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.

Rockford Police Department

One of three men in the running to become Rockford’s next police chief has dropped out.

Racine, Wisconsin Chief Art Howell was given a contract extension to keep him in his current position.

The two remaining candidates are Rockford Assistant deputy chief Doug Pann and Dan O’Shea of the Elgin Police Department. They met with the public Tuesday at a forum in Rockford.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

A massive hospital expansion can move forward after Rockford City Council approved it last night.

Aldermen voted 12 to 1 in favor of MercyRockford Health System’s $485-million project. The campus will be located on the city’s far northeast side and focus on health care for women and children. It’s in addition to MercyRockford’s west side campus, which some fear will be abandoned in the expansion.

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

It’s Gas Price Monday on WNIJ. 

Nationally, the price of a gallon of gas is up a nickel, rising to $1.98, as reported by the AAA Daily Fuel Report. 

By contrast, Illinois’ average price dropped by 3 cents to $2.03. 

The most expensive gasoline in the state is in Chicago, at $2.33, which is up slightly from the previous week. Champaign-Urbana is the cheapest at $1.81.  

Illinois State Museum

The Tully Monster Mystery has been solved. New research published in the journal "Nature" sheds light on Illinois' state fossil.

It’s been about 300 million years since the strange creature known as the Tully Monster swam in the salty waters of central Illinois. The mystery of just what it was has been brewing since a fossil hunter discovered it near Morris in 1955.

Amato For State's Attorney / Facebook

One candidate pulled ahead in a pack of three in the race for the Republican nomination for DeKalb County State’s Attorney.

Rick Amato has about 44 percent of the vote. Former State’s Attorney Clay Campbell has about 31 percent of the vote while Chuck Rea has 25 percent.

The winner faces Democrat Richard Schmack in the general election in November. He ran unopposed.

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