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.

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Rita Crundwell Case
3:12 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

Dixon Takes $40-Million Settlement With Auditors And Bank

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Dixon City Council approved a $40-million settlement with auditors and Fifth Third Bank at a special meeting today. The out-of-court settlement was reached on Friday with the companies the city blames for allowing former comptroller Rita Crundwell to embezzle $54-million over twenty years. 

aired 9/26/13 WNIJ

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Still no curriculum
3:30 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Illinois Concealed Carry Trainers In Place

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

There are now 54 concealed carry instructors approved by the Illinois State Police. Anyone who wants to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon has to put in sixteen hours in the classroom and shooting range with an official instructor.                 

aired WNIJ 9/25/13

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"Princess of Technology"
3:30 am
Wed September 18, 2013

NIU Honors Thai Princess

Media Services Northern Illinois University

Northern Illinois University hosted royalty Wednesday morning. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn received an honorary doctorate from NIU for her work promoting science and education.              

Reactions to the royal visit, Northern Illinois University, 9/18/13

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              

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Highway Reopened, No Bomb
5:07 pm
Tue September 17, 2013

Bomb Threat Closes Highway 251 In Loves Park

Credit Jacquilyn Stephens / WNIJ

UPDATE: Traffic returned to normal after the bomb squad confirmed there was no actual threat. Employees at the Hope & Anchor reported a man who had been arrested earlier in the day may have left a suspicious package in the pub.

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U.S. Marshals Selling Furs And Memorabilia
6:35 pm
Mon September 16, 2013

Ex-Congressman Jackson, Jr's "Stuff" Up For Auction

Detail of an autographed Michael Jackson collage formerly owned by Jesse Jackson, Jr.
Credit U.S. Marshals Service

Michael Jackson, Bruce Lee, and a pile of expensive furs are on the auction block tomorrow. U.S. Marshals are selling off some of the valuable possessions of former Illinois Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr. and his wife, former Chicago alderman Sandra Stevens Jackson. 

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Northern Illinois House Reaction
10:39 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

Congress Reacts to President's Syria Speech

Congress members – like most of the world -- appear to be taking a “wait and see” stance on Syria. 

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Early dismissal in some districts
8:12 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Tuesday: Too Hot For School

The National Weather Service forecasts another day of school-stopping heat for Tuesday.
Credit NWS - Chicago / noaa.gov

Another day of sweltering temperatures means another short school day for many students in northern Illinois. The National Weather Service predicts record-high temperatures for this time of year will be reached Tuesday, with thermometers topping out in the low- to mid-90s.

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Misuse of Stimulus Funds
4:39 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Rockford Must Send $300K Back To The Feds

Credit city of Rockford

Rockford will give nearly $300,000 in stimulus money back to the federal government. Investigations by the city and the Office of the Inspector General found that Rockford’s Human Services Department improperly used Community Block Grant funds in 2009 and 2010. 

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WNIJ and Rockford Register Star collaboration
4:25 am
Fri August 30, 2013

What Fixing Illinois Pensions Means To You

Susan Stephens, Steve Cunningham, Dave Syverson, and Chuck Sweeny talk pension reform at Riverfront Museum Park.
Credit Victor Yehling / WNIJ

Illinoisans continue to struggle along in the state with the “worst in the nation“ public pension system.    Now, the cries for reform are louder than ever as the deficit continues to snowball.

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Jane McAfee's commentary revisited
7:15 am
Wed August 28, 2013

She Was There: Memories of Dr. King's Dream

Crowds in Washington, DC August 28, 1963
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Today is  the 50th anniversary of one of the most important milestones in America's civil rights movement: on August 28th, 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his "I Have A Dream" speech to 200,000 people gathered in Washington, D.C. 

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