Our Favorites

We’ve shared thousands of stories with our audience over the past 300 episodes. In honor of this exciting milestone, we decided to crack open the vault and have ten past and current Naperville News 17 reporters share their favorite story.

“If I were looking at overall favorite, I would have to say when I interview WWII Prisoner of War, Arnold Massie. I just really hope that the story that I told using old WWII footage, the photos Arnie shared with us, his medals, his words, his stories I really hope came across to the viewers that watched that and they too were taken back to that time when the greatest generation was fighting for us and fighting for the country to be what it is today.”- Elitsa Bizios, Reporter 2005-2009.

“I’m in a unique position where I’ve reported a little bit for the news and the key story that I reported on most of the time is history related. For the last year or so, it has been with long-time resident Rita Harvard who we lost in early summer.”- Liz Spencer, Executive Director 2002-present.

“My favorite story was about a 10 year old girl suffering from SMA, which is a type of muscular dystrophy and also terminally ill. This story was about her best friend holding a garage sale to raise money for research. It was one of those stories that made you laugh but at the same time made you cry.”- Lindsey Theis, Reporter/Producer 2006-2009.

“My favorite story, looking back was in 2009, I met a woman, she was a breast cancer survivor, Dede Schwarz, I still remember her name. She invited me to come with her to Edward Hospital and actually watch her get radiation done. The way she shared her story with me and the way I was able to share her story with our audience, it really helped me realize that if you’re going through a struggle, it helps to put your story out there because other people have that same struggle.” – Shannon Coughlin, Reporter 2007-2009.

“I would have to say that probably my favorite story was one I was able to do on Phil Lawler. He passed away, he had cancer and he was sick for years. He had such a tremendous impact on the community through his work, his tireless efforts towards physical education and bettering fitness and the lifestyles of children around Naperville.” – Ben Hutchison, Reporter 2009-2011.

“Probably my favorite news story was something that we got from an email from a parent of someone that went to Springbrook Elementary School at the end of the school year. It was just a short note that said “my kids’ third grade teacher is doing something really interesting to help the kids learn averages at the end of the year. And she’s going to have them spit watermelon seeds, measure how far they go, and they get three times to spit a watermelon seed and you take the average of each distance.’ By the end of the day, all those kids knew the median, the mean and the average how all these things work together and obviously they had a fun day about it as well.” – Alex Symonds, Reporter 2009-present.

“One of my favorite stories I did at NCTV was about a homeless high school student. We first met up with her January of her senior year and I remember her number one goal was to graduate high school. A few months later, we were at Naperville North High School’s graduation ceremony when she walked across the stage and got her diploma. It was just really nice to see this girl who’d gone through such hardship in her life be able to meet her top goal.” Michelle Corless, Reporter 2008-2012.

“My favorite story that I have done over the past couple of years would have been the Citizen Fire Academy that I did last year. I have always really admired fire fighters and anyone in the public service. I got to really put myself in that position for eight weeks. I went through a class where I got to do everything. I got to put on the mask, I got to go up in the ladder, use the Jaws of Life, I got to do every single step that there would be to go through the fire academy. I definitely admire them even more now that I know on a first-hand basis what they go through every day.” Jen Hannon, Anchor/Producer 2007-present.

“I have to say my favorite story while I was at NCTV, I did a story on a new type of workout called Mixed Martial Arts (MMA), that a lot of people are getting in to. It was really neat because the standup I did I actually got tackled myself, so you got a first-hand feel for what it was like to be part of MMA. You really got an in-depth look at why people do it. And it not just for violence, a lot of people lose a lot of weight and get in great shape doing it.” Ryan Jones, Reporter 2010-2012.

“My favorite story would be the Honor Flight. It was neat to see thousands of people pack the airport to just see all these World War II veterans you know come back from their trip in Washington DC. There were hundreds of red, white and blue flags and banners waving in the airport. It was something every person should have to experience.” Kevin Machak, Reporter/Editor 2008-present.


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