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 archives

An all-white jury heard opening statements Tuesday at the civil trial for a 2009 officer-involved shooting at a Rockford daycare center. Mark Anthony Barmore, an unarmed black man, was killed during a confrontation with police who chased him into the House of Grace day care. 

Ten children and a worker present at the shooting, in addition to the family which owns the church and daycare center, are suing for compensation for emotional trauma, psychological damage and financial losses.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

 It’s International Women’s Day. The YWCA of Rockford celebrated a little early Monday with a luncheon featuring Equal Pay Activist Lilly Ledbetter. 

Carl Nelson/WNIJ

Gas prices continue to climb, in Illinois and nationwide, according to the latest AAA Daily Fuel Gauge Report.

The average cost of a gallon of regular unleaded in Illinois is up nine cents since last week, to $1.88. That’s 30 cents higher than a month ago.

The national average is up six cents, but still slightly cheaper than Illinois, at $1.81. 

Todd Ryburn / CC by 2.0

Bobcat hunting season starts this November in most of Illinois, but rules are still being worked out. The deadline for public comment is Monday, March 7. The Illinois Department of Natural Resources is closing the 45-day comment period.

Winnebago County State's Attorney's Office

Rockford police and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency arrested 29 people Thursday and seized cocaine, marijuana, and prescription painkillers.

 

Winnebago County States Attorney Joe Bruscato says they were part of a “very large drug ring” spanning several counties. Arrests include two men investigators characterize as “major suppliers,” Regulo Rodriguez of Belvidere and Esaul Rivas of Rockford.

 

Sixteen were arrested as “end users,” including former Hononegah High School football coach Timothy Sughroue.

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