voters in the 75th Illinois House District will choose the person they want to represent them in the general election this fall. The choice comes down to the man who has attracted positive national attention during his half-year in office and a long-time county government leader. 

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Election 2014
4:29 am
Wed March 12, 2014

Four-Way Fight For The 50th House District

Republican primary candidates in the 50th Illinois House District, clock-wise, from upper left: Julie Cosimo, Beth Goncher, Bill Keck, and Keith Wheeler.
Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Republican State Representative Kay Hatcher announced last fall she wouldn’t run for the 50th district seat she has held since 2009. It didn’t take long for four Republicans and a Democrat to come forward and announce their intentions to replace her. We continue our primary election previews with a look at the candidates in the district that covers portions of southern Kane and northern Kendall counties. 

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Stepping down this spring
1:15 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

Carl Kasell To Retire From 'Wait, Wait...'

Carl Kasell, newsman, quiz judge, and magician, tells WNIJ staffers that Nina Totenberg was the first person he ever cut in half, during a 2011 visit to DeKalb.
Credit Diane Drake / WNIJ

Carl Kasell is retiring from "Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!" and moves into his new role as Scorekeeper Emeritus of the NPR news quiz.


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Rockford Register Star Collaboration
8:47 am
Mon March 3, 2014

Rockford Education Leaders Talk About Common Core

Rockford Education Association President Dawn Granath and District 205 Superintendent Ehren Jarrett discussed Common Core at the WNIJ studios in Rockford.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

School districts are pressing ahead with implementing Common Core education standards. They’re required to start using federal standardized tests next year. 

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Same-Sex Marriage
2:17 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Wedding Bells Can Ring Earlier For Cook County Same-Sex Couples

Credit Elsie esq / Flickr/Creative Commons

Couples started receiving marriage licenses Friday, within hours of the Cook County Clerk’s announcement that same-sex couples won’t have to wait until June to marry. 

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YWCA Leader Luncheon Speaker
4:09 am
Fri February 21, 2014

NY Times News Chief On Diminishing Press Freedom

New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson
Credit Fred R. Conrad / AFP/Getty Images

It’s getting more difficult for journalists to do their jobs under the Obama administration: that’s according to New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson. And it doesn’t set a very good example for governments at every level. 

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February 14th Memorial
6:13 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Low-Key NIU Observance Marks Six Years Since Campus Shooting

NIU community members stop and reflect at the memorial garden near Cole Hall on the sixth anniversary of the 2/14 campus shootings.
Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Northern Illinois University paused Friday to remember five students who were killed in a classroom six years ago. 

Aired 2/14 5:00 pm on WNIJ

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4:00 am
Fri February 7, 2014

Cleaning Up The Animals And Artifacts: Burpee Museum Recovers From Flood

Lions and other assorted water-damaged beasts at Burpee Museum of Natural History
Susan Stephens WNIJ

It has been more than a month since a frozen water pipe rained down on some of the Burpee Museum of Natural History’s most important collections. The recovery continues… and there may even be a few silver linings for the Rockford museum. 

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Budgeting the salt while waiting on state
9:41 pm
Thu January 30, 2014

DeKalb: More Snow, Less Salt

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Add DeKalb to the growing list of cities cutting back on salting roads.

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6:27 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Closings for Monday, January 27

Credit Larry Stephens

Updated at 2:00 am Monday


Northern Illinois University has cancelled all classes Monday and Tuesday. All campuses are closed both days as well, with only essential employees required to report.

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