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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Dangerous temps
5:17 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

C-c-c-cold! Thursday Evening Closings

Credit Larry Stephens

Dangerously cold temperatures and the potential for blowing snow have led to more closings today. 

CLOSINGS 1/23/14    5:00 pm 

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Waste Management
4:23 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Landfill Leak Sends Dozens Of Cortland Students To Hospital

Cortland Elementary School in relation to Waste Management's DeKalb County landfill.
Credit Google Maps

67 Cortland Elementary School students and staff members were admitted to Kishwaukee Hospital's emergency room today after complaining of nausea: they were sickened by a strong smell from the nearby Waste Management landfill.

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New Database Requirements
6:18 pm
Mon January 13, 2014

Mental Health Restrictions Tougher Under Concealed Carry

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The state of Illinois has taken another step toward regulating who may get a concealed-carry permit. The Department of Human Services has created an on-line database for mental health professionals to report people who pose a “clear and present danger” to themselves or others.

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UPDATED 5:00 am
11:54 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Closings And Cancelations: Tuesday, Jan. 7th

Credit Diane Drake / WNIJ

The following schools are closed Tuesday, January 7th because of the dangerously-low temperatures: 

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Winter Weather
8:57 am
Mon January 6, 2014

Closings And Cancelations: Monday, January 6th

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Forecast highs of around 15 below zero have led to a flurry of school cancelations for Monday, January 6th. The National  Weather Service has classified the deep-freeze expected over the  next few days as "life-threatening cold." The following schools are closed Monday: check back for updates.

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Rockford
8:22 am
Fri December 27, 2013

Water Damage At Burpee Museum Of Natural History

Credit Burpee Museum of Natural History

The Burpee Museum of Natural History in Rockford is expected to reopen Saturday morning after a devastating water pipe break. There was a water line break in the Mahlburg Auditorium. It flooded the auditorium and the Ordovician Sea exhibit area, then "rained down through the floor" onto the collections in the basement, according to executive director Maureen Mall. 

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Mandatory Minimums Challenged
5:33 pm
Thu December 19, 2013

President Commutes Rockford Man's Life Sentence

Credit Families Against Mandatory Minimums

  A man serving a life sentence for a drug-selling conspiracy in Rockford will be free this Spring. President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of eight people he says were serving overly-harsh sentences for drug crimes. 

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Revitalization Plans Moving Forward
1:22 am
Wed December 18, 2013

New Morgan Street Bridge Reconnects Rockford's South Side

IDOT's Ann Schneider, Governor Pat Quinn, Venita Hervey, and Victory Bell cut the ribbon on the Morgan Street Bridge
Susan Stephens WNIJ

A new bridge spanning the Rock River is being viewed as something more than a way to get across Rockford’s south side. It’s part of the revitalization of a long-neglected area of the city.

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Arts in Rockford
6:01 pm
Sun December 8, 2013

Free Range Radio: Arts Adapting

Credit Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Art. It inspires, sustains, entertains -- even makes us think. It's the way some people make a living. And its funding is all-too-often the first thing on the chopping block when times are tough. WNIJ's news department decided to take a look at how artists and organizations are adapting to economic and cultural changes.  

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Book and Exhibit
4:46 am
Fri December 6, 2013

RAM100: Rockford Art Museum's Centennial Celebration

Roy Lichtenstein, at Rockford Art Museum
Rockford Art Museum

Rockford Art Museum is wrapping up its 100th year in a number of big ways. Saturday, the museum hosts its 25th annual Evergreen Ball. Patrons will dine and dance among two-hundred of the museum’s greatest works, which are showcased in the on-going centennial exhibition. There’s also a new book highlighting the stories behind the museum’s growth from a sketch club to a community institution.

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