Jenna Dooley

Jenna Dooley has spent her professional career in public radio. She is a graduate of Northern Illinois University and the Public Affairs Reporting Program at the University of Illinois - Springfield. She returned to Northern Public Radio in DeKalb after several years hosting Morning Edition at WUIS-FM in Springfield.  For 2012, she was named "Newsfinder of the Year" by the Illinois Associated Press. She is also recipient of the 2014 Donald R. Grubb NIU Journalism Alumni Award. She is not afraid to brag at parties that she has met Carl Kasell, Ira Glass, and Garrison Keillor (and has pictures to prove it!) She is the former Recording Secretary for the Illinois News Broadcasters Association.

Educators at Kishwaukee College could go on strike next week.

The Kishwaukee College Education Association recently filed an intent to strike. The action allows faculty to walk off the job as early as Jan. 16th if they do not reach a contract agreement with school administrators.  The filing with the Illinois Educational Labor Relations Board does not guarantee the faculty will strike, but it gives them the option.

Classes are still expected to start next Monday.

Education Association President Matt Read says both sides will also meet with a mediator on that day.

Illinois lawmakers are due back in Springfield later this week. Outgoing Governor Pat Quinn called a special session on Jan. 8 to discuss an election to replace late comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

The archery season for deer and turkey continues into mid-January for some counties.  

Since 1999, Illinois state parks where hunting is available have opened their gates to people with disabilities.


You know it's controversial, but why that's the case may not be something that you can explain easily at a dinner party.

Besides, this is the Midwest. Isn't it a bigger deal out West?

Not exactly.  Illinois regulators and activists have been agonizing over state fracking rules because there's money to made underneath the ground in southern parts of the state ... and there are environmental concerns.

The Illinois cell phone ban for drivers is nearly a year old, and it is proving quite profitable for the state's coffers.

From January 2014 through November 2014, the Illinois Secretary of State's office says there were more than 30,000 first offenses. At $75 a pop, that means drivers forked over more than $2.3 million so far this year.

Rep. John D'Amico (D-Chicago) insists the law wasn't put it place for the money.


Rumblings continue about possible closures of several nuclear power stations in Illinois. 

A Chicago labor group held a news conference Monday afternoon to speak out about unsafe working conditions at Rochelle's Nippon Sharyo plant.  The Chicago Federation of Labor and the group Jobs to Move America point to two recent complaints filed with OSHA.

The 17th Congressional District will stay in Democratic hands.

The district covers urban and rural areas of the Quad-Cities, Peoria, and portions of Rockford.

Bustos told supporters she and Schilling had a different vision and values, but credited him with running a campaign with passion and spirit.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ/Illinois Public Radio

Rochelle's location near several major interstates makes it easy for commuters to get to and from work. In the second of two reports, we hear from commuters who have decided not to make the move to the city where they work.

Each workday, Tim Swanberg pulls into a paved spot near Nancy Dobbel's Sycamore home at just before 7 a.m. Nancy greets him, and they both don crisp Nippon Sharyo shirts. The third member of their regular carpool is Cindy Blanchard of Cortland.

Video gaming continues to grow in popularity across Illinois. Over the past year, the number of video gaming terminals statewide more than doubled. 

                                                              July 2013                                  July 2014

# Video Gaming Terminals                8,808                                             17,954

A 9-year-old boy died in a grain bin this week in southwestern Wisconsin. While every situation is different, agricultural engineers continue to work on new ways to prevent such deaths. Those involved in the training industry say reaching the younger generation will be an important step to prevent entrapments. 


Rescue Tools

Susan Stephens / Illinois Public Radio/WNIJ

It's been two years since FBI agents arrested Dixon Comptroller Rita Crundwell. She's in prison for stealing 53-million dollars over the course of two decades. Since the arrest, the Better Government Association has been working to educate other municipalities about how to prevent such fraud. Illinois Public Radio's Jenna Dooley spoke with BGA investigator Pat McCraney who says the guiding principle should be "trust, but verify:"

Jenna Dooley / Illinois Public Radio/WNIJ

A 600-mile oil pipeline that crosses Illinois is nearing completion. IPR'S Jenna Dooley has more:

When it's done, the Flanagan South project from Canada-based Enbridge is expected to carry 600,000 barrels of crude oil per day. It crosses several states, starting near Pontiac, Illinois to a hub in Cushing, Oklahoma.

NIU Athletics

Northern Illinois University quarterback Jordan Lynch is a finalist for this year's Heisman Trophy. IPR'S Jenna Dooley has more:

Huskie fans held their breath during last night's announcement on ESPN. They didn't have to wait long before 1996 Heisman winner Danny Wuerffel made it official. 

Jenna Dooley / Illinois Public Radio/WNIJ

Today we wrap-up our series on "Flowing Fuels" with a look at who is responsible for inspecting pipelines in Illinois. As Illinois Public Radio's Jenna Dooley reports, inspections are based on location and the type of resource that flows through these lines:

Jenna Dooley / Illinois Public Radio/WNIJ

Today we begin a two-part series called "Flowing Fuels" about a new oil pipeline that will carry Canadian oil across several states. The line will begin in north-central Illinois. Illinois Public Radio’s Jenna Dooley reports on the massive project and concerns surrounding it:

Tomorrow...we'll hear more about who inspects pipelines in Illinois. That's in the second part of our series "Flowing Fuels."


Illinois gun owners are now a half-step closer to being able to legally carry concealed weapons. Fifty-four instructors have been approved by the Illinois State Police. They’ll be in charge of training the thousands of people expected to apply for concealed carry permits.

This year marks the centennial of America's first transcontinental road: the Lincoln Highway. You might have driven on the highway and not even known it, since it stretches from New York to California, passing through states like Iowa, Nebraska and Colorado, and carrying different state route numbers along the way.

Erik Gjermundsen of Fredrikstad Norway is checking off another item from his bucket list.

"I've been in the U.S. many times and I have always wanted to drive coast-to-coast," Gjermundsen says. "You have to do something in the summer and this was different."