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

We live in uncivil times: There are more ways than ever to insult and be insulted by people with different views. That’s why a national initiative called “Choose Civility” was started. Rockford kicked off its own take on the movement Tuesday night.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A DeKalb County judge has set dates for hearings in two cases involving Jack McCullough, the Seattle resident who was convicted of the 1957 kidnapping and murder of 7-year-old Maria Ridulph of Sycamore. That conviction was vacated after a review last year showed he could not have committed the crime. 

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

More than 1,000 people marched through downtown Rockford today as part of the national Women's March movement. Women, men, and children carried signs, shouted slogans, and stuck to the sidewalks in the peaceful gathering. 

Organizers say the purpose of the march was to support women's rights, as well as specific issues such as equal pay, access to health care, and uniting a diverse city like Rockford.

whitehouse.gov

President Obama holds what the White House bills as his final news conference this afternoon. NPR and WNIJ will bring it to you live beginning at 1:00. 

A spokesman for Obama told CBS News the president has called this press conference because he wants to say farewell to the White House press corps and "show them the respect they've earned." 

You can listen to WNIJ's coverage on 89.5 FM and WNIJ.org

U.S. Congress

We kick off a new series on WNIJ this morning: the Friday Forum. Today, we catch up with two members of the U.S. House from northern Illinois, just as the 115th Congress is getting underway. 

Republican Adam Kinzinger represents the 16th district, which stretches from the Wisconsin state line to the Indiana state line. It includes portions of Rockford, DeKalb, and Dixon. Democrat Cheri Bustos represents the 17th district. She just started her third term representing the western Illinois area that runs along the Mississippi River and reaches into portions of Rockford and Peoria.

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